Junior diplomacy student Mark McGuire was selected for a mission to Israel with fellow student leaders from campuses across the country.
The Caravan for Democracy Student Leadership Mission, operated by the Jewish National Fund, is a 10-day, fully subsidized educational program to Israel for non-Jewish student leaders who have never been there. This unique trip provides students with the opportunity to explore the complex nature of Israel today.
The student leaders will participate in constructive dialogues with political, cultural and community leaders from diverse backgrounds and faiths such as a Palestinian journalist, Israeli government officials, an Olympic medalist and Ethiopian immigrants. Participants will also visit cultural, historical and religious locations such as Yardenit, the place where Jesus was Baptized, Masada and the Dead Sea and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
McGuire, from Flemington, NJ, is juggling three majors: diplomacy and international relations, modern languages - with a focus on German and Russian – and philosophy. He is also minoring in economics. He is interested in learning the cultural, economic, political and social perspectives of young people in the country to broaden his knowledge. McGuire is also intrigued by what a Jewish Democratic State looks like and looks forward to the opportunity to speak with various political leaders. McGuire believes a better understanding of the Middle East and challenges the region is facing will be helpful as he moves into the international relations profession.
"This opportunity really fell out of the sky for me," said McGuire. "When it presented itself, I knew I had to try for it, since I may not get the chance to experience something like this. I am excited to learn about the various aspects of a region that I could one day be working with."
McGuire invests much of his time getting involved on campus. He is president of the Diplomacy United Leadership and Communications Exchange, president of German club, co-captain of the ethics team, a part of the peer-to-peer mentorship program, member of the Slavic club and an undergraduate student representative to the board of overseers.
Ursula Sanjamino, associate dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, recommended that McGuire sign up when she first heard about the opportunity.
"Mark exemplifies strong character and leadership skills in all of his roles, taking them very seriously for the sake of achieving results that will stand the test of time, long after he achieves his degree," said Sanjamino. "Caravan for Democracy is an ideal opportunity for Mark and I am very pleased he will be representing the School of Diplomacy and Seton Hall University."