UM Model UN Team Performs Well at Nationals

Members of the UM team represented Georgia at the recent National Model United Nations Conference in New York City.

MISSOULA – Twelve members of the Model United Nations Travel Team at the University of Montana recently received an Honorable Mention Award Delegation award, placing in the top 20% of competing international and national universities.

The National Model United Nations Conference was held in New York City. The MMUN Travel Team represented the country of Georgia with the following committee assignments:

  • Maxwell Shaver, political science and economics, Missoula, General Assembly First Committee (Security and Disarmament).
  • Noah Vanderkar, political science, Sacramento. California, General Assembly First Committee (Security and Disarmament).
  • Camellia Xu, political science, Moody, British Columbia, General Assembly Second Committee (Biodiversity).
  • Carolyn Crowder, political science and English, Maple Valley, Washington, General Assembly Second Committee (Biodiversity).
  • Kasey Swisher, history/political science secondary education and political science, Tampa, Florida, General Assembly Third Committee (Social and Humanitarian). Swisher served as the team vice president.
  • Sarah Hauser, political science, Missoula, General Assembly Third Committee (Social and Humanitarian).
  • Clara Bentler, political science and nonprofit administration, Billings, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • Kersey Blackford, political science and international development studies, Gardiner, UN Women.
  • Carson Brandt, political science, Missoula, United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
  • Cassandra Williams, political science and nonprofit administration, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, UN Habitat (Sustainable Infrastructure).
  • Shang Vang, political science and history, Missoula, UN Habitat (Sustainable Infrastructure).
  • Caroline Fowler, political science, Manhattan, Montana,
  • International Organization for Migration. Fowler served at the team president.

On April 3, the UM team arrived in New York City for the first in-person NMUN conference since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The team arrived motivated to discuss current global issues in a real-world setting and eager to meet similar teams from around the world.

In the opening ceremony, NMUN Executive Director Michael Eaton acknowledged the collegiate team who had traveled from Ukraine to attend the conference. The Ukrainian team earned a standing ovation as an expression of support and solidarity. Committee sessions started after the opening ceremony, and UM team members began opening speeches and created new connections with students from all around the globe.

On the second day of the conference, the team attended a UN Mission Briefing at the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. The team met with Gvaram Khandamishvilli, deputy permanent representative of Georgia, at the UN Mission Headquarters to discuss Georgia’s UN agenda.

The mission briefing with Khandamishvilli was a true highlight of the NMUN Conference.

“Participating in the National Model UN conference provided me the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to my education, all while gaining international connections that will last a lifetime,” said Kasey Swisher, the team vice president and incoming president. “It is definitely an experience I will never forget.”

Following the mission briefing, team members returned to committee sessions or worked on innovative and collaborative solutions to diverse humanitarian and security issues.

“Being able to interact with so many intelligent people who share similar interests is an invaluable experience that I will apply for again,” UM sophomore Max Shaver said. “On the final day of the conference, each team member passed one or more resolutions within their committee, which are now published on the NMUN Website.”

The team placed in the Honorable Mention Delegation Award category, maintaining a four-year streak of NMUN Delegation Awards for UM MMUN Travel team’s top performance.

“The Model United Nations trip to New York City was such an incredible, hands-on experience to practice diplomatic engagement in our international governing systems,” UM junior Clara Bentler said. “We learned lessons that are hard to mimic in the classroom like negotiations, working towards consensus and compromise. I am thankful for the opportunity to get to experience the NMUN conference with such a great group of students, peers and friends from the University of Montana and will forever cherish those memories.”

For more information, email MMUN faculty adviser Eva Maggi at eva.maggi@mso.umt.edu, MMUN Team President Caroline Fowler at caroline.fowler@umconnect.umt.edu or incoming  President Kasey Swisher at kasey.swisher@umconnect.umt.edu.

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Contact: Eva Maggi, faculty adviser, eva.maggi@mso.umt.edu; Caroline Fowler, MMUN team president, caroline.fowler@umconnect.umt.edu; Kasey Swisher, MMUN vice president, kasey.swisher@umconnect.umt.edu.