David Oliver Relin joins the 2010 President's Forum Series, kicking off the spring lineup, which will include Michael Tanner, Vikki Spruill, Gov. Howard Dean and Kevin Roose.
On Monday, Jan. 25, the award-winning journalist and author of the bestselling "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time," spoke at the Smith Opera House.
"Three Cups of Tea" is the inspiring story of Greg Mortenson, an American mountain climber and nurse who became an unlikely champion of education and literacy in remote, volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Relin is a graduate of Vassar and was awarded the prestigious Teaching/Writing Fellowship at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. After Iowa, he received a Michener Fellowship to support his groundbreaking 1992 bicycle trip the length of Vietnam. He spent two additional years reporting about Vietnam opening to the world, while he was based in Hue, Vietnam's former imperial capital. In addition to Vietnam and Pakistan, he has traveled to, and/or reported from, much of East Asia.
For two decades, Relin has focused on reporting about social issues and their effect on children, both in the U.S., and around the world. For his work as both an editor and investigative reporter, he has won dozens of national awards. His interviews with child soldiers (including a profile of teenager Ishmael Beah, who would later write the bestseller A Long Way Gone) have been included in Amnesty International reports. And his investigation into the way the INS abused children in its custody contributed to the reorganization of that agency.
Relin is currently working on a novel about Southeast Asia and a non-fiction book about the quest to cure blindness.