Wilson International Studies Program (WISP)

Lead Teachers
Clarence Alston, clarence.alston@dc.gov
Robert Geremia, robert.geremia@dc.gov

Wilson's International Studies Program -- or WISP -- is one of seven academies at Wilson providing smaller learning communities for our students.  The main goals of the academy include:

* Recognizing and understanding  the cultural differences and similarities of people around the world.
* Appreciating the impact world affairs have on students and their families.
* Developing an appreciation of the interdependence of countries and cultures in a world society.
* Understanding the nature of ecological, technological, and economic interdependence.
* Gaining an awareness of careers related to international affairs.

WISP has multiple activities, please contact the lead teacher for more information.

Model UN Club – meets every Wednesday at STEP in room 205.  This is an educational simulation and academic competition in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. The club involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. Participants in Model UN conferences, referred to as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries, or occasionally other organizations or political figures, to represent. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in committee.  Members have the option of participating in one or more conferences throughout the year.  

Harvard Model Congress (HMC).  This is the largest congressional simulation conference in the world, providing high school students with an opportunity to experience American government firsthand.  Although it is run entirely by Harvard undergraduates, it is a  501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is operated independently of the university.  Club members have the option of participating in the annual conference held in downtown Boston in February to discuss the most pressing and important issues facing the nation as they assume roles in each of the three branches of the  United States government through diverse programs, ranging from committees in the House of Representatives, Senate, and Supreme Court, to special programs such as press, lobbyists, and the National Security Council.  

WISP Speaker Series – every other Tuesday during STEP in room 205.  Come participate in conversations with people whose careers bridge international issues with science, the arts, politics, business, journalism or another field.  It¹s a great opportunity for you to get some insights in international issues and  ponder possible career paths.  

Human Rights Club -- meets every Thursday in 205.  This club is run by students who are interested in promoting awareness of human rights issues and encouraging people to actively participate in ending abuses.  In addition to WISP-specific clubs, WISP teachers and students often partner with the Wilson Language Department and its associated clubs.  Please contact the lead teacher for more information.

·         Chinese Club: TBD

·         French Club  anna.foxen@dc.gov or lynn.palmer@dc.gov 

·         Latin Club: TBD

·         Spanish Club  amy.wopat@dc.gov 

Students are encouraged to start additional clubs or activities that meet their interests.

Parent Engagement – Please contact Clarence Alston or Robert Geremia for any of the items below – we welcome and encourage parent participation!

As part of required coursework this spring, WISP is looking for speakers to discuss current events with students in both our Latin American and Middle Eastern studies classes. Possible topics could include immigration, the economy, political structure of a particular country, etc.

WISP also hosts a Career Talk Series every other Tuesday during STEP. These informal conversations are meant to be a dialogue between the students and the speaker.  We are particularly interested in people whose careers bridge international issues with science, the arts, politics, business, journalism or another field.  It¹s a great opportunity for you to share insights, discuss your own career path, and explain the latest developments in your field. 

International Night
In addition to amazing student performances in the auditorium, we will have food and cultural/country presentations from the various WISP related classes in the atrium. We are looking for the Wilson community to donate food representing the many countries and cultures represented by our students.  If you can help by bringing food, setting up, or cleaning up please contact Mr. Alston or Mr. Geremia.