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Pacific student travels to Prague: Conference provides global perspectives

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At the conference, students get the opportunity to meet and work with students from around the world.

Stephanie Haugen

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Pacific history professor Lisa Szefel will travel to Prague, Czech Republic this summer with a student for the International Youth Leadership Conference.

The conference focuses on international politics, relations and justice. It is designed to help students develop their leadership skills, gain global perspectives and enhance international awareness.

The itinerary includes a mock pre-trial for international courts, visits to foreign embassies, sight-seeing, a trip to the senate, a simulation of a United Nations meeting, debates, panel discussions and networking events.

A panel of experts will help students and their accompanying mentors to provide the opportunity to focus on individual leadership skills and make connections with other young students from up to 35 countries.

Pacific student Victoria Saucedo will join the 100 students from around the world for the week-long forum.

Saucedo was selected after completing the application process and writing multiple essays which explained how she would benefit from attending the conference and how she planned to use the skills she would acquire there.

The trip is funded in part by the Elise Elliot Grant and the rest will be paid for by the Center for Gender Equity.

Pacific history professor Martha Rampton found the IYLC opportunity and secured the funds. Only one Pacific student has attended the conference in previous years, but Szefel hopes they will continue to send students.

According to Szefel, she most likely won’t go to the conference again in 2012 because she would like other faculty members to have the opportunity to attend.

“This is an opportunity to meet scholars from around the world, to learn about different people and their views and respect those views,” said Szefel. “The news we get at home is only one side of the story. [International travel] widens your view and helps you grow as a human being.”

Szefel is excited about the conference, especially because it meets Pacific’s International and Diverse Perspective Cornerstone. It will provide students with international experience that will teach them to “think at a global level.”

“We want students who are going to be leaders,” Szefel said. “This shows people how great our students are; it lets people know we’re here and we’re invested in our students.”

Szefel said she is grateful of the opportunity to attend the conference. “It’s definitely one of the perks of being at a place like Pacific; you get the support to go on these trips,” she said.

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