By Emily Peisker, HPU junior
BROWNWOOD – April 16, 2015 – Howard Payne University students Cara DeLoach and Mike McConnell recently participated in the Model United Nations conference at the University of Economics in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. DeLoach and McConnell served as chair of the Security Council and co-chair of the Disarmament and International Security Committee, respectively.
DeLoach, a senior from San Angelo, and McConnell, a senior from Burleson, have participated in Model UN conferences since 2013. Their experiences and track record at conferences across Europe prompted the Prague conference to offer them chair and co-chair positions on elite councils.
“That Cara and Mike would be chosen for such an honor speaks volumes not only about their unique abilities as demonstrated at previous Model UN conferences, but also reveals that the HPU Model United Nations Team is making a name for itself and raising HPU’s international profile,” said Dr. Justin D. Murphy, HPU’s Brand professor of history, dean of the School of Humanities and director of the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy.
With previous experience at conferences in Stockholm, Rome and Istanbul, DeLoach came well-prepared to chair the Security Council, the highest-level committee in Model UN. The Security Council deals with the most prevalent topics in the real United Nations, such as the current conflict with ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
“Having the opportunity to preside over the Security Council at the Prague conference was an honor and a unique experience that I will never forget,” said DeLoach. “I was able to facilitate debates on the topic of ISIL with students from all over the world, develop friendships abroad and learn about a new culture.”
McConnell helped chair the Disarmament and International Security Committee, the first arm of the General Assembly. DISEC deals with issues regarding the promotion, establishment and subsequent maintenance of global peace while simultaneously working to prevent weapons proliferation.
“My committee, comprised of students from all over Europe and parts of the United States, tackled the difficult and pressing issues of demilitarizing the Arctic region and the threat of terrorist groups obtaining weapons of mass destruction,” said McConnell.
Part of the experience of Model UN is to travel to different cities around the world, where students can fellowship with peers, develop skills for future careers and immerse themselves in new cultures.
“Prague itself was incredibly beautiful, mixing Old World architecture with modern structures in a seamless and beautiful fashion,” said McConnell.
DeLoach said touring Prague, visiting the castle and eating at the Café Louvre were just a few of the wonderful memories she will have for the rest of her life.
“Participating in HPU’s Model United Nations program has allowed me to learn so much about myself and other people, and for that I will always be grateful,” she said.
DeLoach, McConnell and other members of HPU’s Model UN team additionally traveled to Münster, Germany, competing in the Münster University International Model United Nations Conference, between March 28 and April 1.
Photo cutline: HPU students Cara DeLoach and Mike McConnell recently held elite positions at the Model United Nations conference at the University of Economics in Prague.