Arab League students with awards
By Roanoke College News

Roanoke Model UN and Arab League delegations place at national and regional conferences

Roanoke College students have participated in three diplomatic conferences in recent months, winning awards in each on regional and national levels.

During the week of March 24, the Roanoke College Model United Nations League received a third-place award at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in New York City.

It was the first time in 23 years that the College’s Model UN delegation received recognition at the NMUN-NY, which draws participants from more than 130 UN Member States to address current global issues. The Roanoke College UN delegation—one of the smallest of the delegations from 200 schools and universities present—received the award for their representation of the State of Palestine.

The delegation from Roanoke College also participated in the National University Model Arab League (NUMAL), held April 4-7 in Washington, D.C, where two history majors received first-place awards.

Mia Petrucci ’20 and Tim Shay ’19, won the Outstanding Delegation award in Environmental Affairs for their representation of Palestine. This was Roanoke College’s first time participating in NUMAL, held annually in D.C., this year at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center.

NUMAL, which started as an informal demonstration simulation at Georgetown University in 1983, has grown to host over 400 students from approximately 25 colleges and universities. Delegates train year-round through mock simulations, course-structured research, and participation in regional Modern Arab League conferences to prepare for this highly competitive international simulation.

Petrucci and Shay also received Outstanding Delegates, Environmental Affairs, at the South Eastern Regional Model Arab League (SERMAL) conference, held in Spartanburg, South Carolina on March 15-17. This was the third year in a row Roanoke College competed at SERMAL.

Roanoke College’s delegation represented Qatar at SERMAL. The delegation won second overall and won an award in every category—a first for the College. In addition to the awards Petrucci and Shay received, individual and group awards went to:

  • Mary Rose Stark ’21 – Outstanding Delegate, Palestinian Affairs.
  • Simon Gardehl ’22 and Bradley Sperl ’22 – Distinguished Delegates, Economic Affairs.
  • Emily Cranford ’22 and Christa Waterwiese ’19 – Distinguished Delegates, Joint Defense Council.
  • Casey Wilson ’21 – Distinguished Delegate, Special Council on Women and Children.
  • Sasha Bronder ’19 – Distinguished Delegate, Social Affairs.
  • Paul Manville ’19 – Distinguished Delegate, Political Affairs.
  • Ryan Denholm ’22 and Dan Nahor ’22 – Superior Delegates, Head of State.

The delegation, as a group, received the overall Distinguished Delegation award for their representation of Qatar.

The Model Arab League and Model UN League offer students the ability to research deeply into the politics of the Middle East, to meet with like-minded students, to hear from diplomats and scholars, hone their professional and leadership skills, and travel to the region. In addition, the league is focused on competing on behalf of Roanoke College and making the school proud.

“They absolutely did that,” said Dr. Robert Willingham, associate professor of history who, with Dr. Joshua Rubongoya, professor of public affairs, serve as league advisors.