The University’s Model United Nations (UN) team and Debate Hawks sent a total of 50 students to two respective tournaments, both taking home awards this weekend Friday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 10.
The Model UN team won multiple awards at the National MUN (NMUN) Conference in Washington, D.C., representing the United States, Argentina, and Jordan in the competition. NMUN is the second largest contest in the United States, with 966 students from 69 universities across the U.S. and around the world.
Monmouth’s U.S. Delegation won Outstanding Delegation (top ten percent at the conference). This delegation included: Nick Boice, Mackenzie Ricca, Payton Collander, Kristen Gomez, Paula Echeverria, Liam Crowley, Katelyn Quino, Fradely Delacruz, Nick Gibson, Alexis Vasquez, Maddy Doe, and Julia Bialy.
The Jordan Delegation won Honorable Mention (top 20 percent at the conference). This delegation was comprised of six first-time delegates: Ari Martinez, Grace Joyce, Stephanie Popper, Ari Moctezuma, Gabriella Griffo, & Yoshua Morales.
Ken Mitchell, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology and an Associate Professor of Political Science who serves as one of the team’s advisers, explained that these “Fearless First-Timers” are the first team of first-timers to place at a conference at any level.
The Argentina Delegation included: Sabria Smith, Catherine Melman-Kenny, Sarah Reutti, Eric Machnicki, Zach Dougherty, Kayla Kennedy, Nina Baltus, Anthony Cendagorta, & Amanda Lopez, many of whom were fist-time MUN competitors.
The debate team of Mia Ardovini-Brooker and William Siefert won first place after defeating SUNY-Binghamton on a 2-1 vote in the championship round at the Rutgers-Newark tournament. Seifert also took a first place individual speaking award at the tournament.
Ardovini-Brooker spoke on her win at the debate tournament in Newark, explaining that she and her partner Siefert faced several difficult rounds but kept a positive attitude. “This was such an amazing experience and I am so glad Monmouth has now one two back to back tournaments,” she said.
Before winning three consecutive playoff rounds on Sunday to win the tournament championship, Ardovini-Brooker and Siefert went 5-1 during the six-round tournament on Friday and Saturday. The Debate Hawks also won the Championship in their last tournament at the University of Rochester (Oct. 11-13), marking the first time that the Debate Team has won back-to-back tournament championships, according to Joe Patten, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Political Science who serves as the team’s advisor.
Monmouth had nine teams of two debaters compete at the tournament and four teams made it into the playoff rounds with winning records. The team of Chyna Walker and Annie Francisquini won a playoff round against the New School after going 4-2 at the tournament in the preliminary rounds. Annie Francisquini also won a second place individual speaking award in her division. The teams of Abigail Miller/Emily O’Sullivan and Caitlin Hornbaker/Mia Jacob also went 4-2 at the tournament. The team of Yendeli Bello and Diana Robles also won a team award. The teams of Allyce Andricola/Diana Turcios, Madelyn Solano/Miranda Landry, Selena Harrichand/Madeline Barnard, and Erin Denzler/Antonio Rodriguez also won impressive victories at the tournament. Other Monmouth debaters also received individual speaking awards including: Ardovini-Brooker (5th place); Walker (7th Place) and Miller (9th place).
The tournament included debate teams representing six universities including New York University, University of Rochester, SUNY-Binghamton, New School, Rutgers University, and Monmouth University.
The Debate Hawks gave a special thanks to debate alum Kaitlin Allsopp, a graduate student at Columbia University, and Sabrina Saenger, a student at Touro Law School, for helping to coach new MU teams and for their help judging at the tournament.
The Model UN Team expressed their gratitude to the Leon Hess Business School, First Year Experience Office, Institute for Global Understanding, and the Department of Political Science and Sociology for their generous financial support. “Monmouth is at its best when it invests resources in students engaging in academic enterprises that develop skills necessary to succeed after [graduation],” said Mitchell.
Both the Debate Team and the Model United Nations Team are open to all undergraduate students at Monmouth. The Model UN team will have a mandatory meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 13 in Bey Hall 226 for any students who are interested in competing at the Harvard Conference in Boston, MA next semester.
PHOTOS COURTESY of Sarah O’Connor