Before coming to LIU Brooklyn, Emily-Anna Barba had never been to Japan.
Now, she’s preparing to represent Japan.
In early January, the President of LIU Brooklyn’s student government will travel to the Galapagos Islands to attend a National Model United Nations conference on San Cristobal Island.
There, Barba will serve as the Japanese representative in simulated meetings of the UN Environment Assembly, which will discuss “Management and Reduction of Waste in Urban Areas” and “Eco-friendly Technology for the Protection of Oceans and Seas,” two of 10 topics related to climate change scheduled for discussion at the conference.
“It’s very exciting,” Barba said. “I can’t wait to go.”
Researching solid waste management in Japan without being in the country may seem very difficult. However, after representing Ireland and Singapore at two previous Model UN conferences (one of which took place in Japan), Barba has gotten used to the process.
“This paper is easier than the ones I’ve written in the past,” Barba said. “It shows what experience can do for you. You start working, and it all floods back.”
Besides, challenging herself to look at the world from unfamiliar perspectives is what Barba enjoys most about Model UN.
“Model UN is truly understanding the world,” she said. “It’s completely removing yourself from your own surroundings, taking the country you’re representing and creating yourself in their world.”
Barba’s passion for exploring different global perspectives was sparked during her first year at LIU Brooklyn, while studying utopian and dystopian fiction in a class with political science professor Si Sheppard.
“Every class, he would blow my mind,” Barba said. “Toward the end of the class, he mentioned that there are people who do what we were doing, but in the real world, and that was Model UN.”
As she completes her degree in Health Science, Barba has her eyes on a career with the real United Nations, the World Health Organization, or another group that takes on health challenges around the globe.
“Health care in America is so different from the rest of the world,” Barba said. “We’ve created a different society.”
For Barba, the skills that she has developed through Model UN are the key to developing the global perspective that she’ll need to put her education into action.