Press Release for Monday, March 5, 2007

International Crisis Management Exercise Gives Local High School Students Hands-On Experience

Contact: Trina Medarev
World Affairs Council
(904) 280-8162—office
(904) 563-4898—cell

The University of North Florida and the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville are co-sponsoring an international crisis management exercise for local high school students from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, at UNF in the Science and Engineering Building, Building 50, Room 1102, First floor.

This scenario role-play workshop, funded by a grant from the UNF Foundation, involves four local high schools and UNF honors students involved in the Great Decisions enrichment program and is a culmination of a year-long project. More than 30 students from the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement social studies programs at Nease, Paxon, Sandalwood and Stanton high schools, along with UNF honors students, will serve as American government officials advising the President.

Students will gather to role play members of the President’s Security Council and address an “international crisis” that begins with news straight out of today's headlines—the US is planning to attend a Middle East Summit that features Iraq, and then events begin to unfold with mounting tensions arising from a crisis involving Iran. The purpose of the experience is to demonstrate the complexity of decision-making when international policy and incidents collide.

“UNF is excited to participate in this high school initiative as it introduces UNF faculty and resources to the best and brightest students our area has to offer,” said Dr. Mary Borg, director of undergraduate enrichment at UNF.

The international crisis management exercise was designed by experienced foreign service officers Geri and George Chester, Ambassador Marilyn McAfee as well as UNF faculty members Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, UNF Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Political Science and Public Administration, Dr. David Schwam-Baird, assistant professor of political science, and Borg. Soderberg brings a valuable perspective to the exercise since she served four years as the third-ranking official of the National Security Council at the White House.

Great Decisions, developed by the Foreign Policy Association, is the largest grass roots world affairs educational program of its kind. The program consists of eight topics, including the U.S. and Iran, China and India, energy, UN reform, Turkey, pandemics and security, Brazil, and human rights, outlined as in-depth, non-partisan articles prepared by experts. The articles are supplemented by video segments and supported by a UNF faculty member as a facilitator.