Logan Johnson is a senior at Arizona State University majoring in global studies and Russian within The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. With the assistance of the SPGS Travel Support award offered by the School of Politics and Global Studies, Johnson was able to attend theModel United Nations of the Far West (MUNFW) conference in San Francisco in April.
The Model United Nations offers students a chance to role-play as delegates in different U.N. committees. The theme for the 69th annual session of the MUNFW was “A Common Humanity: Back to the Principles of the U.N. Charter.”
Johnson shared some of his experiences with ASU Now:
Question: What was it like to attend this conference?
Answer: This was my second year attending the MUNFW conference, and I absolutely loved it. The energy of the conference is electrifying. The students who attend the conference are from a host of universities around the country, and the zeal they all have for the conference is infectious.
Q: What were some of your takeaways from this experience?
A: This year, as someone who has been to multiple Model United Nations conferences, as well as being in the leadership of the Model United Nations club on campus, I spent a lot of time at the conference assisting and mentoring newer club members who were going to a conference for the first time. I really enjoyed being able to help these newer members acclimate to the rigors of a Model U.N. conference. One of the students in our group was representing his country on the Security Council simulation at the conference, and I was also able to assist him with his research on the workings of the U.N. Security Council, which was a new experience for me.
Q: What advice would you give those who are interested in a similar experience?
A: Join the Model United Nations club! We will be going to the conference again next year and are always looking for new members. To join, you do not need any prior experience with Model United Nations; our club will teach you all that you need to know before the conference next year. We have a great core group of people who are willing to share their past conference experiences with new members and will mentor them so that they can have an exciting and fulfilling time at the MUNFW conference.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: After graduation, I intend on going to graduate school to attain a master’s degree in Russian and Eastern European studies. My eventual goal is to be able to work in a position that allows me to impact real-world policy in relation to Russia and the other former Soviet republics.
Q: How do you think this trip will help you attain your career aspirations?
A: This trip helped me to develop my public speaking and leadership skills, which will definitely help me to secure a spot in a graduate program as well as the job I want. The most valuable thing that I developed at this conference, however, would have to be the ability to research the policies of nations on the fly and extrapolate what their position would be on a similar matter. This kind of extrapolation based on research and data is exactly the type of thing I aspire to do as a career. Model United Nations conferences provide ample opportunities for students to build their research skills and then craft a realistic policy for the country they are representing, which is quite honestly not an opportunity provided elsewhere.
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