Bloomsburg University’s 12th Annual High School Diversity Conference addressed all forms of discrimination high school students encounter and aimed to foster within each school a cohesive bond in the student body that explores differences and encourages unity.

Through this year’s theme, “Voices for Change: Challenging the Happily Ever After,” the conference worked to create an environment that embraces diversity in area high schools.

Each year the conference crafts workshops for students, faculty, staff and administrators to:

  •  explore their own beliefs
  • learn strategies for developing a hate free environment
  • interrupt bullying
  • nurture an atmosphere wherein anything can be discussed without prejudice
  • facilitate teaching methods of confronting unacceptable prejudicial behavior to become a beacon of peace, light and understanding in a world threatened by war, darkness, hate and misunderstanding

Jacob Kelley, a Bloomsburg University junior and workshop assistant, attended the conference throughout his years at Berwick High School and was delighted to work with Samantha Norton, BTE, a long-time workshop presenter. The conference is supported by a grant from the Berwick Health and Wellness Fund of the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation The Berwick Health and Wellness Fund is the original and largest fund of the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation. Its purpose is to improve the health and welfare of residents and communities of eastern Columbia and western Luzerne counties.

Student groups from eight participating high schools report their action plans in the final conference session. BUSTED opened the conference with a performance based on the theme and student feedback that both captures the high school students’ attention and helps them take home valuable information and lessons.  

To be a global citizen you have to be aware of respecting others cultures, religion and beliefs. That is what Kate Seravalle does in Bloomsburg University’s Model Arab League.

“It’s good to be aware of global issues that are happening around us,” said Seravalle, senior speech-language pathology/audiology major and Middle East studies minor. “It inhibits us from jumping to conclusions about people. It makes you want to be proactive and a better person.”

Seravalle explains that being in the Model United Nations, Arab League, or European Union makes you a multifaceted person.  It not only helps you become more involved in world news, but it also adds a bit more to your resume that not every student has, she says.

“Being in Model Arab League it has helped me meet a lot of unique and intriguing people,” Seravalle said. “I was intimidated to join at first because there were many international students involved, but they became my good friends.”

She added, “This club has given me more than good friendships it has given me; research skills, leadership skills, and the ability to collaborate with others.”

Seravalle suggests getting involved as early as possible. Start by keeping up with recent news and get the new from different sources.

After being involved in the club there are conferences they go to mostly in the Washington DC area. There they verse multiple schools where each school and model is given a country and then they have to address problems by coming up with solutions that will work for all countries.

“Only a few Pennsylvania schools go to these conferences, so it felt good to up against DC schools,” Seravelle said. “At first I was apprehensive, because of the lack of knowledge I had, but I encourage people to go outside their comfort zone. Being in Model Arab League it has taught me how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. It also makes you grow as a person because you realize everyone at the conference is in the same boat as you are.” 

— Samantha Gross, sophomore telecommunications major

A group of Bloomsburg University students participated in the 2016 Model European Union simulation hosted this spring by the University of Pittsburgh.

The undergraduate Model European Union is an annual event that gives students a chance to learn about the workings of the European Union through preparation for and participation in a hands-on two-day simulation.

Model EU enhances students’ understanding of the issues and challenges facing the 28 member nations of the EU. Awards are given to the most effective delegations and best individual position papers.

Undergraduate Model EU Awardees

Best Big EU Member State Delegations

  • First Place — France Laura Hoffer and Sarah Wolinsky, Duquesne University
  • Second Place — United Kingdom Shyer Amin and Emma Holland, Bloomsburg University

Best Small EU Member State Delegations

  • First Place — Slovakia Sebastian Narvaez Medina and Luke Stegeman, Duquesne University
  • Second Place — Greece Jeffrey Wainwright, University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown
  • Third Place — Portugal Steven Jackson, University of Pittsburgh – Bradford

Position Paper

  • Best Overall — Italy Caitlin Davis and Travis Strnisa, Duquesne University

Participating students (L-R): Justice Powlus, Kim Martin, Thomas Weber, Shyer Amin, Emma Holland and Iliana Anapolsky. 

Members of Bloomsburg University’s Model Arab League (MAL) recently attended the Capital Area Regional Model in Washington, D.C. They represented the Sultanate of Oman and visited the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, where they met with the Ambassador, the Cultural Attache and several other Embassy officials.

The team won a Distinguished Delegation Award, while Eric Pangelinan, Amel Elsheakh, and Shyer Amin won Outstanding Delegate Awards for their representation on the Joint Defense Council and Joint Crisis Committee respectively.

MAL is a student leadership program where students learn, research, debate issues related to the Arab World. Members: Kimberly Martin, Paige Stanley, Rachel Green, Eric Pangelinan, Amel Elsheakh, Thomas Weber, Chad Haney, Dan Pagana, Sadman Mondalib, Shyer Amin, Timothy Shaw, Alexandra Ziegler, Haleigh McDonald, and Emma Holland.