KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo students’ skills in diplomacy, communication, negotiation, and current events earn them recognition as top delegates at the recent Model United Nations competition.
Diane Frederickson earned recognition as one of the top three delegates in her security council, while Jessica McGibbon-Rademaker, Swayzee, and Garrett Hill, Russiaville, and Evan Cass, Greentown, and Michael Sommers, Peru, tied for third place in their security councils.
Frederickson, from Kokomo, called it “an awesome experience.” She represented Russia.
“I learned a lot about communication and negotiation,” she said. “This experience has really inspired our entire class because it let us represent different countries and see things from those other countries point of view.”
The Model U.N. is a simulation of an actual United Nations meeting that would take place in New York. The students make resolutions for various issues that the delegations are having. Issues that the students faced this year include ISIS, Syria, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ebola, and climate change.
IU Kokomo students represented Russia, China, South Korea, Nigeria, and the United States, and spent weeks ahead of the meeting researching the countries they would represent, and where their delegates would likely stand on the issues to be debated.
Todd Bradley, associate professor of political science, taught the Model U.N. class, and was proud of their success in their first-ever competition.
“Each student had to peel back the layers and take on the stance of the actual country that they were representing, so there was a plethora of research conducted,” he said.
That meant putting personal beliefs aside in some cases.
“During the Model UN there was a lot of reading and putting yourself into their perspective and stepping out of our American perspective,” said Michael Sommers, who represented Nigeria. “Some of the people there were going off their personal beliefs and not those of the country that they were representing. A few times I wanted to jump in with what I thought about certain things, but I had to restrain myself because I knew that is not how the country I was representing felt about that issue.”
Frederickson said the students were inspired by the experience to start a Model U.N. club at IU Kokomo.
“Our goal is to go the actual U.N. in New York and do the tour,” she said. “We just finished the paperwork and we already have some funding, so it is really neat.”
Story written by Calani Hitchell. Calani served as an intern in the Office of Media and Marketing fall semester 2014. Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.