Photo of Ben Pollard

Ben Pollard '13: Model Student for International Relations

By Nick Watt '13

As McKendree University prepares to host the Model United Nations (U.N.) conference from April 9-11 for surrounding St. Louis and metro-east high schools there will be one face that stands out more than others. It will belong to history and international relations major Ben Pollard '13.

As the Model U.N. coordinator, Ben will be tasked with organizing the vast number of students that will be representing their high schools as delegates for their respective countries. “We have 16 schools that attend,” said Ben. “That amounts to roughly 350 high school students representing around 45 nations in the conference.”

It is a big task to handle but Ben certainly has the credentials and passion to take on such a feat. One particular aspect Ben is excited for in this upcoming Model U.N. is the implementation of an International Press Delegation. “Students act as reporters for the issues and outcomes in each committee,” he explained. “It was something that I saw at the collegiate level and wanted to implement in my time here as Secretary General.” As a member of McKendree’s very own collegiate Model U.N., he knows exactly what these budding diplomats require to make it the best experience possible. “It is a great opportunity to see the world through different eyes and I hope others can learn from this experience,” said Ben.

International experience is something Ben is not short on. He has won Security Council and Party to the Dispute awards at the collegiate Model U.N. conference, as well as having travelled to Japan for the Technos College International Week and Costa Rica for a spring break mission trip in 2012. “The campus ministries mission trip to Costa Rica was simply amazing,” said Ben. “Our group had the chance to help build housing for seminary students at the University we visited. We also got to run a bible school for local children. We sang songs, played soccer, and shared bible stories. It was the kind of trip that opened up my eyes to the way other people live.”

“I have always enjoyed learning about different cultures and international politics,” said Ben. “From meeting new people or learning from a documentary on PBS, I've always loved experiencing new things. International relations and history were majors that allowed me to capitalize on that passion.”

Ben looks towards his grandparents and parents for nurturing his passion. “They have always encouraged me to explore and learn,” he said. “They sparked an interest and love of knowledge that has helped me a lot during school at McKendree. It's that love of learning new things that has driven me to succeed.”

Ben is extremely active in a number of on-campus groups such as the student ambassadors, Phi Alpha Theta, the Senior Class Gift Committee and Student Government. He is also a statistician for McKendree athletics, for sports including football, soccer, and basketball.

“McKendree has been such a great place for me to develop as an individual,” he noted. “With all the great opportunities McKendree University has provided, I've done things I never thought I would. McKendree's small class sizes mean that I have always been able to have my voice heard and my ideas have been able to develop. I have had the chance to travel across the world, discuss the world's big questions, and make long lasting friendships.”

What Ben sees on the horizon after graduation is to continue his education in graduate school, before engaging in a career where he can travel and interact with people of different cultures.

Ready to Make It McKendree?