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Distinguished Delegation: Maritime Studies Students Awarded at National Model United Nations in Kobe, Japan    

January 26, 2023

Maritime Studies students in Japan for the National Model United Nations competition.
Maritime Studies students in Japan for the National Model United Nations competition.

By Taylor Bounds, Content Specialist

In November, ten Maritime Studies students from Texas A&M University at Galveston traveled to Kobe, Japan to compete in the National Model United Nations. NMUN, the world's largest and oldest ongoing university-level Model UN, welcomed over 200 students from dozens of countries across the world for the event. The ten students that competed are Blythe Applegarth, Garrett Cole, Libby Guidry, Ressia Hagood, Zeke Hubert, Trent Lilley, Hope McFarlin, Phoenix Peterson, Abigail McKenna and Ashton Whittington. 

NMUN requires participants to practice diplomacy in simulations where they research, create, and then advocate for political and diplomatic positions, often that the student may not personally agree with. The competitors flex their public speaking and debate skills, work collaboratively toward a common goal, and function within the confines of parliamentary procedure. The objective, just like the General Assembly of the United Nations, is to find solutions to worldwide problems: how to maintain security, promote social good, and better the standard of living for people across the globe.

Students started researching committee topics in August, four months ahead of the competition, in preparation for the event. “We started out with background and history over both countries, completed multiple research papers that later turned into our final paper that we would submit to the United Nations Model,” said student Hope McFarlin ‘23. “Closer to the Model UN date, we did mock models in class so we learned how to communicate at the model, as well as Robert's Rules.” 

During the trip, students visited Hiroshima, where the United States dropped the first atomic bomb at the end of World War II. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is located at the only structure left standing after the bombing, preserved as a ruin and now known as Genbaku Dome. They also traveled to Kyoto, home to numerous UNESCO sites with its temples and gardens, including the Kiyomizu-dera Temple Complex and Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine and the Vermillion Gates. These cultural experiences allowed the students to witness Japanese heritage and learn about society in a country other than the United States. 

“[Students] represented the nations of Turkiye and the United Arab Emirates and won the Distinguished Delegation award,” said Adam Haney, political science professor and advisor for Model UN at Texas A&M at Galveston. “I am very proud of our Sea Aggies who demonstrate what exceptional students can do given the great opportunities for success here at Galveston.”

McFarlin enthusiastically endorsed the program, saying “This was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career. I am so thankful [for] this amazing opportunity to learn about international relations and policy. Traveling abroad with my classmates gave us so many memories and friendships that we will cherish forever!” She added: “I hope that this will continue on for this department so other students can see the amazing opportunities that are offered through the Maritime Studies Department.” 


Media contact:
Taylor Bounds
Content Specialist

Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.