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"Before I took history of Latin America with Dr. Voss my freshman year, I had never heard of the OAS. I hardly spoke in his class, so I was surprised when he asked me if I wanted to join his model OAS delegation. I was majoring in political science, I hadn't declared a minor yet, and it seemed like the kind of opportunity that I couldn't pass up.
The MOAS Program Helped Me to Gain Confidence
"What I didn't anticipate was the amount of personal growth that I would gain through the model OAS. I've always been reluctant to speak in class, and I've always dreaded class presentations. The model OAS forced me to become vocally active for the first time--a major accomplishment of mine. I also gained a sense of importance in my education for the first time, especially at our embassy briefings in Ottawa.
"The model OAS is all about working under pressure, analyzing, questioning, and debating and I know that the skills that I learned in Washington could never be taught in a classroom. My overall experience in the model OAS has been rewarding on many levels, and I am looking forward to leading our group as the head delegate in next year's Model OAS."
"This was my second year at the model in the First Committee. I think the most valuable skill you may gain from participating in the model is the ability to think on your feet and deliver impromptu speeches. Your speech for your resolution can test your public speaking ability, but when you jump on the 'against' or 'for' speakers list the true test comes. But the practice we have in class before the model really helps teach you the ins and outs of giving impromptu speeches.
Trusting Your Group is Key to Forming a Consensus
"Trying to form a consensus, key in the workings of the real OAS, can be really tricky. Politics and personal opinions can run rampant, but that just means the success of forming a consensus is that much sweeter. As for the people within our delegation, learn to trust them. Trying to solve issues with the western hemisphere aren't easily solved with one mind. Listen and get to know one another. When crunch time comes, you'll be glad you did. In the end, I guarantee you will come out of the model a much different person (for the better). Sounds cliche, but heck...so do most resolutions."
This Experience has Broadened My Understanding of Our Hemisphere
"I cannot understate what a valuable experience the Model OAS has been for me. The entire Latin American Studies program in general has been a great experience, but it really hits you when you are sitting asking questions of ambassadors or sitting in the Hall of the Americas in Washington, D.C. The building is a prestigious landmark of the hemisphere acting together, and this program is a way to understand the character of the peoples and governments that exist here.
"This is not your average major, and at the risk of sounding cliche, this is a great character building journey."
"The Model OAS has been such an unexplainable experience that my friends outside of the program do not really know what this entails. But for those who do understand the Model, they really know what this class encompasses. This experience establishes the abilities to analyze complex problems, break these problems down, discuss the common concerns and positive aspects of various themes, and then work toward achieving a compromise.
"The Model OAS program, above all, has taught me to bring a specific idea to a peak. Analyze this idea; think about its affects and problems it may have on specific situations. But then it also accentuates the positives and to facilitate reaching a consensus. It allows for everyone to weigh in on ideas.
What I've Gained Can Be Used Far Beyond the Classroom
"The experience isn't something that stays at Plattsburgh State. The skills can be applied to any career that you may have in the future. Regardless if you are a teacher, lawyer, professor, economist or customer service associate. It teaches you to break down complex problems into equitable solutions."
"This was my first time participating in the Model OAS through the Latin American Studies program here. After a long semester of intense preparation, we went to the university model in Washington, D.C. It was a very worthwhile experience for me and I am looking forward to participating next spring as well.
"I gained various skills from this program including excellent analytical skills, speech writing, and more comfort with public speaking. I also made some great friendship bonds with students I wouldn't have otherwise met here at Plattsburgh State.
My Faculty Advisors Helped Me Prepare Not Just for the Event, But for Life
"Thanks to the great efforts of our faculty advisors, Stuart Voss and Anita Rapone, we were very well prepared for the model, and thus the rest of our lives."
How Do You Describe a Two Year Experience Quickly?
"The model program has been one of the landmark experiences of my time at Plattsburgh. Researching and studying the problems that people around the hemisphere are dealing with on an everyday basis and then representing those ideas isn't simply a college class. It's something more that stands out. You go to Washington, D.C. and Ottawa and see something different--the world working.
I've Gained Perspective That Can't Be Gained in a Regular Class
"All the theory and education you pick up in college is one thing, but the model OAS is one of those unique experiences where you almost break out of the academic isolation that surrounds students and become something else. For one week, you are Mexican, or Paraguayan, or some other nationality. You don't get this experience in your average general education class."
"Having been a part of the Plattsburgh State delegation of the MOAS was a phenomenal experience that I will never forget. The opportunity has broadened my view of politics concerning Latin America as well brought me closer to all of those exceptional individuals that made up the delegation.
"I remember the first time I spoke to Dr. Voss about what the Model OAS was. I never knew it even existed but he tried his best to explain it to me. Some way or another I was intrigued by all the wonderful aspects of the OAS that he mentioned. I can truly say today that he did not lie about any of the wonderful details that that the MOAS has to offer for students.
Meeting Ambassadors and Participating in the Committees Was Exciting
"I remember sitting in the Hall of the Americas and thinking this is where all of those government officials have sat before discussing similar if not the same topics that our delegation discussed. As a Public Information Officer, I must say I enjoyed many of the perks that came with having access to all the committees and seeing all the different topics discussed. I was able to personally contact the embassies where we met the Ambassadors and their staffs."
Dr. Stuart Voss
Distinguished Service Professor of History
Director North Country High School Model OAS
Office: Champlain Valley Hall 224
Phone: (518) 564-5214