Naperville NCC student participates in Model UN
By Jane Donahue For the Sun May 27, 2011 1:20PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Mary Naset got a real-world lesson in politics last month when she took part in the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City.
“This conference, and the Model United Nations program at North Central College as a whole, provides a completely unique and enjoyable learning experience for today’s students,” said Naset, 20, of Naperville. “It provides a way to learn about a country, often one that does not come up in standard history lessons, in a completely in-depth way.”
Naset, a junior at North Central College and 2008 graduate of Benet Academy, was among nine NCC students who represented the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
“The thing I enjoy most about Model UN is the unique perspective on global issues that it gives,” Naset said. “Not only do we learn about the country’s history, politics and resources, but we also dig into the culture of the people, which is important to be aware of when you are taking the position of the country in dealings at the Model UN conference.”
Led by William Muck, assistant professor of political science, Naset and the other students researched every aspect of the country during the 10-week winter-term class. Once at the conference, students interacted with others “in character” to accurately reflect the views and positions of Equatorial Guinea, sitting in all-day committee sessions with delegates from other countries working to build consensus on various topics they were debating.
“The national conference is a rigorous exercise in global diplomacy,” Muck said. “Our students faced the challenges of trying to build global consensus while still representing the strategic interests of Equatorial Guinea. In doing so, they’re forced to step outside their comfort zone and think about the world through the lens of a different country.”
Naset said one of the highlights of the conference was the opportunity to work with students from around the world. Along with a glimpse into the inner workings of the United Nations, the five-day conference brings together more than 5,000 delegates from five continents.
“One of the highlights of the conference was interacting with the other students,” Naset said. “This provided a great way to learn about even more countries, in both an academic and social setting.”
Naset’s group also met with Equatorial Guinea’s United Nations Ambassador, Anatolio Ndong Mba.
“It was very interesting to hear him describe his actual workings in the UN, including his dealings with the United States delegation,” she said.
Naset is majoring in political science with a minor in global studies.
Contact Jane Donahue at firstname.lastname@example.org