Knights win awards at Model UN

This was Norwin’s third virtual conference of the year, and it seems the third time was a charm.


Mrs. Sturm

Freshman Drew Brown makes preparations for the conference.

Oliver Hinson

On Friday, Feb. 5, Norwin’s Model UN team competed against several other Western Pennsylvania schools at their third virtual conference of the year, and there were good fortunes all around.

     As a team, the Knights won an award for Best Small Delegation at the conference, which was hosted by the University of Duquesne and took place on Zoom. This is the first team award Norwin has won all year, and the students say it was well-deserved.

     “Everyone presented themselves exceptionally and spoke very eloquently,” said junior Shawna Sinchak. “All our delegates did a very good job expressing their ideas, maintaining character, and working the room.”

     Another first that came from the event was the insignificance of technical issues. Although it took longer than expected for some students to sign in to the conference, most problems were worked out relatively quickly.

     “At Pitt in December, we experienced a handful of technical difficulties, some excluding several of our people from being able to log on or participate,” said Sinchak. “At this conference, however, it seemed like most of the difficulties ironed themselves out after the first hour or two.”

    Hopefully, that good luck can stretch into the future for the club, as the virtual conference format has been known to cause frustration. In the present, though, it seems that a star has been born for the Knights. This was only the second conference of freshman Drew Brown’s Model UN career, but it will likely be one of his best for years to come. Brown won the Best Delegate award in the United Nations Security Council for his portrayal of Estonia, an accomplishment that we don’t often see from underclassmen.

     “I was very surprised when I heard my name called,” said Brown. “I was proud of my performance, but there were a lot of experienced delegates that I think did a fantastic job. I think the judges really went down to the tiny details in their decision, and I just came out on top.”

     Awards often go to delegates with more experience than those around them, since they have seen many award-winning performances and know what it takes to have one, but as a first-year member of the club, Brown unfortunately didn’t have that. He instead had to rely on what he could control.

     “I think preparedness was the biggest factor in my success,” said Brown. “I studied a lot for my country, but I also put a lot of time into studying the policies and viewpoints of my allies, so I knew more about their strategies than they did.”

     All of this compounded into a stellar showing for the young phenom, and he knew fairly quickly that something great was happening.

     “About halfway in, I realized that I was laying the structure for the entire debate and I could manipulate it to my liking,” said Brown. “From there, I was able to gain other countries to my side and take over the opposing sides with distinctly set up guidelines and ideas.”

     Overall, this was an impressive conference for the Knights, and it won’t be soon forgotten, especially by those who made it happen.

     “Overall I’m very proud of the students,” said club adviser Mrs. Sturm. “They have been very involved this year and have done an extraordinary job in terms of research and their dedication to the club.”