TCC Students Earn Highest Award at International Model UN Conference

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 8, 2013) – Students from Tallahassee Community College recently returned from the Galapogos Islands where they attended the invitation only Model United Nations Conference hosted by National Collegiate Conference Association and Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. The conference was attended by 25 of the top Model United Nations programs from colleges and universities around the world.

TCC’s Model UN students will hold a special presentation, highlighting the event, at 3 p.m., February 13 in Room 118 of the History and Social Sciences Building.

The conference focused on topics that pertained to environmental sustainability and sustainable development to directly reflect the unique environmental characteristics of the Galapagos Islands.

TCC’s Model UN delegation earned Outstanding Delegation recognition, the highest award presented at the conference. Awards were given based upon the delegate’s level of research knowledge, quality of papers submitted prior to the conference, abilities to negotiate and speaking ability.

In addition to the conference, the students participated in “Connect with Galapagos” through different community service activities. These activities were designed to allow participants to get to know the local community while putting into practice the ideas they discussed during the conference. Students worked to help eradicate invasive species and help in turtle population counts.

Dr. Richard Murgo, TCC Model UN faculty advisor, accompanied the students to the conference.

“TCC students were afforded a rare opportunity to see a part of the world that most of us can only dream about,” said Murgo.

Since 1978, the Galapagos Islands have been considered by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) as a World Natural Heritage Site. Nevertheless, rising urbanization, uncontrolled tourism and other human activities have put in danger endemic and native species of the Galapagos wildlife, threatening delicate habitats. Participating students caused an immediate and hopefully long-lasting impact in the community of Galapagos, a place currently in need of the implementation of policies leading to development while assuring the preservation of the unique Galapagos ecosystems.

Katie Lillie, Model UN vice president, said “NMUN-Latin America was a huge life-changing, learning experience. From being in committee to experiencing a whole different culture, we had no other choice but to learn skills that will help us for the rest of our lives.”

Students interested in participating in TCC’s Model UN for the 2013-14 academic year should contact faculty advisors Dr. Richard Murgo, (850) 201-8145, or Dr. Thomas Waller, (850) 201-8159. Membership is open to all TCC students.