British Cabinet Member Meets with KSU Honor Students

May 26, 2015

British Cabinet MemberA cohort of third-year Kennesaw State University honors students left a lasting impression on the United Kingdom’s newest cabinet member just hours before his swearing in.

On Tuesday, May 19th, 13 students with Kennesaw State’s President’s Emerging Scholars Program visited the House of Commons in London, England, where they were greeted by the Right and Honorable Alistair Burt, a Member of Parliament representing North East Bedfordshire.

Alistair spent nearly an hour in a committee room hosting a question and answer session with the PEGS scholars, even allowing them to sit in the same chairs the parliamentarians use when debating legislation. Following the meeting, he had nothing but good things to say about the Kennesaw State students.

“We all agreed that your group was one of the most charming and engaged overseas groups we have had the pleasure to meet,” Alistair said in a message to Chris Young, executive director of CIFAL Atlanta and the organizer of this meeting. “What an excellent bunch of young people!”

Later that same day, Alistair was sworn in as the UK’s new Minister of State for Community and Social Care. His responsibilities include managing the technology and statistics-gathering operations for the National Health System. He has previously served in a variety of parliamentary positions since 1983, including serving as the Minister of State for North American Affairs from 2010-2015.

Kennesaw State’s President’s Emerging Scholars Program is a multi-year experience that helps exceptional students develop leadership skills. Overseen by the Honors College, the program includes rigorous academic coursework, undergraduate research, and international and domestic travel.

The PEGS students’ London visit is part of a larger tour of the UK running from May 16th – 23rd, which saw them visit historic and political sites such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, the King’s Theatre, and the Scottish Parliament. Participants also attended several lectures on the UK’s role in global politics.

International travel opportunities like this – as well as the trip to Brazil all first-year PEGS students take –help students develop a global context for the academic and leadership skills they learn as a part of the PEGS program.

Learn more about the PEGS Program

-Patrick Harbin