Fireside Chat: Special Edition


President LaForge returned for the 4th time to John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) in Poland to teach a weeklong course to Polish students. This week’s Fireside Chat was shot in Poland by KUL’s video team.

KUL is the home university of the late Pope John Paull II, a source of great pride for the Catholic faithful and the people of Lublin and Poland.

LaForge was abroad from May 19-23 instructing on the topic of Congressional testimony, the subject of his recent book, “Testifying Before Congress: A Practical Guide to Preparing and Delivering Testimony before Congress and Congressional Hearings for Agencies, Associations, Corporations, Military, NGOs, and State and Local Officials.”

In previous years, LaForge taught KUL students commercial law, contract law, property law and public policy advocacy.

“It’s always fun to return to the university and visit with colleagues there,” said LaForge. “Probably the most intriguing part is visiting with students who are very interested and receptive about how we live in the West. They soak up Western knowledge and educational materials.”

While LaForge had been teaching at KUL prior to becoming the Delta State president in April of 2013, he said the connection has continued to benefit both institutions.

“The relationship has allowed us to consider possibilities of exchange programs,” he said. “KUL is one of the three universities we’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with to further develop these international exchanges.”

Christy Riddle, executive director of International Student Services at Delta State, confirmed KUL would be joining two other partner schools — The University of National World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria and Реrm State University in Perm, Russia.

“We are very excited to finalize these agreements. These international partnerships will offer the opportunity for our Delta State faculty and students and their faculty and students to travel, teach and study abroad through various exchange programs,” said Riddle. “The president will go over any additional details during his visit to Poland.”

The goals of the KUL agreement are as follows: increase educational, cultural and scientific relationship through the sharing and transfer of educational materials, publications, course literature and instructional resources, including electronically transmitted information; exchange of faculty members, staff and research scholars who could seek ways by which they could participate in and contribute to cultural and educational programs developed by both institutions; develop overseas study programs for their students, faculty members, staff and other community members; and organize joint academic activities such as conferences and seminars.

“This is another step in fostering good relations with international universities,” added Riddle.

Riddle said Delta State would continue to look at other markets, such as China, Brazil and European universities. Discussions are also underway to develop Skype lectures and conferences, summer internship opportunities and joint degree programs.

Another feature of LaForge’s upcoming trip is the taping of his weekly Fireside Chat video blog.

“We’re hoping to broadcast this May 26, shortly after I return,” said LaForge. “Hopefully someone in the KUL law department will film with me. I’d like to introduce viewers to Lublin, the community and KUL.”

To learn more about international programs at Delta State, contact Riddle at 662-846-4574 or

Teaching in Poland