College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Model United Nations Team Wins Many Times Over

Cal Poly Pomona's 2015 Model United Nations team the most decorated in its more than 40 year history.

The team, representing the Kingdom of Spain, received outstanding delegation for the second year in a row, three outstanding position paper awards, and two outstanding delegate awards—which are awarded by their peers during the conference.

The delegates prepare for the conference during winter quarter by immersing themselves in the history, culture, and legislation of the country their representing, while also focusing on international geography and current events.

With various committees in the simulation, each student worked with a partner to develop a position paper that reflected Spain's position on international topics including regional arrangements in Africa, eliminating racial discrimination, national health systems, human trafficking, and many others.  

At the conference, delegates work with others in their committees to create resolutions and reports.

The 20-student team included students from the political science department, engineering, nutrition, communication, and others.

Milena Martinez says that as a biology major, she was often working alone on projects, and was looking for a place where she could collaborate to solve problems.

“The National Model United Nations Conference was one of the most demanding and amazing experiences I have ever had,” she says. “It allowed me to work with students from all over the world to solve real issues.”

Martinez and her partner Wonji Park received the Outstanding Delegate Award for their work in the United Nations Environment Programme.

Many students have been on the team for multiple years, and see the value of continuing in the program.

“I continued to participate in the program because it’s the learn-by-doing philosophy our school prides itself on, but applied to the humanities,” Christopher Lunardi, political science major, says. “That type of experience is rare to come by for some of us in political science, so I leaped at the opportunity to apply what I know about international relations to the ‘real world.’”

If a student has participated at least twice, they are eligible to apply for a leadership position at the conference, as either a rapporteur or chair of a committee. Melissa Peterson and Lunardi both served as rapporteurs, and Daniel Castillo served as a chair.

“The experience of running a committee and seeing more of the administrative side of the preceedings is a great experience,” Lunardi says. “You get to see the big picture develop.”

“It is truly the best hands-on experience Cal Poly Pomona has to offer any and all of its students,” Martinez says.

Other team members were Stephanie Baeza, Travis Barrett, Lauren Bissada Andrew Campa, Daniel Castillo, Jose Contreras, Bandelio Delgado, Elsa Fucile, Tara Kwan, Leona Hill, Madeline Le, Raquel Mercado, Rob Moreau, Carly Owens, Wonji Park, Ymonne Tajzoy, and Steven Zhang. The team’s advisor was Daniel Lewis, a history professor and associate dean for academic programs in the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences.

Author: Carly Owens