Red Cross communication head and MSU alum finds inspiration in global volunteer network It took MSU graduate Jason Smith just 11 years to rise through the ranks of the world’s largest humanitarian network and land the position of head of corporate communications for the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC). Since Smith started with the American Red Cross in Bozeman in 1998, the work has taken him from various locations in the U.S. to Malaysia to Switzerland, where he is now based. Smith is responsible for ensuring the IFRC—composed of 186 Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies—communicates well, particularly with internal audiences, about its mission and humanitarian impact, as well as ensuring that all societies are represented globally. His day-to-day responsibilities include brand management, advocacy, capacity and strategy development, enabling member organizations to share best practices and supporting internal communication. Chris Pinet, professor emeritus in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, recalls Smith was a bright, charismatic and positive student. “He was always engaged intellectually, and he was a kid I knew would succeed because
Since Jason Smith started with the American Red Cross in Bozeman in 1998, the work has taken him from various locations in the U.S. to Malaysia to Switzerland, where he is now based. Smith said the lessons he learned as an undergraduate student at MSU translate remarkably well to the position. Photo courtesy of Jason Smith.
he had a lot of drive. He wasn’t afraid to try different things,” Pinet said. Smith said he feels fortunate to have found fulfilling work. “For me, being connected even in a remote way to the lives being saved through our global volunteer network provides constant inspiration,” he said. Excerpted from Anne Cantrell, MSU News Service
MSU Grad From Gardiner Now Rising Star In Japanese Studies Chad Diehl, an MSU history major who graduated in 2003, recently published a book containing 65 poems written by a double survivor of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As an MSU student, he attended Kumamoto Gakuen University as an exchange student and also won a Fulbright Fellowship that sent him to Nagasaki University to study atomic bomb history and literature. About four years ago, Diehl met Tsutomu Yamaguchi, one of more than 100 survivors who experienced both atomic bombings. Yamaguchi dealt with the trauma, in part, by writing poetry and Diehl got permission to translate and publish some of those poems. Yamaguchi died in January 2010, just a few months before Diehl published Raft of Corpses. Diehl, who is from Gardiner, Mont., received full funding for graduate studies at Columbia University in New York City. He is finishing up his doctoral work now, and plans to become a professor in Japanese or East Asian history and also work in international relations. “He is a splendid example of the long touch of the land-grant university. He is doing well in the field because he is smart, but also because he is modest and has no sense of entitlement. He has a strong Montana work ethic,” said Brett Walker, Regents’ Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy. Excerpted from Evelyn Boswell, MSU News Service Gardiner, Mont. native Chad Diehl recently published a book of poetry written by a double survivor of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
The College of Letters and Science annual magazine. This issue is titled "Learning in the Last Best Place."