Student Impact

CIR provides a range of programs to local teachers and students. All of these programs use interactive learning and dialogue. Some have associated costs which are paid for from the Gordan Winkler Student Memorial Fund. The events are meant to actively engage CIR resources to benefit students. These are some of the ways CIR influences students in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. For any questions related to the below programs, please email Dr. Jeff Case. For questions related to our educational programs, please contact our Education Committee Chair Yann Lussiez or our ED, Sandy.

Academic WorldQuest

In February 2016, we competed in the inaugural AWQ competition, sponsored and organized by the World Affairs Council of America (WACA). The two local teams of four students each in the competition were The Master’s Program and Desert Academy. There were 10 topics and 100 multiple choice questions, each based on primary source readings. The winning local team was The Master’s Program, which went on to the Washington, DC. April 23rd national competition. At the national competition, The Master’s Program scored 65 with the median score at 72 and the winning score at 92. There were 49 teams from the WACA network. The local event was covered by The New Mexican and we received a positive, lengthy, front page article. Student impact: 16.

WACA National Conference Scholarships

For the past six years, WACA has made available to college students and young professionals a scholarship that covers travel, hotel, and conference registration to attend its annual national conference. This scholarship is limited to 25 awardees nationwide, and it is awarded on a competitive basis.
CIR won awards for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, sending a total of five students from St. John’s College. These students benefited from the financial support of WACA Board Member Carlos Alvarez.

Study Tour of Turkey

This program, funded by the Turkish Cultural Foundation and administered nationally by the World Affairs Council of America, is in three parts. The first is a workshop for teachers on Turkey—its history, geography, and culture. The second part is a 14 day study tour of Turkey starting inIstanbul. The third part is the Portrait of Turkey luncheon during which local teachers show and explain their Turkish curriculum projects. Obviously this has a strong appeal where teachers can travel and learn about a U.S. strategic partner in the Middle-East.

CIR is very grateful to our benefactor, the Turkish Cultural Foundation, which makes this program possible through a grant valued at approximately $22,000 per year, each year for the past 7 years through a competitive WACA grant process. CIR has sent 22 local area teachers to date. Total in kind contribution: $154,000.

Local teachers who traveled to Turkey as part of this program

  • 2010: 5
  • 2011: 3
  • 2012: 3
  • 2013: 4
  • 2014: 4
  • 2015: 3
  • 2016: 3 accepted but TCF program suspended for travel security reasons.

Number of students helped by this program since 2010

  • Approximately 1200

Fall Student Summit

A student summit is held every fall at Monte Del Sol or Santa Fe Community College. Seven to nine schools typically accepted our invitation to participate, sending six to eight students per school. CIR provides a pizza lunch, a topic and speakers, who give briefings and pose questions for small-group discussion. The model evokes that of an international summit attended by world leaders, and students emerge with multiple points of view. Sometimes speakers are CIR members with expertise in a particular area, but recently we engaged a former Ambassador and the current First Secretary from the Korean Embassy from the Korean Economic Institute in Washington, D.C.

Number of students who participated in the Fall Student Summit

  • 2009: 59 students and 5 teachers from 6 area high schools. Topic: Israel and Palestine.
  • 2010: 65 students and 4 teachers from 5 area high schools. Topic: Bi-Lateral Relations.
  • 2011: More than 100 students from 9 high schools. Topic: The Two Chinas.
  • 2012: Over 100 students from 8 high schools. Topic: The Two Koreas.
  • 2013: 90 students from 5 high schools. Topic: Why Does America Go To War?
  • 2014: Over 85 students from 6 high schools. Topic: The Cold War.

This represents a total student impact of 600 students.

Grants to Schools

CIR has made direct grants to high schools for books, equipment, events, or contributions to humanitarian efforts. For example, the Waldorf School used its funds for wall maps. Capitol High School made library acquisitions. St. Michael’s High School used their funds to send books to its sister school in Santa Fe/Granada,Spain. An important element is that students decide on the disposition of their funds. The grant amount averages $125 with about 10 teachers involved per year. We held funding cycles each year for 6 years from 2009-2014. The program ended in 2015. The impact was about 70 grants impacting 1,400 students for a total funding amount over 6 years of about $6,000.

Lecture Participation

Students and teachers are regularly invited to attend lectures free of charge as part of the International Lecture Series. These are highly stimulating talks and provide excellent background information on international topics. Lectures are usually held at The Forum on the campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Student impact: 189.

Number who have attended these lectures free of charge

  • 2009: 25 students
  • 2010: 32 students
  • 2011: 31 students
  • 2012: 37 students
  • 2013: 34 students
  • 2014: 30 students

World Affairs Luncheon Participation

Students mix and mingle prior to a lecture, lunch and stimulating conversation with CIR members. In addition to what they learn from the lecture, students use their social skills, learn about potential international career paths and hear about personal experiences in overseas work environments. After the lecture, students participate in table discussions, often returning to their schools to give reports on the discussion. Student interest in these luncheons is very high. This program ran for 6 years from 2009-2014 with about 40 students participating each year for an impact of about 200 students.

Meetings with visitors participating in the International Visitor Program

Students who have met with international visitors typically respond that these meetings are among the most memorable activities of the year. Meetings have been arranged with students at the Santa Fe Girls School, United World College, Santa Fe Prep, the Waldorf School, Capitol High School, Santa Fe Community College, and the Institute for American Indian Arts. From 2009-ongoing, student impact: 620.


Students have obtained valuable international experience through internships at the CIR office, where they interact with international visitors and support CIR programs.

Since 2009, 16 student interns have been part of the CIR team.

School Visitations

United World College is a unique community of about 200 students, of which about 50% come from schools overseas. The International Baccalaureate is the backbone of the curriculum, and the college also uses Outward Bound training and the Bartos Institute, which is widely known for excellence in conflict resolution. The college is located in Montezuma, NM, about 70 miles from Santa Fe in a mountain “castle” with stunning views. CIR members accompany Santa Fe students to the college each year to better understand the educational community and curriculum. Tours are conducted by students enrolled at United World College.

Tour participants

  • 2009: 25 CIR members accompanied 9 students.
  • 2010: 22 CIR members accompanied 5 students.
  • 2011: 23CIR members accompanied 6 students.

Foreign Affairs Journal

The Foreign Affairs Journal is a publication from the Council on Foreign Relations. Our goal is to put in the classroom a high quality, non-biased journal for use by teachers and students. The journal is targeted at college level students, but we find good acceptance by advanced high school students. The Journal gives excellent promotional literature for specialized universities. The Journal was gifted to 11 teachers each year for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 for an impact of 66 subscriptions.

Passport Program

CIR works in conjunction with the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market to provide a unique way to introduce young people to international artisans and the countries from which they come. On the market’s family day, a passport similar to the one used by all international travelers is handed out to youngsters visiting the market. With passport in hand, youngsters approach artisans from over 150 countries to get a country stamp to paste in their “passport”. These stamps encourage interaction with market artisans and new curiosity about many of the countries represented at the market.

CIR has sponsored the market’s Passport Program for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, providing approximately 800 passports each year to participating children. Student impact: 5,000.

CIR Speaker List

CIR members are accomplished people with interesting backgrounds and experiences they are happy to share. Teachers and administrators are provided with a list of CIR members willing to speak to classrooms of students. Topics range from the emergence of Turkey as a strategic influence to the burgeoning arts and culture scene in Cuba or political implications of violence on the Mexican border.

All of these opportunities are provided to designated students through the Student and Faculty Committee. Expenses are paid for by member contributions to the Gordan Winkler Student Memorial Fund. For more information about how you can support student participation, please contact the CIR office.