The St. Louis Blues and the International Impact of Hockey

After 52 years in the National Hockey League, the St. Louis Blues have finally won the coveted Stanley Cup. The win following a seven-game championship series was an incredible team effort, but who makes up the team is also incredible. There are twenty-six players on the team, and twenty-three of them are international players, hailing from Russia, Sweden, and Canada. It’s hard to separate the team from its international makeup. The Blues would not be the same without Canadian Jordan Binnington in goal or without goal-scoring powerhouse Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia.

The Stanley Cup itself is also of international origin. According to, the history of the cup can be traced back to 1892 in Canada when Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston bought the original cup as a  prize for the best hockey team in the country. Since then, the trophy changed form a few times before 1958 when it took the shape of the cup we see today. At first, it was an award only Canadian teams could compete for until 1916 when the first American hockey team competed for the prize. More and more American teams began competing until 1926 when the cup became solely an NHL trophy.

The Stanley Cup has a long, rich tradition as one of the most coveted sports trophies, and now the Blues are a part of this legacy. The St. Louis Blues are proud of its players, hailing from all across the globe and finding a connection in the shared love of the sport. Whether you were born in St. Louis or across the ocean,  the Blues connect us all together as players and fans. The World Affairs Council is proud to support a team whose goals so closely align with our own mission: to connect St. Louis to the world. While we work to accomplish our mission through speaker series, community engagement, and inviting international leaders to St. Louis, the Blues take a slightly different approach. The Blues connect St. Louis to the world through hockey games across the country, through a fanbase that spans the globe, and by showing all who watch the unwavering determination of their home city.

Check below to see where your favorite Blues player is from!




Mackenzie MacEachern, Pat Maroon, Zach Sanford

Ivan Barbashev, Vladimir Tarasenko




Carl Gunnarsson, Oskar Sundqvist




Jake Allen, Jordan Binnington, Sammy Blais, Robert Bortuzzo, Jay Bouwmeester, Tyler Bozak, Michael Del Zotto, Vince Dunn, Joel Edmundson, Robby Fabbri, Ryan O’Reilly, Colton Parayko, David Perron, Alex Pietrangelo (Captain), Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Steen, Robert Thomas, Chris Thorburn


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World Affairs Council of St. Louis Welcomes New Intern

Ryan Lofton is a senior at Lindenwood University. He is studying Marketing. Currently, he lives in Wildwood, Missouri and enjoys spending time with his family. Ryan is sociable and enjoys interacting with new people and prides himself in making new and meaningful connections. He has traveled within the U.S., Dominican Republic, Mexico and most recently Costa Rica. He is eager to learn as much as possible during his time as an intern with the World Affairs Council of St. Louis and looks forward to further understand the importance of international matters and global culture in relation to the St. Louis metropolitan area. Ryan is excited to apply the knowledge he gains during this internship into a Marketing career in the future.

Wunderbar Together at the Tap Room

On Wednesday, May 22, Ricklef Beutin, visiting fellow in the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussed German policy and the German-American relationship at the Schlafly Tap Room. Dinner followed the discussion and reception, allowing guests the opportunity to enjoy a three-course meal and stimulating conversation. This event was organized by The American Council on Germany, St. Louis Eric M. Warburg Chapter and the World Affairs Council of St. Louis. The event is part of the Wunderbar Together campaign which seeks to celebrate and promote Germany and the United States’ long-standing partnership and friendship.


World Affairs Council of St. Louis Welcomes New Intern

While living in Beijing for the summer, Christine had the opportunity to visit several historic sites like the Summer Palace.

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis is happy to welcome our new summer intern, Christine dePenaloza. Christine is a rising senior at Indiana University, Bloomington pursuing double majors in International Studies and East Asian Languages and Cultures in the Hamilton-Lugar School of Global and International Studies. She studies diplomacy, security, and governance and is interested in US-China relations. Christine has been taking Mandarin Chinese classes since high school and has already been to China three times in pursuit of language fluency. She most recently spent the summer of 2018 in Beijing studying with an intensive language program. As a St. Louis native, she is excited to work with the council this summer to further its goal of connecting St. Louis to the international community.

International Visitors Learn More About Food Security in the U.S.

From March 27 to April 1, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosted visitors from Bangladesh, Mozambique, Philippines, Thailand, Zambia, and Zimbabwe through our International Visitor Leadership Program.  The theme of the group’s visit was Strategic Approaches to Food Security and Nutrition.  The visitors were able to meet with numerous organizations/professionals in the area who work on providing nutritious and accessible food on a domestic and international level.  Meetings with the following organizations helped our visitors get a better sense of the challenges this country faces in making nutritious food accessible to those who need it most:

  • Operation Food Search
  • Bayer Crop Science
  • St. Louis Food Policy Coalition
  • American Soybean Association
  • National Corn Growers Association

The visitors were also able to enjoy dinner with local families through our Home Hospitality program.  The group left for New Orleans on April 1st.

IVLP Visitors: Protecting Against Terror Attacks

Meeting with St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John. W. Hayden, Jr. (center in uniform) and Director of Public Safety Hon. Jimmie Edwards (at right)

From March 13 to March 19, security professionals from various countries including Canada, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, and the Netherlands visited St. Louis to learn about policy safety measures for public events.

This three-day program, hosted by the World Affairs Council of St. Louis, was highlighted by the visitors joining staff in the St. Louis Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center, during the downtown St. Louis St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The visit, arranged by WAC-STL, featured the following legal and law enforcement professionals:

  • Jimmy Edwards, Director of St. Louis Public Safety
  • St. Louis Police Chief John W. Hayden, Jr.
  • Security Director for the St. Louis Cardinals, Phil Melcher
  • From the St. Louis Civilian Oversight Board, Nicolle Barton
  • Officer Greg Mueller and Officer Amber Gottschall, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
  • From Saint Louis University Law School, they met Dr. Monica Eppinger, a former Foreign Service Officer
  • Mr. Gary Christman from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Among the noteworthy comments from the presenters, Dr. Eppinger prefaced her presentation with the observation, “the softest target for terrorism in the United States is the Constitution.”

St. Louis Cardinals Director of Security Phil Melcher (top center), meets with the group at the World Affairs Council of St. Louis office.

The visit is part of the International Visitors Leadership Program, overseen by the U.S. State Department.  In 2018, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis hosted more the 150 visitors and provided an economic impact to the region of $453,719.

2019 Great Decisions

Every year the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), the nation’s oldest organization devoted to citizen education in world affairs, authors the Great Decisions Series, a national discussion program focusing on eight major foreign policy issues.

The issues are selected at the beginning of the year based on the most critical global challenges to United States foreign policy. The program aims to present all sides of each issue in order to inform and educate the public.

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis and the University of Missouri – St. Louis series of moderated discussions for the citizens of the St. Louis metropolitan area. We find local experts to host speaking sessions on global issues critical to the United States.

The 2019 Series will start on Thursday, March 7th at 12-1:30 PM at the Ethical Society in Clayton (9001 Clayton Rd) and continue for the next seven consecutive Thursdays. Please see the flyer below for each week’s topic and speakers.

Meet Our Spring 2019 Interns

Each semester, WAC-STL is privileged to host talented students from our local partner universities and colleges.  From designing programs for international visitors, to administrative work, to planning events, we depend on the interns to improve our efficiency, offer new ideas and perspectives and to energize all of us.  

Coral Alonso  is a Mexican student currently enrolled in the last semester of Lindenwood’s MBA program. She completed her BA in International business from LU as well. She used to be a Synchronized Swimmer and belong to Mexico’s National Team where she traveled and visited several countries. That is when she found her passion for International Affairs and economic development research for developing countries. Before this internship, she was an intern for the International Institute where she gave classes to immigrants and refugees. In this new internship, she hopes to learn more about US international relations.

Margaret Kenney is a sophomore at Saint Louis University from St. Paul, MN. She is studying Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Spanish. After she receives her bachelor’s degree, she plans to continue her education by pursuing either a J.D. with a concentration in International Law or a Ph.D., in Political Science. Alongside interning with the World Affairs Council, Margaret participates in Model United Nations, Presidential Scholar Society, and the Honors Program at Saint Louis University. She looks forward to expanding her understanding of international relations, particularly in the St. Louis area, during her internship at the World Affairs Council. 

Sierra Taylor is a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is studying International Studies and has a minor in French. Sierra is also a resident assistant at Southern Illinois University. After graduating from SIUE, she plans to start her own translation business. She is originally from the south suburbs of Chicago. She studied Spanish in high school, but French has always been one of her favorite languages. She decided early on in high school that she was going to learn French in college. When she’s not working, Sierra likes to study languages and read. In the future, she hopes to travel to other countries to increase her fluency in French.

Marina Vela is from Barcelona, Spain, but currently studying at Lindenwood University, St. Charles Missouri. She is majoring in International Relations, Political Science, and Public Administration. Currently she is on the water polo team at Lindenwood and loves traveling. She hopes to travel after she finishes her degree.

To learn about interning with WAC-STL, visit our “Get Involved” page.


200 Ring in Year of the Pig

With a sumptuous feast, dancers, musicians and kung fu students, nearly 200 people joined WAC-STL at Mandarin House. 

Thanks to our sponsors and our donors for the silent auction: Jeff and Dayna Morris, Waterway, Rosalita’s Cantina, Bentley Photography, Missouri Botanical Garden, Kaldi’s Coffee, AAA, Parkway Hotel, Purina, Top Golf, Sheldon Concert Hall: Bernstein and Barber, Amp Up, Crystal Barker, SugarFire, Donna Kirtian, Corporate Transportation, Dewey’s Pizza, Omaha Steaks, Flamingo Bowl, Pieology, Chase Park Plaza, Pierce Powers, Cyrano’s, Lona’s Lil Eats, St. Alban’s Country Club, Repertory Theatre, St Louis Regional Chamber, Linda Kurz, Burt Follman, The Hatfield Family, Victor Wang, Schlafly Bottleworks, Parker’s Table, Cheshire Inn, Hi-Pointe Drive-In.

  Check out pictures on our Facebook page and learn about upcoming events at

Also, we depend on membership to help us bring international programming to the community and to develop custom itineraries for international visitors.  Joining as an organizational member or as an individual, retiree, couple or student, is super easy and makes a difference for us all.