Model United Nations team participates in International Conference

By Alex Pologruto | May 2, 2023

Model UN team

Approximately 3,900 university students and faculty members from across the United States and abroad, including a team from Murray State University, recently attended the National Model United Nations (MUN) Conference to discuss current global issues in a real world context.

MURRAY, Ky. – Approximately 3,900 university students and faculty members from across the United States and abroad, including a team from Murray State University, recently attended the National Model United Nations (MUN) Conference to discuss current global issues in a real world context. 

Members of the Murray State Model United Nations team include:

  • Weslan Banks, a senior Political Science major and Sociology minor from Paducah, Kentucky

  • Mary Huffman, a senior double major in French and International Studies from Lexington, Kentucky

  • Jihyun Nam, a senior International Studies major and Chinese Studies minor from Gyeongsan, South Korea

  • Vara Ramayanam, a senior Psychology major and Sociology minor from Bhimavaram,  India

  • Megan Redding, a senior History major and Social and Behavioral Sciences minor from Shepherdsville, Kentucky

  • Audrey Stallings, a junior Political Science/Legal Studies major from Evansville, Indiana

  • Luke Wyatt, a junior Political Science/Legal Studies major from Benton, Kentucky

Faculty advisors Dr. Brittany Wood, assistant professor of Political Science, and Dr. Marc Polizzi, associate professor of Political Science, accompanied the group to the conference.

MUN is a simulation of the United Nations (UN) wherein students play the role of delegates from various countries. In the simulation, student delegates attempt to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Through these experiences – during preparation, committee sessions and hallway caucuses – students develop an appreciation of differing viewpoints, experience the challenges of negotiation, see the rewards of cooperation, broaden their world view and discover the human side of international relations and diplomacy.

The conference offered 16 simulated UN committees and used procedural rules developed with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Outside conference sessions, delegates from more than 105 UN Member States took advantage of opportunities at Permanent Missions to the UN, the United Nations itself, as well as world class museums, architecture, shows, restaurants and shopping. The conference features included interactions with Secretariat members, and the closing ceremonies were held at the UN Headquarters building.

Audrey Stallings served as vice president of this year’s Murray State MUN team.

“My favorite part of the MUN conference was getting to meet with the representative from the Permanent Mission of Croatia (the country assigned to the team),” said Stallings. “For me, it was an amazing experience getting to coordinate with him and set up our meetings, so to meet in person was amazing. I loved getting to have an open dialogue about Croatia, international issues, and the UN itself. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience!”

Vara Ramayanam said that joining the Murray State MUN team helped her develop her leadership skills, diplomacy skills, confidence building, public speaking and problem solving skills. 

“As an aspiring psychologist, all of these skills will help me grow and for sure make me a better person, (and) the closing ceremony at the UN headquarters in General Assembly hall was nothing but a dream come true moment for me,” said Ramayanam, who served as secretary for the team. “Joining the Murray State MUN team is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.” 

Jiyhun Nam and Megan Redding especially valued the comradery they felt with their fellow teammates while working together over the course of the year. 

“I have never seen myself fully making a bond with club members in other clubs,” said Nam. “However, as we were working on our high school MUN event and our NMUN conference, I grew close to every member of our MUN club, and we could accomplish our goals based on this strong bond to each other. I learned passion, ambition and persistence from our members.”  

“The most valuable thing I have learned while being a part of the MUN team in general was what it means to be a part of the process of diplomacy,” said Redding, treasurer for the group. “Before participating in Murray State’s MUN, I had a general understanding of what diplomacy was, but this allowed me to gain a better understanding. Taking time to learn a different country’s history and perspective on global issues was extremely eye opening, as well as being able to work and cooperate with students from all around the world to create resolutions for these pressing issues.”

“Working together is key,” said Luke Wyatt, who served as president of this year’s team. “No two countries are the same, and everyone comes into the conference with a different mindset. Therefore, working together and resolving the bigger picture can sometimes have dramatic effects for the vast majority of countries. I loved being able to do this with such close friends and our outstanding advisors. Everyone put so much time into this conference and it turned out to be a trip I will never forget.”

For more information on the 2023 National MUN Conference please visit Please visit the Murray State University MUN team’s instagram page at to follow their journey throughout the conference.

Take the next step

© Murray State University Department of Web ManagementWe are Racers.