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School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Students Broaden Their Global Perspective During the UN Summer Intensive Seminar

Troy Wolf, United Nations Foundation/UNA-USA

Troy Wolf, with the United Nations Foundation/UNA-USA, co-led the week long UN immersion program.

The UN Intensive Summer Program, now in its 25th year, took place in New York City on June 10-14. Led by Dean Courtney Smith, Ph.D., and Troy Wolfe, Senior Director for Partnerships and Special Initiatives at UNA-USA, the program brought together students from across the country for a week-long immersion into the inner workings of the United Nations.

Throughout the seminar, UN officials, along with government and NGO representatives, spoke about the inner workings of the United Nations and the global issues on which the organization focuses. Discussions with panelists gave students the opportunity to learn directly from officials about what it’s like to engage with the UN and ask questions about their work.

"The 25th session of our United Nations Intensive Summer Study Program featured 35 active and engaged participants from across the country and overseas," Dean Smith noted. "They gained critical insights from 25 UN practitioners who shared both the challenges and successes of their work. All of them left with a deeper understanding of the UN and the important work it does to address some of the world’s most difficult problems."

The sessions featured a wide range of speakers including Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign, and Senior Vice President of the United Nations Foundation. Students also heard from Ambassador Fergal Mythen, the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN, as well as from the Honorable Paddy Torsney, Permanent Observer to the United Nations and the head of the New York Office at the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Additionally, Melissa Fleming, the Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications and Ambassador Christopher Lu, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Management and Reform were also guests of the program.

Alumna Brianna Fitzpatrick.

Alumna Brianna Fitzpatrick, of Caritas International, returned to the UN Summer Program as a panelist earlier this month.

School of Diplomacy graduates presented at the seminar. The alumni roster of speakers included: Brianna Fitzpatrick, Liaison to the United Nations for Caritas Internationalis; Dalai Fazio, Client Relationship Executive at the World Bank Group and United Nations at Deloitte Services LP; and Yasin Samatar, a Senior Multilateral Cooperation Specialist with the International Labor Organization.

The UN Intensive Summer Program is open to all, including undergraduate and graduate students, and mid-career professionals. Students from outside Seton Hall are encouraged to attend.

Annika Franco, a recent graduate of the Harvard Extension Program, was interested in deepening her understanding of the UN and learning about areas she might be interested in pursuing as she looks for a job after graduate school. Franco said the summer intensive did just that. She noted that the diverse group of speakers and topics the class covered gave her the knowledge she’s been seeking.

Diego Estevez, a rising sophomore at the School of Diplomacy, began the seminar knowing just a little about the UN. The seminar helped increase his understanding of the world’s largest non-governing organization. The program, he said, provides a resource for students who are looking to learn more about diplomacy, global affairs, and international politics. Estevez said the course gave him knowledge of the departments and agencies within the UN he’d like to explore in his job search after he graduates.

As the seminar came to a close, participants spoke about the lessons they learned about the UN. Their take-aways included the desire for world powers to learn from and listen to each other, the need for reform, and an emphasis on smaller countries. Students also highlighted that seeing School of Diplomacy alumni succeeding professionally gave them confidence as they look toward their own careers. The program proved inspiring for the next generation of diplomats and for those who are already working with the United Nations.

Categories: Nation and World