International Relations: Gannon University Students to Attend North American Model U.N.

Posted: February 23, 2017

Five Gannon University students with an interest in international affairs will travel to Toronto on February 24 to participate in the North American Model U.N. (NAMUN).

For the students, NAMUN is a rare opportunity to participate in Model U.N. proceedings representing various countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Cote D'Ivoire and Guinea. While the five students are intimately familiar with the workings of Model U.N., their role as participants is novel.

All have been organizers and moderators of the Gannon University Model U.N. for high school students, which is the longest-running organization of its type in the country, and the second-oldest Model U.N. in the world.

Hosted by the University of Toronto since 1985, NAMUN is a forum by which students from colleges and universities around the globe can understand the complex challenges faced by the international community in areas such as security and development, human rights, economic and social progress, and learn about diverse cultures, political systems and history.

Many of those topics come together in the unique role that Katherine Greissinger, a biology/pre-med major from Erie, will take at a meeting of NAMUN's Joint Crisis committee that will simulate the Qing court during China's nationalist Boxer Rebellion of 1899-1901. Greissinger will portray Zhao Sanduo, a double challenge, given that Zhao is not only a historical figure, but also a male.

For Donoven Chase, the incoming Secretary General of the 2017 Gannon Model UN and a history major from Waterford, Pa., Model U.N. is more than an enjoyable educational exercise. "The reason I came to Gannon University is the Edward Lamb Model U.N. scholarship I received. Every year, the Gannon Model U.N. conference gives out four-year scholarships of $3,000 per year to students who participate in Model U.N. It's an incredible opportunity to come together with students to discuss international affairs and come up with solutions to a problem, especially from the points of view of countries that aren't often heard from."

Brandon Saraniti, an international studies/foreign languages double major from Macedonia, Ohio, will represent Argentina, and plans to use this opportunity to research the country in which he hopes to study in the future.

Anjali Sahay, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and the faculty advisor of the Model U.N. group, said "I am very excited for the excellent international experiential learning opportunity for the students to attend a college Model U.N. conference. Being an international trip, this conference has definitely built up the planning (including getting passports for some students), research, communication and leadership skills of our students."