Model United Nations Team Earns Honors at International Competition for Sixth Straight Year

Model United Nations Team Earns Honors at International Competition for Sixth Straight Year
Cal Poly Pomona's Model United Nations Team stands in the courtyard
outside of the UN building in New York after winning two awards.

A 16-student team from Cal Poly Pomona took home two awards at the National Model United Nations conference in New York April 14-19. The team, which represented Belize, garnered Distinguished Delegation as well as the Position Paper Award.

This is the sixth straight time that Cal Poly Pomona has been an award-winner at the international competition, the largest student-administered conference in the country. This year?s conference attracted a record number of participants, with more than 2,800 students attending, including those representing 44 foreign universities.

The Distinguished Delegation Award places Cal Poly Pomona in the top 7 percent of colleges and universities at the conference. The Outstanding Position Paper Award is presented for the research papers individual students submitted a month prior to the conference, detailing their designated country?s position on complex issues of international relations.

?This group of students performed at the highest academic and diplomatic level imaginable while at the same time demonstrating a sophistication, sense of humor and collegial spirit. It made my New York visit one of the most memorable of the many years I have attended the National Model United Nations,? says adviser John Moore, a professor of history.

To get ready for this competition, students participated in a rigorous preparatory course. They studied the history, culture, demography, politics and foreign policy of Belize; the history and activities of the United Nations; world geography and current world affairs; and the rules and procedures of international diplomacy. Students were granted meetings with the Belizean Consulate in Los Angeles and at the Belizean Embassy in Washington. Student members also enjoyed a 2-½ hour briefing at the Belizean Mission to the United Nations, where senior diplomat Janine Coye-Felson and Belize?s U.N. ambassador Stewart Leslie engaged the delegation in a spirited and informed session.

In addition, it was announced during the closing ceremony that Cal Poly Pomona alumna Jennifer Franco will be next year?s secretary-general, an esteemed role that will make her the top administrator of the conference. Franco, a political science graduate in 2000, currently works for the California State Senate. She was a student delegate on the university?s award-winning 1999 and 2000 teams.

Student members of this year?s team are: Farrah Hassen (head delegate), Nichola Lawrence, David Alvarado, Clinton Lorimore, Serouj Aprahamian, Paul Nurre, Nerses Bezdjian, Richard Reese, Jesse Cerda, Joshua Roche, Jeanine DiCesaris, Sireen Sawaf, Edward Espinoza, Mohammed Ali Sharif, Mushtaq Jamal and Sara Shokravi.