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Hunter Model U.N. Team Wins Top Awards at National Model U.N. Competition

The Hunter College Model U.N. Team kept its unbroken winning streak as it racked up three Outstanding Delegate in Committee Awards at this year's National Model U.N. Competition, where the Hunter team represented the United Kingdom.

The competition, held April 2-7 at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City, was host to a record 5,100 students.

The winners of the Outstanding Delegate in Committee Awards were freshman Margot Cruz, graduating senior Olya Nesterova, and junior Salim Westvind. In addition, Hunter seniors Aleksandr Akulov and Lukasz Sowinski were elected to represent the Economic and Social Council on the Executive Bureau, and the Hunter team won an honorable mention as a delegation.

Nesterova also won a Distinguished Delegate Award for her representation of Nicaragua at the annual Baruch Model U.N. Conference, held March 2, where the Hunter team represented 20 countries. "I wish the United Nations could find consensus on thorny issues as quickly as the delegates did at the Baruch conference," said Nesterova, who added: "The Hunter team negotiated seamlessly."

And Akulov, who has been hired to continue as an analyst at Bloomberg L.P. after graduation, called the Model U.N. Competitions "phenomenal," adding: "I learned the importance of research, organization, feedback, and teamwork on the Executive Bureau." Another topflight Hunter student, senior Jarret Freeman, who was chosen among thousands of applicants for a U.S. Department of State internship, said the National Model U.N. was "an experience that is preparing me for a future career in government." He heads for Vladivostok this summer.

The team's head delegates, junior Katherine Salinas and senior Yevgeniy Feyman, worked around the clock to prepare the team for the competition. Salinas, who had a leading role at the Global Model U.N. in South Korea, said that the effort to write and rewrite in-depth research papers on all of the topics addressed by the team was "intense". Feyman, who is going to a research position at the Manhattan Institute after graduation, said: "When you have firsthand sources, as we did, and conduct significant research, it shows, and the team was thoroughly prepared."

Professor Pamela Falk, who is the team's faculty advisor and teaches the Hunter class on Model U.N. Competitions, said: "The most rewarding thing to see is how prepared and mature the team is; they negotiate and find consensus, and that is remarkable at such a large conference."

On May 22, the Model U.N Team was awarded the College President's Amelia Ottinger Award for Excellence in the Art of Debate.

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