The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown will host the first High School Model United Nations event with keynote speaker U.S. State Department veteran Dr. Charles B. Skinner presenting a lecture entitled, “U.S. Foreign Policy After Bush and Iraq—Where Do We Go From Here?”
Organized by the UPJ Student Council on World Affairs and International Studies program, 78 students and teachers from Bishop McCort, Northern Cambria, Richland, and Rockwood High Schools will compete from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 31 in the UPJ Living/Learning Center.
The event simulates decision-making at the United Nations. Mimicking two of the many United Nations bodies, the students will be charged with resolving an international dispute or problem. Each student must demonstrate his or her professionalism as a diplomat of that nation and the requisite knowledge about the issue at hand. The first resolutions adopted by majority voting will conclude the session. The best teams will receive awards.
According to Dr. Reinhard Heinisch, UPJ professor of political science and director, international studies, “The first High School Model United Nations at UPJ is intended to underscore our desire to foster stronger ties with the community and schools in the region.”
Dr. Skinner will speak at 7 p.m. in the UPJ Student Union Cambria Room.
The lecture is free of charge and open to the public.
“We are extremely fortunate and privileged to have such a distinguished person attend our event and share his insights with us,” added Dr. Heinisch.
Dr. Skinner has worked at the center of U.S. policymaking for the past 15 years. He served 27 years with the State Department, from 1979 to 2006, including postings abroad in London (2002-2006), at NATO in Brussels (1995-1999), and in Germany twice (1984-1987 and 1991-1995).
His key areas of expertise include transatlantic relations, NATO, the European Union, U.S.-German relations, and U.S.-UK relations.
During the Iraq War, he pioneered an active Embassy relationship with the private offices of the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, and other British key leaders, and he led the Embassy’s coverage of the global agenda from the Iran nuclear issue to the China arms embargo, including during Britain’s dual presidencies of the G-8 and the European Union in 2005.
Dr. Skinner has a broad range of contacts in the nation’s capital, London, Brussels and elsewhere in Europe. In addition to frequently briefing senior U.S. administration and congressional leaders, he has spoken on many occasions at universities, think tanks, and international conferences.
For additional information on the event, contact Dr. Reinhard Heinisch, UPJ, at 814-269-2977.
UPJ is a vital knowledge center defining excellence and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural and economic environment through: excellent faculty teaching, scholarship, and service, as well as enriching faculty-student mentorships and collaborations in scholarship, research, and creative activity; operating as a top employer and key partner in shaping the economic future with an annual impact exceeding $60 million; engaging the community through exceptional volunteerism by faculty, staff, and students; expanding the workforce capacity by linking theory to practice through experiences such as internships and service learning projects; exceeding the national averages of student graduation and retention rates of similar institutions; a tradition of athletic excellence, with nationally recognized and award-winning programs; 17,000 alumni making a difference throughout the community and world; and by growing partnerships with businesses in areas such as healthcare, education, commerce, technology, and the arts.