Seton Hill Team Receives Award for Representing Romania During Model UN Conference in New York

Seton Hill University’s award-winning Model United Nations Team traveled to New York City for the National Model United Nations Conference in April 2022. There they joined approximately 3,000 other students who traveled from all over the world for the conference.

 “Seton Hill’s Model UN team worked tirelessly during the last year to learn as much as they could about Romania so as to represent the country accurately and professionally,” said Dr. Roni Kay O’Dell, Model UN advisor and associate professor of political science and global studies

The Model United Nations Conference gives students the ability to practice their negotiation, speaking, and writing skills with thousands of peers from universities across the world. At the conference, each of the students represents a particular country. In this capacity, they work with a team of dozens of country delegates in debating, negotiating and writing a resolution that specifies how national governments can cooperatively work to solve common security and human rights problems. The 2022 team of 11 Seton Hill students received an Honorable Mention Delegation Award for their work representing Romania at the conference. 

Global studies major Ariana Scott served as Seton Hill’s Model UN Team President. “I am beyond grateful for my experience at the National Model UN,” she said. “I was able to practice my public speaking skills as well as demonstrate my writing capabilities. In committee I wrote 18 clauses about sustainable development. The average delegate generally writes 2-4 clauses per paper.” 

“As Head Delegate I was honored to be able to support everyone in and outside of committee sessions,” said Team Vice President Brianna Franzino, a political science and sociology major. “My favorite part was being able to watch new delegates strengthen their skills and participate in diplomatic discussions. Seeing the transformation right before my eyes was really inspiring for me. I am so grateful for the experience Dr. O’Dell and Model UN have given me for the last four years. I can’t wait to move forward in a career surrounding environmental policy.” 

“I was impressed with how seamlessly our team modeled empathy, diplomacy and professionalism in the work they did leading up to and during the conference.”

At the conference, each delegate has several chances to give speeches about the topics and work they are doing. Sometimes they speak in front of large committees of up to 300 people. 

“Being in Model UN has allowed me to refine my public speaking skills and work well with others. It has given me the chance to research topics and figure out solutions to global issues that I wouldn’t have been able to do with the same depth in the classroom,” said Gabrielle Bubin, delegate for the General Assembly Third Committee and a global studies major.

History and education major Nicholas Seto, delegate for the General Assembly First Committee, added: “Model UN gave us the ability to experience how foreign policy works in the UN as well as the cultures of other countries.”

The committee faced some challenges re-integrating to the in-person conference after attending the virtual conference the previous year. 

“After a few years of limited personal interaction and isolation from large group gatherings, it was very refreshing to participate in a committee with over one hundred people and collaborate with others on important global issues in a face-to-face environment,” said political science and math major Pietro Porco, delegate for the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

“Participating in the conference in person after limited connection with people was really exciting. Being able to engage with other delegations and learn about their cultures was really inspiring and beneficial in resolution writing,” added political science (pre-law) major Kimberlyn Furajtar, delegate for the Commission for Social Development.

“I was able to meet someone from Ukraine who I still talk to today,” said political science and communication major Sarah Minghini, who served as delegate for the International Organization for Migration. 

“Meeting people from all over the world has helped me better understand other cultures,” added political science (pre-law) major Ryan Dzurko, representative of the General Assembly Second Committee. 

“It was really cool meeting people from all around the world and still having similar experiences and connections as college students,” agreed political science major Isabel Papariella, delegate for the United Nations Environmental Agency.

Several of the committee members were able to work in teams during the committees because of the larger number of delegates attending from Seton Hill. 

“Attending the conference in person this year was a tremendous experience,” said Meghen Cutshall, delegate for the General Assembly Third Committee and a political science (pre-law) major. “I was able to work alongside my co-delegate, Gabrielle Bubin, and create clauses surrounding equitable and inclusive access to education through menstrual hygiene programs in schools.” 

“The best part of the conference was finding people I could relate to and who understood what I wanted out of life,” added global studies major Hannah Potter, delegate for the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“I was impressed with how seamlessly our team modeled empathy, diplomacy and professionalism in the work they did leading up to and during the conference,” said Dr. O’Dell. “They truly represent Seton Hill’s mission to change the world to make it a better place for all.”