Fourteen students majoring in Russian at Brigham Young University participated in British parliamentary style debate and Model United Nations competitions at Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow and Saratov State University in Saratov, Russia.
“The competitions took place April 26-28 as a culminating event of a language course designed to facilitate language acquisition within the context of debate and diplomacy," said Tony Brown, faculty organizer of the trip and professor of Russian at BYU. The participating tudents had completed Russian 490R: Global Diplomacy and Debate during winter semester.
Also facilitating the group were Gary L. Hatch, associate professor of English, Cory W. Leonard, assistant director of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, and Victoria Baird, a graduate student majoring in second language acquisition.
Students who participated were Devin Anderson, Rachel Baird, Zachary Barney, Daniel Blomberg, Kasey Clemans, Daniel Davidson, Glen Doxey, Jonathan Earl, Jeremy Evans, Chase Gunnell, Justin Hicken, Laura Knight, Robert Reynolds and Paul Wells.
“Aside from my mission, this has been the most worthwhile experience of my education at BYU,” Hicken said. “I’m glad and grateful that I was chosen to participate in such a program.”
Davidson added, “I sincerely hope that the people responsible for these types of experiences will understand that this class and this trip have changed my life and provided some very needed direction, in the sense of future career possibilities.”
Evans stated, “Two thumbs up. I am elated with efforts such as these that take students’ education to the next level.”
Robert Reynolds, Jonathan Earl, Kasey Clemans and Devin Anderson were selected as finalists in the parliamentary style debate competition held at Saratov State University, while Paul Wells was selected as “Outstanding Delegate” in the Model UN held at Saratov State University.
This culminating event was made possible through funding from the College of Humanities, the Center for Language Studies and the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at BYU.
Writer: Lee Simons