THE EDITOR: We thank Debbie Jacob for her September 1 commentary in your paper recognising the hard work of the US Embassy Public Affairs Office, and in particular Steve Weeks, our former public affairs officer who transferred to another US Embassy in July.
I want to assure Jacobs that I, along with all of the State Department, also recognised the amazing work the staff of the US Embassy and our public diplomacy partners here in TT have done and will continue to do.
Actions speak louder than words, as demonstrated by the US State Department’s doubling of the number of American officers in the Public Diplomacy Section with the arrival of our new public affairs officer, AJ Jagelski and assistant public affairs officer, Michael Barrera.
They, along with our outstanding local TT staff members, will continue leading our outreach and educational programmes such as the Youth Ambassadors, Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, International Visitors Leadership Program, and Fulbright Scholarships. They will also introduce new initiatives to strengthen our outreach to communities throughout TT.
I wanted to take a moment to thank Jacobs for her comment about our state (ie public) colleges and universities. I am particularly passionate about promoting the value of these schools as I’m a graduate of two public universities: the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Kansas. I also thank her for highlighting the benefits of attendance at our numerous community colleges.
The value obtained from attending a US college and/or university is one that can pay dividends throughout one’s lifetime. I welcome those with interest in US higher education to attend our College Fair. Like last year, it is being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and is scheduled for October 28-29. We encourage all parents and students to attend and hear about the opportunities from approximately 40 US institutions who will be in attendance themselves. We will have more information available in the near future. Please, as always, check out our Facebook page.
Jacobs, we miss Steve too, but we are in good hands with AJ and Michael and our entire public affairs team at the US Embassy and I want to thank you again for noting the value and benefits of higher education in the US.
John W McIntyre
US Embassy, PoS