Howard University Graduate School

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ARTICLEIssue 010

Howard University International Studies Certificate Students Participate in OAS Conference

By Jerez Roberson Mitchell, Doctoral Candidate, Counseling Psychology

International Studies Certificate students participate in 2015 Washington Model OAS General Assembly for Universities

Howard University International Studies Certificate students recently participated in the 2015 Washington Model OAS (WMOAS) General Assembly for Universities. The students were invited by the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Institute for Diplomatic Dialogue in the Americas (IDDA) to participate in the conference, held from March 30-April 3, 2015. The faculty coordinator for the delegation was Dr. Kamla Deonauth, Program Director for the Certificate In International Studies

The WMOAS is a collaborative simulation effort of proceedings of a regional intergovernmental organization with the purpose of testing the knowledge and diplomatic skills of university students from all parts of the Americas representing thirty-four Member States. Students were given the title of delegate, with the eight Howard University delegates representing Jamaica. The General Committee was represented by Head Delegate Jeronimo Augusto and Alternate Head Delegate Aitza M. Haddad Nunez.

The First Committee was represented by Delegate Alexandrea Rich, the Second Committee was represented by Delegate Makeda Greene, the Third Committee was represented by Delegate Thomas Hampton and Delegate Marcy Jagdeo, and the Special Committee was represented by Delegate Kevin Scriber. Howard University students also held special positions throughout WMOAS including Public Information Officer, Jerez Roberson Mitchell, Secretariat Staff Administration, Shirin Sultana, and Coordinator Assistant, Pamela Clarke.

The Howard University Delegation expressed how their involvement at WMOAS has affected their graduate experience:

"One takeaway from participating in the WMAOS was that democracy and politic affect not only one aspect of the country or sovereignty, but all surrounding stakeholders ..." - Thomas Hampton, Doctoral Student, Economics

"I was personally able to meet extraordinary people from all parts of the American continents and the Caribbean with whom I shared interests, research experiences and goals, and plans. In short, I would recommend for every graduate student, regardless of the field or concentration, to consider experiencing one of these models. It is a life changing experience." - Aitza Hadda, Doctoral Student, Communication, Culture and Media Studies

"Participation in WMOAS impacted my overall graduate experience in that I was able to see myself beyond (the) confines of (an) academic discipline as I also was able to build rapport, network, and develop new skills." - Alexandria Rich, Doctoral Student, Sociology

"Participating in WMOAS impacted my overall graduate experience in so many ways, including expanding my network and administrative skills (i.e., how to maintain protocol and assist the delegates in pursuing their goal/s)." - Shirin Sultana, Doctoral Student, Sociology

"Regardless of the levels, this was about how one effectively communicated, collaborated, bargained, and used diplomacy to accomplish a position for the various countries we were representing." - Jeronimo Augusto, Doctoral Student, Pharmacy Administration

"I was able to provide research and other information that assisted the delegates in making informed decisions towards their vote of PDRs. Additionally, I had the opportunity to make the campus aware of this distinguished delegation through media distributed throughout campus." - Jerez Roberson-Mitchell, Counseling Psychology

"The WMOAS experience enhanced my graduate student experience by providing a first-hand experience to practice diplomacy, while studying current events and foreign relations issues that affect the Americas. I gained greater insight into the political, social, economic, environmental and human rights issues of the OAS member state regions and how to function in working groups to resolve those issues." - Pamela Clarke, Howard Alumna

Dr. Kamla Deonauth is director of the International Studies Certificate Program. For more information about the certificate program, email Dr. Deonauth at

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