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Name: Helen Layton
Residence: Lake Wylie, S.C.

Helen Layton can envision how the 2012 Democratic National Convention will unfold in September.

As one of 10 interns chosen to work in fall 2011 on the convention, Layton toured the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., in great detail. She was assigned as the executive assistant to the convention’s chief of operations officer and spent much of her time from September to mid-December assisting with contracts.

“I enjoyed networking with party officials across the nation,” said Layton, a senior political science major and peace studies minor. “Every two weeks, the executive team would hold a brown bag lunch with the interns and share words of wisdom.”

The Lake Wylie, S.C., native hopes to apply to work as an intern during the convention when 100 college students will be selected.

In spring 2012 Layton was one of the top three leaders for the 36th annual Model United Nations program. The trio handled all of the details in inviting dozens of high schools in Georgia, North and South Carolina to the campus to hold a mock session. High school students were assigned countries and participated as delegates, while the college students ran the conference and helped with each country.

The Model UN experience gave Layton a chance to stay current with happenings around the world. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in international studies at American University and studied abroad in England during summer 2012 in an Arab language intensive program.

Layton was one of a handful of Winthrop students who competed on the university’s successful Model United Nations team. Last fall, Layton won an award at UNC Charlotte's Carolina Conference as best delegate for her representation of Algeria in the League of Arab States. She also was on the Winthrop team that won in Atlanta, Ga., at a Southern Regional Model United Nations (SRMUN) conference as the Algeria delegation.

Layton is the first recipient of the Father David Valtierra Peace Studies Scholarship, established by family and friends of Winthrop’s late Catholic priest who died in 2010.

After graduate school, Layton would like to work for the U.S. State Department, U.S. Institute of Peace, or a non-governmental organization, such as Search for Common Ground or AMIDEAST (American-Mideast Education & Training Services). She wants to work hands-on in researching alternative problem-solving methods to apply to global conflicts, particularly in achieving peace in the Middle East.

“In evaluating and analyzing conflict, I hope to hold a position where I may educate and demonstrate the best possible methods to achieve peaceful solutions,” Layton said.

Last updated: 07/24/2012

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