World Affairs Council Nominates Lipscomb Undergrad to National Conference

World Affairs Council Nominates Lipscomb Undergrad to National Conference
October 3, 2015

The conference of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) presents top foreign policy-makers and influential experts to the network of council members from around the country who gather every fall in Washington, DC to consider the most important challenges and trends in global developments. Each year the WACA board offers scholarships for 25 undergraduate students from among the 96 councils in the United States to participate. This year the Tennessee World Affairs Council (TN WAC) announced Meredith Kilburn, a senior at Lipscomb University, was its nominee for the 2015 conference scholarship program.


Lipscomb University senior Meredith Kilburn (L), selected by the Tennessee World Affairs Council as its nominee to the 2015 national conference in Washington, was congratulated by Council board member Dr. Susan Haynes.


Nominating students to the conference is one element of WAC education outreach programs according to Tennessee Council President Patrick Ryan. “The conference is a great opportunity for a student to interact with leaders and experts on all of the important international issues of the day,” he said adding, “With this scholarship, valued over $1,500 to cover registration, transportation and lodging, students also expand their networking and future academic and job opportunities.”

Ms. Kilburn is a major in the Lipscomb Political Science program with a focus on international relations. This spring she was in Washington as part of a course on international security, “I took part in a Lipscomb class trip to Washington, DC in March of 2015.” She said, “On this trip we visited the State Department, CIA, and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, which allowed me to learn about different careers in international affairs.” Ms. Kilburn’s Washington experiences also included internships in Congressman Jim Cooper’s office and at the National Peace Corps Association.

On campus Ms. Kilburn keeps busy as a member of Lipscomb’s track and cross country teams and as an officer in the local chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law society. She says her future plans may include work in the State Departments diplomatic service, in human rights law or in international organizations. Ms. Kilburn plans to apply to the Peace Corps to work in international community and economic development.

This year the World Affairs Councils of America National Conference, set for November 11-13 on Washington’s Embassy Row, will tackle the subject “Leading America: Foreign Policy Challenges and the 2016 Election.” The conference is open to the public and information is on the WACA site:

2014 WACA National Conference Vali Nasr Paula Dobriansky Keynote Alex Lari

The WACA National Conference provides an opportunity to interact with leaders and specialists on important topics in global affairs.

The Tennessee World Affairs Council is an independent, nonpartisan educational organization that is part of a 96-member network of similar grassroots organizations in the United States, the World Affairs Councils of America. They serve to educate Americans on international developments. “Although some of the country’s world affairs councils are almost 100 years old there had never been one in Tennessee until we established our Council several years ago in Cookeville,” said Ryan. “We’ve recently launched from Nashville after several years in Cookeville and it’s rewarding to know that students like Meredith are benefiting from the programs we’re able to offer.”

The Tennessee World Affairs Council, a nonprofit group, hosts town hall meetings where visiting speakers share insights and perspectives on global issues; small group discussions at venues around the city; and global awareness programs in schools like the WorldQuest program for students that encourages world affairs familiarity through competition. WorldQuest, which includes a trip for the state’s winning team to a national championship match in Washington, recently launched the 2015-2016 season. Past Nashville winners have included teams from Martin Luther King, Jr., Magnet High School and Montgomery Bell Academy.

The speakers program, which is hosted at Belmont University, is very popular, said Ryan. He noted that visits from foreign Ambassadors, like past events with the Kazakh and Czech envoys, were popular and insightful. In addition other leaders and specialists are regularly featured and provide equally informative presentations. “We aim for monthly speaker events including about four ambassadors this year, and we’re in talks with the embassies of Russia, South Korea, Italy and others for visits.” On October 5th the Council and Belmont will host a Town Hall on US-China economic relations.

The Tennessee World Affairs Councils welcomes new members and donations to support its programs and make available global awareness education resources. Information on membership and donations as well as a complete calendar of World Affairs Council events is on the web site.

The Tennessee World Affairs Council is a nonprofit (501c3), nonpartisan educational charity based in Nashville that works to build understanding of global issues in our communities. Learn more about the Council and find how you can join, donate and volunteer at:  — Join / Donate / Volunteer

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