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President’s Lecture Series Fall 2023

Fall 2023

All lectures, which are free and open to the public, take place in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium


Public Service, Shepherd International, Disruptive Technology—A Challenging and Fascinating Future Awaits

September 12 | 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Linton Wells II, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration and Department of Defense Chief Information Officer

In his President’s Lecture, Dr. Linton Wells II will address three broad areas:  the importance of public service, Shepherd’s increasing international  role, and the pending impact of disruptive technology.  

Having spent 51 years with the federal government, Dr. Wells is well qualified to speak about the rewards and challenges of public service, and the changes he has seen over the years.  He will recount some of his personal experiences and emphasize the critical role of public  service today.  

Shepherd is spreading its wings internationally, beginning with deepening contacts with Western Ukrainian National University (WUNU).  In December 2022, Shepherd and WUNU signed a cooperation agreement that will give Shepherd students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to collaborate in intercultural communications, joint research, and academic papers.  The two universities will be able to hold various joint scientific and educational events and conferences, organize platforms for internships for faculty and students in related educational programs, and offer student exchange programs.  The Ukraine program has priority, but other international options are possible in the future. 

Columnist  Tom Friedman has written about the “Age of Acceleration.”  The World Economic Forum has described a fourth Industrial Revolution that is “blurring lines between the digital, physical, and biological spheres.”  Examples of striking new technologies are emerging weekly.  But the age of acceleration is much more than just tech.  Energy, political-military, social, and other considerations also are critical.   Together these outline the world our children and grandchildren will be inheriting.  Remember, sociology always tops technology and it’s important to have an understanding of both. 

Dr. Wells will conclude with thoughts on how these areas intertwine and then take questions.  It should be a most interesting session. 


China’s access to U.S. technology: Who is winning?

October 23 | 6:30 p.m.

Stephen Hall, Certified mentor – International Business

The recent downing of a Chinese-made balloon has increased concern as to how much technology China has obtained from us, and could it be used against the United States and other countries?  How long has this been going on? What methods have Chinese organizations used to gain valuable information on our most current and emerging technologies? The answers may surprise you. What steps are we using to stop this infiltration to the business, academic, and scientific communities? How will these activities affect our research and development of vital new products? What technologies are being targeted? Even university professors in the U.S. have been found aiding the Chinese and are in prison. 

Stephen Hall has been within the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, where he was involved in export control activities and technology issues with China. He has conducted conferences and seminars for the business and academic communities on establishing procedures to prevent the transfer of technology to those that would do us harm. As a contractor to the U.S. Department of State, he has travelled to 20 counties establishing export control departments. 

Hall is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and received an M.A. from West Virginia University. He has worked with the Boeing Company’s Missile Defense Division on international technology issues and a number of smaller businesses
in exporting. He lives in Charles Town, West Virginia.   


The Crucible of Law and War: International Humanitarian Law and the Preservation of Humanity during Armed Conflict

November 27 | 6:30 p.m.

Christian Jorgensen, Legal Counsel at the American Red Cross-National Headquarters

Christian Jorgensen serves as legal counsel at the American Red Cross-National Headquarters, specializing in public international law, with a distinct focus on international human rights law, refugee law, and international humanitarian law, which is also commonly referred to as the law of armed conflict.

His professional journey began in Oxford, UK, where he conducted legal research for asylum cases under the mentorship of Dr. Barbara Harrell-Bond, OBE. Christian’s diverse experience has also included time spent in Germany with a Berlin-based media startup, where he researched, wrote, and provided analysis on proposed immigration policies of the 2017 French presidential candidates. Later, Christian worked in Nicosia, Cyprus, where he broadened his expertise by working as a researcher on legal cases against the Cypriot Ministry of Interior, relating to the denial of citizenship to stateless Kurds. His dedication to addressing global humanitarian concerns via the power of the law was further demonstrated in Bogota, Colombia, where he collaborated with Colombian lawyers and researchers to successfully advocate for a change in Colombian nationality policy that was until then resulting in the creation of numerous stateless children born to Venezuelan migrant parents in the country.

Additionally, outside the law, his research has focused on exploring the sociological impacts of migration and ways to counter negative perceptions of migrants within host societies. Christian discovered the vital role that art can play in fostering a deeper understanding between migrants and host society members, serving as a significant tool for successful integration, especially among youth. His research demonstrated that art acts as a conduit for open dialogue, challenges negative stereotypes, and is capable of correcting divisive ‘us versus them’ perceptions in a society. These comprehensive findings on the impact of art in integration and its psychological benefits for the entire society were later compiled into two chapters of a European Union-sponsored project titled “New Approaches for the Cultural Integration of Young Refugees.”

Academically, Christian holds a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law, an M.Sc. in refugee & forced migration studies from DePaul University, and a B.A. in political science from the University of Iowa.

Most recently, in 2022, he was honored with the American Red Cross’ Presidential Award for Humanitarian Services.


For more information, contact Karen Rice, director of Lifelong Learning, at or 304-876-5135.

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