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New Mexico State University

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Local NMSU students compete well in national Model U.N. competition

New Mexico State University's Model United Nations team earned a distinguished delegation award for representing the League of Arab States at the National Model U.N. competition in New York. The distinguished delegation award category is the second highest at the conference.

NMSU competed against more than 200 schools and 3,600 students to earn the award, placing them among the top 10 percent of schools in the competition.

"One could say it's a silver medal in diplomacy," said Jason Ackleson, assistant government professor at NMSU. "Given the record and nature of the schools who win, we are in great company."

Yosef Lapid, head of NMSU's Department of Government, said he is not surprised by the team's results. "This is a capable and highly motivated team that worked very hard to improve each and every aspect of its performance."

Team members from Las Cruces are Jennifer Foss, Mohammad Ghassemi and Dave Thomson. International student Juliana Maio of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, also is a member of NMSU's Model U.N. team.

Foss, 25, will get her master's degree in government from NMSU in December 2006. She received bachelor's degrees in government and Spanish from NMSU in 2004. Foss is currently a member of the Association of Government Graduate Students, the dean's list and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Ghassemi, 18, is a junior triple majoring in electrical engineering, applied mathematics and biochemistry with minors in computer science and physics. He served as vice president of relations for the West Region of National Association of Engineering Student Councils, is on the National Dean's Honors List and is a Crimson Scholar. He also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and Jardin de los Ninos, an organization that assists underprivileged children.

Maio, 21, is a senior triple majoring in international business, marketing and Spanish. She has been honored as an outstanding international senior for spring 2006 by NMSU's College of Business and the Center for International Programs.

Thomson, 20, is a freshman majoring in international business and business marketing. He is on the dean's list and is a Crimson Scholar.