By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Learning Tips
A team of APUS students took home three awards at the annual DC-National Model United Nations Conference on November 8-10 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.
Representing Italy at the Model UN, the APUS team consisted of five students and two faculty advisors:
- Zachary Logan, of Austin, Texas;
- Kesslee Stewart-Velasco, of Wyoming
- Elizebeth Harris, of Washington, D.C.
- Ryan Jones, of Chicago
- Sayed Akram, of Washington, D.C.
- James Barney and Dr. Paula Wylie, faculty advisors
Ryan Jones won two awards: One was for Outstanding Position Paper. The other award was for Outstanding Delegate in Committee for his work on the United Nations Environment Assembly. Also, the team won its second straight “Honorable Mention” for the delegation.
‘I Was Confident Our Team Would Do Well Based on the Preparation We Did’
“With all the preparation we put in, I was very excited to arrive in D.C. and finally meet the team in person” Jones said. “I was confident our team would do well based on the preparation we did and the mentoring we received from our faculty advisors.
“We all seemed to be representing APUS and Italy well, which is quite a feat when you’re against 50 to 90 other delegations trying to do the same thing. In the end, our efforts paid off,” he noted.
As a result, the three awards topped the 2018 team total of two. The 2018 awards were for a Best Position Paper Award and an Honorable Mention award for the delegation. It was the APUS team’s first appearance in the competition.
The Awards Are Given Only to the Top Five to 10 Percent of the Student Delegates
The Outstanding Position Paper and Outstanding Delegate in Committee awards are all the more prestigious because they are given only to the top five to 10 percent of the 732 student delegates attending the Model UN. They represented 69 universities from all over the U.S. and several foreign countries, including Italy, France, China, and Japan.
“These awards are the product of the hard work of the whole team – students and faculty –who put in many hours of hard work preparing for this year’s conference over the past months.” Barney said.
“Participation in Model UN conferences and mock trials provide our students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge that they learn in the online classroom and test themselves against their peers at brick-and-mortar schools,” he added.
Prior to the conference, none of the team members or faculty had met in person. “But a love of international affairs, professionalism, and common purpose created lasting friendships among the team and faculty. We all got along really well and it was, simply, fun,” Dr. Wylie said.
Model UN Team Incorporated Group Audio and Video Calls in Position Paper Preparation Marathon
“This year, we incorporated group audio and video calls through Google Hangouts in our position paper preparation marathon,” added Dr. Mily Kao, a coach and adjunct instructor in the School of Security and Global Studies.
She said, “Students all had positive feedback on the group calls as they felt heard, acknowledged, and accounted for. The calls also helped with team-building, “They allowed the students and advisors to get acquainted with each other prior to meeting in person at the conference.”
The Center is a non-profit educational organization based in Washington, D.C., and was one of the sponsors of the Model UN conference in Arlington. The Center will host the Model UN in Houston.
APUS is planning to field a team of four to eight students for the competition. Students interested in competing in Model UN competitions and similar activities may want to join the University’s Model UN Club.
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