Baylor Team Wins At Model Arab League Competition

  • News Photo 4453
    Top row: Model Arab League faculty advisers Bill Baker and Mark Long, with team members (in alphabetical order) Eric Headstream, Ryan Holder, Jenny Licero, Meggaen Neely, Huma Patel, Meagan Raley, Catarina Riley, Christina Riley, Tim Semons, Joji Suzuki and Katie Zychowski.
  • News Photo 4454
    Baylor's individual Outstanding Delegate Award winners were: Tim Semons, Head Delegate for Baylor and a senior economics and international studies major from Waco; Eric Headstream, a senior philosophy major from Katy; Ryan Holder, a senior philosophy major from Pasadena; and Joji Suzuki, a senior economics and German major from Flower Mound.
April 29, 2008

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

Baylor University's Model Arab League team brought back to campus four Outstanding Delegate Awards and one of only two Outstanding Delegation awards from the annual Southwest University Model Arab League competition earlier this month at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth.

"This year's team is as strong as any that Baylor has fielded," said Dr. Mark Long, associate professor in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and Church-State Studies and director of Baylor's Middle East Studies program. "What I found especially impressive at our competition was the level of sophistication the students demonstrated as they engaged complex international issues and their ability to do so in a confident but gracious way. It is quite apparent that our students are gaining a truly global education and are prepared for lives of profound service world-wide."

Representing two countries, Kuwait and Qatar, Baylor's Model Arab League team was honored with one of the competition's Best Delegation awards. Baylor's individual Outstanding Delegate Award winners were:

    • Tim Semons, Head Delegate for Baylor and a senior economics and international studies major from Waco
    • Eric Headstream, a senior philosophy major from Katy
    • Ryan Holder, a senior philosophy major from Pasadena
    • Joji Suzuki, a senior economics and German major from Flower Mound.

"I thought this year's team was the most cohesive team Baylor has had in the past eight years," said William G. Baker, senior lecturer in Arabic and Middle East studies and associate director of the Middle East Studies Program at Baylor. "They all were very much focused, prepared and enthusiastic about their participation. Theirs was a team effort, and they were all team players, positive role models and exemplary Baylor ambassadors."

The success of the Baylor Model Arab League team also caught the attention of the conference's Secretary General, who wrote the following to Long:

    "Baylor has and will continue to be the team to beat at the Southwest Model Arab League Conference. They have set a precedence of excellence that they continue to uphold. At this year's conference, Baylor brought delegates that were well-read, well-spoken, and professional by every meaning of the word. One thing that stood out to me regarding the Baylor team was their keen knowledge about all aspects of the Arab world. Every team at the conference came prepared with facts and history regarding the Arabic region, but while I was speaking to Baylor delegates, I felt as if I was speaking to students who had lived in the Arab world and saw the culture, history, and passion of the Arab people first-hand. Their dedication to this competition and their desire to learn about the Arab states makes them one of the most respected and feared teams at the conference. We sincerely enjoyed having them at the Model."

Baylor's Middle East Studies program provides the student with a holistic approach to studying and understanding the region, which includes the Arab states, Israel, Turkey and Iran. The Middle East Studies program is interdepartmental and interdisciplinary and is designed to provide students with a broad range of knowledge related to the Middle East. In keeping with the diverse approach of the program, courses are offered in various departments including: anthropology, archaeology, history, political science, religion and other areas.

The program is one of several at Baylor that emphasize global education, Imperative XI of Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision. Baylor is preparing graduates to enter a pluralistic and global society, and to strengthen the university's efforts in international education, Baylor is working to

    • increase the number and quality of Baylor's international programs,
    • raise the level of participation by students in study-abroad programs and the percentage of international students on campus,
    • expand international opportunities for faculty and graduate students,
    • enrich the quality and application of the study of modern foreign languages and
    • gather an ethnically diverse faculty and student body.

The following students participated in the April 10-12 Model Arab League competition: Eric Headstream, Ryan Holder, Jenny Licero, Meggaen Neely, Huma Patel, Meagan Raley, Catarina Riley, Christina Riley, Tim Semons, Joji Suzuki and Katie Zychowski. Faculty advisers are Dr. Mark Long and Dr. William Baker.

For more information, contact Long at (254) 710-2463.

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