FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2010
Office of College Communications
Wenham, MA—This year’s Harvard National Model United Nations has a special connection for Gordon College student Kaelyn McBride. As one of 17 Gordon students set to represent the country of Tanzania, McBride will be representing a place she calls home.
McBride ’11, a political studies major, lived in Tanzania for 14 years while her parents were missionaries there. She has been back to visit as recently as this past month.
“To me Tanzania isn’t some vague idea,” said McBride. “I feel like I know what I am representing; my understanding of where the nation stands on issues is pretty clear.”
McBride and the other Gordon delegates—which include seven men and 10 women—will join nearly 3,000 college and university delegates from the U.S. and over 35 countries February 11–14 at the historic Park Plaza Hotel in downtown Boston. Together they will discuss a multitude of issues currently at the forefront of international relations.
“The Model UN program provides an amazing opportunity to give our ideas legs,” said Dr. Paul Brink, associate professor of political studies and Gordon College advisor for the annual event. “Students are challenged to interact with people from all over the world—literally and figuratively—and represent their own country as best as they can.”
Brink said they place a premium on preparatory research—which appeals to Gordon’s traditional strengths in academics—but also upon diplomacy, quick thinking, knowing when to compromise and when to stand firm. “This is the stuff of politics, and for students real opportunities such as these are rare,” he said.
After a comprehensive application process, the selected team consists of a mix of majors from international affairs and political studies to music and philosophy. Seven seniors, seven juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen will represent Gordon, addressing specific issues such as Somali piracy, ethnic nationalism and its effect on elections in Africa, international criminal tribunal for Rwanda, and peaceful uses of outer space.
Gordon’s delegate teams have always represented an African country; in years past countries have included Angola, Uganda, Kenya and Zambia. Brink says the Model UN experience challenges students to think and work in new ways concerning their country and the issues facing them as well as the nature of politics and diplomacy.
Through participating in the Model UN, McBride hopes to gain a better understanding of how both Tanzanian and world politics function as well as a greater appreciation for politics at that level.
“The Model UN is about attempting to find reconciliation on issues among often disagreeing nations,” said McBride. “It really brings to light the complexities of achieving peace.”
For more information please contact the Gordon College Office of College Communications at 978.867.4752.