Inspiring Tomorrow's Global Leaders
The Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR) was originally established in the 1960's as part of the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. It was formed to enhance public understanding of international affairs by strengthening international studies in K-12 classrooms. In 1992, CTIR launched the World Affairs Program (WAC) as a way to extend international studies curriculum to middle and high school educators and to specifically bring students to a better awareness of international issues. By engaging students and teachers though the WAC program, CTIR has successfully reached and inspired thousands of students and teachers over nearly 30 years to learn about and get involved in international issues of importance.
In 2010, DU decided to realign its focus purely on academics and all community-based programming was eliminated. CTIR was slated for closure as part of this realignment. Through the dedication of the CTIR Advisory Board, an independent 501c3 organization was formed to allow CTIR and the World Affairs Challenge to continue without support from DU. As part of this re-organization, CTIR refocused its efforts more heavily on students and the core World Affairs Challenge program. With a new mission of developing tomorrow's global leaders, the World Affairs Challenge seeks to develop and foster a global perspective and to cultivate awareness, understanding, knowledge and skills to enable effective international relationships.
"It is rare that students are asked to look at a real world problem and come up with their own solution. The World Affairs Challenge helps students realize that we live in a global community."
-Chris Elnicki, Middle School Teacher
"…At Rice University I got involved with a program that delivers medical devices to low resource countries…worked in Malawi…I'm currently doing a semester abroad program in Singapore…WAC helped me to find my passion…"
-Emily J., WAC Participant, Rice University Student
World Affairs Challenge allowed me a platform to think and act outside of my comfort zone; I was pushed to be creative, thoughtful and innovative. An opportunity not afforded to me much outside of World Affairs Challenge; I was involved in trying to solve issues that were supposed to be beyond my scope, as a high school student. Though I did not study globalization or water sanitation or energy after high school, I became globally aware and grasped the idea of action at a young age. I believe that these values I obtained through World Affairs Challenge pushed me to become active in GlobeMed as a college student and will keep pushing me to think and act critically, creatively and collaboratively.