Baylor Excels at Chicago-based American MUN International Conference

November 2014

14 Baylor University students traveled to Chicago to participate in the American Model United Nations International Conference, which brought together nearly 1,500 university students to participate in a simulation of the United Nations. These 14 students competed with a field of more than 40 Baylor students to earn a spot on this semester’s traveling team.

In keeping with our team’s tradition of seeking to represent a new nation each semester at our national conference to maximize the learning experience, our students represented Portugal. In this role, the students discussed issues such as:

  • external debt sustainability and development
  • prevention of armed conflict
  • the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons
  • new and renewable sources of energy
  • violence against women
  • refugee protection from sexual violence

For a full list of conference topics, visit this website: https://www.amun.org/.

While the educational experience is to be valued above all and awards are considered a bonus to this, we are proud that Baylor University's team was named "Overall Best Delegation," the highest award given at these conferences. This is the first time we have received this designation at AMUN.

In addition, two of our partner groups were named "Outstanding Delegation" for their respective committees:

  • Carissa Carlson (Senior, International Studies) and Caleb Gunnels (Senior, Political Science) for General Assembly First Committee
  • Laura Beth Hooper (Senior, International Studies; Baylor MUN Head Delegate) and Marc Webb (Sophomore, International Studies) for General Assembly Third Committee.

Of the experience, team Head Delegate Laura Beth Hooper remarks, "Each individual member of the team put so much time and effort into preparing for this conference, and at AMUN, all of their hard work was clearly on display. I am so proud of our team, not just for winning Best Overall Delegation (although that is a fantastic accomplishment) but also for the energy and professionalism with which they conducted themselves during conference. My experience in the third committee of the General Assembly was very challenging but rewarding. Our greatest difficulty was in approaching the topic of violence against women in such a way that would be culturally sensitive to all of the countries represented at the conference. Ultimately, though, Marc and I were able to find common ground with even the more challenging delegations and create resolutions that were specific enough to be meaningful, but broad enough to avoid causing offense."

In the Spring, Baylor MUN will travel to two conferences, the Inaugural TexMUN conference hosted by Hardin Simmons University in January, where 18 Baylor students will represent Belize, Burundi, France, and Portugal, and the National Model United Nations Conference in early April, where 16 Baylor students will represent Burundi. In October the team hosted more than 300 high school students from Texas and Louisiana for Baylor’s annual high school Model UN conference, so it has been a busy semester.

2014 Baylor AMUN Traveling Team

2014 Chicago MUN

Top Row (left to right): Caleb Gunnels, Senior, Political Science, Matt Demond, Senior, Economics, Marc Webb, Sophomore, International Studies, Anthony Severin, Senior, Economics, Emily Brizzolara-Dove, Senior, International Studies; Middle Row (left to right): Hannah Mullikin, Senior, International Studies, Laura Beth Hooper, Baylor MUN Head Delegate; Senior, International Studies, Ruth Anne Holiday, Senior, International Studies, Mary Margaret Hambuchen, Senior, Journalism, Megan Rollag, Sophomore, International Studies/Spanish, Renie Saenz, Baylor MUN Assistant Head Delegate; Junior, History; Bottom Row (left to right): Seti Tesefay, Senior, International Studies, Carissa Carlson, Senior, International Studies, Jessica Abbey, Baylor MUN Publicity Chair; Senior, Journalism/Spanish

Baylor MUN Participates in Inaugural TexMUN Conference

January 2015

On January 31-February 1, 2015, 17 Baylor Students participated in the inaugural Texas Model United Nations conference hosted by the Osgood Center for International Studies and held at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX. Baylor students represented 7 nations at the conference: Belize, Burundi, France, Jordan, Portugal, Rwanda, and Spain.

Along with Baylor University, delegations from Bahçeşehir University (Turkey), Hardin-Simmons University, TCU, and the University of Texas Permian-Basin participated in the conference simulating 3 committees: General Assembly First Committee, General Assembly Third Committee, and the Security Council. The topics researched and discussed were:

  • Conventional weapons surplus stockpiles (GA 1)
  • Science and technology in security and disarmament (GA 1)
  • Human trafficking (GA 3)
  • Rights of indigenous peoples (GA 3)
  • Crisis management in failed states (Security)
  • International cooperation in counter-terrorism (Security)

Baylor students performed admirably at the conference, learning both about the United Nations and how to be effective diplomats. Awards are not the point of these invaluable educational experiences and should never be the metric by wish we judge how much our students are learning. However, when our students are recognized for their participation with an award, we are doubly proud of their efforts. We have much to be proud of from the 2015 TexMUN team:

General Assembly First Committee – Peer Recognition

Belize, Renie Saenz (Junior, History)

Jordan, Conor Burns (Junior, Political Science)

General Assembly Third Committee – Peer Recognition

Belize, Seti Tesefay (Senior, International Studies)

Spain, Jaclyn Black (Junior, Entrepreneurship)

General Assembly First Committee – Staff Recognition

Jordan, Conor Burns (Junior, Political Science)

General Assembly Third Committee – Staff Recognition

Portugal, Shannon Black (Junior, International Studies)

Security Council – Staff Recognition

Jordan, Caleb Gunnels (Senior, Political Science)

Outstanding Position Paper – GA First

Belize – Renie Saenz (Junior, History)

Portugal – Katrina Mañalac (Sophomore, French)

Outstanding Position Paper – GA Third

Belize – Seti Tesefay (Senior, International Studies)

France – Ariel Sorg (Freshman, Biology)

Outstanding Position Paper – Security Council

France – Sarah Crockett (Senior, International Studies/Arabic)

Rwanda – Carissa Carlson (Senior, International Studies)

Honorable Mention Delegation

Rwanda – Caroline Caywood (Sophomore, International Studies/French), Taylor Demons (Junior, International Studies), Carissa Carlson (Senior, International Studies)

Spain – Ashley Earle (Sophomore, International Studies) & Jaclyn Black (Junior, Entrepreneurship)

Distinguished Delegation

France – Audrey Doane (Senior, International Studies/Earth Science), Ariel Sorg (Freshman, Biology), and Sarah Crockett (Senior, International Studies/Arabic)

Jordan – Conor Burns (Senior, Political Science), Junyi Zhu (Sophomore, Pre-Business), and Caleb Gunnels (Senior, Political Science)

Outstanding Delegation

Belize – Renie Saenz (Senior, History) & Seti Tesefay (Senior, International Studies)

Portugal – Katrina Mañalac (Sophomore, French) & Shannon Black (Junior, International Studies)

2014 TexMUN

Top row (left to right): Caleb Gunnels (Senior, Political Science), Junyi (Leo) Zhu (Sophomore, Pre-Business); 2nd row (left to right): Jaclyn Black (Junior, Entrepreneurship), Shannon Long (Sophomore, Biology), Shannon Black (Junior, IST), Omar Mosqueda (Sophomore Political Science/Philosophy); 3rd row (left to right): Conor Burns (Junior, Political Science), Ariel Sorg (Freshman, Biology), Audrey Doane (Senior, IST/Earth Science), Katrina Manalac (Sophomore, French); Bottom row (left to right): Sarah Crockett (Senior, IST/Arabic), Carissa Carlson (Senior, IST), Taylor Demons (Junior, Political Science), Caroline Caywood (Sophomore, IST/French), Ashley Earle (Sophomore, IST), Seti Tesefay (Senior, IST), Renie Saenz (Junior, History)

Baylor MUN Team Wins Group Award at National Conference

March 2015

16 Baylor University students traveled to New York to participate in the National Model United Nations Conference, which brings together more than 5,000 university students from around the world to participate in two week-long simulations of the United Nations. The NMUN conference is unique among Model UN conferences in that more than half of the attendees are from universities outside the United States.

Our students represented Burundi, and they researched and discussed issues such as:

  • control of biological weapons
  • the rights of indigenous peoples
  • the elimination of racial discrimination and xenophobia
  • women in development
  • “green” economy
  • enhancing the use of technology in peacekeeping missions
  • sustainable development in the Arctic
  • financing international climate technology transfer
  • disaster risk management and food security in natural disaster situations, and
  • denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

For a full list of conference topics, visit the NMUN website.

At the conference, our students excelled and represented Baylor well. They are pictured in the group photo below.

While the educational experience involved in the Model United Nations program is always the most important part of these conferences, and awards are not the emphasis of the conference or our team, the entire team was recognized as an “Honorable Mention Delegation.” Only a select percentage of delegations receive any recognition as an Outstanding, Distinguished or Honorable Mention Delegation at this conference, so this is a noteworthy achievement.

In addition to the team recognition, one of the position papers submitted to the conference was named “Outstanding Position Paper” – the paper for the General Assembly Second Committee written by Carissa Carlson, Laura Beth Hooper and Elisa Jelley (all senior International Studies majors). The position paper is a short policy memo researched and prepared in advance of the conference.

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 postgraduate careers.


Top row (left to right): Laura Beth Hooper (Baylor MUN Head Delegate; senior, international studies); Matt Demond (senior, economics); Renie Saenz (Baylor MUN Assistant Head Delegate; junior, history); Drew Mackenzie (freshman, University Scholars); Stephen Leland (senior, political science/international studies); Marc Webb (sophomore, international studies); Caleb Gunnels (senior, political science); Conor Burns (junior, political science) Bottom row (left to right): Elisa Jelley (senior, international studies); Carissa Carlson (senior, international studies); Seti Tesefay (senior, international studies); Jessica Abbey (Baylor MUN Publicity Chair; senior, journalism, public relations and new media/Spanish); Hannah Mullikin (senior, international studies); Erin Morgan (senior, political science); Shannon Black (junior, international studies); Ruth Anne Holiday (senior, international studies)

Original Article available here.