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Intellect

Students celebrate decade of BYU Model United Nations dominance

Representing Poland, Bangladesh in New York City at NMUN

Does a decade make a dynasty? If so, Brigham Young University’s nationally ranked Model United Nations program may have reached that level by receiving two Outstanding Delegation awards for the tenth straight year.
 
Representing Poland and Bangladesh, 43 undergraduates from a variety of majors across campus received the two highest team awards in addition to 12 position paper awards and a number of individual commendations at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in New York City at UN Headquarters and the Sheraton New York Hotel.

Students from all majors are invited to enjoy New York-style pizza and a slideshow along with the chance to interact with the BYU delegates Tuesday, April 16 at 5:30 p.m. in 238 Herald R. Clark Building.
 
This year's competition featured more than 5,000 participants from 400 universities in 42 countries.

“Each year a different group of students registers for IAS 351: Model United Nations and spends two semesters developing the skills and learning the process of diplomacy,” said William O. Perry, a course instructor who has worked with the program for more than 12 years. “We have very high expectations for learning and performance and this year’s group of BYU students excelled.”
 
Beginning last year, the National Model UN Conference awarded individual writing awards for position papers.

“This gives us a chance to assess performance by partnership,” said Ardis Smith, director of the fall BYUMUN high school conference and team advisor who worked with the BYU team on policy writing assignments. The following partnerships received position paper awards:
 
• Julie Hansen and Matthew Merrill
• Austen Allred and Troy Tessem
• Clayton Conley
• Ivanna Ortega and Dallin McKinnon
• Collin Mathias and Marian Gonzaga Orfila
• Cristiano Pesci and Kelsey Clark
• Ludimila Pinto and Kyle Bradarich
• Cody Knudsen and Leah Copeland
• Laura Riley and Tyler Huff
• Debbie Sutton and Michael Sean Covey
• Ryan Blank and Skjelse Smith
• Hannah Barton and Logan Keicher
 
Students who participate are required to raise the $1,200 attendance cost on their own, with scholarship support coming from the College of Humanities, the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies and generous alumni and friends.

One alum in particular, Ryan Aiken — a U.S. diplomat serving in Karachi, Pakistan — makes a monthly donation online. “BYU’s program was a key part of my professional development, and I want to help other students receive the same opportunity,” he said.
 
At the New York International Affairs offices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Lincoln Square Chapel adjoining the Manhattan Temple, students learned about the importance of “integrity, intensity and intelligence” from Keith Read, managing partner with Cerberus Capital.

During the annual fireside, he related personal experiences about the challenges of working as a leader in global finance and the opportunities and blessings that come from gospel principles.
 
Each year students participate in the fall semester class (IAS 351) and apply for the winter semester program via a competitive process. BYU Model UN is open to all full-time students.
 
Learn more at mun.byu.edu or on Facebook (BYU Model United Nations).

Writer: Cory Leonard

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