The Charger Blog

National Security Major Enthusiastic about Sharing Passion for Model United Nations

Isabelle Lupinacci ’22 spent countless hours preparing to be the teaching assistant for the University of New Haven’s inaugural Model United Nations Summer Academy. Even though the program was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, she says the work was worthwhile and rewarding.

May 8, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of MUN Academy.
The University’s award-winning Model United Nations team.

Isabelle Lupinacci ’22, a member of the University of New Haven’s award-winning Model United Nations team, was excited to share her passion with high school students. A national security major, she created exercises and presentations and organized guest speakers for what she hoped would be the University’s inaugural Model United Nations Summer Academy.

Originally planned to take place this July, the program has been canceled due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The University hopes to be able to offer the program next summer.

"I have gained so many professional skills, and I have experienced so much personal growth through my involvement in Model UN," she said. "These are skills I wish I had started developing earlier. I am excited to pass on what I have learned to high school students."

Image of Isabelle Lupinacci ’22.
Isabelle Lupinacci ’22 (center).

Lupinacci, who would have served as a teaching assistant, worked with Chris Haynes, Ph.D., an associate professor political science and national security and director of the University’s Model UN program, to create the academy.

Designed for students entering grades 9 through 12, the academy was created to simulate what it might be like to be a United Nations diplomat as they discuss and explore solutions to real-world challenges. Geared toward high school students who are interested in national security, global issues, and politics, it is intended to help students build their critical thinking, public speaking, and writing skills.

"This program is unique in that it would not only provide students with the information and understanding of the world of international diplomacy and affairs, but it would show them how to engage in it," said Dr. Haynes. "Our goal was to give them the opportunity to practice the skills that are critical to being successful."

Image of MUN Academy.
The University has seen interest in the MUN Academy from local high school partners.

Upon completing the program, participants would earn three college credits from the University of New Haven. Haynes says he looks forward to seeing students debate, research, and develop a foundational understanding of international relations, diplomacy, global issues, and the work of the United Nations.

"I have seen tremendous excitement and interest for the MUN Academy from many high school students and faculty who have attended our annual ChargerMUN high school conference, including from our high school partners at Notre Dame and West Haven high schools," said Dr. Haynes. "We are disappointed it will not take place this year, but we will be sure to have a program next summer that is fun, exciting, creative, and action-packed."

When the academy is held, students will have the opportunity to tour the United Nations in New York City, engage in real-world simulations, and listen to expert guest speakers on diplomacy and international affairs.

"I think it is a great experience for high school students to develop the skills and confidence that are crucial for succeeding in college and beyond," said Lupinacci, who plans to assist with the program next summer. "I am sure that once they have a chance to take part, the participants will gain a lot of confidence in their public speaking, teamwork, and leadership skills."

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