The University of Lynchburg’s Model UN delegation, representing the Republic of Ireland, has once again won the Distinguished Delegation Award.
“We did it again,” Dr. Sabita Manian, professor of international relations and dean of the Lynchburg College of Arts and Sciences, wrote in an email to the campus community. “We won the Distinguished Delegation Award at the UN simulations in New York City!”
The National Model United Nations, held April 2-6, is the world’s largest intercollegiate Model UN simulation. It involves nearly 5,000 students from across the globe, more than half of whom are from outside the U.S. Lynchburg has sent a delegation for about 50 years.
Five of Lynchburg’s six committees won awards, including four position paper awards and one peer award for best delegation.
“Our students worked really hard, including long Sunday afternoon and evening hours when we met for extra class hours at Lynchburg,” Manian, who leads Lynchburg’s Model UN program, wrote. “In New York, they were diligent and punctual for their early morning through late night conference sessions, with very few hours of sleep this week.
“They continued to present their best professional selves as they honed their leadership skills for which they won this Distinguished Delegation award. They did us proud.”
The committees were led by Head Delegates Claire Corte ’23 and Sydney Dombrovskis ’23. “I think what I like the most about this … is the opportunity to meet my peers from around the world in a professional setting,” Corte, a second-year member of the delegation, said. “It is quite an amazing learning experience.”
In addition to Corte and Dombrovskis, the students in the delegation included Marques Armstrong ’25, Gus Bristow ’26, Janhvi Dewan ’26, Stacy Gallahan ’24, Jake Gamble ’25, Sofia Huajardo ’25, Grace Milligan ’24, Zach Morris ’25, Kodi Payne ’23, Kyle Thaller ’25, Zoe Villarreal ’26, and Sofia Ricci, a visiting undergraduate from Sapienza University of Rome.
While in New York, the students also met with diplomats from the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations. “Our briefing with [them] was delivered by Irish diplomats on April 3, when we went to visit them in their office,” Manian said. “The students learned a lot from them and used that information in their simulation sessions.”
The opportunity to meet with actual foreign diplomats isn’t something that all delegations have, according to Corte. “It can be very difficult to get a meeting with the real delegates, but we were lucky enough to secure a briefing,” she said.
“We learned about the sustainability measures they may take at the international level, as well as had questions answered about many of the committee topics our delegates worked on all semester.
“Students were able to learn a bit about what it’s like to be a real diplomat in our world. We were [also] able to attend the closing ceremony in the real UN General Assembly room! It was so cool!”