A group of Model Arab League members from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have been recognized for their diplomatic skills during the Southeast Regional Model Arab League competition held March 17-19 at Converse University in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
UA Little Rock was awarded the Overall Outstanding Delegation Award for their representation of the country of Qatar.
“When we arrived, we were told we would not have the numbers to win a school award,” said Owen Haynes, a sophomore political science major from White Hall. “Despite this, and because of the outstanding performance of each of our six students, UA Little Rock won the highest award for a school at that conference. This means that we were all taking advantage of parliamentary procedure, writing resolution papers, creating diplomatic relationships, giving impromptu speeches, and for some of us holding leadership positions within our councils.”
The Model Arab League is a student leadership development program created by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. It is a simulation of an international organization, the League of Arab States, which represents 22 countries.
Dr. Rebecca Glazier, faculty advisor for Model Arab League, said this was an amazing achievement for the students since only a small team of students competed, and they were two members short of a full delegation.
“That is like winning a basketball game with only four people on the court,” Glazier said. “I am so proud of them!”
UA Little Rock students who attended the competition and their committees and individual awards include:
Owen Haynes, Summit of Arab Heads of State, Outstanding Delegation Award
Chloe McGehee, Council of Arab Environmental Affairs Ministers, Outstanding Delegation Award
Caleb Mimms, Council on Political Affairs, Outstanding Delegation Award
Lamar Townsend, Council of Arab Economic Affairs Ministers, Outstanding Delegation Award
Jack Schlotter, Joint Defense Council, Distinguished Delegation Award
Yvonne Rodriguez, Council of Arab Social Affairs, Outstanding Delegation Award
Rodriquez, a junior from Hot Springs, said her council discussed important issues like mitigating water insecurity, especially regarding women and refugees, exploring minority populations’ access to education and social mobility, and the rising rates of internally displaced persons throughout the region.
“Model Arab League is a great place to hone skills like public speaking, collaborative team tasks, and writing,” she said. “It’s a good place to refine those skills, and it’s an amazing place to meet other students around the country! I have truly enjoyed my time and have been honored to work with this team that has only strived for excellence.”
Caleb Mimms, a junior political science and international studies major from Cabot, said that he loves Model Arab League because it gives him the opportunity to learn something new about a region that he previously did not know.
“We get to break down specific problems and how these problems affect current events within the region, and thus the world and our perception of it,” Mimms said. “I also get great practice for what I would like to do in the future, and that is diplomacy. I have a lot of passion for working with others to find solutions to some of the biggest problems our world faces. Finding solutions that help everyone is extremely important and something I get to practice in the Model Arab League.”