Katherine Deumling ’96 was just one of the distinguished guests invited to speak at the 2013 Global Studies Symposium. The theme of this year’s symposium was “Food in Global Perspectives.”

Along with Deumling, the roster of keynote speakers included a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, a food rights activist and an artist.

The keynote speakers also were joined on the panel by Whitman student respondents and professors. Student respondents included Haley McLeod ’13, William Newman-Wise ’13 and Suzanne Jaszczult ’13.

After the last presentation, one of the keynote speakers, Dr. David Kessler, professor at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School and former FDA commissioner, grabbed the microphone at his table on stage and took a moment to thank Whitman for hosting the event.

“I have two trade degrees, in medicine and law,” Kessler said. For him, the symposium “made the case” for the liberal arts: “In a world where people want us to justify its relevance, we’re not going to be taking on these challenges without being able to do what we have here, so thank you.”

The Global Studies Initiative is sponsored by the Ashton J. and Virginia Graham O’Donnell Endowment in Global Studies.