AU student wins award at model UN conference

Thu, 2014-05-29 16:39 -- smgower
May 29, 2014

Junior political science major and business administration minor Yardley Collett earned the Best Position Paper award at the North America Model United Nations (NAMUN) Conference in February. Collett and the students of the Anderson University Model United Nations (MUN) team traveled to Toronto to attend the conference in February.

According to the NAMUN website, the conference “strives to combine educational quality with highly realistic simulations of the UN to give students an unparalleled MUN learning experience.” Through the opportunities with NAMUN, students learn traditional procedures of the UN and how to write resolutions, such as those presented at UN conferences. They are also placed on various committees to learn how to deal with prevalent issues.

Collett was placed on one of the four joint crisis committees, which worked on the 2008 Obama Change Campaign. The team she was assigned to was responsible for running the simulated campaign for four days in a manner that ensured Senator Obama won the election. Throughout the four days, Collett acted as both the deputy campaign director and public relations coordinator, while being named campaign director on the final day.

The quality of the work Collett produced for the mock Obama Campaign displayed the dedication and research she invested into the conference. “As the public relations coordinator, I was able to organize the types of ad campaigns and the publicity I felt was necessary for the campaign,” said Collett. “I was also in charge of statements to the press regarding any scandals that may have occurred throughout the campaign.”

As a result of her enthusiasm, Collett left the NAMUN conference with an award for the best position paper from her committee. In the position paper, Collett thoroughly explained what her role as deputy campaign director entailed throughout the campaign, while also addressing the best strategy for a winning outcome for the Obama team.

Blake Hall, a senior majoring in political science and co-head delegate of the AU MUN team, was one of the members who attended the Toronto conference with Collett. He was placed on the 2008 McCain Change Campaign during the conference. Despite being on opposing committees, Hall believes Collett’s award is a representation of her commitment to the conference and her work.

“Yardley wrote an outstanding position paper that stood out as the best and most comprehensive among fellow conference members,” said Hall. “This honor shows her level of preparation and research leading up to the conference, and resulted in her crafting a very detailed and precise position paper, which aided her throughout the conference.”

Collett’s road to success at the NAMUN conference would not have been possible without Dr. Daniel Allen, assistant professor of political science. He has acted as the faculty advisor with AU NAMUN for nearly five years. Throughout his involvement, Allen has provided advice and encouragement to student in their work with MUN.

“Model United Nations requires that students take on the arguments of their assigned person, as opposed to just arguing what the student would personally want,” said Allen. “Yardley’s work was thoroughly researched, well developed, and truly in character.”

The professors and courses Collett has had during her time at AU contributed to her success at the NAMUN conference. “It is because of the political science courses and the professors I have had while at AU that I have the abilities to write well,” said Collett. “I was able to stand in front of the McCain and Obama teams during the debate and speak with confidence.”

— Allison Kohl is a 2014 graduate from Springfield, Ohio, majoring in communication arts. Kohl is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.