Campus: Cal Poly, Pomona -- May 04, 2001

Cal Poly Pomona's Model United Nations Team Wins Top Honors At International Competition

A 16-student team from Cal Poly Pomona took top honors at the Model United Nations conference in New York from April 10 to April 14. The team, which represented Costa Rica, garnered Outstanding Delegation as well as the Position Paper Award, two of the most coveted awards at the international competition.

Cal Poly Pomona's contingent competed against more than 2,500 students from around the world. Only eight out of the 220 competing universities and colleges attained the distinction of Outstanding Delegation. Cal Poly Pomona's team was also one of 13 delegations to earn the Position Paper Award. It was recognized for its exceptional essay explaining Costa Rica's resolutions on current issues and supporting those statements with knowledge of the country's culture, foreign policy and history.

"I was a little intimidated after meeting some of the competition from Germany," said Maryann Tolano. "Some of them were fluent in six different languages. It felt like a dream when the speaker called Cal Poly Pomona to come to the podium and accept its award for Outstanding Delegation."

This marks the best performance by a Cal Poly Pomona team. Last year's Model United Nations team received Distinguished Delegation, with the two previous years earning honorable mentions. Only 15 percent of the competing delegations win awards.

The National Model United Nations conference - the largest student-administered conference in the country - convenes each spring in New York City and provides students from universities throughout the United States and around the world the opportunity to take on the role of specific nations in an intense, week-long simulation of the actual United Nations.

Opening and closing sessions were held in the Great Hall of the General Assembly at the United Nations building, and student delegates received extensive briefings from high-level U.N. staff members.

"We've poured ourselves into the work and worked so hard. When it all came together at the end, it was just so emotional," said Stefanie Hedlund, head delegate from Cal Poly Pomona who earned the distinction of chairing the World Conference on Racism. "It was a great experience. We really displayed what it means to be a team."

This year's Costa Rica delegation included:

  • Steven Andringa of Riverside
  • Yiqing Dai of Covina
  • Karen Frost of Glendora
  • Farrah Hassen of West Covina
  • Stefanie Hedlund of Huntington Beach
  • Veronika Herrera of La Puente
  • Kelly Hubbard of Glendora
  • Ken Hernandez of Chino
  • Landon O'Banion of Norco
  • Joshua Roche of Upland
  • Trevor Rose of Claremont
  • Joseph Salas of Pomona
  • Reza Shaeri of La Verne
  • Joshua Sullivan of Phelan
  • Maryann Tolano of Diamond Bar
  • Jaclyn Wolbertus of West Covina

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