Tag Archives: europe

Radford goes — say it ain’t so!

Dr. James Radford, a ten year veteran of the RU faculty will be leaving the university to enjoy his retirement following the end of the Fall 2014 semester. After a 16 year teaching career and 30 years spent in the U.S. Army immediately prior, Dr. Radford has more than earned his time off. Yet sad will be the many students who enjoyed his jokes and engaging attitude towards the Political Science and International Studies courses that he’s taught.

Those who are familiar with him probably are aware that he isn’t only a professor of Political Science, but also the current director of the International Studies minor — a position we can only say makes perfect sense, considering his amazing travel resume. As of now, Dr. Radford claims to have visited no less than 44 individual countries, claiming both England and Europe (he particularly mentioned Salzburg, Austria and Rothenburg, Germany) to be his favorite and most frequented locales. (So if you have any questions about planning a trip, perhaps you should run on over to Russell Hall or shoot him an email before he jets off this winter!)

“Dr. James Radford, a ten year veteran of the RU faculty will be leaving the university to enjoy his retirement following the end of the Fall 2014 semester.”

When we asked Dr. Radford what motivated him to pursue a career teaching, his answer was one we should have seen coming: “I was too young to do nothing and too lazy to work [after leaving the Army]. I didn’t really plan on teaching.” Yet he says that as soon as he started his graduate schooling and left the Army, that was the same day he began teaching.

Upon reflection, Dr. Radford said that both his careers have been rewarding and expresses pride for what he has accomplished. “[In the Army I] traveled all over the world, met thousands of wonderful people.” This was something he was able to draw on when teaching and inspiring many of his students, made clear to those of us in his classroom that the international community is something vast and accessible to anyone. “Everyone teaching is teaching their subject as well as their own life,” he told us.

In our interview with Dr. Radford we asked in what way he was most proud of his teaching and, sap that he is, he said “Oh, I think it’s hearing from former students who are doing just wonderfully well.” He concluded this statement with, “Pretty proud of an awful lot of them.”

India to Mars or bust

Last week, India joined a select few nations in entering the Red Planet’s orbit. After the nail biting year since the launch, India is now forever to be known as the first Asian nation to reach Mars and the first of all nations to successfully reach Mars on their first try. India’s Mars’ orbiter (or, Mangalyaan) has joined the US, Europe, and Soviet’s orbiters as well as the US’s two ground rovers.

The huge success for the Asian nation has been applauded by their fellows in space travel as well as other nations who’re still in the process of attempting to make this great advancement in the scientific community, such as Japan and China.

And while they aren’t the first nation to orbit Mars, 51 similar missions have been attempted yet only 21 have succeeded. That India has managed to do it on their first attempt and with a fraction of any others’ budget is an incredible achievement.

The ISRO (or, India Space Research Organization) succeeded in this mission on a budget of a mere $74 million, compared to the $671 million that NASA used to launch their own MAVEN only a few days earlier.

So how were they able to cut costs without compromising the quality of their spacecraft?

India’s space program chose to concentrate their technology into a smaller craft focused on certain hot-topics, such as an ability to measure methane gas in the Red Planet’s atmosphere, and therefore search for life. This ability will offer assistance to the other orbiters currently measuring these levels in order for all the nations to obtain more reliable data.

Some, particularly within the impoverished nation, have criticized India’s spending on such an enormous mission. However, with this successful mission in advanced technology, India has now created opportunity to greatly enhance their political and economic position. They hope that this achievement will attract more attention from wealthy industrial countries and join as a major player.

Regardless, India and their ISRO have launched themselves into the history books and our headlines.

Study abroad: Is it worth it?

“Come study in Scotland, Ireland, Italy or France!” posters are in every building here at Radford University. Each one shows a group of students happy and enjoying their leisurely time there. It looks like all fun and games when in reality not all of the programs are based like that. The purpose of a study abroad is to take classes transferable to RU while you aren’t actually there. The possibilities are endless when choosing where to go through the study abroad programs. Continue reading Study abroad: Is it worth it?