The MSU Texas delegation at
this year’s Model United Nations Conference in New York City did not let a
nor’easter hold them back. The Midwestern State University team won its first
Outstanding Delegation Award, a top national award. The team also won four
Steve Garrison, chair of the
political science department and MSU Model UN adviser said that more than 5,000
students attended the conference, with more than half from outside the United
States. “This indicates that MSU Texas students are leaders among their peers
at the international level,” Garrison said. This is MSU Texas’ third year to
attend the conference.
Model UN is a learning
simulation in which students role-play the delegation of a country in the
United Nations. MSU Texas represented Iceland. Students serve on various
committees organized by policy area, and are charged with developing solutions
to existing global problems such as sustainable tourism, governance of U.N.
peacekeepers, or prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, among other
The Outstanding Delegation
Award is the highest award a full delegation can attain. Garrison said that it
indicates that each member of the team was exceptional in their committee work
and that MSU team members were leading the proceedings at each step of the
process. “This is the highest distinction awarded at the competition, a
significant accomplishment given the level of competition,” Garrison said.
In addition to representing a
country, students create position papers – documents representing a country’s
position on key policy questions. Garrison said that the students begin
preparing the papers during the fall semester. “They’ve devoted numerous hours
to extensive independent research and writing,” he said.
Receiving Outstanding Position
Paper Awards were Erica Brown and Dean Hart for General Assembly Three and
Dakota Tolleson and Brendan Wynne for General Assembly Five. Salvatore
Capotosto and Georgia DuBose received Outstanding Position Paper Award for the
U.N. Environment Assembly.
Dareem Antoine and Ashley Ates
received the Outstanding Delegates Award for General Assembly One, an award selected
by peers for the most outstanding performance in their committee during the
In addition to Garrison, other
faculty advisers are Assistant Professor Brandy Jolliff Scott and Associate
Professor Linda Veazey.
To be successful, Garrison
said that the team must be present and actively involved in all the
proceedings. “Being present at all the activities shows their commitment to the
process,” he said. The proceedings begin with breakfast and may not end until
well after midnight. For the second year, the team was comprised of students
from all six colleges, and Garrison said that this multidisciplinary makeup was
instrumental in the team’s success.
Team members and their majors
Allen Political science and Spanish
Ates Global studies
Brown Early childhood
McCullough Political science
Purcell Mass communications
Wynne Mass communications
science and global studies
Model UN epitomizes the core
mission of a liberal arts curriculum in that it is a multidisciplinary activity
requiring students to conduct independent research, critically examine a
real-world problem, develop a solution to this problem, and then convince their
competitors that their solution is the most effective.
“This high-impact learning
practice requires students to utilize research, critical thinking,
communication, and, most importantly, leadership skills. To be successful
students must speak publicly on their solution, as well as build coalitions of
supporters to have it adopted,” Garrison said.
Learn more about the Model
UN’s trip on MSU’s Political Science Twitter account, twitter.com/mwsupolisci or visit the
Model UN Web page at unausa.org/global-classrooms-model-un.