Model UN Students Recognized for Diplomacy

The Gustavus Model UN team had a successful outing at a recent conference in Chicago.
Posted on January 10th, 2020 by

Student participants in the 2019-20 Gustavus Model UN group.

The Gustavus Adolphus College Model United Nations Club sent 22 Gustavus students to Chicago to participate in the recent American Model United Nations Conference. Representing Luxembourg and Mongolia, Gustavus came home with multiple awards for their performance at the conference.

About 1,500 students attended the conference, representing nearly 100 colleges and universities. Delegates at the conference were evaluated on their speaking, caucusing, resolution and amendment writing, and skills related to working towards a consensus for the country that they represented. “A broadly educated liberal arts student makes a good diplomat,” political science professor and group adviser Dr. Mimi Gerstbauer said. “You need good writing and speaking skills, critical thinking and problem solving, and you need to listen well and to seek opportunities for consensus.”

Gustavus United Nations Club co-president Madelyn Smerillo was among the Gustavus students at the conference representing the nation of Mongolia. She took home the award for Exceptional Representation of Mongolia in International Telecommunications Union for her work on resolutions related to cybersecurity and internet access. “I hope to go to law school and become a lawyer in my time after Gustavus, and the skills I build in Model UN thoroughly prepare me to speak in front of all different kinds of people and to represent perspectives that I may not necessarily agree with,” Smerillo said.

Political science and statistics major Ben Menke represented Mongolia at the conference as well, where he worked towards a resolution related to humanitarian aid with his partner, Autumn Zierman. They were awarded Exceptional Representation of Mongolia in the General Assembly Plenary. “I believe that my Gustavus education, and specifically the Three Crowns program, has improved my critical thinking and communication skills, and those skills are crucial for being effective in diplomacy,” said Menke.

Other awards received by Gustavus students included the award for Exceptional Representation of Mongolia in the World Conference on Youth given to Mustafa Abuhamdeh.

“I think Model UN really embodies the Gustavus mission and core values,” said Gerstbauer. “It is international learning. It lives out diversity in terms of students who participate and interactions at conference, and it simulates an organization, the United Nations, the purpose of which is to create a more just and peaceful world by addressing the most pressing challenges of our time.”

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 

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