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Member Spotlight: Lone Star College-Tomball’s Commitment to International Educational Initiatives

By David E. Birch

Nicaragua Delegation
Lone Star College-Tomball is one of six colleges within the Lone Star College System (LSCS) in the Houston, Texas, area. Our college and our system have recognized that an increased emphasis on international education provides many positive benefits for students, faculty, and communities. Lone Star College-Tomball sponsors a number of initiatives promoting international education, including a commitment to participating in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference held each spring at the United Nations in New York. This conference, the largest and most prestigious of the collegiate Model United Nations (MUN) programs, brings together more than 5,000 two- and four-year college student delegates from around the world.

For the past four years Lone Star College-Tomball has partnered with several other LSCS colleges to form a delegation representing the interests of a designated country at NMUN. Two years ago, because one of our international students was a member of the delegation, we represented her homeland of Ukraine. The students took their responsibilities seriously and during the conference they were proud to consider themselves as honorary citizens of Ukraine. Last year, the students represented Nicaragua, serving on simulated United Nations committees while attempting to offer solutions to pressing global problems. These issues included the promotion of gender equality by increasing access to quality education for young girls, and the empowerment of students through universal access to information. This year, students are preparing to represent the interests of Mongolia and will once again be negotiating and offering solutions to the same types of complex problems.

Ukraine Delegation
The ongoing commitment to participating in MUN is benefiting Lone Star College-Tomball in numerous ways. First, for three of the four years of our participation, the students have received the Distinguished Delegation Award, which reflects their effective understanding and ability to use the rules and procedures of the UN as well as their ability to conduct themselves professionally as they participate in committee negotiations. Second, the students who participate in MUN gain first-hand experience in the intricacies of diplomacy, cooperation, and compromise as they work with other students from a diverse global background in an effort to come to grips with the harsh realities confronting humanity. Through this process, students gain valuable experience in peer collaborative problem solving.

Lone Star College-Tomball shows its ongoing commitment to international education by funding our students’ participation at the NMUN conference. The positive benefits extend beyond honing the academic research and critical thinking skills of our students. Students also develop long-lasting global networks as they interact with students from around the world and dedicate their efforts to a collective task. Finally, MUN serves as a stepping stone for our community college students as they prepare to transfer to four-year institutions or directly into the world of work.

Posted by The League for Innovation in the Community College on 04/12/2012 at 10:33 AM | Categories: Membership -