Delegates to a Foreign Country
Mount Students pursue Egyptian Interests in Model Simulation
From parties and elections, to politics and film, to environmental law and governmental management, Mount political science students were offered a wealth of timely and interesting courses this semester, including the Model Arab League Simulation, a one-credit elective course taught by Kristen Urban, Ph.D., professor of political science.
Mount students participated in the Capital Area Model League, representing Egypt.
An important part of the course is participation in the Capital Area Model League, recently hosted by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The program offers students an unsurpassed opportunity to acquire and develop practical leadership skills directly related to the United States in one of the world's most vital regions. In the process, students learn about the most important social, economic, cultural, and political issues facing Arab leaders and ordinary citizens.
“This leadership development program not only promotes knowledge about an important – and rapidly changing – region of our world, but also requires that our students learn to think on their feet, communicate clearly, and through discourse and negotiation, develop creative solutions to multi-faceted problems,” Dr. Kristen Urban explains, “It’s wonderful to see the pride and confidence they feel when a resolution they have introduced and “fought” for in committee actually comes to a vote and is passed by the League as a whole!”
This year, Mount students Charlie Gallagher, George Gonzales, Jeff Griffith, Lauran Howard, Martina Howard, Brian Jankowski, Lisa Lopez, Kayla Reed, Michael Ryan, and Heidi VanValkenburg were assigned the country of Egypt. They researched and considered timely topics, including what to do with Syria, issues related to water, boundary disputes, refugee issues, and Palestinian statehood. During the session, they worked to achieve consensus on questions real-life diplomats wrestle with daily —writing, debating, and offering and passing resolutions seeking to resolve some of the Arab world’s most difficult challenges.
“Egypt has been through a lot within the past year so it was interesting seeing the changes being made by the new government,” said Heidi VanValkenburg, a senior in the course. “The agenda in my particular committee focused on social issues, including human rights, freedom of speech and press, health care, and non-discriminate weapons such as cluster weapons.”
Mount students participated in the simulation for more than 20 hours over two days, with three of the Mount’s committee delegations receiving awards of recognition for their efforts, including: Joint Defense: Brian Jankowski and Michael Ryan; Political Affairs: Charlie Gallagher and George Gonzalez; and Palestinian Affairs: Kayla Reed and Jeff Griffith. According to Urban, the leadership provided by the chairs of the committees proved instrumental in the success of the day.
“I have learned that it takes time and patience for world problems to be solved effectively,” said Heidi VanValkenburg, “We have to listen to diverse thoughts and viewpoints and come up with a viable plan of action to promote peace and prosperity — not only within the Middle East, but the whole world. We have to learn to compromise.”
For more information visit the Mount’s Political Science department.