Despite COVID-19 cancellation, Baylor’s Model UN team wins honors

By Rebecca J. Flavin, lecturer in political science and Model UN advisor

On Thursday, April 9, Baylor University’s Model United Nations team would have been in flight back to Waco after the annual National Model United Nations Conference in New York, an event that brings together nearly 5,000 university students from around the world for two, week-long simulations of the work of United Nations committees and international organizations. While the conference was canceled in March due to COVID-19, the conference organizers have recognized students’ work on position papers, which were submitted in advance of the meeting’s cancellation.

I am excited to share that Baylor Model UN team members received Outstanding Position Paper Awards in five of the eight committees in which they were scheduled to represent Sri Lanka at the conference. This ties the previous team record of five position paper awards won at NMUN-NY conferences set both last year and in 2017.

The class and club members who worked on the award-winning position papers were:

General Assembly Second – topics related to sustainable development:

  • Jonathan Chew (junior, Baylor Business Fellow)
  • Peyton Grimm (junior, political science)
  • Grace Mathewson (freshman, international studies)
  • Jennifer Nguyen (sophomore, biochemistry and political science)

General Assembly Third – topics related to social, cultural, and humanitarian issues:

  • Glenn Buchanan (junior, international studies)
  • Raquel Nunez (senior, University Scholar)
  • Kaitlin Ochs (junior, international studies)

High-Level Political Forum – topics related to global pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Nicole Ma (sophomore, psychology)
  • Christine Phan (sophomore, international studies)
  • Lauren Thompson (junior, University Scholar)
  • Anna Kate Walker (sophomore, economics and international studies)

World Health Organization:

  • Rachel Jillson (sophomore, neuroscience)
  • Alexis Rocha (senior, political science)
  • Valerie Stewart (junior, biology)
  • Maria Torres (senior, international studies)

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review Conference (NPT):

  • Sophia Fulton (junior, Baylor Business Fellow; co-assistant head delegate)
  • Ben Hunt (senior, University Scholar; head delegate)

Receiving these awards is, of course, bittersweet, as it reminds us of the students’ missed opportunity to participate in a truly remarkable educational conference, where they would have spent a week rubbing elbows with diplomats while discussing their research on important topics related to international security, human rights and sustainable development with other bright young men and women who would have become their lifelong friends.

Sixteen students were chosen in a competitive process to represent Baylor at the conference, and I would like to take a moment to recognize the entire team, some of whom are graduating and will not have an opportunity for their “senior” conference. I highlight the six seniors below.

Baylor NMUN-NY 2020 Traveling Team

  • GA 1: Preston Heard (senior, history) and Lauren McLane (junior, international studies; co-assistant head delegate)
  • GA 2: Jonathan Chew (junior, Baylor Business Fellow) and Jennifer Nguyen (sophomore, biochemistry and political science)
  • GA 3: Glenn Buchanan (junior, international studies) and Raquel Nunez (senior, University Scholar)
  • HLPF: Lauren Thompson (junior, University Scholar) and Anna Kate Walker (sophomore, economics and international studies)
  • UNESCO: Caelan Elliott (sophomore, University Scholar) and Esther Ihowa (exchange student from Paris)
  • UNEA: Katlin Ochs (junior, international studies) and Noah Wiatrek (senior, political science)
  • WHO: Carter Anne Jones (senior, international studies) and Maria Torres (senior, international studies)
  • NPT: Sophia Fulton (junior, Baylor Business Fellow; co-assistant head delegate) and Ben Hunt (senior, University Scholar; head delegate)

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