A gerat writeup from Amherst on Independent American’s host Paul Rieckhoff’s ground-breaking class: Understanding 9/11.
Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” is thumping through Seelye Mudd 206 on a wind-lashed December Monday, as two dozen students chat before class starts at 4 p.m., the din rising near the blackboard which is chalked with these words: “Understanding 9/11” and “Admiral Stavridis.”
Paul Rieckhoff ’98 did the chalking, picked the peppy playlist—he tells the students how cool it was to see Run-DMC perform at Amherst in the ’90s—and teaches this political science course. It’s called “Understanding 9/11: And on the 20th anniversary, preparing for the next 9/11.” Rieckhoff brings a unique perspective to bear. He’s the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). He was an army infantry officer in Iraq. He was also in Manhattan on 9/11, and was a first responder at Ground Zero.