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May 2, 2019

Model UN Team Honored at National Conference

Hands-on experience in international relations and current events is readily available at Johnson County Community College. Just ask our Model United Nations students who recently competed at the 2019 National Model United Nations conference in New York City (NMUN•NY).

Sixteen Cavaliers joined more than 5,000 of their peers from around the world for NMUN•NY 2019, which took place April 14-18. During the conference, the JCCC team represented the United Republic of Tanzania and was awarded the following honors:

  • Overall Distinguished Delegation
  • Outstanding Position Award for the Commission on the Status of Women

Additionally, three team members were chosen by the conference for staff positions:

  • Marouane Bakit: Chair of the General Assembly 2nd Committee
  • Cina Murray: Co-chair of the General Assembly 3rd Committee
  • Jessie White: President of JCCC Model UN and rapporteur of UN Women

According to Brian Wright, PhD, JCCC Professor Political Science and team advisor, NMUN•NY is an incredible learning opportunity for students. “The New York conference takes place at the United Nations headquarters and that in and of itself is an experience," he said.“We used the General Assembly hall for part of the conference and attended a presentation by the U.S. ambassador to the UN. It gives our students a unique perspective they wouldn’t get locally.”

Ana Lim, JCCC student, says her participation in Model United Nations has been inspiring and transformative.

“Prior to participating in Model United Nations, global issues seemed far too complex and difficult for an individual to identify and solve," she said.“The experience of being a delegate in the National Model United Nations conference in New York helped me develop a unique language of international diplomacy, which empowered me to see myself as a global citizen.

“As the NMUN conference proceeded with its closing ceremony in the General Assembly hall of the U.N. headquarters, I reflected upon the significance of the U.N. I realized the U.N. is not only a platform for its member states, but it is a space where individuals are empowered to combat different forms of fear and injustice that restrict our freedom.”

This latest conference builds on 15 years of success for JCCC, during which our teams have received awards at each of the last 40 conferences they have attended.

Laying the groundwork for success

Years of accolades are the product of our team’s hard work. Students gain valuable experience through JCCC’s Model UN course and club.

In December, the team is assigned the country it will represent and has until March to prepare for the competition. Students are assigned committees and prepare policy position papers for three topics. Each paper articulates what the assigned country has done in the real U.N. and uses that information to replicate what the team will do in the Model UN.

In addition to preparing students for NMUN•NY, this time and effort cultivates skills that will help our students as they step into the workforce.  

 “There are many benefits of participating in Model UN,” said Wright. “Students have the opportunity to travel and learn policy analysis and consensus-building. They can practice the writing, public speaking and teamwork skills that are sought after by today’s employers.”

Keep up with Model UN!

JCCC Model UN is always on the go. Follow the club on Twitter or visit the Model UN blog to find out about the latest achievements and initiatives.

A version of this content was published in the Shawnee Mission Post on May 6.