A team of Purdue University Northwest (PNW) students were honored at the global American Model United Nations (AMUN) International Conference. The students’ outstanding presentations earned them each awards at the conference held Nov. 18-21 in Chicago, Ill.
The 11 PNW students participating in the International Organizations and Model United Nations course, taught by Associate Professor of Political Science Meg Rincker, were assigned to thoroughly research India’s stance on issues before actual U.N. General Assembly committees and then represent those views in a four-day simulation. These topics included: Improvised Explosive Devices, Women Disarmament and Security, Disaster Risk Reduction, International Financial System and Development, Human Trafficking, Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Urban Communities, the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age, Violent Extremism, and Peacebuilding.
The classroom experience led to the fall conference of more than 1,400 students from across the U.S. and the world, representing the 193 United Nation member states. The event gives university-level students the opportunity to learn diplomacy and international relations and experience public speaking and debate through an academic simulation.
“It’s incredible to watch the students grow during this course. The simulation gives them the experience to see how they stack up against their peers from across the nation in working to define and solve a global issue. PNW students see that they can be strong and successful,” said Rincker.
The individual team members each won awards for their position papers. The students included Liliana Andarcia (Hammond), Alexis Ballard (St. John), Cynthia Basu-Chavez (Merrillville), James Cook (Dyer), Alex Heaton (Crown Point), Sean Irwin (Griffith), Sohyun Kang (Yangin Si, South Korea), Jimin Kim (Suwonsi Gyeonggid, South Korea), Matt Ruiz (Schererville), Kylie Smolar (Highland), and Roza Tawil (Hammond).
Students Tawil and Ruiz, both political science majors, worked together on the U.N. General Assembly 2nd Committee for Economic and Finance. They were voted on by their peers on the committee—some 300 delegates – to win the prestigious Outstanding Representation Award.
“To be chosen by your peers for your work at the conference, while representing one of the top countries, is truly remarkable,” said Rincker.
Leading up to the conference, the team’s research included interviewing Consul General of India, the Honorable Neeta Bhusan. Tawil wrote a resolution on disaster risk reduction recommending all countries adopt a similar framework to India – research she confirmed when she met with Bhusan.
“We really prepared and researched our topics to become experts,” said Tawil. She noted that the preparation in the classroom gave her the experience needed to be able to speak up and pass the resolution on the floor.
Purdue Northwest has been selected by a lottery to represent China at the conference in 2018.
“We are excited to represent China, not only because they are a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, but because it adds the opportunity for historical Security Council simulations and even an emergency Security Council session,” said Rincker.
Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a student-centered university that values academic excellence, supports growth and celebrates diversity. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, PNW fosters a vibrant academic community through high quality and engaging undergraduate and graduate education. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.