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APEC Summit another mountain to climb for political science student

By Janet Harron

A Memorial University student is well on her way to a future in international politics.

Melissa Royle, a third year political science major, has been selected from a field of top students from across the country to attend the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru from Nov. 19 to 23, 2008.

As part of a Youth Outreach Program for young Canadians developed by the non-profit organization Global Vision, Ms. Royle (along with two to four other students) will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the minister of International Trade, ambassadors from member economics, the CEOs of multinationals, and her counterparts from other nations, while in Peru.

APEC is an intergovernmental forum dedicated to promoting free trade and investment, economic growth and development, and cooperation between the 21 members in the Asia-Pacific region. The theme for this year’s conference is Corporate Social Responsibility.

“I think that attending APEC is an incredible opportunity for me, as it is a chance to learn first hand what you can’t in a classroom. I’m also thrilled at the thought of representing Newfoundland and Labrador for the first of hopefully many times in my career!” said Ms. Royle. After completing her undergraduate degree, Ms. Royle hopes to attend law school. Her long-term goal is to enter politics herself one day and to ultimately apply her international experience for the benefit of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Crediting the Faculty of Arts for helping her develop the necessary skill set to succeed in her application, Ms. Royle also cites her extra-curricular activities as president of the Political Science Society and her work with CPSSA, MUCEP and various committees. Ms Royle began her association with Global Vision in 2007 as one of 25 students selected for Junior Team Canada, attending economic trade missions in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

“That trip was life-altering, as I saw international politics in practice and made several key contacts in the region,” said Ms. Royle. She then helped to plan the 2008 Global Leader’s Centre which took place at Memorial University from May 29 to 31. “Global Vision is all about helping students understand the interaction between business and politics and the role of economics. The conference here in May was a fantastic learning experience, especially from what I gained working behind-the-scenes,” said Ms. Royle.

Due to the fact that Global Vision is a charitable organization, those selected for the APEC Youth Outreach Program have to fundraise to order to attend the Summit in Peru. Anyone interested in getting additional information on donating can reach Ms. Royle on