California State University, Northridge’s Model United Nations team walked away with several top honors, including the Outstanding Delegation Award, at last month’s national competion in New York.
In addition to being recognized as one of the top teams in the nation, individual members of the team were honored. Hillary Sandoval and Sevan Niazi each won an Outstanding Position Paper Award. Adam Salgado, Khaliah Burnley, Elina Tivmasyan and David Vassalli all won a Committee Award for being one of the three best delegations within their committees.
“This obviously reflects very positively on the students and the department,” said CSUN political science professor Peter Kappas, advisor to the Model United Nations team. “CSUN has won the Outstanding Delegation Award nine times at national and international conferences sponsored by the National Model UN organization. And over the past nine years, CSUN delegates have won over 207 individual and team awards at over 46 local, regional, national and international conferences.”
The Model UN conferences involve large scale simulations of the workings of the United Nations, Kappas explained.
“For the NY conference, CSUN was assigned the country of Portugal,” he said. “Each student was assigned to represent Portugal in six different committees of the United Nations. Each committee was given three controversial international issues, such as human trafficking, indigenous rights, or sustainable development, among others.
“The goal of the delegates in each committee is to produce a resolution, in cooperation and competition with other delegates from other universities that best reflects their country’s positions on the issue being debated. This involved 22 hours of negotiation, resolution writing and public speaking.”
The CSUN team included: Niazi (senior/head delegate), Salgado (graduate), Sandoval (junior), Tovmasyan (senior), Burnley (senior), Narek Stepanian (senior/head delegate), Klementina Pavlova (senior), Jeff Brewer (senior), Matt Melamed (junior), Shaun Michel (senior), Patrick Alsoszatai-Petheo (senior), David Vassalli (junior).
Since 2002, the California State Northridge Model United Nations teams have regularly received top honors and awards at the national New York conference.