The Model United Nations program at Cal State San Bernardino maintained its tradition of excellence at the recent National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference held in New York City from April 2-8 by bringing home an Outstanding Delegation Award, the highest possible recognition.
This year, the Model UN team of 18 students from diverse academic and personal backgrounds collaborated, cooperated and advanced the interests of the country of Cameroon in the United Nations community and advocated for the improvement of life in the global south from the perspective of Cameroonian government. Their professionalism, preparedness and passion gained them the highest praise of the conference and their peer delegates alike.
The 2022 CSUSB Model UN team was led by Sofia Alvarez Lopez (IT) and delegation of Angeli Richards (global studies), Christine Seeger (hydrology), Darla Rubinos (global studies), Daniella Rodriguez (public health), Alex Drew (political science), Crystal Macias (global studies), Simeone Miller (political science), Katelynn Tena (public health), Kassandra Gallardo (psychology), Maureen Mayaka (business administration), Alexander Edsell (IT), Yussif Kanbar (communication studies), Michelle VanAllen (anthropology), Ethan Silva (political science), Savannah Arana (national security), Alexis MacGowan (biology) and Jessie Daniels (IT).
In the context of CSUSB’s participation in the NMUN in the last 30 years (the university has participated in the program for 45 years), the Outstanding Delegation honor places the university’s Model UN program among the top in the world.
“We are one of only eight programs globally who have been participating for as long as we have at NMUN Conferences,” said Kevin Grisham, the former CSUSB Model UN director who is now the associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which houses the Model UN program.
“We have been one of the most recognized, honored and awarded programs in the history of the National Model UN and that is the clearest testament to our student population’s obvious capability to present CSUSB, and Inland Empire, at any stage in any academic conference,” said Sina Bastami, who succeeded Grisham.
From Kyiv National University of Ukraine to American University of Cairo, and from CSUSB to Kobe University of Foreign Studies, more than 3,000 students and 114 different universities, colleges and higher education institutions from around the globe participated in the 2022 NMUN conference in New York City in an exercise in diplomacy and multilateralism designed to train the next generation of ambassadors, diplomats and foreign service officers.
In addition to the students participating and receiving the Outstanding Delegation Award in the New York conference, CSUSB students have also competed and won awards at Model UN conferences in Washington, D.C, Germany, Czech Republic and Canada.
Yet, the Model United Nations is more than awards. This program develops leadership skills of its student delegates who come from all academic disciplines, giving them a broader perspective of the world, and a high level of professionalism as they move into their chosen careers.
The CSUSB’s Model UN students have been participating in the conference since 1977 when the program was established as an academic program by Ralph Salmi, professor emeritus of the CSUSB Department of Political Science. The program continued its success under the leadership of Grisham until 2020, when Sina Bastami was named the program director.
Past participants in the Model United Nations program have said the simulations gave them real-life experiences in diplomacy and relationship building. Some program graduates have embarked on careers in diplomacy, while others have gone on to prestigious graduate programs, such as the Harvard School of Law. Many of the alumni come back every year to speak to the next generation of CSUSB MUN students and also help support them through mentorship, providing students with networks around the globe and fiscal support.