St. Petersburg College’s Model United Nations team received the Distinguished Delegation Award at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference held earlier this month in New York. The award places them in the top 13% of the international pool of 5,000 college and university delegates.
Each spring, students from around the world gather in New York to discuss current global issues. At the conference, students serve as a delegation representing a particular country and are evaluated on their delegation’s performance. Visit the SPC Model United Nations Facebook page for pictures from the event.
This year, the St. Petersburg College delegation represented the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Each delegation is graded on their work on the committee, use of the rules of procedure and their ability to remain “in character” at the conference.
Some of the topics the students tackled included:
- Prohibiting Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems
- Women in Development
- Development and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Measures to Combat Terrorism in Africa
“The Model UN conference was a wonderful experience,” said Kane Magnuson, an SPC student and one of the team’s head delegates this year. “It taught me how to work with a team and strengthened my analytical, critical thinking and research skills. It also taught me how to use my ideas to make this world a better place.”
Magnuson earned his A.A. Degree from SPC in July and is currently studying International Business at SPC with plans to continue his education at the university level.
“I really appreciate our professor’s support,” he said. “They were very influential in the team’s success.”
SPC professors Earl Fratus and Heather Roberson traveled with the team this year.
“The application process to apply for the Model United Nations Team is rigorous and very competitive,” said Fratus. “We are lucky to have students from all corners of the college and from upper and lower division.”
This year’s SPC Model United Nation delegates were:
- Tyler Caley
- Yim Chan
- Amy Currotto
- Alliyah Edwards
- Jermaine Evans
- Jason Godfrey
- Keith Greenberg *
- Alex Haydon
- Lea Jarnberg
- Haneen Kantar
- Mason Kerr
- Kane Magnuson *
- Isabel Martinho
- Matthew McMahon
- Lewis Morgan
- Carlos Ortega Perez
- Armando Pellot
- Ryan Walker
* Head Delegates
“Once a student is chosen to be on the team, he or she starts the demanding process of researching their assigned country, practicing diplomatic behavior in simulations and speaking in front of groups to help prepare them for the conference,” said Fratus.
SPC students participating in this year’s Model UN team have been researching and training for the conference since January.
“Our students put in several hours a week for at least two or three months to prepare for the conference,” said Fratus. “Many of our students agree that this is one of the most important activities they have ever been involved in during their college career. They work very hard but they love it.”
The Model United Nations Initiative at SPC places strong emphasis on research and experiential learning. Students gain critical thinking skills and knowledge about international organizations, processes for conflict resolution and how they diplomatically engage one another.
“Our team has produced several students who have decided to change their career goals to international politics or business,” said Fratus. “The Model United Nations sparks a passion in many of these students who might not have been sure what their future might entail. SPC is producing international leaders through its Model United Nations Team.”