Something exciting happened in education last week, and it took place at the University of Southern Maine.

The Maine Model United Nations Conference celebrated its 16th year as nearly 500 Maine high school and middle school students spent two days in Gorham as delegates, led by USM students, learning to approach global issues collaboratively, respectfully and diplomatically.

Throughout the spring semester, USM students prepared for the conference as MeMUNC officers and global educators.

USM global educators spent time in classrooms across the state, helping student delegates understand international relations and learn to research, write, take a position and speak about global affairs.

The World Affairs Council of Maine, which was involved when MeMUNC began in 1999, congratulates all Model U.N. students and teachers for their hard work and commitment to global education.

Special recognition goes to Secretary-General Cailley Bonti, Deputy Secretary-General Shannon Flaherty, and Under Secretaries-General Lindsey Hicks and Anna Gervais for their hard work, talent and humor in bringing this experience to life.

They are true leaders with a global perspective, and three of them graduated from USM just days before the MeMUNC events.

Thanks also goes to Dr. Lynn Kuzma for bringing Model U.N. to USM 16 years ago and continuing to champion it, and to program director Julia Edwards for continuing to improve and grow the program.

The Model U.N. experience offers students an incredible opportunity for global learning and awareness.

The unique way it is implemented at USM, with older students teaching younger students, embodies MeMUNC’s motto of the way the world should be, and the World Affairs Council of Maine hopes it continues to engage and inspire Maine students for many years to come.

Amy Holland

executive director, World Affairs Council of Maine