Berkeley College Model United Nations Club Competes in Crisis Conference

Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122





Fourteen members of the Berkeley College Model United Nations (UN) Club recently competed in a four-day Model UN Crisis Conference held at New York University in Washington Square Park, NY, where they represented world leaders in debates on events both historical and contemporary.  In addition to Berkeley College, attendees representing Model UN Clubs from eight universities, including Columbia University, Harvard University and New York University, participated.    

“Being a part of the Model UN Crisis Conference was unlike anything I had experienced in the past,” said Berkeley College student Kallie McGrath of Chazy, NY, who is pursuing a BBA degree in Business Administration - Management and expects to graduate in 2019.  “It took weeks to prepare, with our members meeting every day to study vocabulary, do simulations or mock debates, and learn about world issues.  None of us had attended a crisis conference in the past so this experience was all about learning, meeting new people and networking.”  

Rahul Bedi, PhD, Chair, Management, Larry L. Luing School of Business®, and Darshan Desai, PhD, Management, Larry L. Luing School of Business, worked as Model UN faculty advisors. 

“Model UN Club activities and conferences can play a very important role in empowering students and boosting their cultural sensitivity, problem solving and communication skills,” said Dr. Desai.  “It is fulfilling to see students conquer their inner fears, feel their power and passion, and develop a global mindset.”  

Opening ceremonies guest speaker Matthew Rycroft, British Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke at the General Assembly Chamber about the fact that diplomacy is the most powerful tool in preventing global problems and ensuring a bright future for everyone. He said he’d like to see a woman as the next General Assembly leader.

“I was excited to hear Ambassador Rycroft’s message and was able to ask him what advice he had for young people looking to work in peacekeeping and humanitarian aid,” said Ms. McGrath.  “He smiled and told me to ‘go for it.’” 

The team can’t stop talking about the Crisis Conference. Berkeley College student Sara Ghandour of Beirut, Lebanon, who graduates this month with a BBA degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management and a minor in International Business, said that being part of Model UN 2016 was an amazing learning experience. “It was an honor to represent influential people from all over the world and collaborate with others to maintain our goal of conflict resolution and aim for a future of world peace,” she said.

Student Jonathan Callaway of Odessa, TX, who is pursuing a BBA degree in International Business and plans to graduate in September 2016, said, “This was a great opportunity to see how well Berkeley students compare to students from several prestigious schools, and honestly we did very well. It was great seeing how the UN works, and how a simple conversation between people can either start or prevent war. It truly shows the power of diplomacy with respect to creating and preserving the world we want to live in.”

“We walked into the conference like amateurs, but we held up against some of the brightest students in the country,” said Tareck Elzeinab of Yonkers, NY, who is pursuing an AAS degree in Business Administration - Management, and expects to graduate in 2017.  “Along the way we made some good friends.” 

“We were challenged to outperform students who are both at and above our capacities,” said Emilio Romero of Richmond Hill, NY, who is pursuing a BS degree in Justice Studies - Criminal Justice with a minor in Information Technology Management, and expects to graduate in 2018.  “But we met that challenge and made it a fun experience.  I would gladly do this again.”

About Model UN

Model UN is an educational academic competition in which students, known as delegates, can learn about the United Nations, diplomacy and international relations.  According to the faculty advisors, students come away with skills in debating, researching, public speaking, teamwork and leadership.

Participants in Model UN conferences are placed on committees and assigned countries, organizations or political figures. They are presented with projects along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before the conference and choose positions that they debate with their fellow delegates in the committee. At the end of a conference, the best-performing delegates in each committee, as well as delegations, are often recognized with awards.

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,300 students – including more than 700 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Business Administration degree in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are five campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, both for the third consecutive year. The website address is


 Photo Caption:  Berkeley College students participated in the Model United Nations (UN) Club Crisis Conference in the UN General Assembly chamber in New York City. Pictured above, front row, L to R, are: Ramona Stefani of Nuremberg, Germany; Kallie McGrath of Chazy, NY; Tareck Elzeinab of Yonkers, NY; Sara Ghandour of Beirut, Lebanon; Maria Staeger-Holst of Arendal, Norway; and Julie Hansen of Alesund, Norway.  Back row, L to R, are Anniken Engelsen of Oslo, Norway; Ataba Gomez of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; Farhan Dar of Stockholm, Sweden; Serkan Gulec of Izmir, Turkey; Jonathan Callaway of Odessa, TX; Jesus Barillas of Santa Ana, El Salvador; and Emilio Romero of Richmond Hill, NY.  Not pictured is Idrees Dukes of Rahway, NJ.

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