Photo of 14 UWO Model UN delegates, who worked with other students from around the world to address global issues and picked up top awards in the process.

Over the course of a week, 14 UWO Model UN delegates worked with other students from around the world to address global issues and picked up top awards in the process.

Forty years of excellence is hard to beat. But, for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Model United Nations team, it’s not about the scoreboard.

The UWO “Model UN” program measures its milestones differently, and the latest is stunning: four decades of consistent, award-winning excellence on a national stage.

Building on its legacy, the Model UN team continued its generations of exceptional performances at last month’s National MUN conference in New York City. The NMUN conference brings more than 5,000 student delegates to Midtown Manhattan each year.

UW Oshkosh Model UN earned another Outstanding Delegation award, the conference’s top honor. It’s an distinction UWO has earned in an incredible 40 consecutive conferences.

Photo of UW Oshkosh Model UN delegates who represented Rwanda at the national competition March 23-29 in New York City.

UW Oshkosh Model UN delegates represented Rwanda at the national competition March 23-29 in New York City.

“Model UN has been active at UW Oshkosh since 1965, and we’ve been attending the NMUN conference in NYC for almost four decades,” Model UN Co-Advisor and Professor and Chair of Political Science Tracy Slagter said. “We have an impressive track record of success at this conference.  And while ‘winning’ always feels good, it’s not what we stress with our team, even though they are constantly recognized for their amazing work and they fully deserve the honors they receive.  Instead, we emphasize what it means to be an Oshkosh delegate. It means you are the most knowledgeable, inclusive, kind, helpful and expertly diplomatic person in the room. And as it turns out, that formula is a ‘winning’ one at conferences both nationally and internationally.”

UWO Model UN Delegates Meg Traska, a senior human resources and psychology major, and Amelia Geiger, a sophomore education major, also earned a Position Paper Award for their work on children in conflict and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Delegates Sebastian Vang, a senior majoring in radio TV film, and Mason Sada, a senior management major, earned coveted Outstanding Delegates in Committee awards for their work in the Peacebuilding Commission.

The 14 UWO delegates worked with other student delegates from around the world to address global issues including biodiversity loss, nuclear safety, rural poverty and children in conflict.

Traveling over Spring Break, the UWO team represented Rwanda at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in New York City.

On April 6, the world commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide that resulted in the deaths of nearly one million people in the small central African country of Rwanda in 1994. Slagter said Oshkosh delegates, staying true to the country they represented, referenced the genocide and its impacts on every facet of Rwandan life in countless speeches, committee discussions and working papers. They demonstrated how the genocide in Rwanda was a flashpoint that demanded more of the international community, she said, urging the global community (and fellow NMUN delegates) to enhance their efforts in preventing violence in all forms and working to secure a safer, better world.

Photo of the UW Oshkosh MUN team, which had a chance to take in sights in New York City.

The UW Oshkosh MUN team had a chance to take in sights in New York City.

Unlike a sports contest, Model UN members of a country team rarely see each other; each delegate is negotiating with hundreds of other student delegates in different hotel meeting rooms, and the goal is to be noticed for your knowledge, inclusivity and mastery of the UN process. Teams earn awards based on how members of their delegation perform across the conference. The conference culminates at the United Nations General Assembly, where awards are announced.

“Going to a large city like New York for the first time and exploring in depth some of the inner workings of the United Nations is an experience that will stick with me my whole life,” Geiger said.

Many members of the Oshkosh team were new to MUN this year and needed to quickly learn a great deal. Some experienced team members attended a conference in Erfurt, Germany, in November and nearly all participated in the Midwest Model UN conference in St. Louis in February.

Continuing the legacy of excellence

UW Oshkosh delegates were proud to participate in a conference that was led by UW Oshkosh MUN alumnus, Caitlin Hopper ’15, who graduated with a degree in international studies. Hopper served as the secretary general for the entire New York conference—an honor that meant organizing a huge staff and welcoming and assisting thousands of college students.

Members of the current UWO team were Kai Ahn, Isabel DeBruin, Reyna Esquivel, Amelia Geiger, Jack Hintz, Claire Im, Trenton Korth, Sri Manikandan, Vlad Plyaka, Mason Sada, Elaina Swafford, Elizabeth Tisler, Meg Traska and Sebastian Vang.

In addition to Slagter the team is advised by Angela Subulwa, Director of International Studies and Professor and Chair of the UWO Geography department.

The team is recruiting members for its 2024-2025 team. Anyone interested in learning about UW Oshkosh’s only academic team, may email Slagter at for more information. The team meets from 3:30-5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in Sage Hall.


Written by UW Oshkosh News Bureau

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