Getting juiced at WAS

Sam Hoevet and Lauren Monk

At the start of summer, Jeshua Corrigan, Joel Saarinen and Karthik Sreedhar traveled to Waukesha, Wisconsin to participate in the 2016 World Affairs Seminar.

The World Affairs Seminar, or WAS, was started in 1977 by Professors Dr. Gaylon Greenhill and Dr. Dale Brock, as a way to advance the cause of peace by gathering students from around the world to cooperate and learn.

Sreedhar was fascinated by all of the different cultures that were at the seminar. “There was a huge group from Nepal and that was pretty interesting,” said Sreedhar.

At WAS, students talk about current issues, and work together to come up with conclusions on what they should or could do to help. This year’s theme was on water.

“It was very engaging and I don’t think they could have held it in a better place” said Saarinen.

Being in a self-proclaimed Silicon Valley of Water in Wisconsin, Milwaukee is home to more than 150 water-related companies. This title came from the original Silicon Valley Clean Water located in California, a water resource recovery facility which cleans and reuses water in the Bay area in order to protect the sensitive ecosystem.

Throughout the years, numerous international figures have traveled to WAS to speak and share their knowledge: including doctors, authors, Nobel Prize winners and even Presidents.

At this year’s WAS, many different renowned leaders came to present ideas and information, including DeAnna Leitzke, the chair for service and leadership at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

At the end of the seminar, each group had to do a capstone project that wrapped up everything that they learned in a creative way. Saarinen’s group came up with the idea to do a rap battle because they “thought it would get people juiced.”

The experiences that these three LHS students had is all thanks to the LO Rotary, who gave out the scholarships that funded their trip.

To receive a scholarship, students had to undergo a multi-step application process, which included emails and personal interviews. After applying, a select few students got the amazing opportunity to attend the week-long World Affairs Seminar.

“The first week after it was over, I didn’t think much of it. Looking back, I miss it more,” said Saarinen. “Learning about water was cool, but the coolest was meeting new and cool people. It was a great experience.”