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SU Alumna Wright Attends Model OSCE

SU Alumna Wright Attends Model OSCE

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution (CADR) Department prepared Ally Wright ’23 for a life in international diplomacy.

While she wasn’t certain about her exact path upon graduation, another opportunity made available by SU cemented how she hopes to make an impact going forward.

Wright recently spent three days at the Model Organization for the Security and Co-operation of Europe (OSCE), getting the chance to negotiate with 25 other young professionals. The opportunity allowed her to use her SU experience as a base.

“When we were doing the hands-on work, I kind of already knew what I was doing,” said Wright. “I was able to build upon the foundation that SU gave me to be able to become more familiar with multi-lateral diplomacy.”

Todd Becker, adjunct faculty in the CADR Department and former U.S. State Department diplomat, recommended Wright apply for the experience. When she received the acceptance email, she found out just how selective the program was: She was the only member selected from the U.S.

“Not only was I representing SU, but I was also representing the entire country, which was a little scary,” she said.

During the event, participants learned about mediation and dialogue facilitation, negotiation skills and strategies, and the decision-making process at the OSCE. They were able to apply their new knowledge and skills first-hand during a simulation exercise about the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act, the founding document of the OSCE, by role-playing representatives of OSCE-participating states.

Wright also had the opportunity to meet Michael Carpenter, ambassador for the U.S. to the OSCE, and his excitement demonstrated how seriously the organization takes the input of the younger generations, she said.

“A lot of what Model OSCE does is to get young people involved and teach us how the important work that they do needs to be able to carry on into the next generation,” Wright said. “If we want to continue what the generation before us has been able to do, we need a seat at the table to be able to do that. Events like this provide those seats.”

Wright said it was not an opportunity she likely would have pursued had she not had the backing of Becker; her advisor, Dr. Brian Polkinghorn; and others at SU.

“I’m very thankful for the CADR Department,” she said. “They taught me that my dreams and what I want are totally attainable. I just have to take the leap of faith and go for it.

“There are so many faculty that I can lean on for information. My education showed me how much one person can make a difference. Being able to go out and have the confidence to be at the table I never would have had that without the CADR Department and the continuous support I’ve always gotten from them, no matter how big or small my dreams are.”

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