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Coastal professors discuss trip to Afghanistan war zone

November 13, 2006

Coastal Carolina University professors Paul Olsen and Ken Townsend will lead a discussion titled "Journey to War," based on their recent trip to Afghanistan, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15 in the Recital Hall of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. The event is free and open to the public.

For 15 days during the summer of 2006, Olsen and Townsend were embedded with units of the United States Army in Afghanistan. They will present their observations on the American and NATO presence in Afghanistan, the impact of war on soldiers and civilians and the curious realities of modern war seldom addressed by the mainstream news media.

Olsen, an art professor, is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in fine arts from the University of Miami. He has worked as art director for several advertising agencies, and previously taught at Mississippi University for Women and Columbia College in Missouri. He has exhibited his photography regionally, nationally and internationally. Townsend, a history professor, joined the Coastal faculty in 1989. He earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master's degree and Ph.D. in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The event is presented by Coastal's Honors Program and the Celebration of Inquiry. For more information call Philip Whalen at 349-2350.