World Affairs Challenge 25th Anniversary Hosted by Regis University

April 26, 2016

Emily Johnson has done some pretty amazing things in recent years, from helping design a website informing Houston residents of the danger of cervical cancer to assisting in the creation of a low-cost blood oxygen monitor for infants. She has spent two summers in Blantyre, Malawi analyzing data and testing medical devices, worked on a sleep apnea device for infants and currently is at the National University of Singapore. All this – and Johnson hasn’t even graduated college yet.

But her love for global development, world health and cultural exchange were instilled much earlier, chiefly through the World Affairs Challenge (WAC) hosted by Regis University. As a member of the Mullen High School team in 2012 and winning 2013 team, Johnson’s roots in making the world a better place took hold then and have continued to flourish.

WAC continues to fuel a passion for youth learning about world affairs and returns to campus again this year. Student teams gather together to delve into the topic of the year: for 2016 the theme is Smart Village, which invites students to investigate the accomplishments and challenges facing the 1.3 billion people who live in remote, often off-grid communities where they integrate the necessities of life – food, water, celebration, agriculture, energy, sanitation, community, tradition, health and education.

Over the last 25 years, the event has engaged more than 7,000 middle school and high school students to explore, better understand and become more interested in the world around them.

Teams stage final presentations, which are the result of four months of research in after-school clubs, entire courses, class activities or service learning projects from the previous year. They are judged by business professionals, civic leaders, and professors on how well they grasp the complexity of global relations and challenges, cultural awareness, teamwork and originality, and communication skills.

The presentations take place March 5 for high school students and April 9 for middle school students in Claver Hall on Regis University’s Northwest Denver campus.

For more information on the event or to register a team, please visit

The World Affairs Challenge is excited to partner with Regis University’s Master of Development Practice (MDP). With global accessibility and radical affordability, the MDP connects and equips global leaders for integrated approaches to lasting development solutions. The MDP focuses on holistic education for current and future generations. Together, the MDP and WAC engage youth in college-level thinking to think sustainably and holistically about smarter villages, smarter cities, and overall a smarter planet. Learn more at