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2021 ILSS Symposium will focus on COVID-19's impact on national security

October 26, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic posed new strategic challenges within the political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, information, and intelligence domains of nation-states. The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Institute for Leadership and Strategic Studies (ILSS), the College of Arts and Letters, and UNG Press have organized the April 7-8, 2021, ILSS Symposium to analyze the implications of the pandemic's impact on these domains.

Set to be held at the Convocation Center on UNG's Dahlonega Campus, the symposium will consist of a series of speakers and panels, as well as undergraduate student presentations. Panelists will be selected competitively from those who submit abstracts for papers. In the event the pandemic prevents an in-person event, the symposium will be live-streamed online.

Laura J. Lane, chief corporate affairs, communications and sustainability officer for UPS, will serve as the keynote speaker for the symposium. She began her UPS career as president of global public affairs in 2011. In this role, she was responsible for worldwide government affairs and worked with partners across the enterprise to strengthen UPS growth and competitiveness.

Prior to her work at UPS, Lane held leadership positions at Citigroup, Time Warner and the US. Trade Representative's Office. She also previously worked with the U.S. Foreign Service.

Other speakers will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

The ILSS is seeking 500-word abstracts for paper submissions for the symposium. Submissions, which also require a 150-word author biography, must be sent by Jan. 18, 2021, to Panelists will be notified of acceptance by Feb. 8, 2021.

Symposium panelists may also submit their articles for possible inclusion in a peer-reviewed symposium monograph to be published by UNG Press. The deadline for article submissions will be July 7, 2021.

Students, faculty, staff and military leaders from across the country are invited to attend. Retired Lt. Col. Heath Williams, director of federal liaison and military education coordinator, hopes cadets and other UNG students take advantage of the chance to submit their work and participate in the symposium.

"When they graduate, this could come up in a job interview," Williams said. "It could help them stand out as more well-read."

A writing contest will be held in conjunction with the symposium and judged by UNG professors. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning author and two runners-up. The winner may attend the symposium at no cost with travel and lodging paid by the symposium. Writing contest submissions must be sent to by Feb. 24, 2021. More details are available in the Writing Contest tab on the ILSS Symposium webpage.

The mission of ILSS is to develop educational programs and synchronize the cadet military program entities to prepare cadets for ethical, adaptive and innovative leadership as officers in the total Army and as leaders in other public or private enterprises and civic organizations for the good of American society.

One of only six federally designated senior military colleges in the nation, UNG is The Military College of Georgia, and its nationally recognized Army ROTC program attracts students from across the state, region and nation.

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