The Steward School’s fourth-annual Model UN Conference (STEWMUN IV) took place March 18-19 on campus. Model United Nations (Model UN) is an educational simulation in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. At a Model UN conference, students take on the roles of delegates and collaborate to create innovative solutions to complex world problems.
Roughly 100 students from area schools participated in the conference as delegates, and 20 Upper School Spartans served as conference leaders. Upper School Social Studies Teachers Sarah Dwelle and Eliza McGehee, faculty co-leaders of Steward’s Model UN chapter, organized the conference.
Teamwork + Problem-Solving
During STEWMUN IV, delegates were divided into four committees (UNICEF, the North Atlantic Treaty Association, the International Olympic Committee, and the Churchill War Room Crisis Committee), each of which tackled issues such as childhood obesity, cyber attacks, and the protection of citizens during air raids.
Lucia Fogler ’22, who served as Secretary-General of STEWMUN IV, was responsible for overseeing the logistics of the conference.
“Every conference I’ve attended for the past four years has given me insight into international relations and global issues,” said Lucia, a 2018 recipient of the Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship
. “My biggest takeaway from [Model UN] is that we can all help to create solutions to global problems.”
Colin Hudson ’22 (Undersecretary-General for Crisis Simulations) was responsible for giving delegates feedback about the effect of their actions on the issues they were trying to resolve.
“What I find most enjoyable about Model UN is being asked to take a position that I may not agree with, but must research and defend anyway,” said Colin. “It is a great way to open myself to different perspectives.” Other members of the student-leadership team were Sami Shumate ’22, Hayden Ashworth ’23, and Sabina Mohanty ’23.
Inspiration and StrongMinds
Each year at STEWMUN, a guest is invited to talk about an important issue and to encourage students to become engaged global citizens. Sheryl Stumbras, the United States Agency for International Development director for Zambia, spoke about the joys and struggles of a career in foreign service.
In addition to their excellent work at the conference, STEWMUN IV participants raised $400 for StrongMinds, an organization that treats mental health issues for women and children in Africa. Rasa Dawson, chief development and communications officer at StrongMinds and parent of Lina Dawson ’25, spoke to attendees about the organization’s commitment to empowering African women.
Mrs. Dwelle, who has been a Model UN sponsor for 20 years, is hopeful for the future.
“In a world in which civil discourse seems to be lacking, Model UN students give up their weekends to learn diplomacy and to address difficult global issues,” she said. “Participating in Model UN always leaves me hopeful that the future is in good hands.”