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Spotlight: Model UN Shines at Competitions

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Spotlight: Model UN Shines at Competitions

Date Published:
Thursday, May 16, 2013

As the 2012-13 academic year comes to a close, the UNC Charlotte Model United Nations team celebrates its most successful year in the team’s history. The team earned 66 awards in the fall and spring, hosted training conferences for area high schools and colleges, and attended six conferences.

"Our students have been diligent in their research and preparation and have shown strong leadership and an unbeatable team spirit," said Cindy Combs, faculty advisor and professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. "Their hard work helps build awareness about UNC Charlotte’s leadership in this area and earns respect around the world."

UNC Charlotte's Model UN provides students the opportunity to research and debate global issues. Students gain communication and research skills and a global perspective that will translate to future studies and careers.

In its busiest year ever, the UNC Charlotte team organized and managed the Carolinas Conference on campus in February to offer training to high school students. The team then traveled and competed for four weeks, bringing home honors from each competition.

To start the tour of conferences, a team of eight delegates traveled from March 15 to March 24 to Melbourne, Australia. The team joined over 1,800 delegates from 63 countries at the annual Harvard World Model United Nations competition. Here, the team netted two individual diplomacy awards and one double-delegation diplomacy award, representing the United Arab Emirates in five committees.

Also from March 15 to March 17, while their teammates were in Australia, 15 other delegates traveled to Spartanburg, SC, to represent Palestine in the regional Model Arab League competition. This team received 14 awards, including a delegation award for the team and 13 individual delegate awards.

A team of ten delegates traveled to Washington, D.C. from March 25 to March 31 for the Model Organization of American States conference. These delegates networked with hundreds of delegates from South and Central America and represented Grenada.

"Our team distinguished itself as a significant part of the conference," Combs said. "This conference gives no awards, but it enables students and faculty interested in Latin American studies to network with colleagues from colleges throughout the region. This interaction is an important part of the learning process for students."

Two weeks later, from April 11 to April 13, the entire UNC Charlotte Model United Nations team attended the first Southern Regional Model United Nations Conference to be hosted in Charlotte. Here, the team represented five countries - China, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Palestine. The team earned 27 awards, including two Outstanding Delegation awards, two Distinguished Delegation Awards, an Honorable Mention Delegation award, and a Position Paper award.

In addition to the students who participated in the Charlotte-hosted conference, UNC Charlotte Model UN alumni provided leadership in organizing and staffing the event. They are Liz Kayed, serving as secretary-general for the conference; Matt Smither, Devin McRae, and Fawn Apgar, who directed three of the committees; and Angel Truesdale, who was a committee assistant director. Additionally, undergraduate political science major Jamie Hildreth was assistant director for a committee.