Baylor’s Model United Nations team excels in first in-person competition since 2019

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

On April 9-15, 2022, 16 members of Baylor’s Model United Nations team traveled to New York to participate in the National Model United Nations Conference (NMUN-NY), marking the first in-person conference for the team in New York since 2019. Baylor’s team represented Qatar in eight committees simulating the work of the United Nations, working with nearly 1,000 delegates  from other universities around the world to draft resolutions on:

  • Countering the Threat Posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (GA 1);
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity and its Contribution to Sustainable Development (GA 2);
  • Ensuring Equitable and Inclusive Access to Education (GA 3);
  • Implementing a Circular Economy for the Sustainable Development Goals (UNEA);
  • The Nuclear Situation in Iran: Follow-up on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (IAEA);
  • Transforming Food Systems for Sustainable Healthy Diets (FAO);
  • Digital Inclusion for Sustainable Development (CSocD); and
  • Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women (UNRWA).

Baylor’s Model UN team represented Qatar in the competition

Baylor’s team was named an Outstanding Delegation by conference staff, which is the highest team award bestowed by the conference. While our students have been named an Outstanding Delegation on numerous occasions, most recently in Spring 2021 and Fall 2020 at the NMUN-NY and NMUN-DC virtual conferences and in both Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 at the NMUN-NY and NMUN-DC conferences, never before has the team received this team award alongside individual awards for every single member of the team, with six committees receiving a Position Paper Award (GA 1, GA 2, GA 3, UNEA, UNRWA, CSocD) and four receiving an individual Outstanding Delegation Award (GA 2, UNEA, FAO, IAEA). Two committees received both paper and individual awards (GA 2 and UNEA).

Moreover, the overall number of position paper awards –– in six committees –– ties the team’s previous record set just last fall at the NMUN-DC conference but breaks the team’s previous record for paper awards at all previous New York conferences. The only record this team fell just short of breaking was the overall number of individual Outstanding Delegate Awards, which was set in the spring of 2019 with five awards.

Typically, the final day of the conference includes closing ceremonies at the UN General Assembly; however, due to COVID-19 protocols, the space was closed to groups. This meant that the closing ceremonies were held at the conference hotel instead, affording the opportunity for those students who were named Outstanding Delegates to be part of a group keynote address, a memorable occasion and wonderful honor for the eight Baylor students who were chosen by their peers for this opportunity.

Another highlight of the conference was that the team was able to take a private tour of the United Nations Headquarters, visiting the chambers where world leaders strive to reach diplomatic solutions to the world’s most pressing security, humanitarian, and sustainability crises. While winning awards and traveling provide great memories, the true benefit of these conference is the professional experience our students gain from participating. Our students spend the months leading up to conference researching their assigned topics, crafting position papers, and honing their public speaking skills in anticipation of the grueling week spent sleeping little and learning an incredible amount about the world and themselves.

Our team is grateful to the Department of Political Science and College of Arts & Science for their financial support that made participation in and travel to this conference possible. This conference marks the end of the 2021-2022 academic year activities, but the team is already beginning to prepare for NMUN-DC 2022, where they will represent Kenya in five committees and NMUN-Japan, for which we hope between six and eight students will represent our team in its first international conference since 2017 and second international conference overall.

Position Paper Award Winners

Below is a list of all the class and club members who contributed to research, writing, and editing for the award-winning position papers. This award is given by conference staff.

GA 1: Sigrid Hiser (Freshman, University Scholar), Krish Kothari (Sophomore, International Studies), and Ethan Moore (Junior, Political Science)

GA 2: David Mikalsen (Freshman, Political Science), Drue Powers (Sophomore, Business Fellows), and Anna Kate Walker (Senior, International Studies & Economics)

GA 3: Jordan Fortunati (Senior, Political Science), Omar Islam (Sophomore, Political Science & History), and Cathleen Scura (Senior, Political Science & French)

UNEA: Isaac De La Hoz Estrada (Sophomore, Mathematics) and Isabella Zarate (Freshman, Political Science)

CSocD: Jesse Drapela (Junior, Health Science Studies), Abbey Jackson (Junior, International Studies), ), Emily Warwick (Junior, Political Science & Economics)

UNRWA: Aubrey Gilliam (Sophomore, University Scholars), Joy Ohikhuare (Junior, Psychology), and Chris Seifert (Sophomore, International Studies)

Outstanding Delegations in Committee

This is an individual award given by peers in committee at conference.

Emily Warwick (Junior, Political Science & Economics)

GA 2: Drue Powers (Sophomore, Business Fellows) and Anna Kate Walker (Senior, International Studies & Economics)

FAO: Justin Nguyen (Junior, Biology) and Ethan Moore (Junior, Political Science)

IAEA: Rachel Jillson (Senior, Neuroscience) and Jennifer Nguyen (Senior, Biochemistry & Political Science)

UNEA: Isaac De La Hoz Estrada (Sophomore, Mathematics) and Isabella Zarate (Freshman, Political Science)

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