By Emma Walker (‘25 Political Science B.A. & Peace Studies B.A. & Honors Program minor)

Chapman University’s Model UN team, led by Dr. Hilmi Ulas, was named “Honorable Mention” at the 2023 Model UN Conference in New York City in April where hundreds of teams participated.

The Model UN Conference brings together thousands of college students to discuss current global issues in a real world context.

The Model UN courses at Chapman are popular with Peace Studies and Political Science majors and involve simulated UN debates at local, regional and national levels, such as the conference in New York City.

For our latest From Our Eyes feature, student Emma Walker (‘25 Political Science B.A. & Peace Studies B.A. & Honors Program minor) shares her experiences with Model UN.

My experience in Model United Nations has been an unforgettable experience that has inspired me to pursue a career in international relations. Our trips to the University of California, Santa Barbara, and New York City have been an incredible opportunity to meet students from across the country and worldwide to participate in the day-long debates. Topics ranging from women’s financial rights to the effects of climate change on refugees have spotlighted our ability to problem-solve global issues that have real-world impacts. Our trip to the National Model United Nations conference in New York City was a life-changing experience I will never forget. Participating and representing the Republic of Ghana, among forty-five other delegates, was a great experience in peacebuilding and understanding the workings of the United Nations. My committee specifically was the Commission on the Status of Women, where we worked towards addressing equal access for women around the globe. Focusing on creating tangible solutions that would make effective changes for our two topics of equal access to social protections and women’s advancement in financial services demonstrated how many young students want to go into the field of peacebuilding, myself included.

From our committee, I met students from not only across the country but also across the globe. From Indiana to Germany, students from around the world traveled to New York City to participate in a conference where we would learn valuable skills of debate, compromise, and a united understanding of solving our topics. One of the most memorable moments of our trip was getting to sit in the United Nations General Assembly for our closing ceremony and hear from those who work in the UN and learn about all the impacts and potential we as students have on these topics. For me, this was incredibly inspiring, as I hope to work with organizations, such as the UN, after graduation. Sitting in the UN General Assembly showed how many students attended this conference and how many of us strongly desire to pursue the skills we learned in Model UN in our careers. I have participated in Model UN since my freshman year of high school and felt ecstatic when I saw it was offered at Chapman University. Being able to continue Model UN has helped me understand my role in the international community as a global citizen and see what international affairs careers interest me. Model UN has taught me much about international humanitarian work and creating progress towards global issues, such as climate change, war, and advancing human rights. I have become a better student and person because of this class. I want to thank Dr. Ulas for teaching our class and teaching us so much about the United Nations, and having us think critically about our roles as global citizens and participation in Model UN. While I am sad that this class is almost at a close for me, I am excited to see the subsequent influx of students who participate in Model UN and experience all the fantastic opportunities I did!

Participating in Model United Nations (MUN) has been one of the most enriching experiences of my academic career. As a student majoring in Political science and minoring in Peace Studies, I had always been interested in international affairs and peacebuilding. When I heard about MUN at Chapman, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Trinity Huynh ‘24, Political Science Major, Peace Studies Minor.