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C.O.W.’s Model UN team wins highest award at conference

Abby Everidge

Staff Writer

Over Thanksgiving Weekend, Wooster’s Model UN team was honored with the Outstanding Delegation award at an American Model United Nations (AMUN) conference in Chicago. According to President Sabrina Harris ’19, “Outstanding Delegation is the highest and only team honor at AMUN and is only awarded to five teams … 130 teams attended AMUN this year, and Wooster actually was awarded the first Outstanding Delegation award.”

The delegation that attended the conference and represented the country of Bolivia consisted of 16 Wooster students, including Harris, Alena Carl ’19, Adam Gillmor ’19, Jordan Griffith ’19, Eric Guberman ’19, Vice President Nick Shiach ’20, Research Coordinator Annelisea Brand ’21, Alex Cohen ’21, Maureen Hanes ’21, Jillian Kouayara ’21, Olivia Proe ’21, Camryn Rosenstein ’21, Shankar Bhat ’22, Rory Helweg ’22, Andrew Lee ’22 and Emmy Todd ’22.

Wooster’s team also took home awards for individual delegation performances. Griffith and Bhat won individual awards in the General Assembly Sixth Committee, and Guberman won an individual award in the United Nations Environmental Assembly. 

“Wooster’s success this year came from both a supremely strong group of first-time delegates and a strong foundation of our returning veteran members,” Harris acknowledged. 

However, Harris gives a lot of credit to the research team as well, stating, “Our research team is integral to our success, as they help write position papers and brainstorm strategy and policy priorities with the rest of our committee groups.” Wooster’s position papers also took home an award this year.

Regarding the Outstanding Delegation award, Bhat stated, “It was really nice to know that as a team, we were one of the most well-prepared and hardest working, especially since we spent so many months preparing for the conference.” Shiach believes that Wooster’s Outstanding Delegation award was a reflection of their “hard work, time, commitment and culture of achievement and teamwork.” Shiach asserted, “Our delegates walked into each committee prepared to discuss the issues, lead other delegates, deliver strong speeches and draft resolutions.”

In preparation for the conference, the Model UN team focused on public speaking, resolution writing, building collaboration and negotiation skills and building a strong support network. Harris describes this support network as a “family dynamic which contributed to our overall sense of dedication and teamwork, especially with our experienced members mentoring and developing the skills of our newer members.” 

Speaking on Model UN’s impact, Shiach stated, “Participating on this team has greatly improved my public speaking, writing and leadership skills … Working with peers to craft creative, realistic solutions to international problems is great practice for working with others in a professional and high-stakes setting.” Bhat agreed, saying, “I think the biggest takeaway is the aspect of diplomacy because you have to really push your own agenda while still respecting the beliefs of other delegations. I think that’s really applicable to a lot of situations, whether it’s talking to superiors or people who might be working for you [in a future career].”

Model UN will hold their first meeting for the spring season on Jan. 16, followed by tryouts that begin on Jan. 23.

(Photo Courtesy Jillian Kouayara)

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