(Posted May 10, 2017)

At left, honorary degree recipient Miriam Wentzel, a 1952 Juniata graduate, and at right, Kristin Lord, president and CEO of IREX.
At left, honorary degree recipient Miriam Wentzel, a 1952 Juniata graduate, and at right, Kristin Lord, president and CEO of IREX.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Kristin Lord, president and CEO of IREX, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to building a more inclusive world by empowering youth, cultivating leaders and extending access to quality education, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and deliver the commencement address at Juniata’s 139th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 13 on the Juniata campus.

In addition, Miriam Smith Wetzel, a 1952 graduate of Juniata who retired from Harvard Medical School in 2000 as assistant professor of medicine, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Kristin Lord, who has led IREX’s efforts in international education and development since 2014, is a longtime advocate for global engagement and international education. Before joining IREX (which stands for International Research and Exchanges Board), Lord was acting president and executive vice president at the United States Institute of Peace, a federally created organization that seeks to prevent, mitigate and resolve global conflict worldwide. During her tenure, she oversaw the launch of an online education initiative, the creation of the Peace Tech Lab, and the development of a five-year strategic plan.

From 2008 to 2013, she served as executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security, where she oversaw the center’s research efforts and edited more than 100 publications. She also wrote significant reports and studies on diplomacy and development, cyber security, U.S. global engagement and violent extremism.

Lord earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies in 1991 from American University, and went on to earn a master’s degree in 1993 and a doctorate in 1997, both in government, from Georgetown University.

Lord has focused on international education from the start of her career, which began in 1995 at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She taught on the school’s faculty and served as associate dean for management and planning and associate dean for strategy research and external relations, where she initiated a wide range of education programs for students, diplomats, and midcareer professionals from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Lord received an international affairs fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations. In that capacity, she worked for the U.S. Department of State as a special adviser to the undersecretary for democracy and global affairs from 2005- 2006. Lord left George Washington University for the Brookings Institution in 2008, where she led a science and technology initiative for the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and authored a major report on America’s role in the world.

In addition to numerous scholarly articles and reports, Lord is the author of “Perils and Promise of Global Transparency: Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security, Democracy or Peace” and “Power and Conflict in an Age of Transparency.” She has written numerous articles for media outlets such as Politico, USA Today, CNN.com and Roll Call, and such specialty publications as Foreign Policy, Foreign Service Journal, Defense News and World Politics Review.

Her expert commentary has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Voice of America and PBS. She is a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition board of directors and is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

            Miriam Wetzel, a resident of Casco, Maine, is a retired curriculum consultant for Harvard Medical School and a former content analyst for Harvard Health Publications, She retired from Harvard Medical School in 2000 as assistant professor of medicine.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Juniata and went on to graduate study at Temple University from 1952 to 1954 on a State Senatorial Scholarship awarded to her by the Miss America Foundation as Miss Pennsylvania. She and her family moved to Maine in 1971 where she taught music in the Lake Region School District and was principal of the Manchester School in Windham from 1977 to 1981. She earned a master’s degree in 1975 in education administration from the University of Maine, Portland-Gorham,  a master’s degree in 1982 in human development from Harvard University and a doctoral degree in human development in 1987 from the University of Pennsylvania.

            She was hired by Harvard Medical School in 1985 as curriculum coordinator and played a large role in implementing a new method of medical school education that de-emphasized lecture-based classes in favor of small-group problem-based learning and case studies. Over her career at Harvard, Wetzel taught and helped implement the new curriculum model, called “The New Pathway,” at medical schools across the United States and internationally. She received the Excellence in Teaching Harvard Medical & Dental Students’ Award in successive years, 1999 and 2000.

            Wetzel has been active as a Juniata volunteer for much of her career. She served as the first female president of the Juniata College Alumni Council in 1970. She also received the college’s 2006 Alumni Achievement Award.

            After she retired, Wetzel co-wrote a book, “The Health Care Dilemma: A Comparison of Health Care Systems in Three European Countries and the U.S.” She has had articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Annals of Internal Medicine and the British Postgraduate Medical Journal.

            Wetzel remains active in her community, serving, at various times, as president of the Sebago-Long Lakes Chamber Music Festival Association, as chair of the Music Committee of the Casco Village Church, UCC, and as a board member of the Mollyockett Chapter of Sweet Adelines International. She is a member of the Christian Education Committee of the Casco Village Church, and served as chair from 2015 to 2016. She also has served on the Harvard University Health Services Consumer Council since 1993.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.