Media gallery

(l-r) Emma Jackson, Liam Simkins-Walker, Kathleen Marsh, Peyton Roth and Noah Zimmerman

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2017
Da Nang, Vietnam
November 5 – 11, 2017

On November 5, 2017, five students — Emma Jackson (’18) (bio) from Birmingham, AL (Politics and International Affairs); Kathleen Marsh (’18) (bio) from Hendersonville, TN (Economics and Spanish); Peyton Roth (’19) (bio) from Woodstock, GA (Chemistry and Political Science); Liam Simkins-Walker (’18) (bio) from Atlanta, GA (Mathematics and Politics and International Affairs); Noah Zimmermann (’18) (bio) from Camden, SC (Political Science, Philosophy and Minor in Poverty Studies) along with Dr. Cleve Fraser, Department of Politics and International Affairs and Dr. Nathan Cook, Department of Economics, attended the APEC Voices of the Future 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam where they served as citizen diplomats. To view the agenda, click here. To view all the student biographies, click here.

The students posted to a blog throughout their travel. To view their blog, click here.

To view a speical report on the APEC Voices of the Future 2017 in Da Nang, click here.

Each member economy represented had one student present their delegation’s perspective on “How to create new dynamism and foster a shared future amongst youth in the Asia Pacific region”. Liam Simkins-Walker presented as a representative from the U.S. delegation.

One representative from each member economy also collaborated on creating a Youth Declaration. Kathleen Marsh will represent the U.S. delegation in writing this declaration.

Additionally, due to our history of sending high-quality and impressive students to APEC over the years, one student was invited to be the Master of Ceremony during the APEC Voices Youth Forum Opening Ceremony at the University of Da Nang, Vietnam, and a second student was invited to serve as the moderator with Dr. Noeleen Heyser for the Q & A Session. Dr. Noeleen Heyser is the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific and is the Keynote Speaker at the APEC Voices 2017 Youth Forum. Dr Heyzer was recently appointed as a Member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation in September 2017 by H.E. Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General.

Peyton Roth served as the Master of Ceremony for the Voices of the Future Opening Ceremony and Emma Jackson served as the moderator of the Q & A session with D. Noeleen Heyzer.

Press Coverage

Furman UniversityFurman University (follow-up story)

Back to APEC 2017

Emma Jackson (’18) from Birmingham, AL (Politics and International Affairs)

My name is Emma Jackson, and I’m a senior Politics and International Affairs major from Birmingham, Alabama.

Over the last three years at Furman, I have loved being involved on campus with everything from the Heller Service Corp to being the Riley Intern this school year. I’ve interned in Washington, D.C. at the Academy for Radiology Research in government relations, and for the South Carolina Attorney General’s office in downtown Greenville. Last spring, I studied abroad in South Africa, and I’m currently doing research on American foreign aid policy and how it affects sub-Saharan Africa. I love to rock climb, hike, and get off campus as much as I can in my free time.

I’m so excited to go to Vietnam and learn more about the member economies and meet fellow students from around the Pacific.

Kathleen Marsh (’18) from Hendersonville, TN (Economics and Spanish)

Hi everyone! I’m Kathleen and I am a senior Economics and Spanish major at Furman University from Nashville, TN. I first found my passion for international affairs and development through a summer program in high school called the Governor’s School for International Studies, and through a few classes at Furman. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to put this passion into practice by working with students from all over the Asia-Pacific region who care about the same things I do.

One of my favorite aspects of my double major is that I get to combine learning about economic theory with learning about Hispanic cultures, which gives me exposure to the human side of development. I am excited to see what “creating a new dynamism and fostering a shared future”means through the lens of economics and the study of Spanish language and cultures.


Peyton Roth (’19) from Woodstock, GA (Chemistry and Political Science)

Hello all! My name is Peyton Roth and I am a Junior, Chemistry and Political Science double major here at Furman.

Over the past couple of years at Furman, I have focused my efforts on gaining experience in scientific, medical, and political communities toprepare myself for a career as both a health care provider and a public policyreformer.I have spent my summers interning at GHS, studying under a psychiatrist in an addiction medicine center, and synthesizing potentially medicinally valuable molecules in a chemistry lab. In addition to this, I have been introduced to the world of policy through my involvement with the American Enterprise Institute and the Riley Institute. I have a deep interest in international trade as well as SME growth-promoting policies, so I’m excited to watch the formulation of these policies in Da Nang this November. I look forward to updating you all on my experiences in Vietnam very soon!


Liam Simkins-Walker (’18) from Atlanta, GA (Mathematics and Politics and International Affairs)

I’m a senior double major in Mathematics and Politics &International Affairs from Atlanta, Georgia.An avid reader and political junkie, I’m very interested in the big philosophical questions in politics, mathematics and law.I’ve spent much of the past eight years pursuing my passion for mock trial, where I’ve argued close to 100 cases competing first for my high school and now for Furman’s A team.When I’m not trying my own cases, I still help coach my high school team on the side, I’ve coached high school students at Furman’s summer mock trial camp, I help run high school tournaments from time to time and this year I helped write the case for the high school World Championships.Outside of class and mock trial, you can find me giving campus tours as an Admission Ambassador and working with the Riley Institute bringing political speakers to campus.I’ve also worked with the Georgia Innocence Project helping to exonerate those who have been victims of the legal system and wrongfully convicted of crimes they didn’t commit and I’m a strong advocate of restorative justice initiatives, criminal justice reform and civil rights.In the academic realm, I spent this past summer on campus researching theoretical problems in graph theory with the Mathematics Department and I’m currently working on writing a theoretical treatment of First Amendment Constitutional law and the American public sphere.

After graduation, I hope to spend a year in Budapest, Hungary on a Fulbright Scholarship studying theoretical mathematics at the Alfréd Rényi Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences before possibly heading to further graduate school and law school. I love traveling, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people, and I couldn’t be more excited to go to Vietnam and represent the United States at APEC!


Noah Zimmermann (’18) from Camden, SC (Political Science, Philosophy and Minor in Poverty Studies)

Hi everyone! My name is Noah Zimmermann, and I am a senior Politics and International Affairs and Philosophy double major with a minor in Poverty Studies from Camden, SC. I’ve studied abroad with Furman to Israel, Jordan, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana, and in my travels I have come to see the importance of fostering a shared future. Throughout my classes at Furman studying ethics, justice, and peace, I have learned about the challenges of implementing and securing ideals within thecomplicated framework of international society. Creating new dynamism will help ustackle these challenges, and I think our duty as APEC VOF delegates is to explore how we might go about doing so. I’m excited for what this week holds for us!