National Model U.N. | Spotlight

Photo of CSULA Model United Nations team.

Listing of CSULA MUN committees along with the student delegates and their majors:

African Development Bank Committee:
Tewodros Haile (political science)
Krystal Henriquez (political science)

Commission on the Status of Women:
Shanjida Milon (political science)

General Assembly First Committee:
Gerardo Sosa (political science)
Sasha Verma (English; history minor)

General Assembly Second Committee:
Gabriel Clift (political science)
Laura Pintar (political science)

General Assembly Third Committee:
Morgan Hunter (political science)
Elva Lopez (political science)

Human Rights Council:
Hugo Perez (engineering)

Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference:
Tiffany Frank (political science/mathematics)
Dennis Perez (political science)

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe:
Francis Breidenbach (political science)

United Nations Environment Programme:
Katalina Villalba (political science)

United Nations Population Fund:
Benjamin Kuehnle (political science)

World Intellectual Property Organization:
Keith Gallarzo (political science)
Phireak Na (political science)

Student ambassadors represent Spain
at National Model United Nations

CSULA delegation garners awards for third year in a row

Researching current issues and formulating resolutions to global concerns, a group of Cal State L.A. students in the Political Science 420 course spent two quarters in 11 committees preparing to become “diplomats” representing the Kingdom of Spain at the 2011 National Model United Nations (MUN) in New York.

The National MUN—sponsored by the National Collegiate Conference Association—is an annual conference that challenges students to engage in a simulation with other colleges and universities as a delegate of a nation.

As a result of the critical-thinking and diplomatic skills of CSULA’s 17-member delegation, they garnered two top awards at this year’s conference: “Outstanding Position Papers” and “Distinguished Delegation.” This is the third year in a row that CSULA has earned national accolades.

Out of more than 300 colleges and universities, only 27 schools were awarded Outstanding Position Papers and 27 schools were awarded the Distinguished Delegation prize.

The Kingdom of Spain is a country and member state of the European Union. Also a member of the United Nations, Spain is a democracy organized in the form of a parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy.

“CSULA’s National MUN team was awarded Outstanding Position Papers, which is a wonderful acknowledgment of the students who spent countless hours working on numerous iterations of their position papers,” remarked Emily Acevedo, professor of the course and faculty adviser for the CSULA MUN. “Secondly, CSULA was awarded Distinguished Delegation for their portrayal of Spain at the national conference.”

Keith Gallarzo, a returning delegate and political science major, shared, “MUN is both a challenging and rewarding course; providing students with the opportunity to network and compete with students from all over the world. Definitely a class every student should try to experience at least once.”

“The National MUN was the most rewarding experience I have ever been a part of,” said Gabriel Clift, a first-time delegate and political science major. “I made friends with people from all around the globe, got a chance to explore the best parts of New York, made tighter bonds with my classmates and Dr. Acevedo, and worked like a real diplomat for a week.”

Topics that were addressed at the national conference ranged from “the role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament” to “improving access to health services for women in conflict and post-conflict situations.”

While offering hands-on learning to students, the National MUN also provides participants the opportunity to develop an appreciation of differing viewpoints, experience the difficulty of negotiation, reap the rewards of cooperation as well as to gain a broader understanding of international relations.

Acevedo concluded, “I am very proud of the CSULA MUN team for their commitment to the class, to their hard work and effort in preparing for the conference, and especially for their level of professionalism displayed in New York in their role as a delegate of the Kingdom of Spain.”

Representing the Republic of Turkey, Cal State L.A.’s 2010 Model United Nations delegation received the “Outstanding Position Papers” and “Distinguished Delegation” awards. In 2009, the CSULA student delegation represented the Republic of Cuba and received both “Outstanding Delegation” and “Outstanding Position Papers”—which are the highest honors a delegation can receive.

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