FIU’s Model United Nations (Model UN) team won big at their first competition of the year.
More than 500 delegates from the U.S. and Canada competed Oct. 9-12 at Columbia Model United Nations (CMUNNY) in New York.
The FIU Model UN team, comprised of 12 delegates, earned Best Small Delegation honors, the equivalent of first place, beating out small delegations from the University of Florida, Florida State University and Princeton University. The victory is the first of the new academic year, and comes off the heels of the FIU Model UN team’s ranking of fifth “Best Delegation” in North America in 2013-2014.
“This is their first competition of the academic year, and what a wonderful way for our Panthers to kick off the competition circuit,” said John Stack, executive director of the School of International and Public Affairs. “I am excited about the extraordinary leadership and commitment our students are demonstrating.”
Model United Nations competition delegates are placed in committees and assigned countries, or other organizations or political figures, to represent. Six of the FIU delegates also took home individual honors.
Kristen Nyman, a junior majoring in international relations and one of the FIU Model UN team’s head delegates, earned Best Delegate within her committee. As part of the “Detroit City Council 2013” committee, Nyman and her teammates needed to come up with solutions on how to help Detroit recover after declaring bankruptcy in 2013.
Participating in a Model UN competition for the first time, freshman Ryan Carson won Outstanding Delegate in the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species committee. An aspiring wildlife conservationist, Carson led the committee in writing international legislation to protect white rhinos.
Bianca Ordonez, a political science and journalism major, earned Outstanding Delegate honors for her role in orchestrating autonomy for the Galician peoples of Spain during a tumultuous time in the “Espana en Llamas: Spain 1936” committee.
Brandon Silberman contributed to FIU’s record with an Outstanding Delegate award in the “Three Kingdoms of Korea 550 CE” committee as he united the three historical kingdoms to respond to threats from neighboring tribes.
Antonio Ferguson, FIU Model UN team’s head delegate, and teammate Michael Carabello both received Honorable Delegate awards.
“A lot of the students who were instrumental in the team’s success last year graduated and have moved on with their careers,” said Ethan Roberts, program director of FIU Model UN. “We were expected to take a step back, but we haven’t. This year’s team has been able to seamlessly replace them. It’s a testament to the caliber of team. All delegates competed with heart and conducted themselves professionally and intelligently.”
FIU MUN is a political science course that provides an interactive environment engrossing students in different aspects of political and international affairs. It is supported by the College of Arts & Sciences, School of International and Public Affairs and Student Government Association.