UNESCO internship offered to Vanderbilt student; Monica Gibson to spend spring semester in Paris

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Monica Gibson, a Vanderbilt University graduate student working on her master‘s in public policy at Peabody College, has been offered an internship at the U.S. mission to UNESCO in Paris. She will be one of two American interns serving this spring.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, promotes international co-operation among the United Nations member states in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.

Gibson, who plans to apply to law school after receiving her master‘s degree, became interested in international relations after working with the Vanderbilt University Medical School‘s Institute for Global Health.

“If people know about other cultures, then they‘ll learn to appreciate and value the people. Tribal and religious conflicts would dissipate,” said Gibson. “It‘s a message that we need to embrace here in the U.S. as well — that if we learn to celebrate diversity, then we can see the humanity in others.”

“Monica Gibson is an ideal choice for the UNESCO internship,” said Sten Vermund, director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health. “Her work in the Institute for Global Health and her Vanderbilt undergraduate and graduate education training in Peabody have provided her with the interdisciplinary background ideal for tackling the daunting cross-cultural and educational challenges she will face in Paris.”

As an intern, Gibson will share in the daily operations of the office, attending meetings and prepare briefings for the ambassador. She will also be able to focus on a project of special interest, and is hoping to explore compulsory education in developing countries.

The U.S. Mission to UNESCO represents the United States before UNESCO‘s Secretariat, its 191 other member state delegations and UNESCO subsidiary bodies, including the World Heritage Committee and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

One of the mission‘s fundamental roles is providing support for U.S. delegations in Paris taking part in UNESCO meetings and negotiations. The permanent delegation provides a broad range of assistance, including strategic advice, background briefings, political interventions and logistical support.

Media Contact: Melissa Pankake, (615) 322-NEWS

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