BU's tradition with Model U.N. continues

For immediate release: Aug. 7, 2009

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's nine-year history with the Model United Nations program moves to the next level this fall with a new course for high school educators.

BU's Model U.N. began in 2001-02 to give high school and college students a chance to simulate United Nations sessions. In its first year, the student organization received a $4,000 Pennsylvania Campus Compact Service Learning Course Integration Grant to cover the costs of training and materials. Three high schools – Berwick, Danville and Southern Columbia – participated.

Over the years, Model U.N. has grown to encompass both a student organization and a fall semester, three-credit course, Globalization and the United Nations, taught by Diana Zoelle, associate professor of political science. The course includes a three-day field trip to Washington, D.C., where students may attend U.S. State Department briefings or visit embassies through the Osgood Center for International Studies, a non-profit foreign policy program. When they return to campus, BU students simulate a Model U.N. Security Council session, inviting local high school students to observe the simulation as background for the on-campus Model U.N. in the spring.

"Participating in the Model U.N. enhances students' understanding of the world and helps them develop public speaking, research and analytical skills," Zoelle said. "High school teachers take the time to prepare their students and bring them to our Model U.N. They do extra work without receiving compensation and, so far, without formal training."

A new five-session course is being offered for the first time this fall, Global Classrooms: Globalization and the United Nations, is designed to give teachers background on both the United Nations and the Model U.N. simulation. Zoelle will teach the course, which will meet on BU's campus Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m., beginning Oct. 7, and is offered through BU's corporate and continuing education office. The course has been approved for 15 Act 48 continuing education units; additional credits may be granted for an optional one-day trip to Washington, D.C., and participation in BU's Model U.N. on April 27, 2010.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.