Mount students learn about impact of local, global service at United Nations visit

By: Jill Eichhorn

File Under: academics, english, psychology, service learning

Mixing classroom and real world experience, a group of students and professors from the College of Mount St. Joseph recently went to New York City where they met with United Nations representatives, and participated in International Youth Day with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

The trip marks the sixth year that Mount students and faculty have had the opportunity to learn more about eight UN development goals to bring more awareness and support for global issues, including universal primary education, maternal health and reducing poverty.  

“This trip is an excellent way for our students to have international experience and to become aware of how our actions have an impact on the rest of the world,” said Jim Bodle, Ph.D., professor of psychology and honors program director at the Mount.

Mount student Samantha Buschle, a senior English major from Cheviot, said she hopes to use what she learned about some of the development goals into her future career as a teacher. “I want to put some of those goals into action within my classroom,” she said. “Things like making sure my students have a lunch every day and that all boys and girls are treated equally. Even if I cannot make a worldwide difference, I can make a difference within the school that I teach.”

This year’s trip marked the first time Mount students were able to celebrate International Youth Day at the UN. “Celebrating the day gave us an opportunity to hear about primary issues countries such as India, Lebanon and Niger are experiencing, and how the UN is helping assist children in those countries,” said Sara Vice, a psychology major from Glendale.

English professor, Elizabeth Bookser Barkley, Ph.D., has been co-leading the group with Bodle since the Mount’s program began. “Over the fall semester, students will meet a series of local guests committed to the UN Development goals on issues such as the empowerment of women, international food programs and environmental sustainability. The students will also take part in service learning opportunities that allow them to see the impact of their work.”

The group of Mount students ranged from sophomores to seniors with a variety of undergraduate fields of study.  Each student was able to apply for a scholarship offered through the Mount’s Sister Francis Marie Thrailkill Cultural and Service Immersion Fund.