MSU Model UN team earns awards at national conference

At this year's Model United Nations Conference held last week in New York City, the team from Midwestern State University brought home three awards. More than 5,000 students attended the conference, with more than half from outside the United States. This is MSU's second year to attend the conference.

MSU received the Honorable Mention Delegation Award, indicating that each member of each committee had a significant impact on the week's proceedings at each step of the process. Steve Garrison, chair of the political science department, said that this is the equivalent of third place, and a significant accomplishment given the level of competition. "This week the MSUMUN team elevated MSU to the international stage," Garrison said.

The conference mission is to develop the leaders of tomorrow's world. Each school is assigned the role of a country and charged with developing solutions to three pressing problems of the world today. Students serve on various committees organized by policy, and they are charged with developing solutions to existing global problems such as educational development, access to medical care, use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, and the flow of refugees. MSU represented Peru.

In addition to representing a country, students create position papers - documents representing a country's position on key policy questions. Two students won Outstanding Position Paper awards. Natalia Zamora Garcia, a political science and global studies major, won an award for her paper from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Economics and math major Dareem Antoine received an award from the International Atomic Energy Agency. "Students began preparing in the fall semester and devoted numerous hours to extensive independent research and writing, Garrison said.

Garrison said that to be successful, the team must be present and actively involved in all the proceedings. "Their commitment is obvious in their presence at all the activities. The proceedings begin with breakfast and typically do not end until well after midnight," he said. This year the team was comprised of students from all six colleges, and Garrison said that this multidisciplinary makeup was instrumental in the team's success.

Others on the team and their majors are:

Luke Allen, Political science and Spanish

Ashley Attes, Global studies

Morgan Barnes, Management

Erica Brown, Early childhood

Tyler Garcia, Political science

Dean Hart, Theater

Andrea Mendoza, Lespron English

Faith Munoz, English

Maria Pena, Political science

Kelsey Purcell, Mass communications

Kyle Walsh, Radiology

 

Model UN epitomizes the core mission of a liberal arts curriculum in that it is a multidisciplinary activity requiring students to conduct independent research, critically examine a real-world problem, develop a solution to this problem, and then convince their competitors that their solution is the most effective. This high-impact learning practice requires students to utilize research, critical thinking, communication, and, most importantly, leadership skills. To be successful students must speak publicly on their solution, as well as build coalitions of supporters to have it adopted.

 

Learn more about the Model UN's trip on MSU's Political Science Twitter account, twitter.com/mwsupolisci or visit the Model UN Web page at unausa.org/global-classrooms-model-un.