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For Immediate Release
Friday, Nov. 8, 2013

OU student diplomats take top honors at regional conference

Oakland University's Model United Nations team recently took first place in the Lake Erie International Model UN Conference in Cleveland.
     Rochester, Mich. – Oakland University's 13-member Model United Nations team recently took first place in the Lake Erie International Model UN Conference after matching wits with students from colleges and universities nationwide.

      "I could not be more proud of how our team did," said Peter Trumbore, team adviser and associate professor of political science.

      "Only four of our team members had participated in Model UN before, and so for a team made up mainly of 'rookies' to take first place is a real testament to how hard they worked to prepare themselves to learn not just the rules of procedure, but more importantly to accurately portray the countries they were representing."

      During competition, participants were judged based on how well they represented the interests of different countries on actual United Nations committees and organizations. Two OU students, Scott Farida and Sam Hyrnes, earned "superior" ratings at the event. Farida also received his committee chair's gavel as the most outstanding member of his team.

      In addition, the following OU students received "excellent" ratings for their representation of various countries:

  • Alyssa Clarke (Brazil on the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee)
  • Robert Larsen (Argentina in the United Nations Development Programme; named "Most Outstanding Delegate")
  • Carly Puzniak (Israel in the United Nations Development Programme)
  • Josh Rieck (Sweden on the Disarmament and International Security Committee)
  • Alex Salar (China on the Disarmament and International Security Committee)
      To prepare for the conference, students spent weeks learning about the issues – developing research and presentation skills – to effectively advocate for their countries' interests.

      "Participating in Model UN really helps the students hone their research skills, and we spend a lot of time working on public speaking and debate so that when they get to the conference they are able to make their arguments accurately and present their positions clearly and persuasively," Trumbore explained.

      "It was really great to see some of the new students really develop a stronger sense of self-confidence during the weeks of preparation and then to have that pay off for them at the conference."

     This February, OU plans to compete in the North American Model United Nations Conference in Toronto.

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Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 127 graduate degree and certificate programs. dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing, and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the web at