UCF Students Participate in Conference on U.S. Affairs

In mid-November, Amy Crawford, a Political Science & English dual degree (class of 2015), and Rachel Wilder, an International and Global Studies & Economics double major (class of 2018), represented UCF  at the 66th Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA) hosted by the United States Military Academy at West Point. Each year, the Burnett Honors College and the Department of Political Science send student delegates to represent UCF at SCUSA, which is the largest and most prestigious undergraduate conference of its type in the world. Founded in 1948, SCUSA is an annual four-day conference designed to engage civilian student delegates and West Point Cadets in conversations on U.S. public and foreign policy to facilitate understanding of the challenges facing the U.S. in an age of globalization.

The theme for this year’s 66th SCUSA conference was “What’s the worst that could happen?” Students and cadets collaborated to produce research papers on the politics and policies of crisis management. Amy Crawford, a senior at UCF, participated in “The Cold and the Dark 2014: Coping with Nuclear Terror” roundtable and co-authored a paper which presents policy recommendations on addressing nuclear proliferation and preparedness for a nuclear attack. Rachel Wilder, who is a first-year student at UCF, participated in the “Globe, Warmed: Coping with a Hotter Planet” roundtable and drafted policy recommendations on addressing the issue of global climate change.

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Rachel Wilder with the Global Warming Round-Table

When asked about her experience, Rachel described SCUSA as rewarding experience:

“The policy planning exercise made me realize how challenging and rewarding the process of addressing major global problems can be.  As a part of a round table on global warming, I had the exciting opportunity to discuss responses to climate change with Dr. Virginia Burkett, the Chief Scientist for Climate and Land Use Change at the U.S. Geological Survey.  On a personal level, I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know cadets and West Point’s unique culture. Because I come from a family with no immediate military background, the conference gave me a much stronger understanding of and feeling of connection with the armed forces.”



Amy Crawford with the Nuclear Proliferation Round-table

Amy expressed similar thoughts:

“The SCUSA conference provided me with an incredible opportunity to delve into issues of nuclear proliferation under the guidance of leading experts in U.S. nuclear policy. In my roundtable, I learned tremendously through engaging the diverse perspectives of my peers who included West Point cadets, U.S. and international students, and representatives from the Japanese and Canadian military academies.”



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