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April 13, 2005

CCNY TOPS MODEL UN FOR SECOND YEAR IN ROW

undefinedNew York, April 13, 2005 - Fielding a team of students with backgrounds as diverse as the world body itself, The City College of New York (CCNY) took top honors for the second consecutive year in the 2005 National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference.

The City College was one of 13 institutions to receive an “Outstanding Delegation” award, the equivalent of a gold medal, in the annual competition, which attracted 226 participating colleges and universities from five continents. Jeanette Mitchell, a junior majoring in International Studies and Economics, and Wore Ndiaye, a junior also majoring in International Studies served as Head Delegates for the 14-member CCNY contingent.

The expectation to win this year was greater after the School’s stellar performance in 2004, said CCNY Assistant Professor of Political Science Isidro Medina, the team’s faculty advisor. “But thanks to the effort, the commitment and the students’ knowledge of international issues we were able to excel once again,” added Professor Medina, who teaches a “Model UN” class, which the CCNY students took before the conference.

CCNY represented Trinidad and Tobago and prepared for the conference by studying the Caribbean nation’s foreign policy, its positions on a number of major issues and its voting recording in international forums like the UN. The team met with the twin Islands’ UN Permanent Representative, Ambassador Phillip Sealy, before the conference and discussed issues pertaining to its agenda items, said Ms. Mitchell, who graduated from high school in Trinidad.

The CCNY delegation included students from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and the United States, reflecting the College’s immense diversity. Besides Ms. Mitchell, students on the team with foreign roots were: Ms. Ndiaye, a junior International Studies major from Congo (Brazzaville); Valeria Alcena, a junior Political Science major of Filipino/Haitian background; Thaslima Thamanna, a junior International Studies and Political Science major from Bangladesh; Guesnerth Joshua Perea, a senior History major from Colombia; Ilona Gedutiene, a sophomore International Studies major from Lithuania; El Haji Niang, a junior Political Science major from Senegal, and Sana Shahid, a junior International Studies and Political Science major from Pakistan.

The other participants, and their majors, were: junior Bob Field, Political Science/International Studies; senior Jessica Gonzalez, International Studies; freshman Vivek Murthy, Premed; senior Odette Ross, International Studies; freshman Jessica Sell, International Studies, and junior Lori Tay, International Studies. Five of the students, Ms. Alcena, Ms. Gonzalez, Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Ndiaye and Mr.Niang, were in the 2004 team, which also received Outstanding Delegation honors.

NMUN, which is organized by the National Collegiate Conference Association, a non-governmental organization of the United Nations, is the world’s largest university-level simulation of the United Nations. Every year, the conference educates more than 3,200 students (50% from outside the United States) about the United Nations and other contemporary international issues.

Other American universities represented during the five-day conference included Pace, Brigham Young, University of Miami, Georgia State, Loyola, and Cal State. The University of Montreal, the American University in Cairo, and Germany’s Universitat Magdeburg were some of the top placed foreign schools.

ABOUT CCNY’S INTERNATIONAL STUDIES PROGRAM

The City College’s International Studies (IS) program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate program that has grown in recent years to include 90 majors, some of whom pursue double majors in Political Science or Economics. The Model UN class is cross-listed by the IS Program and Political Science and attracts majors from both departments.

In addition to the regular curriculum, the IS Program coordinates the College’s Study Abroad programs and hosts a U.S. State Department Diplomat-in-Residence who assists in training CCNY students for entry into the U.S. Foreign Service.

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