CLEMSON — Two Clemson University students were recognized for diplomacy at the 2010 World Model United Nations conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

Layton Williamson from Blythewood and Jillian Traver from Hilton Head, both French and international trade majors, received the Diplomacy Award on the Special Political and Decolonization committee, which consisted of nearly 250 delegates debating the issue of cyber warfare.

“In my mind, winning this award means a great deal not only for our Model United Nations organization but for Clemson University as a whole. To me it shows that Clemson students are on the same academic and competitive level as students from the Ivy League and other prestigious American academic institutions, along with students from almost every continent,” Williamson said. “Not only did we represent America in a foreign environment, we represented Clemson and I could not be more proud of all of our students who competed over the week in Taiwan.”

Traver appreciated the diversity in the competition.

“A Model United Nations conference is an opportunity to explore pertinent world issues in depth and display the utmost professionalism in seeking ways to resolve the issues,” Traver said. “World Model United Nations brought this a step further by creating a culturally diverse atmosphere, which for me was the most captivating part of the experience.”

Other Clemson students attending the conference were Sarah Layton of Vero Beach, Fla.; Michelle Gottfried of Golden's Bridge, N.Y.; John Paul Cassil of Hollywood, S.C.; and Lisa Spadacinni of Oradell, N.J. French professor Eric Touya served as the team’s acting faculty adviser.

“Competition is intense at the annual World Model United Nations conference with top teams participating from around the globe,” said Michael Morris, political science professor and faculty adviser for the Model United Nations club and class. “The Diplomacy Award demonstrates the ability of the Clemson students to excel in world-class competition.”

Teams from nearly every continent competed at the conference and engaged in debate to draft and pass resolutions that represented their nations’ views while taking into account the needs of the international community. Clemson’s team represented Liberia and Tunisia.

World Model United Nations is an internationally diverse and competitive college-level conference and the largest outside of North America. Every year nearly 2,000 college students from 48 countries attend the conference in different locations around the world.

Clemson’s Model United Nations team is both a student club and a one-hour course in the political science department in the College of Business and Behavioral Science. Students from any college or major at Clemson can participate to prepare for national and international competitions.


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