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University of New Haven Team Recognized At Model United Nations Conference

Release Date:
11/12/2014 12:00 AM

Nov. 12, 2014

Model UN, 750 px
UNH's Model UN team was among the best at its first conference.

WEST HAVEN, CONN. - In its first-ever Model United Nations conference, the University of New Haven team won a Distinguished Delegation Award, an honor presented to just 14 colleges and universities from the more than 100 from the U.S. and abroad that participated in the annual event.

The Model United Nations, or MUN, seeks to advance understanding of the United Nations and international issues and was held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 31 - Nov. 2. Each team at the conference portrays a different country - UNH was Sweden - and students act as though they are representatives of their assigned country. This year’s conference also included a crisis simulation in the Security Council and briefings by distinguished speakers from the diplomatic community.

During the conference, students must remain in character while participating in committee meetings. They also must collaborate with other teams and follow proper use of the rules of procedure. Each university is then evaluated and graded by other participating teams on how well they achieved these goals, with the highest scorers selected for recognition.

“What is amazing is that our team was able to achieve this on only two months of preparation when competing against schools that run MUN as a course,” said Chris Haynes, associate professor of political science. Haynes started MUN at UNH this semester with political science major Connor Briggs, who served as the team’s head delegate at the national conference.

“More important is the fact that each and every student grew personally and professionally by leaps and bounds. Shy students became assertive, followers turned into leaders, individualists became collaborators, and those who lacked confidence found it,” Haynes said.

The 11 members of the UNH team are: Connor Briggs, of Atkinson, N.H., a senior studying political science; James Hart of Moultonborough, N.H. a political science major; Matthew Belletete of Jaffrey, N.H., a senior studying  psychology; Paul Raffile of  Wallingford, Conn., a senior in criminal justice; Mikolaj Galazka, of Norwalk, Conn., a freshman studying criminal justice; Melissa Peil, of North Syracuse, N.Y., a freshman studying political science; Jessica Sattler of  Canton, Maine, a  junior studying psychology;  Jamie Harron, of  Easton, Pa., a sophomore in the national security program;  Emily Nash, of Pembroke, N.H. a junior studying forensic science; Elise Lenahan of  Barre, Vt, a junior studying national security; and Julianna Calcagno of Silver Spring, Md, a senior studying criminal justice.

In addition to UNH, some of the other teams to participate were from Davidson College, Princeton University, Texas Christian University and West Virginia University. There also were several international competitors, including teams from China, France, Great Britain, Italy, Korea and Vietnam

As to what lies ahead, Haynes said, “We look forward to hopefully having the opportunity to compete at the most prestigious MUN conference in New York this coming March.”

The complete list of winners can be found at the MUN website at

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.