Pace University Tied Second for Most Awards at 2016 National Model UN in DC

Pace University New York City Model United Nations students at the 2016 National Model UN conference in Washington DC.

Pace University students took home a total of 14 awards for their excellence in the November 2016 National Model United Nations conference in DC. That put them tied second (with De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde and after West Virginia University with 15 awards) out of 45 universities and institutions in the number of awards received. It is a testament to Pace students’ excellent research, writing, public speaking and negotiation skills!

Pace University Pleasantville was recognized as an “Outstanding Delegation” for their representation of the Republic of Congo in simulations of the UN General Assembly Third Committee (dealing with social, cultural and humanitarian issues) and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Pace Pleasantville students representing Venezuela and Congo also won four awards for “Outstanding Position Papers” and one “Outstanding Delegate in Committee” award for Venezuela in a simulation of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

Pace University New York City received an “Honorable Mention” for its representation of Sudan. Pace New York City students representing Sudan, Senegal and Zimbabwe also won seven awards for “Outstanding Position Papers.”

Pace University New York City students Karina Muslimova ’19, Gia Tango ’17 and Jessica Halee ’19 (left to right) at the 2016 National Model UN Conference in Washington DC. Photo: NMUN.

Model UN has “the most hardworking students you have ever wanted to meet,” said Gia Tango ’17, who, along with Jessica Halee ’19, received an Outstanding Position Paper Award for their representation Zimbabwe in a simulation of the UN General Assembly First Committee (Disarmament and International Security). Gia said she learned how to “use expository writing to persuade other delegates”, giving her “useful skills for my future and pushing me out of my comfort zone.”

To read more of Gia’s reflections, click here.

Karina Muslimova ’19 and Emily Rochefort ’19, also received an Outstanding Position Paper in the First Committee simulation. They represented Sudan.

“The conference was a great eye opening experience for me,” said Mary Lynn Hearn ’19, who, along with her Ayoub Dabbashi ’18, represented Sudan in a simulation of the UN General Assembly Third Committee (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian).

Read more of Mary Lynn’s reflections here.

Before the conference began, students had the opportunity to explore DC. Some went on a tour of the Capitol, others visited memorials, museums and the National Mall.

Joseph Colella ’19 was inspired by the slogan he saw prominently displayed in the Capitol Visitor’s Center: E pluribus unum (Out of many, one). “It stayed with me,” said Joe, as he engaged in the conference, in a simulation of decisionmaking within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “It was on the bus ride home, as I reflected on the conference, that I realized how this principle of e pluribus unum was practically universal in these democratic institutions.”

To read more of Joe’s reflections, click here.

“Attending NMUN in Washington DC was one of the best experiences in my life,” said Elizaveta “Lisa” Smirnova ’18, who, along with Joe represented Zimbabwe in the IAEA. “The Model UN class taught me valuable diplomacy skills and negotiation tactics.” Joe and Lisa received an Outstanding Position Paper award for their work.

To read more of Lisa’s reflections, click here.

Danyelle Lepardo ’17, who received an Outstanding Position Paper award for her representation of Sudan in the IAEA simulation, had similar experiences. “Model UN gives students the opportunity to research parts of the world that are unfamiliar to our own,” she said. “It gives students the opportunity to adapt to different cultures and go outside of our comfort zone.”

To read more of Danyelle’s reflections, click here.

Students also learned about the power of persuasion through the simulation. Ly Nguyen ’17, who, along with Megan Zubar ’20, received an Outstanding Position Paper for representing Senegal in a simulation of the UN Security Council, was surprised to find that through “diplomacy and negotiation” smaller countries can “make the more powerful nations to listen.”

To read more of Ly’s reflections, click here.

Pace University New York City students Lorraine Bishop ’20 and Aimee Giguere ’18 (right to left) at the 2016 National Model UN conference in Washington DC. Photo: NMUN.

Other students who received Outstanding Position Papers include Veronica Newell, representing Sudan in a simulation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); and Aimee Giguere ’18 and Lorraine Bishop ’20 representing Sudan in the UNHCR. The students on the Sudan delegation that received an Honorable Mention were: Karina Muslimova and Emily Rochefort ’19 (First Committee); Ayoub Dabbashi ’18 and Mary Lynn Hearn ’19 (Third Committee); Veronica Newell ’18 (FAO); Danyelle Lepardo ’19 (IAEA); Aimee Giguere and Lorraine Bishop (UNHCR).

Located only two express subway stops from the iconic United Nations complex on the East River, Pace University’s New York City Model UN program has a 65-year history of excellence in regional, national and international conferences. Model UN at Pace is a class, uniquely integrated into the political science curriculum within the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and aims to encourage students to develop wisdom, knowledge, skills and community for global vocation and citizenship.

Pace University New York City Model UN leadership at the 2016 National Model UN conference in Washington DC (left to right): Priya Sakaria ’17 and Matt Mainzer ’17 (Head Delegtaes), Matthew Bolton (Faculty Advisor), Nigina Khaitova ’18 and Syuyumbika “Susha” Galimova ’17 (Head Delegates).

Pace’s involvement in Model UN is indicative of the university’s broader engagement with the UN. In the last few years, students and faculty have worked closely, particularly with civil society, in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Commission on the Status of Women, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, UN General Assembly First Committee, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and Arms Trade Treaty. In 2016, Pace University was featured in a report by then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, recognizing its “growing role in disarmament education.”

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About Matthew Bolton

I am assistant professor of Political Science at Pace University and author of Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance.
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