ETBU Gains Outstanding Delegation Award at the American Model United Nations Conference
By Mike Midkiff
ETBU Public Relations
MARSHALL, Texas (12/03/12)- A student team from East Texas Baptist University captured one of the top awards at the American Model United Nations (AMUN) conference held Nov. 17-20 in Chicago. The ETBU delegation of 12 members was awarded the “Outstanding Delegation Award” in the General Assembly Plenary. ETBU represented the country of Chile competing against 94 schools with more than 1,200 students in attendance.
“AMUN is one of the top three international conferences for Model United Nations conferences in the world,” said Dr. Israel Nandamudi, ETBU Professor of Political Science and Model UN faculty adviser. “This year, our students have worked so hard to get this recognition. We not only have quality students but they have proved that we are competitive to any of the big schools in this country.” ETBU went up against schools including University of Arizona, Baylor University, and University of Notre Dame.
ETBU, with an enrollment of 1290, has been sending teams to Model UN conferences for the past six years. This year is the first time for ETBU to win such a prestigious award. Each ETBU team member participated in various committees. This competition requires skills in public speaking, diplomacy, negotiating and writing.
“I worked on the Second Committee and focused specifically on Agricultural Development and Food Security,” said Kinesiology major Stephen Vaughan of Baytown. “My partner and I were able to sponsor several resolutions, and two were passed which is a real accomplishment.”
Dr. Nandamudi had high praise for head delegate Heather Deville. Deville, a senior from Whitehouse, participated on last year’s team to the Model UN conference. The head delegate has the responsibility of keeping the team on task in preparation before the conference as well as at the conference.
“I made sure all of our position papers and credentials were turned in for the conference,” said Deville. “During the conference, I was able to go from committee to committee and make sure our team had everything they needed to succeed.”
“Since Taylor Chancellor and I participated before we knew what to expect ahead of time,” continued Deville, who is Chemistry major and Biology minor. “At the conference Taylor and I worked together. If I was making a speech, she was outside writing a resolution with a group of countries and vice versa. God granted us the ability to speak and work together in unity.”
The team started their preparation at the beginning of the fall semester as students in the Political Science Model United Nations class taught by Dr. Nandamudi. The team, which got the country assignment by lottery at the 2011 conference, had to know everything about Chile including geography, history, government, economy and foreign relations. The preparation also included knowing United Nations history and structure, and Rules of Procedures.
Many of the ETBU team members walked away from the experience with knowledge of Chili that impressed them. “Chili is a beautiful country. My issue at the conference was natural disasters, and I had no clue that in 2010 Chile experienced an earthquake five times the magnitude of Haiti’s that same year,” shared Deville. “No one heard about it because the Chilean government was prepared and handled the situation flawlessly.”
Vaughn learned that Chile basis their entire economy on copper. “In a year that has high copper prices the country saves the surplus profit to be used when copper is not selling well. Novel concept, saving money so that you have enough later,” Vaughan said.
ETBU students who participated in Model UN were Onisha Bradshaw, Taylor Chancellor, Heather Deville, James Espinosa, Hunter Henson, Cynthia Morales, Jessika Obey, Zach Quick, Shelby Robinson-Abad, Stephen Vaughan, Emily Wood and Michael Wooddell.
American Model United Nations (AMUN) is a non-profit, educational organization founded in 1989 to provide students with the highest quality, most professionally run simulation of the United Nations available.