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Model UN team rakes in awards at national conference for the third year in a row

New Mexico State University's Model United Nations team has made a name for itself for the third year in a row at the National Model United Nations Conference held in New York in March.

New Mexico State University's Model United Nations team received three awards at the National Model UN conference held in New York in March, being recognized for the third year in a row at the conference. (NMSU courtesy photo)

Under the direction of interim faculty adviser Yosef Lapid of the Government Department, the team received three awards this year including "Outstanding Delegation," "Outstanding Position Paper" and "Outstanding Delegates in a Committee," matching last year's successes. Only seven delegations out of 206 won both the "Outstanding Delegation" and "Outstanding Position Paper" awards, placing NMSU in the top 3 percent at the international competition.

"There was a lot of pressure to do as well as we have in the past, but we were well prepared and put a lot in this trying to reach what we consider the 'gold standard,'" team president Andrea Peterson said.

"As faculty adviser, I'm impressed by the transformative impact of the Model UN experience on most students; it generates greater motivation, higher achievement, enhanced self-esteem and better social skills," Lapid said, "What makes this year's accomplishment so remarkable is that it was almost entirely student-driven. A cadre of student leadership has been built up over the past years and it is this group of highly motivated and experienced leaders that recruits new team members and shapes their expectations regarding our high standards of performance and excellence. I look forward to a bright future for our Model UN program."

This is the third year in a row the team has been recognized with an award from the conference, an achievement only about 5 percent to 10 percent of schools worldwide accomplish.

Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the U.N. that intends to educate participants about effective communication and multilateral diplomacy. The Model UN team represented the country of Switzerland conducting research in class and preparing their recognized paper that was submitted prior to the conference.

"I'm extremely proud of this group," said government department head Nancy Baker who acted as adviser during this year's competition, "The students worked rigorously learning the position, style and negotiation techniques of the Swiss government."

Two members of NMSU's team also were selected by the conference to serve as chairs of their committees, a prestigious distinction that demonstrates the high performance of the team.

This year's team members included Andrea Peterson, Casey O'Neill, Owen Cortner, Ashley McMillan, Caraline Murphy, Jeffrey Taylor, Diana Soto, Jacob Deaven, Joe Peterson, John Martinez, Lauren Aragon, Orlando Arellano, Sarah Casson, Stacy Baxter and Zachary Quintero.