Redoubt’s ash cloud has created several inconveniences for Anchorage residents. One major disappointment of last week’s weather was flight service, and AWAC was not spared the annoyance. Highly anticipated Russia expert Marshall Goldman traveled all the way to Seattle only to get stuck there, receiving delay after delay until he had to cancel his Friday speech in Anchorage. Many of us were disappointed that he couldn’t make it, but fortunately the day was saved by Diddy Hitchens, PhD.
Diddy Hitchens is a professor Emerita of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She received notice that Marshall Goldman might not make it on Thursday afternoon, and spent the next 18 hours impressively preparing herself to stand in his place. As a fan who has read Goldman’s books and used them in her classes, Ms. Hitchens was a great candidate for the topic. She had not, however, read Goldman’s most recent book, Petrostate: Putin, Power, and the New Russia. Therefore, she took it upon herself to read his book and summarize his main stance on Russia’s energy politics on Thursday night, in preparation for her Friday speech.
After such a stressful night, we were all very pleased with Ms. Hitchens’s delivery of a beautiful, polished summary of Goldman’s book. She demonstrated great knowledge of Goldman’s opinions as well as Russia history and politics. She answered many questions that were perhaps more suited to the author of the book, but she answered them quite satisfactorily. All in all, it was a great presentation and we give our greatest thanks to Diddy Hitchens for saving the day on such short notice!