Unification News for February 2000

UB’s Industrial Design Students Do It Again!

Hyun Chul Kim, a senior in Industrial Design, took the first place prize of $10,000 for his camera design at Samsung’s national camera competition earlier this month. Finishing in third place with a $5,000 prize was his fellow UB student and award-winning designer Manuel Saez.

"The design department at UB is fun and progressive. I got a lot of attention and help from the professors," said the 23-year-old Kim, a native of South Korea.

Indeed, the design students have been on a roll, taking seven out of eight awards at the New York Auto show and taking first place and honorable mention in the National Housewares Competition.

Kim’s winning camera design, aimed at the youth market, was a unique and fun camera with interchangeable lenses. "I want to be a teen forever," said the ever-smiling designer. His camera, called E Z Clik‚ shoots 35mm film and comes with a rotating, snap-on lens wheel which adds 12 color filters and various borders to the pictures.

Kim said he invested virtually every working moment during the past two months on the project. Profs. Roy Watson and Jim Lesko were advisors for both students.

Saez’s camera design was a compact single lens 35mm that is waterproof. Kim plans to go to graduate school next year to study product design but has not yet chosen a school. He is currently an intern at Mark Steiner Designs in Stamford. Saez is a part-time employee with Anderson Design in Plainville.

In addition to the prize money and a $2,000 gift to the school of Engineering and Design, Kim and Saez receive a free one-week trip to South Korea where they will visit the Samsung Camera headquarters and meet and work with the Samsung industrial design team.

Ten other schools competed in the contest, including Parsons School of Design in New York City, Brigham Young University in Utah and Purdue University in Indiana. n

UN President Sees African Renaissance on Horizon

Freedom fighter turned statesman Dr. Theo-Ben Gurirab, the president of the 54th session of the UN General Assembly, spoke to an attentive crowd of 125 on the campus recently and outlined his hopes and dreams for both Africa and the United Nations.

"I am where the UN is and I am, in this new millennium, leading the UN, along with my brother and colleague (UN Secretary General) Kofi Annan, where it’s going: towards a better, brighter and humane future for humanity," said Gurirab.

Gurirab said that former freedom fighters like himself are now at the forefront for social change and economic development in Africa. A native of Namibia, he received both his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in international relations at Temple University in Pennsylvania. Earlier this year he was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Namibia.

In 1972 he became the UN representative of Namibia’s national liberation movement (SWAPO), until 1986. He was also one of the leading negotiators of the cease-fire agreement, signed in March 1989, between South Africa’s apartheid regime and SWAPO, which set the pace for the elections in Namibia and its transition to independence. In 1990 he became the independent Namibia’s Foreign Minister, a position which he still holds.

Gurirab explained the catalyst for change in African countries is "African people themselves," and while he acknowledged many obstacles still loom, "the will and determination of the people cannot be denied anymore — Africa’s time has come. We are talking about a new beginning, which we are expressing in a form of an African Renaissance. I want to help transfer the dreams of the people into real and funded programs," Gurirab said. "Empowerment and practical knowledge are desperately needed for our people to benefit."

The continent of Africa has the largest bloc of United Nation member states. Among the core issues facing the UN as a whole include gender equality, the proliferation of small arms in Third Worlds countries, HIV/AIDS and financing of development, Gurirab said.

Gurirab’s speech was part of the 2000 Distinguished Guest Lectures Series‚ sponsored by UB’s New England Center for International and Regional Studies.

Student Team to Represent Kazakhstan at Harvard Model UN

The New England Center Student Council for International and Regional Studies at UB will be representing the Republic of Kazakhstan in the 46th Harvard National Model United Nations at Cambridge, Massachusetts this month. The preparation and selection of this group begin in the Fall semester of 1999 when an essay competition and a set of interviews determined the eight most eligible students for the delegation from UB.

The model UN of Harvard University is the biggest and most recognized of its kind and includes the participation of 2000 delegates from a hundred different schools from America and abroad. Each college or university represents a country and the student delegates debate world issues from the point of view of the country they represent.

Delegates gain insight into the workings of the United Nations by assuming the roles of UN representatives and by actively participating in the resolution of important global issues. Outstanding teams receive awards.

As preparation for the debates, the UB team visited the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan in New York City where they held talks with the diplomats there. The UB students’ presentation papers were cited as possessing the quality and veracity of true diplomats and the UN diplomats requested permission to use the papers as reference for their position papers during upcoming international meetings.

The names and nationalities of the delegates are: Ola Ogunye, from the USA; Ashok Regmi, from Nepal; Miya Attanassova, from Bulgaria; Bogdan Stamoran, from Rumania; Zlatin Ivanov, from Bulgaria; Jee Eun Lee, from Korea;Alejandro Gonzalez, from Ecuador; and Dinka Vantcheva from Bulgaria.

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