Wednesday, February 6, 2013
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Twenty-five Westminster College students and their faculty adviser participated in the 23rd annual American Model United Nations International Conference (AMUN) Nov. 17-20 in Chicago.
The students are members of Model United Nations (MUN) at Westminster. The main goals are educational, particularly with regards to learning about the world, its numerous cultures, social and political systems, and fostering understanding and active cooperation among people of all backgrounds.
The Westminster group represented the United Kingdom at the conference. International politics majors Kelcey Bailey, a junior, and Teresa Whetstone, a senior, earned an Outstanding Delegation Award for representing the U.K. in the 1948 Historical Security Council.
"Winning an award in Chicago was absolutely thrilling. Kelcey and I worked so hard to prepare for the conference," Whetstone said. "Most of the research we did was during our time abroad. We had to Skype in order to prepare together, but much of the research was done on our own, apart from each other. I came home from Argentina in mid-November and Kelcey literally flew from South Africa to Chicago for the conference. Fortunately, with the aid of the delegates representing Argentina and Canada, we were able to accomplish all that we set out to do."
The students were accompanied to the conference by Dr. Michael Aleprete, Westminster assistant professor of political science and faculty adviser to Model U.N.
"Westminster's program has grown over the past few years. We now routinely bring one of the larger and more competitive delegations to the AMUN conference," Aleprete said. "This is the third year in a row where our delegates have won at least one award. I believe we have developed a very positive reputation among the Model U.N. community and this year's delegation certainly exceeded the high standards we set for ourselves."
While at the conference, Aleprete presented "Best Practices in Model UN" to a panel as part of the faculty advisers program. He described the elements which comprise Westminster's model UN program: the student organization, how the one-credit course is organized, the conferences students attend, the College's high school conference and how the program is funded. He also initiated a discussion among faculty advisors about how to foster the development of model UN programs on campuses. The panel was an opportunity for faculty advisers to share ideas and insights from their various experiences.
The Westminster students were able to attend the conference through travel/presentation grants from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Experiential Learning. All the students will make presentations at the Westminster Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration April 24.
The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education. The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences. Visit www.westminster.edu/drinko for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.
Contact Aleprete at (724) 946-7254 or email for additional information.