Ten Furman students and two Furman professors attended APEC 2005, held this year in Busan, South Korea. The students – Becca Blosser ’06, Elizabeth Crockett ’07, Mitchell Goldsmith ’06, Monica Handa ’07, Christina Henderson ’08, Jen Holden ’07, Boris Michev ’07, Nadia Savova ’06, Chris Schoen ’07, and Cindy Youssef ’07 – represented the United States as the only university-level students selected to participate in the “Voices of the Future for APEC” program, along with two Economics professors – Dr. Ken Peterson and Dr. Kailash Khandke. To view a story published in the Furman magazine, click here; to view the students’ blog, click here.
While the focus for the students was similar to that of years past—producing interviews and participating in cultural expos—students also produced “snapshots” of the interviews that they completed. These papers included a summary of the interviews, along with advice students received from the leaders. Using these snapshots, the Virtual Trade Mission will compile a library of interviews, which will be accessible for all students and others who are interested in learning more about the Voices Program. Handa, a junior political science and history major who also attended last year’s conference in Chile, said of these interviews, “Conferences like APEC show that it is important to balance an understanding of all these fields [political science, business and economics] in order to become a successful business or political leader.”
The experience in 2005, as in past years, was an overwhelming success. Students were given security clearance to observe the APEC CEO Summit, a high-security meeting only open to APEC CEO leaders, to interview and dine with Heads of State, and to meet and to interact with spouses of the Heads of State from each member economy. Taking full advantage of Korea’s rich culture and history, students participated in a variety of events, including visits to a Buddhist temple, a fish market, and a traditional Korean tea ceremony. Dr. Don Gordon, professor of political science and Director of the Riley Institute describes the combination of disciplines as “an extension of academically-oriented engaged learning at Furman.”