Kettering University students traveled in record numbers to participate in the 2016 Harvard University Model United Nations Conference from February 11-14. Faculty advisor Michael Callahan accompanied 19 students - the most in Kettering history - to Cambridge Massachussetts for the conference.
“After two conferences at Harvard and two at Chicago, this was by far the best Model UN Conference I've been to yet,” said Michael Graham, President of Kettering University Model United Nations (KUMUN). “We primarily represented Algeria, although we also had some students representing Venezuela and two students were on specialized committees.”
Graham was placed on a committee representing the Afghanistan Cabinet that was managing a political uprising and restructuring in 1978.
“The coolest part about the crisis committee is that you actually get to write crisis notes which are mock orders or letters for governmental leaders and departments,” Graham said. “The letters are actually going to a crisis staff at the conference who write back and provide a simulated reply to inform you what the results of your orders were.”
Schipper Nguyen described the conference as an “amazing experience” that allowed Kettering students to interact with extraordinary students from different cultures and backgrounds from across the world.
“The co-op experience and STEM mindset gave many Kettering students an upper hand to determine more realistic resolutions,” Harschal Patel said. “I strongly believe that Model United Nations exposes a student to what the world is like from a global perspective and fosters the open-minded mindset that is needed in today's global climate.”
Additionally, students were exposed to the policy-making process which includes making agreements, consensus decision-making and negotiating amendments. Kettering students networked with their peers from other schools while improving soft skills such as communication, collaboration and active listening with the intent of reaching comprehensive solutions and agreements.
“I loved the rigor associated with understanding a country’s foreign policy and representing them to the best of my abilities,” Nguyen said. “The speaking and debating as a committee was an exhilarating experience.”
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