The annual Great Decisions series on important global issues begins at noon on Friday, Feb. 25, in the parlor of William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St.

The annual Great Decisions series on important global issues begins at noon on Friday, Feb. 25, in the parlor of William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St.

Richelle Schrock, assistant professor and director of women's and gender studies at Ohio Wesleyan University, will open the eight-week series with the topic "Somali Refugees from the Horn of Africa."

Schrock, who earned her Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in spring 2008, wrote a dissertation titled "Cultural Divides, Cultural Transitions: The Role of Gendered and Racialized Narratives of Alienation in the Lives of Somali Muslim Refugees in Columbus, Ohio." Her work examines dominant representations of Somalis in the Western media and in the Columbus community and also explores Columbus Somalis' practices of resistance to these narratives.

Other speakers in the series are as follows:

March 4: Paul Craft, Delaware City Schools superintendent and deputy commander, 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Ohio Army National Guard, "American National Security since 9/11."

March 11: Barbara MacLeod, OWU professor of economics, "Banks, Governments and Debt Crises."

March 18: Douglas Dittrick, president and CEO, Douglas Communications Corp., OWU life trustee, "Rebuilding Haiti."

March 25: James Franklin, OWU associate professor and chairman of politics and government, "Germany's Ascendancy."

April 1: Michael Flamm, OWU professor of history, "Sanctions and Proliferation: Pearl Harbor in Historical Review."

April 8: Alper Yalcinkaya, OWU sociology professor, "Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan: Continuity and Change."

April 15: Corinne Lyman, OWU professor emerita of politics and government, "Making Sense of Multilateralism."

After each discussion, participants will have the opportunity to complete short surveys that will be sent to Washington.