Guest Speakers from summers past
Campers had the opportunity to hear distinguished and informative guest speakers who discussed a topic about which they are passionate. After the presentation, campers discussed the issues in small groups and then debated a resolution based on the topic. Students left the week of camp with a deep understanding of at least four important topics.
Senator Chris Murphy
The Senator invited the Westfield Academy campers to attend a press conference with him on the importance of free speech.
During the summer of 2014 the Executive Director of Sustainable America spoke about the different types of energy that we us and the ramifications of our choices including the effect on the cost of food.
DR. MARTIN ESTEY
Dr. Etsey is the Director of Programs for the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, as association of eleven institutions of higher learning. He administers the Career Beginnings program as well as the Graduate!t adult return to learning program. Both programs are geared toward college access for all. Prior to joining the non-profit sector, Martin worked as a high school teacher and administrator and as an adjunct college instructor. He hold a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Temple University.
Dr. Estey spoke at the 2013 summer camp about the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P), a very topical and controversial issue in international studies. R2P says that there is a responsibility for nations to intervene in the internal affairs of a nation under certain circumstances, i.e. genocide. On the other hand, the first article in the United Nations charter states that nation states have absolute authority over internal affairs. After hearing Dr. Estey’s talk, the campers debated whether, putting aside interventions that cite national security or clear and present danger, there is a responsibility to protect.
Paul Chill is an Associate Dean at the University of CT School of Law. Since joining the faculty of the UCONN School of Law in 1988, Professor Chill has supervised clinical programs focusing on child protection, civil rights, disability, and mental health law, and most recently mediation. He also regularly teaches a non-clinical course on legal ethics and has taught courses on torts, criminal law, and legal interviewing, counseling and negotiation.
From 2004-08, Professor Chill served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the first alumnus of the Law School ever appointed to that position. Professor Chill has received broad recognition for his clinical teaching and advocacy on behalf of parents and families. The Connecticut Law Tribune named him one of "Ten Lawyers and Judges Who Made a Difference" in 1998 for his work as lead counsel in a lawsuit (Pamela B. v. Ment) that led to systemic reform of the state's juvenile court system. He is a past recipient of the Connecticut Law Review Award, given for excellence in legal scholarship and service to the legal community. He was an original member of the Connecticut Commission on Child Protection and served on the commission during the entire period of its existence from 2006 to 2011. Professor Chill's published writings include a treatise on Connecticut child protection law and practice, an article on the procedural impact of emergency child removal, a mock trial published by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and several shorter publications.
Professor Chill gave a presentation to the campers in 2013 on the "Torture Memos" and the lawyers who wrote them. The campers then debated the question: "Should the government lawyers who wrote the legal opinions authorizing the use of waterboarding and other "harsh interrogation techniques against suspected al Qaeda detainees be disbarred?
DR. CHRISTOPHER DOYLE
Dr. Doyle has a Ph.D. in history and worked for a decade as a college professor. He currently runs a special diploma program in Global Studies at Watkinson, an independent, progressive, co-ed day school in Hartford. Dr. Doyle writes editorials and essays on teaching, contemporary issues, and history. Recently, Dr. Doyle was published in Education Week, the American Educator, and the Hartford Courant. Dr. Doyle’s course on the war on terrorism won an award in 2012 from the 9-11 Tribute Center in NYC.
Dr. Doyle discussed topics from extraordinary rendition, to combat-related "collateral damage," to Abu Ghraib, drones, and the killing of Osama bin Laden to 2013 campers. After the presentation, campers debated a resolution about the proper use of drones.