Global Affairs Student Wins Award at International Forum

Posted: July 31, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nick Walker

Milan Jocic at Global Forum
Milan Jocic at the Global Forum held at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of Milan Jocic

Many Mason students study international policy, but Milan Jocic, senior global affairs major, is already writing it.

Earlier this month, Jocic attended the Third Annual Global Forum presented by Athgo, an international nongovernmental organization for young adults, and the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

Irina Aervitz, Mason professor who teaches Introduction to Global Affairs, nominated Jocic to attend the Good Governance and Capacity Building Forum.

“Milan was one of my best students in the spring,” Aervitz says. “Not only were his papers very good, but he also keeps up to date on current events. He has a very good analytical mind, and I had no doubt about recommending him for the forum.”

She adds, “Students are ultimately the driving force behind Mason. For professors, it’s great when you can help inform students of these opportunities.”

Although Jocic was the only Mason student in attendance, he was joined by 250 other students from more than 60 countries.

“People came with backgrounds in government, politics, economics and other majors,” Jocic says. “Everyone was young, between 18 and 32. The group included a lot of graduate students earning master’s degrees and PhDs, and some undergraduates as well.

“After listening to some discussions and panelists, we were divided into groups of 10 students. Each group had to come up with an original idea, including a policy memorandum and business proposal. The goal was to address issues, including corruption and youth, and other aspects of the World Bank,” says Jocic.

Jocic’s group was tasked with coming up with “an original idea to change and make the world better” in three days.

“We came up with a plan to involve youth in the development process,” Jocic says. “We focused on the population consisting of young adults to those who are in their early to mid-30s. The World Bank already has plenty of development projects, but none for establishing the training of a youth development corps.”

Representatives from the World Bank and Athgo evaluated each group’s written proposal and oral presentation.

The proposal by Jocic’s group won first place, and Athgo president and founder Armen Orujyan presented them with an award.

“It was a really good proposal,” Orujyan says. “What I liked was that they connected all of the issues, both theoretical and practical, and included young people in the process.”

Orujyan plans to send the proposal to Athgo’s Innovation and Capacity Building Centers for review. If accepted, the proposal could be implemented as policy in the future.

Jocic and the other attendees also submitted individual proposals to the committee. The winners will receive scholarships to attend other Athgo conferences around the world.

Orujyan encourages other students to become involved with future Athgo events.

“Mason students and all young people should come and participate,” says Orujyan. “It’s a very unique opportunity to get involved in the professional world through the UN and private institutions.”

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