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ODU to Host Norfolk NATO Festival's Student Diplomat Program

Norfolk high school students will play roles as ambassadors of 28 different NATO nations during the Norfolk NATO Festival's Student Diplomat Program, to be held Tuesday, March 23, in Webb Center.

Formerly the Norfolk International Azalea Festival, the Norfolk NATO Festival is being sponsored jointly by NATO Allied Command Transformation (NATO ACT) and the city of Norfolk.

The one-day Student Diplomat Program, which will take place in the Board of Visitors conference room, includes welcoming remarks from ODU President John R. Broderick and closing remarks from Takis Raditsas of NATO ACT.

The students will be presented with a Web-based program developed by NATO that simulates an international crisis and challenges them to address and resolve the crisis. They will play a role as ambassador of one of the NATO nations, studying material about that nation in advance of the challenge.

Each student will each be assigned a mentor, a NATO-affiliated active duty officer, frequently from the student's assigned NATO member nation. As it is with all decisions at NATO, the group must work together to resolve this crisis unanimously.

The 28 student "diplomats" chosen were required to complete an application, including a 750-word scholarship essay, to demonstrate their knowledge of NATO and its member nations. Twenty diplomats have been chosen from Norfolk's five public high schools, along with four diplomats from local Norfolk private schools, and four "at large" students chosen from either group of schools.

As part of their participation, the students are required to take part in the Norfolk NATO Festival, as well as the Virginia International Tattoo on Friday, April 30, and the Annual Parade of Nations on Saturday, May 1. The students will receive a letter of recognition from NATO ACT for their participation.

This article was posted on: March 22, 2010

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