Clemson upholds Model UN tradition by winning a top award
CLEMSON — In what has become a tradition, six Clemson University students successfully demonstrated their diplomatic skills recently at a Model United Nations conference in Prague, Czech Republic, and their efforts were recognized by bringing home one of the event’s top awards.
Joey Wilson, a sophomore political science and bioengineering major from Duncan, was one of a handful of participants awarded “Best Delegate” among the more than 350 who attended from around the globe. Clemson was the only U.S. university participating.
Model UN is a simulation and academic competition in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. Each year, nearly 40 Clemson students participate in Model United Nations conferences and those delegates have consistently won awards going back to 1989.
Other Clemson team delegates who attended the Prague event included: Patrick Destefano, political science, Spartanburg; Sean Nottoli, political science, Beaufort; Meghan Gasser, political science, Columbia; Grace Chandler, communications studies, Potomac, Maryland; and Katie Jane Fairclough, political science, Johns Island.
Wilson, who also represented Clemson at the Model UN London event in 2014, was designated a delegate for France at the Prague conference in February as a member of the U.N. Environmental Program, which included 32 college student delegates primarily from Europe and Asia.
“Model UN isn’t just a classroom experience. It gives you a chance to go outside the class and learn things by doing them,” said Wilson. “You’re able to discuss things on an international scale. And on an international level, we represented the U.S., not just Clemson or South Carolina. We are truly ambassadors for the nation, school and state at these events.”
“Model UN is a very competitive environment and participants must prepare through research on their country and have a strong understanding of parliamentary procedure,” said Xiaobo Hu, professor of political science. “It’s a real honor to receive the award of ‘Best Delegate.’ The successful delegates must show character in their role, illustrate strong communication skills and show leadership in knowing their country’s position on a variety of issues. Joey was successful on all of them.”
Clemson’s Model UN program is administered through the political science department in the College of Business and Behavioral Science and is directed by Hu. Students can participate in the Model UN program by enrolling in a special political science one-credit course (POSC 311).