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The University of South Carolina Upstate won one of eight prestigious Outstanding Position Paper Awards while participating in the 23rd annual Southern Regional Model United Nations Conference, which was held Nov. 15-17.

The Southern Regional Model United Nations, Inc. (SRMUN) is a non-profit founded in 1990 with the mission of creating an exemplary model united nations experience where undergraduate college students can pursue issues of international concern.  Members of the award winning delegation included Joel Gregory (head delegate), Nicolaj Gericke, Amy Yancey, Catherine Estupinan, Ashton Gottschall, Samuel (Gifton) Hines, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jonathan Eames, Morgan Jones, and Brandon Lybrand.

“Attending SRMUN allowed  USC Upstate students to experience what it would be like to serve as an ambassador to the United Nations, debating real-world issues such as climate change, peace and security, and access to food,” said Dr. Trevor Rubenzer, faculty advisor. “I’m proud of our students, all but one of whom is new to Model UN, in the many hours they spent researching and preparing to fully immerse themselves as a delegation from Egypt.  It is also a great honor to have our preparation recognized by the conference in the form of our position paper award.  Only the top eight countries received this award, and amongst those, we were the only team to win whose students participated without college credit simply out of a desire to learn more about international relations.”

The Conference had approximately 700 students from 53 schools representing 80 countries in attendance.  Model United Nations is a competitive simulation of the United Nations and other international governing bodies.

Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations agenda. Participants research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems.

USC Upstate students employed a variety of communication and critical thinking skills in order to represent the policy of Egypt. These skills included public speaking, group communication, research, policy analysis active listening, negotiating, conflict resolution, note taking, and technical writing.

“We really enjoyed SRMUN and preparing for a Model UN Conference,” said Joel Gregory, a senior political science student who served as the head delegate for the USC Upstate team. “It really challenges us to learn more about the international community and actively participate in debate with other students.”

“We were thrilled to have USC Upstate attend the 23rd Annual SRMUN conference. This is their first time attending in several years and they have made positive contributions in both their position papers, and their in-conference performance” said SRMUN Secretary-General Reggie Thomas. “The SRMUN Conference was successful because schools like USC Upstate value the importance of a Model UN curriculum at their college and invest significant amounts of time preparing a new generation of leaders who will tackle the world’s challenges.”

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