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Sept. 11, 2013

Faculty conversations: Russell Lucas

As much as he enjoyed his experiences abroad, there really is no place like home for Russell Lucas.

“It’s great to be back in Michigan and working at MSU,” said Lucas, director of the Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities Program. “I really am appreciative of being able to do that.”

Lucas, a Michigan native, has been working at MSU for two years. He spent the previous 20 years in places such as Washington D.C., Jerusalem and Kuwait, and he draws from those experiences to teach classes.

“I use the experiences I’ve had and the students have had in helping them appreciate how different cultures would view the world,” Lucas said. “People are seeing the world through very different lenses.”

When he’s not teaching courses, Lucas is conducting research focused on developments in the Middle East. He encouraged others to observe the Arabic world and view advances in the region from a variety of perspectives.

“As people who care about justice and equality and fairness in the world, we should be paying attention to people working for that,” Lucas said. “And we should be questioning if the goals we set out for ourselves are pursuing an interest for a common humanity.”

Along with his research, Lucas said he enjoys his job because of the interactions he has with his students and how he gets to watch them grow.

“A lot of our students are coming in already linked in to the world,” Lucas said. “But to see how their appreciation for a variety of perspectives comes about is one of the great things about the students in our program.”