By Julia Shands
March 10, 2022
ARKADELPHIA, Ark.—Ouachita Baptist University student Izzy Baughn, a junior communications & media/strategic communications and political science double major from Jonesboro, Ark., earned an award for Best Position Paper in the United Nations Environmental Assembly during the Midwest Model United Nations, held Feb. 23–26 in St. Louis, Mo. Ouachita’s team also earned an honorable mention award for Best Delegation.
In addition to Baughn, Ouachita’s student delegation to the Model UN included Maddie Bailey, a senior political science major from Bauxite, Ark.; Caroline Derby, a junior communications & media/multimedia journalism and political science double major from Arkadelphia, Ark.; and Anna Roussel, a senior communications & media/strategic communications and political science double major from Searcy, Ark. The team represented the country of Niger.
Dr. Kevin Brennan, professor of political science at Ouachita, began preparing the students in early November for Midwest Model UN and its requirements.
“I give a brief lecture on the purpose of position papers, essential parts to include and some advice about the format,” Brennan said. “Because of the assignments they have done throughout the course, they are already prepared to write about the background of the topics and to include some good ideas for making progress on these issues.”
Model UN consists of 12- and 14-hour days where students are expected to participate in a realistic simulation of the United Nations General Assembly by representing their selected country.
“They must consistently caucus with other delegates to write resolutions that will pass in their respective committees and then through the entire General Assembly,” Brennan noted. “Combined with that, they occasionally speak in their role as delegates and must do so into a microphone with about 75 other people in the room. When they are in the GA, it is in front of about 200 people.”
In the months prior to Model UN, Baughn researched and gathered information on Niger and began developing a paper on Niger’s stance on nuclear power and sustainability and the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement to cut environmental emissions.
“As a part of our class assignments, we would prepare article summaries and verbal arguments to more deeply understand Niger and the domestic and foreign policy promoted by their country,” Baughn said. “We were then tasked with a paper that asked us to explain the treaties and resolutions passed pertaining to our topics of study. By combining the knowledge from lectures, article summaries, verbal arguments and the treaties paper, I was able to draft a position paper that was informative and authentic to the needs of Niger.”
Brennan said, “I am thrilled about Izzy’s award. This is the fourth consecutive year that at least one student from Ouachita’s delegation has received a Best Position Paper award. Only seven delegates on Izzy’s committee (United Nations Environmental Assembly) received this particular award.”
Baughn recalled that much time and effort went into the execution of her paper.
“I was really honored to walk away with recognition for the months of research and thought development on these topic areas,” she said. “It was definitely a moment that I won’t forget and makes me eager for my next experience at the conference.”
For more information about the Midwest Model United Nations, contact Dr. Kevin Brennan at [email protected] or at (870) 245-5346.