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Vol 56 No. 17 | Dec. 2004
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Political Science Distinguishes Itself in Germany

CSULB Political Science majors returned with distinction from the Bonn International Model United Nations Conference held Nov. 28-Dec. 3, at the University of Bonn, Germany.

CSULB's Jean-Paul Navarro of Rosemead, known to his teammates as “JP,” received the Distinguished Delegate award for his knowledge and application of international law in the conference's International Criminal Court. CSULB's Jose Ramos of Cypress received an honorable mention for his representation of Iran in the Model UN's General Assembly. Two other CSULB students, Drew Schneider of Palos Verdes Estates and Kristen Goshert of Newport Beach, were selected to prestigious leadership posts as Security Council and International Criminal Court chairs based on their participation in the 2003 conference. CSULB's Tene Kelly of Pasadena was selected World Health Organization vice-chair on the basis of her help in the conference.

More than 130 students from 41 countries were selected to participate in the “invitation only” Bonn International Model United Nations Conference, held in the University Club conference center overlooking the Rhine River.

In addition, a recently signed memorandum of understanding between CSULB and the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP) took one more step forward as four attending KIMEP students submitted an official invitation from the organization to CSULB to participate in a high-level internship program directly inside the Kazakh parliament, reviewing legislation and recommending modification in the offices of parliament members.

“This kind of achievement is particularly distinguished in a model UN compared to other kinds of conferences because you are there four days, day in and day out, for eight hours a day,” said faculty advisor Larry Martinez, an associate professor who joined CSULB in 1988. “They really get to know you. To get a distinction like this means you wear well with your colleagues.”

The level of competition made the success especially sweet. “These are top-flight students participating in this conference,” said Martinez. “JP Navarro won his distinction in competition with a student from Oxford. We have transcended the national competition held every year at Harvard and have risen to a higher level.”

Martinez also applauded Ramos for his accurate portrayal of Iran in the Model UN's General Assembly.

“His challenge was doubly difficult because he was in a bigger group and he had to accurately portray the real policies of a pariah country,” he said. “And both Drew Schneider and Kristen Goshert drew the highest distinctions for chairing the Security Council and the International Criminal Court respectively. Tene Kelly also achieved distinction in a leadership role in her first year participating in a model UN.”

This success shows that CSULB has the kind of program that produces outstanding students, Martinez said. “We're able to provide a program that attracts this caliber of student and train them in a world-class competition. Their success is a tribute to the CSULB administration, under President Robert Maxson, for its support. And I'd like to thank especially the Instructionally Related Activity funds for making it possible to show off CSULB students to a world audience. There were 40 other countries there who went away seeing CSULB as something to be reckoned with.”   

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