To continue with South Africa Summit Travel Grant winners, we would like to highlight Christopher Walther’s experience in Cape Town, South Africa. Christopher is a Golden Key Council of Advisors member for Region 1 and the Pace University, Pleasantville Chapter Advisor and Professor.
What originally attracted you to the South Africa Summit?
Definitely gaining cultural experiences, meeting new people, and bringing back creative ideas to my chapter/region was what I hoped to achieve from this attending the South Africa Summit. And I did!
Was the culture different from what you’re used to?
I was pleasantly surprised how diverse Cape Town was in its way of life. Growing up in Manhattan, New York exposed me to a multitude of cultures on a daily basis, so Cape Town was not much different from what I was used to but I still valued its cultural uniqueness.
What was the most memorable part of attending the Summit?
Establishing a chapter network across the Atlantic Ocean will be most memorable. It was exciting to interact with Golden Key chapters at the South Africa Summit and talk face-to-face about plans to continue our relationships through co-sponsoring various GK activities.
What was the most valuable thing you learned about yourself personally and professionally from the conference?
Through my experiences at the South Africa Summit, I was able to bring back information and ideas on how further enhance my Chapter, university, and surrounding communities.
Did you present or conduct a workshop at the Summit? If so, please describe.
I did present a workshop at the Summit titled “The Psychology of Civic Engagement and Prosocial Behavior”. The Psychology of Civic Engagement is a relatively new growing field within the realm psychology. Civic engagement is individual and collective actions designed to identify and address concerns of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. What is helping? Why do some people help more than others? Is there an altruistic personality? Are there gender differences in helping? How can helping/volunteering be increased? All of these fascinating questions were addressed.
Would you recommend attending Summits to other members?
100% yes! This was an amazing opportunity to network with other GK members, while immersing myself in a unique culture.
Golden Key’s next International Summit will be held in Boston, Massachusetts from July 31 through August 3, 2014. If you are interested in attending, please apply for the Golden Key 2014 International Summit Travel Grant. These travel grants will be awarded to 450 members in the amount of $500 USD for members in North America and $1,000 USD for members outside of North America.