Ann Marie Harr
James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs coordinator, 308.865.8944

The 2006 James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will include the annual Scott and Cheryl Morris International Food Festival, a global simulation program and Peter G. Peterson as the keynote speaker.
The Scott and Cheryl Morris International Food Festival will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 5, in the Health and Sports Center. UNK International students will share the cultures of 16 countries: Africa, Brazil, China, Colombia, Guatemala, Germany, India, Japan, Macedonia, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

The native cuisine of each country will be served. Cookbooks with recipes from each country will be featured.

Traditional dances will be performed beginning at 4:30 p.m. Among the countries represented by dance are Africa, Brazil, Colombia, India, Japan, Macedonia, Nepal, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. Also performing will be Ladies Mix, a Latin American dance group; Kendo Stick Association of Kearney, Karate and other local organizations.

The International Food Festival is free and open to the public.

The UNK coordinator for world affairs Ann Marie Harr has scheduled o.s.EARTH: Global Simulations  in place of a traditional speaker forum for the March 6 conference day. The event will take place in the Ponderosa Room of the Nebraskan Student Union.

“Instead of learning by listening to someone’s words,” Harr said, “the students will experientially learn by involving themselves in making big decisions. They will see first-hand the ripple-effect that these decisions do or don’t have on themselves and the rest of the world.”

The simulation is an interactive game in which 200 UNK students are divided into 20 teams. Each team represents a geopolitical region, corporation or organization in the global economy. The teams will compete and negotiate with each other for wealth, resources and influence.
“This will hopefully bring about a greater understanding of the interrelatedness of the world and highlight the importance of global welfare,” Harr said.

The Global Simulation Workshop, a three-hour event, is designed to teach participants about global issues. The game simulates the next 30 years of global economic development.

The Midwest Conference on World Affairs began as a campus and community activity in the 1960’s. In 1988, the conference was renamed The James E. Smith Midwest Conference on World Affairs in honor of a long-time history professor whose vision and dedication significantly affected the continuation of the conference. The conference serves as an opportunity for students to discuss current and pressing world issues.

The second half of the two-part conference will be a keynote speaker on April 12. Peter G. Peterson, a Nebraska native who served as assistant to the president for international economic affairs under President Nixon in 1971 and was then named the secretary of commerce in 1972, will speak at 10:30 a.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union, Ponderosa Room. The presentation is free and open to the public.