Baylor’s Model Organization of American States team excels at international conference

By Dr. Joan E. Supplee, The Ralph L. and Bessie Mae Lynn Professor of History and director of the Baylor Model Organization of American States Program


From Nov. 14-16, 2019, the Baylor Model Organization of American States (MOAS) team traveled to St. Mary’s University in San Antonio to debate policies concerning the Western Hemisphere at the annual Eugene Scassa Mock Organization of American States (ESMOAS) competition. They were joined by students from other universities in Texas, Louisiana and Mexico.

This competition marked the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of the model and included an academic conference, a moot court competition and a simulation of the Summit of the Americas. This year, teams at the competition represented 25 of the 35 members of Organization of American States (OAS).

The keynote speaker was Miguel Mendivil Roiz, former ESMOASer and political advisor for disarmament and international security to the Permanent Mission of México to the United Nations. Currently he is serving as leader of the Hispanic portfolio for the non-governmental organization We Are All Human. Mr. Mendivil Roiz traced his path to becoming a Mexican diplomat and emphasized how being a participant in ESMOAS as a university student influenced and aided his career choice. Drawing on his expertise in the field, he discussed the future of México as well as its relations with the United States.

In the summit, Baylor students represented the countries of Perú, Colombia and Bolivia. They presented and defended resolutions that covered issues such as promoting free and fair elections, improving border security, engaging youth members in government, addressing a shrinking OAS budget, and supporting micro- and small businesses. Recent events made the positions of both Bolivia and Peru challenging in debate, but Baylor students proved equal to the challenge. Students also worked on resolving a hypothetical crisis involving questions of patient-doctor confidentiality regarding mental health of a Latin American leader when his medical records were released publicly.

Baylor student Makayla Gorden (senior, political science and anthropology, Midland) served as president of the Summit and chaired the General Committee along with her rapporteur, Luciana Borrego Flores (sophomore, international studies, El Paso). David Bryant (junior, history, Cross Roads) served as chair for the Secretariat for Integral Development.

Gabriela Fernández Castillo (sophomore, international studies and psychology, México City, México) was selected to serve on the 2019 Student Steering Committee. Michaela Scott (junior, University Scholar, Cape Girardeau, Missouri) won the election for president of the 2020 Model. A faculty panel chose Camryn Lutes (sophomore, political science, The Woodlands) to serve as chair for the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development for the 2020 Model.

Other honors won by Baylor teams included:

Selected by a panel of external judges:

  • Distinguished Delegation: Team Bolivia under the leadership of head delegate Naomi Polete (senior, political science, Leander)
  • Distinguished Position Paper: Team Bolivia
  • Distinguished Resolution for the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security: Sharwin Yogeswaren, Team Bolivia (senior, sociology, Dallas)
  • Distinguished Resolution for the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development: Gabriela Fernández Castillo, Team Colombia
  • Outstanding Resolution for the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security: Colin Keele, Team Colombia (sophomore, political science, Waco)
  • Outstanding Resolution for the General Committee: Hadee Zabad, Team Perú (senior, economics, Beaumont);
  • Judge’s Recognition Delegate: Gabriela Fernández Castillo, Team Colombia
  • Parliamentary Mastery: Camryn Lutes, Team Bolivia
  • Outstanding Chair: David Bryant
  • Outstanding Committee for Debate: Secretariat for Multidimensional Security: Logan Butler (freshman, University Scholar, Evansville, Indiana), Colin Keele, and Sharwin Yogeswaran.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) Moot Court: (selected by a panel of practicing lawyers and other experts from ESMOAS alumni):

  • Distinguished Team: Ry Hutchinson, (junior, political science, Alvarado) and Burke Craighead, (junior, University Scholar, Jefferson City, Missouri)
  • Outstanding Written Memorial for State: Burke Craighead
  • Outstanding Team Written Memorial: Ry Hutchinson and Burke Craighead
  • Outstanding Orator: Burke Craighead
  • Tyler Talbert, a Baylor graduate and local attorney, coached the team.

Awards selected by committee members:

  • Outstanding Delegate from the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development: Gabriela Fernández Castillo
  • Distinguished Delegate from the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development: Camryn Lutes

Other Important Team Members included: Erin Franklin, head delegate for Colombia (junior, international studies, Llano) and Andrew Person (senior, history, Waco)

Academic Conference: Dr. Supplee chaired a panel titled “Hidden Influences: Subjugation and Informal Empire in Latin America,” which included presentations by faculty members and students from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Joshua Hyles, a Baylor history graduate (MA ’10) served as executive director for the model. Dr. Supplee coached the Baylor ESMOAS teams.

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