VCWA celebrates International Day of Peace at Saint Michael’s

October 13, 2023

On Oct. 12, the Vermont Council on World Affairs (VCWA) held their International Day of Peace event and dinner in the Roy Room of the Dion Family Center at Saint Michael’s College. The VCWA celebrated the importance of citizen diplomacy and international engagement in an increasingly turbulent world. The United Nations unanimously established the International Day of Peace in 1981, which is intended to encourage people worldwide to commit to building a culture of peace and prosperity.

Tim Rieser was honored as the VCWA 2023 Person of the Year. (Photo by Isabella Paredes Mendoza ’24)

“This was the third consecutive year that Saint Michael’s College has been a sponsor of the event, and it was an honor for the college to host the gathering on our campus, illustrating a further deepening of the college’s relationship with the VCWA in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Over the past two academic years, the college has hosted on campus a number of groups participating in VCWA-sponsored programs, including a delegation of elected Hungarian parliamentarians, European foreign policy experts participating in the International Visitor Leadership Program, and young people from Latin America and Africa participating in the Latin American Youth Ambassador’s Program and the Pan-African Youth Leadership Program.

It seemed especially appropriate for Saint Michael’s College to be hosting the event this year on campus since Tim Rieser, senior foreign policy advisor to former U.S. Senator (and Saint Michael’s Alum) Patrick Leahy ’61, was honored as the VCWA 2023 Person of the Year. The award is presented each year to a person who illustrates those qualities that have helped to promote international cooperation and build connections between the U.S. and communities worldwide.”   —Jeffrey Ayres

(Photo by Isabella Paredes Mendoza ’24)

Attending the event and dinner on behalf of Saint Michael’s were: Patricia Siplon, Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Director of the Undergraduate and Post-Graduate Fellowship Programs, Peggy Imai, Director of Study Abroad, Allison Clearly, Senior Instructor, Digital Media and Communications and Coordinator of Post-Graduate Volunteer Service, Mahmoud  Arani, Professor of Applied Linguistics/TESOL, Peter Vantine, Professor of Classical and Modern Languages, Jeffrey Ayres, Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Director of the Center for Global Engagement. In addition, the three current graduate Fulbright students in residence at Saint Michael’s attended including Afnan Allous, currently pursuing an MA in Clinical Counseling Psychology, from her home country of Iraq, Bernadette Samake, pursuing a MATESOL degree from her home country of Mali, and Chayma Bouzenag, also studying in the MATESOL program from her home country of Algeria.

(Photo by Isabella Paredes Mendoza ’24)

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