Bainbridge College impressively thinking on global scale

Published 6:58 am Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This past Tuesday, I recently had the opportunity to be officially inducted into the Bainbridge Rotary Club. I was a Rotary Club member in Thomson, Ga., in my previous newspaper job, and I am thrilled that I am again officially a member of a civic club that does so much good.

While Rotary’s service projects and fundraisers often gain most of the headlines and positive ink, I have to admit that the weekly programs are often just as impactful. They are usually informative and entertaining, and this past Tuesday’s meeting was no exception.

Dr. Dave Nelson, the Bainbridge College assistant professor of history, was the guest speaker along with two BC students. Nelson’s topic was how Bainbridge College students are being encouraged to gain knowledge on a global scale, and not just a local one. He explained that the college has a variety of international programs and study-abroad opportunities that allow students to visit nations like Belize and Scotland. While there, they either have the opportunity to take classes, or sometimes even teach classes — as is the case with early education students that travel to Belize and are given the chance to teach in a Belizean school.

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While the study-abroad program and International Education Week are admirable programs, I was already quite familiar with them. I was not as familiar with the Mock U.N. program, however, which Nelson explained to the club. The Mock U.N. is an organization where students attend conferences and act as if they are a diplomat for a foreign nation. While there, they then meet with other students (nations) and draft resolutions and agreements to help solve global problems, such as hunger, drugs or violence.

Nelson said that last year was BC’s first year to participate in the Mock U.N., and students from BC attended the state conference in Atlanta, where they pretended to be Belize. The school did so well, that Nelson said BC was invited to the national Mock U.N. conference in April of this year. That conference will be held in the actual United Nations building in New York City.

Wes Potter, the head delegate for the BC student delegation, told the club members about why Mock U.N. has been so special for him. “We get to experience politicking, voting and coming together for a compromise,” he said. “It’s real-world experience that will be helpful in our careers, whatever they may be.” He said that Mock U.N. allowed him to “come out of his shell” and gain leadership and public speaking qualities.

Nelson said that BC’s invitation to the national Mock U.N. conference was especially impressive, because this is only the college’s second year participating. He said BC students will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with students from five continents, and from Ivy League schools like Harvard and Princeton.

“And I think they’ll hold their own against those students, too,” Nelson said.

As a fan of both history and geography, I am thrilled that BC is taking such a progressive stance toward showing students that there is more to the world than just Decatur County, or even Georgia. I look forward to seeing what these young people learn from their experiences in New York later this year.

Justin Schuver is the managing editor of The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at