TAMIU Students Travel to Australia
|TAMIU Students Head ‘Down Under’
TAMIU students will attend the 22nd Annual Harvard World Model United National Conference in Melbourne, Australia. From left to right: Selene Cuevas, Sandra Gutíerrez-Wirsching, Jennifer Flores, Agar Hernández, Amanda Rodríguez, Esther Cavazos, Alex Barrera and Philip Balli.
TAMIU’s delegation this year includes Barrera, a senior biology major; Esther Cavazos, junior, double major in international economics and marketing; Agar Hernandez, senior, psychology; Amanda Rodriguez, sophomore, double major in political science and English; Philip Balli, senior, communication; Sandra Gutierrez-Wirsching, Ph.D student, International Business Administration; Jennifer Flores, senior, Nursing; Jonathan Gutierrez, senior, political science; and Selene Cuevas, junior, business administration with a concentration in international economics.
Barrera is head delegate of this year’s TAMIU Australia delegation. He worked diligently with other MUNSST officers to put together the traveling team by opening applications for MUNSST and holding interviews. During the conference, he must insure fellow delegates follow WorldMUN guidelines while simultaneously offering his voice to a specialized committee that only accepts 20 delegates.
Barrera is the only individual representing the United States in the High Level Youth Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The committee is charged with analyzing what has been done towards achieving the MDGs and determining what will come after 2015. Its resolutions will be presented to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for possible implementation.
Barrera said MUNSSST members worked tirelessly to secure donations and conducted fundraising events to make the Australia trip possible.
“We are very grateful to TAMIU president Dr. Keck and vice presidents Dr. Arenaz and Candy Hein of Institutional Advancement for their donations. In addition to donations, MUNSST has held several fundraisers on campus, accumulating a substantial amount of funding to pay for flight tickets, conference fees, and food and accommodation costs,” he explained.
Since the actual WorldMUN conference does not take place until the week after Spring Break, MUNSST members are taking advantage of their traveling situation. They will spend their Spring Break in Sydney and have created their own itinerary of events including attending a concert in the Sydney Opera House, a full day of outdoor activities in the Blue Mountains National Park, and going to the Sydney Zoo, among others. They will also meet with TAMIU alums while in Australia.
Team member treasurer Esther Cavazos said she is impressed with the diversity of students making the trip and believes travel has broadened her experiences.
“Being in MUNSST has broadened my imagination of what is possible when I study abroad,” Cavazos said.
Sandra Gutierrez-Wirsching is the only Ph.D student in the delegation and has several reasons she’s excited to participate in WorldMUN.
“I am excited about the networking opportunities, being able to collaborate with all parties in my committee to reach a great resolution, and learning from people from so many different backgrounds and cultures,” Gutierrez-Wirsching explained.
“We interact with the best students from all over the world, expose ourselves to different systems and analytical skills, and we are able to bring these experiences home with us. But what I am looking forward to most is spending time with some of the most amazing people that I have met from TAMIU and strengthening our camaraderie,” she concluded.
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