Paul C. Forage
(1957 - 2015)
The Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc. is named in honor of Dr. Paul C. Forage who passed away on September 8, 2015.
Dr. Forage was a dedicated academic, scholar, and most importantly, practitioner who believed strongly that only through experiential based learning could those deployed to work in conflict prone environments be effective in their mission to alleviate suffering and build peace.
In 2000, while at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), he established a multi-day full-immersion simulation called ‘FTX Atlantic Hope’ designed to replicate for students working in conflict and disaster impacted environments. For the next 15 years, the simulation was offered annually, first at FAU, and then at Indian River State College. In addition, starting in 2007, Dr. Forage, working with the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Macedonia, offered a 2-week program in Macedonia called ‘FTX Svetlina’ that brought together both U.S. and Macedonian students. In the course of developing and directing these programs, he developed a body of work that articulated best practices for advancing humanitarian and peacebuilding work. Over 500 students have benefited from his work, and many have gone on to work in conflict zones around the world. In addition, he assembled a community of professionals dedicated to advancing learning in humanitarian and peacebuilding education.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he received his BA with distinction in Chinese Studies followed by an MS in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto. He then went on to earn a PhD in Chinese History and Language, also from Toronto. He served on the faculty at the University of Michigan, and then went on to teach and research at Florida Atlantic University and then Indian River State College (IRSC). At FAU, he co-founded the peace studies program, and at IRSC he directed the emergency management program. During his time at the University of Michigan, he served in the Canadian Army Reserve Forces with the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment. Dr. Forage also directed Community Emergency Response Team Programs in St. Lucie and Martin Counties in Florida. For his work, he received grants from the U.S. Institute of Peace, Florida Division of Emergency Management, and Florida Association of Community Colleges.
Paul Forage was a true renaissance person, with interests in disaster management, terrorism, humanitarian assistance, peacebuilding, and Chinese history. He was fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and taught language courses at Indian River State College, and was sought out as an expert on global security issues.
For him, ultimately the impact he had on students was most meaningful. Upon hearing of his passing a student, who is now engaged in global health work in Africa said "he had a tremendous impact on my life. Dr. Forage’s passion for helping others, and equally important, his willingness to push the limits of traditional training opened my eyes to so many opportunities and challenged me to pursue excellence in my humanitarian work.”
Paul Forage’s obituary can be found here.
The Forage Center carries on his important work.