UVU Students Getting First-Hand Experience As United Nations Interns
September 25, 2012
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by:Jim Rayburn (801) 863-850
Four Utah Valley University students who are members of the UVU Model United Nations Club are in New York City this week observing the United Nations’ General Assembly from the inside.
Jesler Molina and Mara Orchard, from Venezuela, Paulo Macote Ambrozio, from Guinea-Bissau, and Jordan Greene of Livermore, Calif., will spend the entire week interning at the United Nations. Joining them are two UVU faculty, Brian Birch, associate vice president for engagement, and Geoff Cockerham, adviser to the Model U.N. Club.
“This is a unique, hands-on program which will directly engage our students with top world leaders,” said Rusty Butler, associate vice president for International Affairs & Diplomacy. “We do not know of any other North American university with such a program.”
The U.N. missions of Hungary, Albania, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan are providing credentials for the UVU group. The group will be allowed on the floor of the General Assembly and into committee meetings. Many heads of state are scheduled to address the U.N. this week, including the speech President Barak Obama delivered Tuesday.
“It has been amazing,” Greene said. “Brushing shoulders with some of the most influential people in the world is a little intimidating but it’s a one of a kind opportunity. Seeing President Obama speak is a rare opportunity. This is one of the more valuable experiences of my life so far.”
On Monday, Orchard and Ambrozio sat in on a Rule of Law meeting in the General Assembly with Rita Silek, Hungary’s first secretary.
“It has been a great opportunity and an amazing experience,” Orchard said. “Representatives of states at the highest level around the world and of the U.N. discussed the importance of rule of law and human rights. Cooperation was encouraged in fighting criminal organizations that are challenging our international peace and security.”
Butler said the internship opportunity is the result of the friendships generated between students and the many U.N. ambassadors who have lectured at UVU as part of the U.N. Ambassador Lecture Series. Two UVU students received credentials to the General Assembly last year and were pleased by the access it gave them to world leaders.
UVU’s lecture program has hosted U.N. ambassadors from Iraq, Afghanistan, Romania, Israel, Russia, the Czech Republic and many other nations. The U.N. ambassadors of Sri Lanka, India, Macedonia and the Philippines will be on campus to lecture in the next few months.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.