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IB World Student Conference

Wake Forest is the first American university to host the global event

By Kim McGrath Office of Communications and External Relations
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This week, approximately 120 high school students from China, Denmark, Guatemala, Uganda and a dozen other countries have been on campus attending a five-day International Baccalaureate World Student Conference.

Wake Forest University is the first American university to host an IB World Student Conference and one of four sites chosen this yearOther conference sites include Hong Kong, Coventry, UK, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The theme for the Wake Forest hosted conference is “Social Justice: Contemplating the Past, Confronting the Future.”

As part of the event, students participated in a Generation Y World Café led by Wake Forest Provost Rogan Kersh. To start the discussion, Kersh talked about Gen Y’s hyper-scheduled, hyper-routinized lifestyle saying that never before have researchers seen young people 16 to 24 share generational characteristics globally. “The wired generation is always ‘on,’ whether you’re American, African, Chinese or Jordanian,” he said.

The school students have explored historical connections, judicial actions, social entrepreneurship and educational policy in the context of social justice — touring the International Civil Rights Museum; watching the film, “The Trials of Darryl Hunt; and participating in a discussion with Hunt and Innocence and Justice Clinic Director Mark Rabil, an assistant capital defender in Forsyth County whose advocacy led to the release and exoneration of Hunt after 19 years of incarceration.

Students at the IB World Conference participate in a Q&A with Darryl Hunt and Mark Rabil. (Photo courtesy of the Winston-Salem Journal.)

Students at the IB World Conference participate in a Q&A with Mark Rabil and Darryl Hunt. (Photo courtesy of the Winston-Salem Journal.)

The conference ends June 28 with Global Village presentations.

The IB program is a rigorous course of study that presents a liberal arts curriculum from a global perspective, university-level work, and required examinations that are developed and marked on an international standard. Wake Forest has participated in the IB/WFU partnership with local IB schools since 2008.

“Pursuing and excelling in the most rigorous curriculum signals academic motivation and intellectual curiosity and suggests that a student is well prepared for academically strenuous college classes,” Dean of Admissions Martha Allman wrote in a guest column highlighting the benefits of the IB curriculum for the Washington Post.

Find out more about the conference on the IB World Conference website.

Read the Winston-Salem Journal story, Global Bridge-Building: Wake Forest first American university to host International Baccalaureate World Student Conference.

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