More than a dozen students represented the University of New Haven at a recent National Model United Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., bringing home the top team honor and six individual awards while developing their leadership and diplomacy skills.
November 19, 2019
Amanda Pappas ’21 didn’t let her relative inexperience prevent her from excelling at her first National Model United Nations Conference. As part of the simulation, she and her teammate, Jenna Luallen ’20 – another first-time delegate – represented Belgium in the General Assembly First Committee, one of the largest committees at the conference.
Their work earned them outstanding delegate awards, which are given based on criteria that measure diplomacy, leadership, and inclusivity. They also received an outstanding position paper award for a piece they worked on for the last three months.
"We were working with delegates who have been to numerous conferences, and they found it hard to believe that this was our first time taking part in a conference because of how well-prepared we were," said Pappas, a criminal justice major. "I have gained so much from this conference that receiving the awards was just the icing on the cake."
Their awards were among the six individual awards – four for outstanding position papers along with the two for outstanding delegates – that University of New Haven students received at the conference. The team also received the highest score among the Outstanding Delegation Award recipients.
"More important than the awards is the transformational student growth we witnessed. We saw students proudly and charismatically deliver moving speeches, network, think critically, and practice the art of diplomacy." Chris Haynes, Ph.D.
"This meant that our team members in all of the different committees were acknowledged as being some of the best delegates at the conference," said Pappas. "This award meant the most to me because we worked so closely as a team and it was nice to be acknowledged for the months of preparation, as well as our performance at the conference."
The University of New Haven was among 70 universities represented at the conference in Washington, D.C., that brought together 900 students from across the globe. The University’s Model UN program has been recognized for excellence at nearly every conference it has attended since Professor Chris Haynes, Ph.D., started the program five years ago.
"More important than the awards is the transformational student growth we witnessed," said Dr. Haynes, coordinator of the political science program and director of the Model United Nations program. "We saw students proudly and charismatically deliver moving speeches, network, think critically, and practice the art of diplomacy."
The experience was especially meaningful for Jared Bowman ’20, the team’s head delegate. Since he will be completing an internship with the Washington Internship Institute and returning to Washington, D.C., for the spring semester, this conference was the last that he would take part in with the team.
"It was amazing to see the excitement that everyone experienced when we realized that we had won the top award," said Bowman, a political science and national security double major. "We won because our delegates came prepared for the conference, and they did exactly what they needed to do. It was truly a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life."
The conference enabled the students to explore Washington, D.C., and visit such sites as the Belgian Embassy and the U.S. State Department.
Pappas, who plans to go to law school, says the conference enabled her to take a glimpse into the future.
"I realized I want to further explore the opportunities presented in Washington, D.C. because I fell in love with the city," she said. "I want to get involved in government, focusing on law and policy."
On behalf of the Model United Nations team and adviser Chris Haynes, the University would like to thank devoted University benefactors Phil Bartels '11 Hon., a current member and former chair of the University’s Board of Governors and co-chair of The Charger Challenge campaign, and Susan Bartels for supporting this learning opportunity.