See a photo collage here!

Keynote speaker Professor Susan Waltz, a scholar and practitioner in international human relations from theGerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at University of Michigan who addressed "The UN at 71: Its Challenges & Opportunities." Read about Dr. Waltz here.

We were joined by Rachel Pittman, Senior Director of Membership &Programs at UNA-USA who spoke about "One Humanity, Shared Responsibility: Addressing the Refugee Crisis."Ms. Pittman also helped us announce Adopt A Future, an exciting, ambitious, & worthwhile new initiative you will want to know about.

Read about the outstanding recipients of special awards below!

Several impressive awards were presented during the celebration. First up were the Global Education Awards. Recent Haslett High School graduate Shreya Srivistava was honored with the Craig B. Stuttman Award for Outstanding Students. Shreya attends college in New York and was unable to attend, but her parents, Sanjay and Anjali Srivastava, came to receive the honor in her stead. Shreya initiated the Model UN Club at Haslett High School, and she represented the Club on the planning team of the 2015 and 2016 International Day of Peace celebrations. A talented artist, she designed the flyer and the tee-shirts for both events. Shreya is a positive leader who provides opportunities for others to become involved in and to understand the necessity of the United Nations. She served as the high school representative on GL-UNA's board and helped plan World Friendship Days at local schools. Shreya was instrumental in planning a trip with several other students from the Model UN Club to visit the United Nations in New York City.

The Loy LaSalle Award for Outstanding Teachers was bestowed upon two very deserving individuals. Heidi Irvine, who teaches at Holt Public Schools, was described in her nomination letter as an "extraordinary art teacher." Ms. Irvine single handedly organized a "bridge building" art contest in which high school students were challenged to create original art "across fears and cultural barriers such as race, religion, economic class, and social divides." She studied the use of art as a form of communication for social change in France as part of her master’s degree and in South Africa as a Fulbright scholar. Ms. Irvine encourages the use of art to bring awareness to and to introduce ideas for social change. She has taught her high school students the importance of giving back to the community, and has helped them create murals at local farmers markets and signs for a local food bank.

Robert Lurie, a high school social studies teacher and department chair at Waverly Community Schools, teaches world history, world geography, global studies, and English language learners. His exemplary "leadership in promoting excellence in global education on the school level, the community level, and in the greater world," prompted his nomination. Mr. Lurie has studied formally in Poland, Israel, Korea, and India as well as in extended visits to China and Sri Lanka. He leads student trips to Eastern and Western Europe and has been responsible for providing opportunities for other teachers to travel with the students as chaperones, experience which enhances their classroom teaching forever. Mr. Lurie participated in the U.S. Department of State's Teacher for Global Classrooms programs which prompted him to complete a comprehensive on-line graduate course in global education. He serves as the liaison between the MSU Global Educators Cohort Program in the College of Education at MSU and Waverly High School.

Both of the Loy LaSalle Award winners are active members of LATTICE (Linking All Types of Teachers to International Cross-Cultural Education), a vital GL-UNA partner.

Dr. Lyndon Babcock, president of Michigan Division UNA, was the recipient of the  inaugural "Global Citizen UNA Leadership in Michigan Award" for his years of exemplary leadership in Michigan Division UNA and Greater Lansing UNA as well as his dedicated work with Model UN at Eastern High School. Read about Dr. Babcock's many accomplishments in his short nomination bio here

In addition to our excellent speakers & awardees, those in attendance enjoyed:

  • Delicious hors d'oeuvres
  • Informational displays
  • Hearing the announcement of the winners (teachers & student) of the Global Education Award
  • Networking with others in our community who are committed to creating a better world for all by supporting the essential work of the United Nations.

The UN Day Celebration was sponsored by Greater Lansing UNA and its partners:

International Studies & Programs, Michigan State University

LATTICE(Linking All Types of Teachers to International Cross-Cultural Education).

Asian Studies Center, Michigan State University

African Studies Center,Michigan State University

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