For the second year in a row, Cal Poly Pomona’s National Model United Nations team received the Outstanding Delegation Award at the annual conference in New York.
In addition, several students were honored for position papers and committee work, making the team the most decorated in its history.
The 20-student team played the role of Spain at the conference, which simulates committee sessions, debate issues and diplomatic negotiations at the U.N. Through working in committees, students learn about the dynamics of international relations and diplomacy. About 200 universities and colleges participated, each representing a U.N.-member nation.
Several students received awards for outstanding position papers: Lauren Bissada and Tara Kwan in the World Food Program committee; Madeline Le and Melissa Petersen for their work in the Commission on Population and Development; and Carly Owens and Christopher Lunardi in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.
Other Cal Poly Pomona delegates also were recognized by their peers for their accomplishments at the conference. Raquel Mercado and Steven Zhang received Outstanding Delegate Awards for their participation in the General Assembly Third Committee, while Milena Martinez and Wonji Park earned the same award for their efforts in the United Nations Environment Program.
To prepare for the March 22-26 conference, team members spent the winter quarter researching Spain’s stance on various issues and writing position papers. At the conference, they represented the country in multiple committees and collaborated with other student delegations to write resolutions.
Among the issues the committees worked on were technology, health education, migration and sustainability.
Petersen, a third-year political science student who was a head delegate, finds the experience worthwhile.
“Model U.N. has really become a large part of my life,” Petersen says. “It is rewarding to be a part of an organization that imbeds a team-oriented aspect as well as individual drive in one conference.
“In addition, learning the policies and cultural values of a country, other than the United States, has given me the opportunity to be more conscientious of the world and the workings of people who may view the role of government differently in a manner unique from my own beliefs and understanding.”
Other team members were Stephanie Baeza, Travis Barrett, Andrew Campa, Daniel Castillo, Jose Contreras, Bandelio Delgado, Elsa Fucile, Leona Hill, Rob Moreau and Ymonne Tajzoy. The team’s advisor was Daniel Lewis, a history professor and associate dean for academic programs in the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences.