Elizabethtown College Students Receive Honorable Mention, Best Position Paper at National United Nations Conference
Recently, students in the College’s Model United Nations course participated in the 2019 National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference in New York City, the is the largest Model UN Conference in the world.
The student delegation of Caitlin Olivas, Abigail Evans, Christopher Tongel, Andrea Guscott, Patrick Oursler, Matthew Smith, and Kenyon Tarquinio, is led by Elizabethtown College Professor of Political Science Dr. Oya Ozkanca. Ozkanca’s course allows students to experience first-hand the diplomatic world and the world of peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
“After talking about this history of the UN and learning about the functions of different organs of the UN, the last part of the course is devoted to the Model UN committee subtopics, country position papers, student presentations, as well as the rules of procedure during Model UN,” said Ozkanca.
With a solid foundation, Ozkanca and her student delegates were assigned to represent the Sultanate of Oman at the NMUN conference. To prepare, she also had Elizabethtown College Ambassador-in-Residence John Craig, former US Ambassador to Oman, guest lecture in her class about the country.
“Through his excellent expertise, our delegation became informed about the many of the policies of Oman on their respective committee topics,” Ozkanca said.
Though the E-town team was smaller in size than much of their competition, their extensive knowledge and research positioned them ahead of their peers by receiving an Honorable Mention Delegation Award.
“It is a very extraordinary situation for a delegation this size to receive such an award,” said Ozkanca. They did an excellent job representing Oman actively at NMUN. Our students got to experience the diplomatic atmosphere and the challenges of conflict resolution in person.”
E-town sophomore Matthew Smith also received the Best Position Paper Award at UNESCO at NMUN. All students participating at NMUN are required to submit position papers for their respective country a month prior to the conference.
By participating in NMUN, students are able to interact with many different delegations from all over the world and enhance their interpersonal communication, leadership, and public speaking skills during the conference. It also reinforces the College’s commitment to offering real-world experiences to our students so they can gain experience to help them reach success.
“Many of my students affirmed that this has been a life-changing experience, giving them the necessary skill sets to succeed in life after graduation,” Ozkanca said.