As world leaders gathered to address global challenges at the NATO Summit in Chicago during May, Converse students Sarah Warrick, Amy Grace Peele and Melanie Waddell were present to witness the historic event. The three students were among ten International Model NATO participants selected for an all-expenses-paid trip to the conference. A competitive application process, open to students in the US and Canada, included the submission of essays on NATO policy and how attending the conference would benefit the students’ future professional plans.
The opportunity provided Converse students unique access to key participants at the conference, which was the first NATO Summit held in the United States since 1999. They attended panels and lectures by numerous European defense ministers; the foreign ministers of the Croatia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Sweden; the presidents of Romania and Bulgaria; the president of the European Union; the Supreme Allied NATO Commander and the NATO Commander in Afghanistan; and several international security experts from various think tanks.
Highlights included meeting NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and former United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Converse students were the only participants who enjoyed the opportunity of a private talk with Dr. Albright.
Sarah and Amy graduated from Converse in May with majors in politics. Sarah has joined the campaign staff of Hayden Rogers for U.S. Congress and she plans a career in politics in Washington, DC. Amy received the prestigious Seymour David Lipset Fellowship to pursue a Masters in Public Policy with specialization in national security affairs at George Mason University. Melanie, a theatre major, just completed her freshman year at Converse. All three are award-winning delegates at both International Model NATO and in Model Arab League.
Converse has participated in the annual International Model NATO in Washington, DC for eight years and has garnered the Outstanding Delegate Award for seven of those years. As one of three sponsors of the international model, Converse provides the permanent Secretariat, including all committee chairs and other officers. Converse professor also Dr. Joe Dunn serves as administrative director of the event.
Converse’s two student delegations represented Germany and Latvia this year, and will represent France and Luxembourg in 2013. Hilary Berry, who served as Secretary-General this year, will pursue a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Georgia this fall. Senior Shannon Bishop will serve as Secretary-General in 2013.