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Passion and preparation led to success for Virginia Wesleyan students March 27-31, as a team of 21 diplomats received a “Distinguished Delegation Award” at the 2016 National Model United Nations conference in New York City. The honor marks a first for Virginia Wesleyan—to date this is the highest ranked award the College has received at the conference. In addition, VWC students Nathan VanRensselaer and Lindsey Walker each received a "Best Delegate Award,” and Alexis Turner-Lafving was chosen to serve as chairperson on her committee. Under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Political Science Antje Schwennicke, the College represented the Republic of Zimbabwe in nine committees and Chile in a Security Council exercise throughout the five-day simulation of the procedures and practices of the United Nations. “Most importantly, the students had a lot of fun and learned a lot,” says Schwennicke. “All of them were always engaged in long discussions with delegates from all over the world, and many took on leadership roles in their committees. They were outstanding diplomats and really came together as a team.” Student participants included Ashley Bologna, Sabine Dramou, Darlene Flucker, Jaquelyn Gabaldon, Kyle Grabulis, Rachel Lambert, William Lawson, Robert “Alex” McComb, Alexis Moncus, Abby Moncus, Megan Morgan, Nyoh Njoka, Tori Pugh, Sarah Pybus-Elmore, Emily Randazzo, Glenn Rose, Christian Spivey, Alexis Turner-Lafving, Nathan VanRensselaer, Austin VonVille, and Lindsey Walker. Participation in the conference was part of the College’s “Model United Nations” course. Throughout the semester, the class studied the inner workings of the UN as well as the politics and culture of Zimbabwe in preparation for their trip. The National Model United Nations conference brings together more than 5,000 college and university students, more than half from outside the United States, to discuss current global issues and solve pressing concerns relevant to the 21 simulated UN committees. View photo