Education Goes to War: Baylor Educators to Speak on Their Time in Northern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom

  • Iraq faculty group
    Members of the Baylor delegation to Dohuk University in Iraq, after their return.
  • Faculty in Iraq
    L to R: Dr. Dick Hurst of Tyler, Dr. Bill Mitchell and Dr. Mark Long
Sept. 12, 2017

Media Contact: Carlye Thornton, 817-965-1535
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WACO, Texas (Sept. 7, 2017) – War does not only entail combat; some forms of service take place behind the lines of battle.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, Baylor University faculty members will share their ventures into northern Iraq in 2003 to prepare a war-torn country for education in the context of democracy, civil rights and freedom. The panel discussion – “Education Goes to War: Baylor in Northern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom” – will be held at 3:30 p.m. on the fifth floor of Cashion Academic Center. The event is free and open to the public.

“Our story chronicles how and why 22 Baylor volunteers traveled to northern Iraq to help Kurdish Muslims and Christians restore their institutions of higher education after the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein,” said William A. (Bill) Mitchell, Ph.D., professor emeritus of political science. “We helped our neighbors in a war-torn environment, an example of Baylor’s mission of servant leadership to walk the talk.”

Mitchell will briefly discuss the purpose for each visit to Iraq and frame the reality of their efforts. Afterwards, he will join a panel of Baylor educators and will discuss specific aspects of their journeys.

Panelists include Cindy Fry, senior lecturer of computer science; Mark Long, associate professor of BIC and director of Middle East Studies; Brad Owens, senior lecturer of journalism, public relations and new media; Lyn Prater, clinical professor at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

A reception and book signing will proceed and follow the panel. Attendees will have the opportunity to mingle with panelists and purchase Mitchell’s book, “Baylor in Northern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

“The Baylor Libraries are pleased to welcome professor emeritus Bill Mitchell and his colleagues for an engaging conversation about their experiences during a tumultuous time in Iraq,” said Interim Dean of Libraries John Wilson. “Whether you are a student of political science, history, international affairs, or simply enjoy hearing stories of people who creatively respond to difficult life circumstances, you will be enriched by participating in this event and reading Dr. Mitchell’s book.”

The event sponsored by Armstrong Browning Library; Electronic Library; the Keston Center; Moody-Jones Libraries; The Texas Collection; W.R. Poage Legislative Library; the department of political science; the department of journalism, public relations and new media; the Honors College; the School of Engineering and Computer Science; the department of computer science; J.M. Dawson Center for Church-State Studies; Louise Herrington School of Nursing; and the Center for Global Engagement.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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