Purdue Northwest Students Excel at American Model United Nations Conference

By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: December 21, 2016

PNW-political-science-winners-2016All 20 students of a Purdue University Northwest political science class earned awards at the American Model United Nations Conference held recently in Chicago and attended by more than 1,000 students.

Offered by the non-profit educational organization, American Model United Nations, the annual collegiate event attempts to provide students from across the nation and world an innovative learning experience through realistic simulations of how the United Nations operates. By representing specific nations, students learn how to engage in diplomacy to solve global issues and nurture leadership skills.

The PNW students won awards for position papers they wrote representing the nation of Hungary. The students prepared for the four-day conference as enrollees this fall in the senior level topical course, “International Organizations,” taught by Associate Professor of Political Science Meg Rincker.

Best Advocate Award
Additionally, two PNW students, Patrick Mudd of Crown Point and Nick DiMaggio of Schererville, were selected winners of the Best Advocate Award by their conference peers. The award recognizes the best legal defense team presentation offered before the International Court of Justice, which mediates disputes between nations.

Mudd and DiMaggio effectively defended Hungary in the actual legal case, Hungary vs. Slovakia, during which Hungary reneged on a treaty with Slovakia for environmental reasons.

Much preparation
“In preparation, I spent four to five hours a week reading and studying about laws and treaties,” Mudd said. “We had to know our material backward and forward. Professor Rincker did so much in helping us prepare.”

Preparation by Mudd and DiMaggio also included meeting in Chicago the actual Consul General of Hungary, Szebeni Ferenc.

“In addition to studying international law and writing a ‘Memorial’ before the conference, Nick and Patrick delivered a 13-minute oral argument speech and prepared an extemporaneous seven-minute rebuttal statement before answering direct questions from the 16 Justices,” Professor Rincker said.

Other award winners
Other students recognized for their position papers were: Julia Abbott, Alex Heaton and Tyler Wells of Crown Point; Cynthia Basu-Chavez of Merrillville; John C. Decker of Dyer; Mary Downs, James Gross, Sara Jeong, Yun Ji Ko, Kristen Powers, Martin Puente and De’Joie Simmons of Hammond; Grant Garcia of Highland; Magdalena Madrigal of Munster; Gabriel Nunez of Whiting; Eric Schreiber of Griffith; Hillary Snyder of Valparaiso; and Kenyatta Scales of Elgin, Ill.

Purdue Northwest will represent India at the 2017 conference.

Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two Northwest Indiana campuses in Hammond and Westville. The university was established by the unification in early 2016 of the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. With more than 15,000 students and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.