The University of Lynchburg’s Model UN delegation recently won four Outstanding Position Paper Awards. While the annual National Model United Nations simulation could not be held in New York City due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delegations were invited to submit their position papers for judging.
For months, the students — representing Iceland — had been working to articulate their political positions. Advised by Dr. Sabita Manian, associate dean of the Lynchburg College of Arts and Sciences, they carefully researched Icelandic policy. They also composed detailed position papers, which revolved around two or three policy areas, and worked on speeches.
In addition to head delegates Kimberly Mendez Lemús ’20 and Andrew McCracken ’21, the following students authored winning papers: Matthew Gillett ’22 and Andrew Rohleder ’20 (UN General Assembly First Committee); Nava Khorram ’22 and Katelyn Shull ’21 (UN High Level Political Forum); Wendy Borkoski ’20 and Alexis Rhatican ’22 (UN Environmental Assembly); and Claudia Lopez Perez ’21 and Brennan Straits ’22 (UN Economic Commission for Europe).
Other members of Lynchburg’s delegation included Aly Bonilla ’22, Katie Bradley ’20, Hannah Fischer ’21, Daniel Hunter Frizzell ’21, Erika Ikhide ’23, Sheila Raczynski ’22, and Bri Yancey ’22.
“Our students’ position papers read like they are specialists in their field, and four of our UN committees, out of eight, won this prestigious recognition,” Manian said. “I’m terribly proud of our University of Lynchburg team. This is more than a silver lining, it’s a silver swathe in an otherwise dark and cloudy COVID-19 context.”
Even after learning the simulation would be canceled, Mendez Lemús said she and her teammates never slowed down. “The delegates have remained fully committed to class,” she said. “During our online class meetings, we have focused on COVID-19 on an international scale, staying up to date with daily changes.
“Seeing every single delegate … remain dedicated to growing as scholars and participate in stimulating and thoughtful discussions amidst these trying times has truly made me proud of how far every single delegate has come. …
“Without a doubt, the University of Lynchburg delegation would have excelled at the simulation. I am extremely honored to have been able to lead this amazing delegation with my fellow wonderful head delegate Andrew, and of course our amazing and compassionate professor, Dean Manian.”