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'Great Decisions' returns next month
Lecture series moves to Sharon Forks library
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Forsyth County News

If you're going

All lectures are scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sharon Forks library, 2820 Old Atlanta Road. All dates are Tuesdays unless otherwise noted.

• Week 1: "Rebuilding Haiti" with Tamara Spike, Feb. 15

• Week 2: "U.S. National Security" with Chris Jespersen, Feb. 22

• Week 3: "Horn of Africa" with Tim May, March 1

• Week 4: "Responding to the Financial Crisis" with Dlynn Armstrong-Williams, March 8

• Week 5: "Germany Ascendant" with Richard Byers, March 14 (Note: Monday.)

• Week 6: "Sanctions and Nonproliferation" with J.T. Kwon, March 22

• Week 7: "The Caucasus" with Jon Miner, March 29

• Week 8: "Global Governance" with Cristian Harris, April 5

It wasn't difficult to make this decision.

North Georgia College & State University will hold the national Great Decisions lecture series for the second year in a row, following a strong community response last spring.

The national program, sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, has been around for decades.

Eight lectures and discussions on global issues, selected by the association, will be presented this spring in Forsyth County and Gainesville.

The first, "Rebuilding Haiti," will be held Feb. 15 in Forsyth County at the Sharon Forks library.

NGCSU got a late start last year and presented just six of the topics.

"We felt like it was very worthwhile and that there was great community interest in doing this again," said Kate Maine, director of university relations. "We have really high hopes that we'll have a great turnout."

The lectures, held at the Hampton Park library last year, will shift to the Sharon Forks branch.

Maine said the university chose to move the program so residents in a different part of the county could better attend.

The Dahlonega-based college likes to send its professors into nearby communities as part of its mission "to provide educational opportunities for all citizens, not just students," Maine said.

Most presentations will be handled by professors in the history and political science departments.

"They have a lot of knowledge about these topics," Maine said.

Jon McDaniel said he found last year's lectures "fascinating," and is looking forward to learning about the topics up for discussion this spring.

The director of the Forsyth County Public Library admitted he's somewhat of a "news and foreign policy junkie," but said Great Decisions attracted several in the community who plan to return this year.

"I thought it was one of the best programs that I've attended in a library," he said.

Also, it fits well with the library system's mission to offer more programs for adults.

Often times, the library can't put on programs for adults without experts, unlike storytimes for children, McDaniel said. So having professors present the topics "gives it a stamp of validity."