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Model UN Offers Opportunities to Learn, Volunteer

Students participating in UNC Charlotte’s Model United Nations this fall are finding increased opportunities to compete nationally and internationally, as well as options for volunteering in the local community.

Model UN simulates the United Nations in an academic environment. Students who join the Model UN program engage in activities such as mock debates to prepare for competitions where they represent countries and attend embassy and committee briefings. Model UN also gives students the opportunity to practice their research skills and argumentation skills.

"Becoming global citizens who know and care about their world enriches their lives in countless ways," said Cindy Combs, faculty advisor and a professor in the Political Science and Public Administration Department. "They want others to understand the value of their Model UN experience."

Vocabulary Research Helps Pave the Way to Literacy

Vocabulary is a major stumbling block for many adolescents with learning disabilities who are trying to learn to read, but a UNC Charlotte researcher is developing ways to make it easier for these students to learn and retain key words.

Kristen Beach, an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education and Child Development, and a colleague from the University of California, Riverdale, received a grant of nearly $1.5 million from the Institute of Education Sciences to fund a new study. It’s called "Vocabulary CHAAOS: Creating Habits that Accelerate Academic Language of Students," and it explores an area of the utmost importance for young readers.

"Knowing the meanings of words is critical for developing clear and accurate understanding of text," said Beach. "Providing instruction in academic vocabulary words that appear across subject areas with high frequency is imperative for struggling readers and students with disabilities to have a chance of independently reading and understanding grade-level or near grade-level text."