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Hot Topics & Special Events 

Events unfolding thousands of miles away reverberate around the globe in minutes.

When that happens, society relies on the people on the ground - many of them international correspondents willing to risk their lives - to tell us what's going on, why it matters, and what it may mean for the rest of us.

At Stony Brook, the Colvin Center helps to answer those questions for our community by convening international reporters and experts to discuss issues and answer questions. 

Together, we try to make sense of current events and their aftershocks.

Journalists at Risk

Reporting on Gaza and Israel

3 pm
Wednesday, Dec. 6

Jodie Ginsberg, president of the Committee to Protect Journalists
Sarah Baxter, director of the Marie Colvin Center, who previously reported on Hamas in Gaza

Moderated by Musa al-Gharbi, assistant professor of communication and journalism

Chilean Coup at 50

A Reflection  on Journalism and Politics at the Peak of the Cold War in Latin America

1 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 13

John Dinges: American journalist and author; emeritus Godfrey Lowell Cabot Professor of International Journalism at Columbia
Marcela Alejandra Aguilar:dean,  Universidad Diego Portales School of Journalism in Santiago de Chile

Moderated by Pablo Calvi, associate professor of journalism and Colvin Center associate director for Latin America

Watch the full conversation on YouTube.


China Under Xi

Rising threat or stalled superpower?

10 am
Wednesday, March 1

  • Shuai Zhang, producer at CBS News Beijing Bureau
  • Sarah Baxter, Colvin Center director and journalism instructor
  • Charles Haddad, associate professor of journalism

Woman. Life. Freedom.

Across Iran, people - particularly young women - are standing up to demand their freedom from an oppressive regime.

The Colvin Center and Stony Brook's Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives brought together a panel of experts to lead a conversation about the movement that may change the course of history.

  • Leili Soltani, director of Voice of America's Persian language broadcasts to Iran
  • Hadi Ghaemi, founder and executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran
  • Roya Hakakian, Iranian American Jewish poet, journalist and writer

Moderator: Sara Lejuez, assistant professor of practice

Putin's End Game in Ukraine 

For the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine more than seven months ago, Ukrainian forces are on the offensive and Putin called up reserves. 

What do these events mean for the war in Ukraine?

Hear from:

  • Ecaterina Miscisina, IREX Community Solutions Program Fellow and Moldovan media content creator
  • Jonathan Sanders, former CBS News Moscow correspondent and journalism faculty

Moderator: Sarah Baxter, Colvin Center director and London Sunday Times reporter

2022 Elections in Brazil

A conversation on the new "Pink Tide" in Latin America

Populist president Jair Bolsonaro faces a challenge from former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Panelists included:

  • Vince Bevins, LA Times and Washington Post; author of The Jakarta Method
  • Ana Clara Costa, reporter for piaui, Brazil's premier political magazine
  • Murillo de Aragao, Columbia University professor

Moderator: Pablo Calvi, associate director for Latin America, Colvin Center and associate professor of journalism

Ukraine Teach-In

Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Colvin Center hosted international reporters and other experts for a conversation about the early days of the war. 


  • Michael Slackman, New York Times foreign editor
  • Simon Ostrovsky, PBS special correspondent in Ukraine
  • Louise Callaghan, Sunday Times foreign correspondent in Ukraine
  • Alexander Orlov, material science and chemical engineering professor
  • Jonathan Sanders, journalism professor and former CBS News Moscow correspondent
  • Leonie Huddy, political science chair
  • John Frederick Bailyn, linguistics professor and former co-director, New York-St. Petersburg Institute

Watch the Recorded Conversation

Video, left, from NBC News, New York