CHAMPAIGN—The European Union Center at the University of Illinois is pleased to announce that the European Union Center of Excellence (EUCE) at the University of Pittsburgh has been awarded the EUCE Outstanding Outreach Activity Award for its 2011 Model European Union program for high school students. The EUCE Outstanding Outreach Activity Award was initiated by EU Center Staff at Illinois to increase the awareness of excellent outreach projects conducted by the ten EU Centers of Excellence located throughout the United States.
“We are especially proud of this award because Pitt’s Model EU simulation is an EUCE team effort and because it is awarded by a committee made up of diplomats,” said Ronald Linden, director of Pitt’s EUCE/European Studies Center and a professor in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Political Science.
The review committee—comprising representatives from the Polish embassy (Maciej Pisarski, Deputy Chief of Mission), the Austrian Consulate in Chicago (Consul General Thomas Schnöll), and the Delegation of the European Union to the United States—acknowledged the success of Pitt’s submission for the award. Pitt’s EUCE, along with the submitted activities of six other centers, will be featured in promotional materials to be distributed domestically and throughout the European Union in an effort to promote EUCEs in the United States.
In December 2011, more than 100 students in grades 9-12 from nine Pittsburgh-area schools participated in the University‘s day-long Model EU simulation. This is the most recent of these annual events, which provide students with an opportunity to learn about the workings of the European Union through role-playing activities. Students assume the roles of presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers and engage in intense negotiations over controversial issues facing the EU.
Established in 1998 as the result of a first-of-its-kind national competition, Pitt’s EUCE has successfully received renewal with each subsequent national competition. Ten U.S. institutions of higher learning were designated as Centers of Excellence in 2011 and will receive funding support through 2014. The European Commission funds the EUCE initiative as part of a broader effort to promote people-to-people ties across the Atlantic.
For more information about Pitt’s EUCE, visit www.ucis.pitt.edu/euce.