The Class That Defined my Undergrad Experience

Pace University New York City students visit Edinburgh Castle during the 2017 Scotland Model UN conference. The blog post’s author, Jason Vargas ’17, is on the right, back row.

As I graduate this spring, I am looking back at my years here at Pace University in New York City. The one class that I can say that truly had an impact on my life and future endeavors is Model United Nations (POL303A and POL303C). Beginning my undergraduate studies in Fall 2013 I had absolutely no idea how much I would grow as a student and how this class would be responsible for much of that. I came into Pace with another major but after just one semester of Model UN I quickly found out what my real passion was. I changed my major to Political Science to better fit what I want to study and do in my life. Switching my major and focusing on international relations was honestly the best decision I have ever made in my life.

Throughout my two years in Model UN, I participated at conferences in Washington D.C., Geneva, and Edinburgh. Each conference was different but incredibly rewarding. I would say that the conference which posed a real challenge for me was the one in Edinburgh, Scotland, this March. It was such a challenge because instead of representing a Member State, I played the role of a Justice on the International Court of Justice. I had to be able to discuss and decide an opinion on the case Islamic Republic of Iran v. United states of America. I was the first in Pace NYC ‘s Model UN program in a long time to be in such a technical and legal committee. I am grateful to have taken on this challenge because it has allowed me to delve into my interest of international law head on. It has significantly improved my research skills and has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

I could not be happier to have taken this class and to have such a great professor teach it as well. Model UN Faculty Adviser Dr. Matthew Bolton has pushed me to always do my best and believed that I could be successful within the challenge of being assigned the ICJ committee. Behind a great experience in college is always a great professor who makes it happen. I am leaving Pace with great memories of an amazing class and grateful for such an opportunity. I will leave Pace and apply all the skills I have learned in the real world. I could not have asked for a better undergraduate experience.

— Jason Vargas ’17

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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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