Armando Bolaños, a history major at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, won an all-expense paid scholarship to travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) National Conference this fall.

The panels at this year’s conference, which took place Nov. 17-19, covered U.S.-China Relations, Creating a Humane and Effective Immigration System, Climate Change and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan, among others.

Bolaños’ advisor and professor, Michael Karp, also attended the conference with the financial support of the Porter History-Social Science Resource Center at the Palm Desert Campus.

PDC student Armando Bolaños (left) and faculty member Michael Karp (history) visit the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. They were there for the World Affairs Councils of America conference in November 2021.

Karp said he encouraged Bolaños to apply and helped with his application. Bolaños also received the support from the World Affairs Council of the Desert in the Coachella Valley, which submitted supporting materials for the scholarship application.

This prestigious scholarship is given to only ten students per year and is open to all undergraduate students across the United States.

“I was thankful to have been selected from a handful of students from across the nation to represent my campus in our nation’s capital,” said Bolaños.

Karp said, “In addition to the opportunity to visit the east coast for the first time, the trip opened new doors for Armando, who marveled that he identified so well with the other scholarship winners at the conference.”

Bolaños explained that the more he got to know the scholarship students, “the more I felt that I belonged. I have also wanted to help my community, but never felt as I did at the table, with so many other people like me who want to help their corner of the world.”

Karp and Priscilla Porter, co-director of the Porter History-Social Science Resource Center, work closely with the World Affairs Council of the Desert throughout the year to locate and sponsor opportunities for PDC students. In addition to supporting Bolaños’ scholarship to Washington, D.C., several PDC students have had the opportunity to attend the organization’s dinner and speaker series this year.

About WACA: The World Affairs Councils of America is an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to engaging the public and leading global voices to better understand the world, America’s international role and the policy choices that impact our daily lives and our future.

About PDC: The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a doctorate in educational leadership, and teaching credentials and certificates. With more than 1,600 students, it is the Coachella Valley’s four-year public university and plays a vital role in educating and training the region’s growing population.