CSU, Chico News

Model United Nations Delegation Wins Several Awards at National Conference

Date: 04-10-2007

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Rick Ostrom
Political Science

After dragging their suitcases out of the luggage compartment of their bus and pulling them over a three-foot pile of snow, California State University, Chico’s Model United Nations (MUN), team warmed up and won several outstanding awards at the National MUN Conference in New York City at the end of March.

The 20-person team, which represented Venezuela, was one of 15 teams that won the coveted Outstanding Delegation performance award.

The top three country teams in each United Nations committee were awarded outstanding awards, and Chico’s Venezuelan ambassadors won them in four of the 10 committees they were assigned: Chelsea Schick and Cynthia Wright in the General Assembly, Justin Palmerlee and Fumiko Motohashi in the Organization of American States, John Carter and Tania Miranda in the International Hydrological Program and Eliot Enriquez and Kelly Shalk in the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Individual team members Aki Matsushima and Mike Ehrgott were honored when a senior staff member rated the resolution she wrote as the best she had seen in her eight years as an MUN staffer and asked permission to use it in future MUN staff training sessions.

"The team performs so well, in large part, because of the excellent peer teaching and leadership from officers in the MUN program who’ve participated before," said faculty advisor Rick Ostrom. "The team also had expert presentations from professors Bill Stewart, political science, and Steve Lewis, history, which added much to the team’s knowledge of Venezuela."

In addition to the students mentioned above who won outstanding delegate awards, the following team members also traveled to New York: Lana Burris, Dustin Holcomb, Kristian Neira, Kaitlin Conrad, Lia Wrightsmith, Annie Barker, Jeff Whitney, Kelly O’Blennis, Mike Ehrgott, Aki Matsushima, Tanner Songer and Ian McFarren.

For the past eight years, Chico’s MUN teams have dominated the American West Regional MUN Conference and have won outstanding awards at every national MUN conference. The Model UN conference in New York is the largest and most competitive in the world. Instructionally Related Activities funds a large part of the cost. The students also fund their program with events throughout the year.

For more information, contact Ostrom at 530-898-5335 or e-mail him at