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Model UN team wows at international conference

Friday, March 11, 2011
Model UN team wows at international conference
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

Oakland University’s Model United Nations team turned in a stellar showing at the 2011 North American Model UN Conference in Toronto. More than 20 schools participated, including Colgate University, Brown University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Toronto.

Ten Oakland students took part in the event, debating issues such as Roma rights, maritime piracy, pharmaceutical research ethics and Libyan politics. Three students garnered individual honors. Michelle Lopez-Arciniega was named Best Delegate on the World Health Organization; Alex Green won Outstanding Delegate in the Social and Humanitarian Committee; and Justin Clarke earned an Honorable Mention in a World War II simulation.

“The conference was an awesome experience,” said Green, a junior double majoring in Biology and International Relations. “As a fairly young organization on campus, we are always excited to refine our practice, and each conference we go to provides us the opportunity to observe other schools, make mistakes, and then polish and improve.”

To prepare for the conference, students conduct extensive research on an array of issues. Some of this work is done as part of Political Science 362: Model United Nations, a two-credit course that helps students develop the skills to succeed in competition. Students learn the rules of debate used in the UN and practice the art of public address. The class is led by Dr. Paul Kubicek, political science professor and Model UN coach.

“This is the fourth consecutive conference where several OU students have won awards,” said Dr. Kubicek. “Model UN is a great way to interactively learn about international events and gain experience in research, debate, and public speaking. I am proud of the students' accomplishments and was happy to see all team members enthusiastically participate in the conference.”

For more information on Oakland’s Model UN team, contact Dr. Kubicek at kubicek@oakland.edu.