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Sacramento State's U.N. team a model for victory


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Government Professor Steve Iverson and his model United Nations students are accustomed to winning, so the Sacramento State squad’s strong showing at a Chicago competition Nov. 17-20 comes as no surprise.

“Our delegation won three of seven best-in-committee awards in which we represented the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam,” Iverson says. “And the entire delegation was honored for their position papers.”

Model UN 2012

Sacramento State's Model United Nations team excelled at a conference in Chicago, Nov. 17-20.

Sac State shone among the 50-plus schools that competed. “Everyone worked very hard over the course of the entire conference and received praise from many of the participating delegates and their faculty advisors,” Iverson says.

Ted Stanfield and Cael Cox spearheaded the Economic and Social Council, Asia and Pacific. Noah Rodriguez and Pegah Shahmirzadi helmed the Human Rights Council, while Aaron Kerby and Audrey Simpson ran the General Assembly Humanitarian and Social Committee.

“We did even better than last year,” Iverson notes. That’s significant because Stanfield is the lone returnee from that team, which captured an Outstanding Delegation award at the National MUN conference in New York. Sac State’s team will begin preparation for the New York competition, which is March 24-28, soon after the fall semester ends.

Iverson selects students during the summer, and they begin reading and writing papers before the school year. “We start gearing up for the Chicago competition in June, so that by the time the fall semester commences, my U.N. simulation class is deeply involved in their research effort.” He believes his current squad is capable of an even stronger showing in the New York competition.

A Sac State alumnus, Iverson invests a great deal of dedication in preserving the Hornets’ stellar U.N. tradition, which began in 1977 when Government Professor Ronald Fox fielded a team from an extracurricular gathering of internationally inclined students. Fox retired in 2010 and passed the baton to Iverson, who is maintaining that standard of excellence.

“We are concentrating on highly motivated students with strong research capabilities who can communicate effectively,” Iverson says. But he keeps things in perspective. “Our program has never emphasized awards. Instead, our focus has always been on substantive preparation. The students understand the importance of research and remaining in character during their presentations.”

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Alan Miller