Baylor Students Receive Honor in National Model United Nations Conference in New York City

April 9, 2015

Baylor wins honorable mention at National Model UN Conference.

Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (April 9, 2015) – Sixteen Baylor University students who participated in the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City have been recognized as an "Honorable Mention Delegation."

Each week-long meeting featured more than 2,500 students from around the world.

Baylor students represented the country Burundi. During the conference, they researched and discussed issues such as control of biological weapons, sustainable development in the Arctic, eliminating racial discrimination and xenophobia, the rights of indigenous peoples, women in development, "green" economy and enhancing the use of technology in peacekeeping missions.

"Model United Nations is an excellent opportunity for students to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom to a simulated professional setting," said Rebecca McCumbers Flavin, Ph.D., lecturer of political science in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. "Their success at this conference is a great example of how the students have honed their skills and utilized them in a nice, tangible way."

Only a select percentage of delegations receive recognition as an Outstanding, Distinguished or Honorable Mention Delegation. In addition to the team recognition, a position paper written by students Carissa Carlson, Laura Beth Hooper and Elisa Jelley was named "Outstanding Position Paper." The paper consists of a short policy memo researched and prepared in advance.

"Our position paper is a statement of our country’s position on a specific issue," said Laura Beth Hooper, a senior international studies major and the Baylor Model United Nations head delegate. "We chose to write about women in development because the general assembly would be discussing that topic. The paper reflects the research we did to prepare for the conference, and thus winning the award was very gratifying."

The National Model United Nations Conference differs from other conferences of its kind in that more than half of the participants come from universities outside of the United States.

"Having a team receive recognition at these national MUN conferences not only rewards their hard work and preparation, but it also demonstrates to other universities around the nation and, in the case of NMUN, the world, the strength of Baylor’s academics," Flavin said.

"These types of competitions encourage our students to think about how their Baylor learnings translate into action and prompt our students to consider how their Christian witness might be evident in secular settings," said Andrea Dixon, Ph.D., executive director of Baylor’s Center for Professional Selling and the Keller Center for Research. "Baylor is developing future leaders who will impact the world for Jesus Christ."

Model United Nations offers students a unique opportunity to understand potential challenges they may face in their post-graduate careers.

"Joining Model UN really helped me find my place at Baylor," Hooper said. "It has helped me learn so much about the world and its challenges and how we can develop solutions to those challenges. Through it I’ve been able to establish friends and connections and develop a greater understanding of what I want to do with my future."

Participating students included:

Elisa Jelley, senior, international studies

Carissa Carlson, senior, international studies

Seti Tesefay, senior, international studies

Jessica Abbey, senior, journalism and Spanish

Hannah Mullikin, senior, international studies

Erin Morgan, senior, political science

Shannon Black, junior, international studies

Ruth Anne Holiday, senior, international studies

Laura Beth Hooper, senior, international studies

Matt Demond, senior, economics

Renie Saenz, junior, history

Drew Mackenzie, freshman, University Scholars

Stephen Leland, senior, political science and international studies

Marc Webb, sophomore, international studies

Caleb Gunnels, senior, political science

Conor Burns, junior, political science

For more information about the National Model United Nations Conference, click here.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 24 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines.