Marist Students Present at Student World Affairs Conference


  By Dani Villa '15

  The first annual Student World Affairs Conference
  was held on April 12, 2014 at Vassar College, with
  about 75 students, professors, and professionals in
  attendance. The conference aimed to connect
  students from the Mid-Hudson Valley with a shared
  interest in international relations. Students were able
  to present their original work in one of five panels:
  Sustainable Development, Global Governance,
  Human Rights, Democratization, and International
  Security. Additionally, SWAC gave students the
  opportunity to connect with professionals in their field
  of interest.

  Students Genesis Abreu '15, Jen Grobe '14, Joshua
  Heath '14, Devon Teson '15, and Dani Villa '15 all delivered presentations or served as panel moderators at the conference. Assistant Professors of Political Science Danielle Langfield and Juris Pupcenoks accompanied the students and helped them prepare for the event. Students from schools such as SUNY New Paltz, Vassar College, Marist College, and Bard College were selected to show their peers the work they have been working on. The student presentations were all fantastic; paper topics ranged from the effect of development aid on democratization to how American foreign policy is a lot like the movie Mean Girls. Students also had the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker Ambassador Robert Gosende, who was President Clinton’s Special Envoy to Somalia from 1992-1993.

Marist students were actively involved with SWAC from its first organizational meeting. Several students were instrumental in formatting the structure of the conference, choosing panelists and topics, managing all communications needs, and serving as campus liaisons.

SWAC 2014 was an amazing experience. Students were able to gain conference experience at the undergraduate level, to socialize with their peers from nearby institutions, and to make connections with many well-connected professionals from the area. The conference will be held at Marist next year- we hope to see you in attendance or presenting your own work!