Rollins Model U.N. Team Recognized at Florida Competition

The team’s latest victories are just the beginning as they prepare to travel to Washington, D.C. next month for the National Model U.N.

Students from political science professor Mike Gunter’s Model United Nations course competed in their first Model U.N. over fall break, winning two distinguished delegation awards and two individual honors.

An upper-level political science course that also counts toward Rollins’ international relations major, the class includes two field studies/competitions. For the Florida Model U.N. in Gainesville, Rollins students were divided into five different country delegations, representing Belgium, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Libya, and Namibia. This year’s conference theme was “Advancing Global Development through Technology,” and topics ranged from the impacts of economic globalization on the developing world to combating gender-based violence in conflict areas.

Brielle Cannavino ’20 and Raul Tavarez Ramirez ’21 won the “Distinguished Delegation” honor for their representation of Indonesia, while Jiayi Ding ’21 and Elliott Scott ’20 were recognized as an “Honorable Delegation” representing Namibia. Ding was also recognized individually within her committee on the African Union with an “Honorable Mention” designation, while Tavarez Ramirez was awarded “Most Diplomatic Delegate” for his work within the Security Council.

“Model U.N. is such a fantastic way of becoming a true leader and global citizen,” explains Ramirez. “It gives participants the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the most important intergovernmental organization in the world through simulations and firsthand experience. It also helps improve public speaking skills, all while increasing political and cultural awareness by prompting delegates to research topics of international relevance and how countries all around the world relate to those topics.”

Next month students will travel to Washington, D.C. to represent Mongolia and compete for three days in the National Model U.N. In preparation for that conference, the class hosted alumna Shannon Brown ’10 earlier in the semester. Brown is a former political officer for the U.S. Department of State in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and now serves as a global mobility specialist for Siemens. The class is currently putting the finishing touches on position papers targeting issues ranging from the impact of climate change on food security to ending the use of improvised explosive devices and landmines.

During their D.C. trip the class will also visit the Embassy of Mongolia to receive a briefing from the political affairs counsellor Battulga Ganbat, meet with U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, and tour the estate of Dumbarton Oaks, where a series of high-level diplomatic meetings in late summer and early fall of 1944 shaped the U.N. we know today.

This semester’s Model U.N. students include Brielle Cannavino ’20, Jiayi Ding ’21, Jordan Fiedelholtz ’21, Guy Leppry, Emily Marshall ’22, Grace Marshall ’20, Raul Tavarez Ramirez ’21, Elliott Scott ’20, Peter Stephenson ’22, and Dana Wagenhouser ’21.