Thursday, March 28, 2013

Model U.N. team wins awards at national conference

Randolph College’s Model United Nations team brought home honors from the national conference in New York last week.

Tahan Menon ’16 and Sarah Terlizzi ’15 represent Portugal
on the Security Council during the Model U.N. Conference.
Sarah Terlizzi ’15 and Tahan Menon ’16 were named the best delegation to the Security Council at the conference, and Nabeel Mahmood ’15 and Penny Trieu ’15 received the award for the best position paper on the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development.

The honor surprised Menon, but it added a great finish to an already-great conference. “I didn't even really know there were awards until the last few days, so I wasn't thinking about it,” he said. “I thought it was going to be fun, but I didn't know we were going to win.”

The national conference allows students from about 400 colleges to role play as United Nations delegates from various countries. After spending months researching the culture, politics, and positions of their assigned country, they attend meetings, give speeches, and vote on actual issues facing the world.

Randolph’s students represented Portugal this year. Terlizzi said that it was hard to get attention as Portugal on the Security Council, but she and Menon managed to stay “in character,” representing the views that Portugal would take on the issues presented to them.

Jennifer Dugan, a political science professor who advises the Model U.N. team, said the Security Council dealt with difficult topics this year, but it did not surprise her that Terlizzi and Menon were named best delegates. “They were firm and creative diplomats who navigated tough issues and entrenched positions with great finesse,” she said.

Dugan said that Mahmood and Trieu earned their honor of best position paper by crafting a paper that communicated their knowledge and proposed solutions with clarity.

Trieu said that winning the award added a lot to her first experience at Model U.N. “It made me want to do it again.”

“This year’s team worked hard and pulled in the same direction during the entire conference,” Dugan said. “We had the right balance of veteran and first time delegates as well as exceptional leadership in our two head delegates; everyone helped each other.”

Menon said that Dugan was instrumental in the success students had at the conference. “She drilled us really well for that conference,” he said. “She deserves most of the credit or recognition.”

Student travel and participation in the Model U.N. program is made possible through a generous gift from Marilyn Hicks Fitzgerald ’68 and Michael P. Fitzgerald and through the support of the Gravely-Hampson Global Studies Fund.