University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) electrical engineering and McMicken Arts & Sciences communication student, Alexia Gaines, was one of only 25 students selected in the US to receive the 2017 World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) Scholarship. As an elite WACA scholarship recipient, Gaines was invited to the WACA National Conference in Washington, DC from November 15-17, 2017.
The annual WACA Conference brings together World Affairs Councils leaders and members with top government officials, diplomats, business executives, innovators, journalists, experts, educators, students and interested citizens to convene and engage on the most pressing global issues and policy choices impacting our lives.
The WACA Scholarship is awarded to 25 students nationwide to sponsor their attendance to the WACA National Conference. WACA has more than 90 councils across the nation with a focus on international policy and international issues.
Executive director of the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council, Michelle Harpenau, supported Gaines’ nomination.
“Alexia’s dual-degree of electrical engineering and communication, both relates to her interests, and will also help equip her to more efficiently solve global problems and communicate messages in an easy to understand manner,” said Harpenau in a letter addressed to the World Affairs Council.
“I was excited to receive this scholarship and attend this conference,” exclaimed Gaines, “I was looking forward to meeting my fellow students, as well as all of the professionals that came from a myriad of backgrounds and countries.”
The WACA conference focuses on creating discussion and discourse around relevant global issues, international relations, and national policy, while showing how they affect our everyday world. As a double major in engineering and communication, Gaines felt that her background made her standout.
“Many of the students were majoring in language, International Relations, International Studies, or Communication. I was able to show how my electrical engineering and communication degrees could act together and be applied to international issues and national policy,” said Gaines.
She attended the conference in November of this year and stated that it was a very memorable and enjoyable experience.
Her favorite aspect of the conference was the Diplomatic reception where she was given the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, as well as some of his colleagues.