Model United Nations Team Awarded Highest Honors at ConferenceApril 1, 2016
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Contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321
WACO, Texas (April 1, 2016) – Baylor University’s Model United Nations team was named overall Outstanding Delegation at the National Model United Nations conference which took place from Saturday, March 19, to Friday, March 25, in New York. Baylor's team represented Viet Nam.
The conference consisted of two weeklong simulations of the United Nations in which over 6,000 university students from more than 400 colleges and universities from around the world participated. More than half of the participants came from universities outside of the United States.
Of the 411 teams, only 52 were named Outstanding Delegations, the highest award given by the conference staff.
"These conferences offer our students a unique opportunity to take the knowledge and skills they acquire in the classroom and apply them to simulated experiences similar to those they will encounter in their post-graduate careers," said Rebecca Flavin, lecturer of political science and faculty advisor to the Model United Nations team.
In preparation for the conference, the students researched and discussed political issues the international community faces, including transnational organized crime, renewable and sustainable energy for poverty reduction, cybersecurity, sustainable forests, terrorism, human rights and climate change.
"The preparation for and work done in conference are fantastic training for any career field," Flavin said. "Students are able to build on and apply what they learn in traditional classes to solving significant problems facing the world community. They do this while honing their research skills and practicing technical writing, diplomacy, negotiation and public speaking. All of these are skills useful not only in policymaking fields, but in a number of fields our graduates pursue after Baylor."
Baylor's Model United Nations team is consistently among the top teams at the conference. In 2012, the Baylor team represented Mali and won the Outstanding Delegation award. In 2013, the team was named an Honorable Mention Delegation, and in 2014 they were named a Distinguished Delegation. At last year's competition, the group earned another honorable mention.
Individuals from the team were also recognized for their personal contributions at the conference. Individual awards are given by the students' peers, not conference staff.
For the Human Rights Council, juniors Kate Farley, a university scholar, and Megan Rollag, an international studies major, were named Outstanding Delegation in Committee, the highest individual award achievable at the conference. For the United Nations Environment Programme, senior Conor Burns, a political science and philosophy major, and sophomore Joe Yope, an international studies major, were also named Outstanding Delegation in Committee.
The team also won an Outstanding Position Paper award for their UNEP position paper. Yope and Jessica Chapa, a junior political science major, researched and co-authored topic one. Burns researched and wrote topics two and three, and Shannon Long, a sophomore biology major, contributed research for topic three and assisted Yope, Chapa and Burns with editing the final draft.
"The genuine award of any Model U.N. conference is the experience of working with other young men and women from the U.S. and beyond to think of creative ways to address important global issues," Flavin said. "However, when we receive recognition for our efforts in addition to the benefit of the experience, then we have even more reason to celebrate."
by Jenna Press, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
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