Model UN program builds diplomacy and skills

By Kathy Woodard

Clemson's Model UN Club at Saint Mary'sAs a step toward understanding international relations, students from Clemson's Model United Nations Club spent a week in May working with schools and youth groups in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

Held at the Archbold Tropical Research and Education Center (ATREC), the program designated high school and college students to represent different countries, present that country's position on a global issue and debate resolutions. Students and teachers from the Dominica State College, Saint Mary's Academy, the Youth Advocacy Movement and Pioneer Preparatory School debated HIV-AIDS and other issues.

"It is a unique role-playing experience in international diplomacy and empathy," said Kimisha Thomas, co-facilitator at ATREC with Clemson professor Michael Morris. "The program is so flexible it can be adapted to any age group or education level. It would make a great after school program for our future leaders."

Clemson political science student Lydia Petrakis said, "Working with Dominican students and administrators was an amazing experience. I was extremely impressed by the students' active involvement in debating world issues and genuine interest in Model United Nations." The program was sponsored by Clemson's Service Alliance.

For information: Michael Morris, 864-656-3545,