Students excel at Model UN conference

Twenty Western Carolina University students recently attended the Southeastern Regional Model United Nations Conference in Charlotte, where they competed with students from 33 other colleges and universities located across the Southeast.

“We brought home a number of awards, including distinguished delegation, outstanding delegate, the recognition and excellence awards, and even a couple for best smile,” said Chris Cooper, department head and professor of political science and public affairs.

The WCU delegation representing the Netherlands won a distinguished delegation award, and was comprised of: Meghan Classen, sophomore, political science major, Holly Springs; Kevin Diaz Morales, sophomore, philosophy and political science double-major, Monroe; Lillian Hatton, junior, political science major, Sanford; Mecca Kanyinda, political science and sociology double-major, High Point; Julia O’Connor, senior, political science and psychology double-major, Blowing Rock; Christopher Trogdon, junior, political science major, Gastonia; Joseph Gravely, senior, political science major, Brevard; and Noah Brown, senior, political science and history double-major, Valdese.

The Japan delegation was represented by Beth Ehlers, freshman, emergency medical care major, Zebulon; Tony Esquivel, senior, political science major, Charlotte; Roslyn Gowens, senior, criminal justice major, Asheville; Zachary Morgan, senior, history major, Andrews; Brooke Reynolds, sophomore, political science major, Hayesville; and Logan Meader, senior, history major, Reidsville.

Gravely won an individual outstanding delegate award. Brown won an individual recognition of excellence award, and O’Connor and Hatton won the best smile award, according to Jackie Sievert, assistant professor of political science. “The students did an excellent job, and made WCU proud,” Sievert added.

Cooper pointed out that Model U.N. and similar events help students prepare later for real-world career situations by learning skills such as critical thinking and negotiation.

“This is a key part of our department’s engaged experience requirement, a touchstone for internationalization on campus, and has clear integration with the Quality Enhancement Plan,” Cooper said.

A Facebook page featuring photos and more information about WCU’s participation in the event can be found at

The delegation from the Netherlands displays their Distinguished Delegation Award.

The delegation from the Netherlands displays their Distinguished Delegation Award.