Benedictine's Iran, Kuwait delegations reap several awards at Model UN

Benedictine's Iran, Kuwait delegations reap several awards at Model UN
April 27, 2010

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Playing the role of outlaw on the world stage may not win you friends nor gain many favors, but the Benedictine University delegation representing Iran at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference in New York City earlier this month did manage to pull off a coup of sorts by winning an Outstanding Position Paper Award. Benedictine University has been participating in NMUN-New York for more than 40 years. NMUN is sponsored by the National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA) and is the largest simulation of the United Nations in the world. This year, Benedictine sent two delegations to New York – one representing Kuwait and the other Iran. The Kuwait Delegation, a partnership with Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi'an, China, earned an Honorable Mention Delegation Award at the conference. The delegation consisted of seven Benedictine students and seven NPU students and was led by Yani Zhang of NPU, an exchange student who served as Student Leader and Head Delegate. “They did a tremendous job in preparing for and participating in the conference, representing Kuwait’s positions and emulating the best of diplomatic behavior,” said Joel Ostrow, Ph.D. chair of the Political Science department at Benedictine. “More importantly, however, they developed close and lasting friendships that made this such a valuable partnership.” The seven members of the Kuwait Delegation from Benedictine University were: Thais Molina, daughter of Milton and Renata Molina of Naperville; William Thomas O'Brien, son of William and Brenda Thomas of Mokena; and Mohammad Ismail Dogar, son of Jahangeer and Nuzhat Dogar of Lombard. Also, Payam Daniel Abbassian, son of Mehrdad and Victoria Abbassian of Burr Ridge; Zachary Neal Augustine, son of John and Betty Augustine of Marksville, La.; Kristen Marie Droste, daughter of Patrick and Deborah Droste of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Kelly Katzmayr, daughter of Robin Katzmayr of Naperville. The 22 members of the Iran Delegation faced a formidable task of playing an oppositionist and obstructionist role in an environment that rewards bridge-building and diplomacy. Nevertheless, the group did receive an Outstanding Position Paper Award and four members were honored by their respective committees. “It was not an easy task to represent Iran, yet on the whole the delegation did a fine job of expressing the anti-Western, uncompromising and at times radical behavior this assignment demanded,” Ostrow said. Timothy James Morgan (Daniel and Mary Kay Morgan of Indianapolis, Ind.) and Daanish Ashraf (Sayeed and Shabana Ashraf of Elgin), who sat in the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and Najeeb Anwar Khan (Amjab and Samina Khan of Oak Brook) and Amr Mazen Kawji (Mazen and Ghadir Kawji of Lemont), who sat in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, were elected Best Delegation in their respective committees. Other members of the Iran Delegation were: Sophie Ryan of Newcastle, Ireland; Mathieu Basach of Paris, France; Patrick Joseph Sterk, son of Robert and Bridget Ann Sterk of Royal Oak, Mich.; Tyler William Zachary, son of William and Joanne Zachary of Ottawa, Ill.; and Guillaume Abad of Marseilles, France. Also, Alana Elizabeth Smith, daughter of Steven and Deborah Smith of Naperville; Daniel Walsh Graham, son of Patrick and Janet Graham of Ottawa, Ill.; Louisa Querida Diaz, daughter of Patricia Diaz of Wheaton; and Adam Christopher Bates, son of Charlton and Maria Bates of Park Forest. Also, Andrea Mary Coutu, daughter of Andrea and Louis Coutu of Carol Stream; Tariq Omar Weaver; son of Maurice and Rashieda Weaver of Chicago; Gaelle Enjalric of Nice, France; Ivana Sreckov, daughter of Lazar and Ivanka Sreckov of Darien; and Agathe Besse-Bergier of Dun Le Palestel, France. Also, Elizabeth A. George, daughter of Floyd and Ellen George of Yorkville; Kelly Kathleen Long, daughter of James and Kathleen Long of Downers Grove; Justin Berg, son of Miriam Legan of Shorewood; and Sado Oh of Daejeon, South Korea. Adnan Mujagic, son of Sabahudin and Elma Mujagic of Naperville, served as Student Leader and Head Delegate.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.