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Five Gilman Winners at Yale Model UN

Twenty-nine Upper School students from Gilman competed at Yale Model UN over the weekend of January 18-21 in New Haven, Connecticut. Five came away with awards. “It has been a pleasure working with the Model UN team. The boys we took to New Haven — and all of the members of the club — are some of the most impressive young men at Gilman,” said the team’s coach, Upper School English teacher Jake Scott. “They’re responsible, engaged, and curious about the world. Much of our success as an organization is a testament to the club’s leadership, which includes Zachary Minkin ’24, Patrick Ryan ’24, Jamie Howard ’24, as well as the award winners.”

An additional thank you goes to Upper School administrative assistant Marrie Diehl and parent Abhinav Krishna, who accompanied the boys on their trip.

Congratulations to these winners and to the whole Model UN club on their success!

Award Winners
  • James McLaughlin ’26: Outstanding Delegate Award, Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
  • Alex Nabit ’25: Outstanding Delegate Award, Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, representing Paraguay
  • Pranav Parikh ’25: Outstanding Delegate Award, Committee on the Pacific Islands Forum, representing the Marshall Islands
  • Liam Rivers ’25: Outstanding Delegate Award, Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, representing Suriname
  • Patrick Ryan ’24: Honorable Delegate, Committee on the 1984 US Intervention in Nicaragua
James McLaughlin ’26

This was the second year for McLaughlin both in Gilman’s Model UN Club and at the Yale Model UN Conference. He joined the club because of the opportunity it provides to “improve my leadership ability as well as the chance to work with other delegates and find real, reasonable solutions for the world’s problems.” During the conference, McLaughlin said he learned the importance of resilience. “Inevitably, there will always be people who know more than you, or who are more talented than you. However, it is most important to be persistent and express my core ideas in a thoughtful manner to result in my desired outcome.”

Alex Nabit ’25

Nabit has been in the Model UN club going on three years, and though this was his second time participating at the Yale conference, it was the first time he won an award and first time he took on a leadership role. “I was initially very nervous about doing my first conference as I didn’t believe I was a good enough public speaker,” he said. “But getting the chance to speak in front of a room full of my peers became one of my favorite parts.” This year, Nabit found himself more eager to participate. “I was raising my hand every chance I got, which meant that I got called on a lot more and that I often didn't have a speech fully prepared,” he began. “However, I actually surprised myself with how well I was able to come up with ideas on the fly and deliver them in an impactful way.”

Pranav Parikh ’25

Parikh agrees that Model UN is a great path to advance in public speaking. And now with three conferences under his Model UN belt, Parikh said he’s “proud of the improvements I have made in my public speaking skills and ability to lead groups of people, two things that were very daunting to me just a few years ago.” He pointed to one of the Gilman Skills — collaboration — as another takeaway from this experience. “Working individually and without the help of other people will not get your resolution passed by the committee, so it is important to work together.” Though Parikh doesn’t know that he’ll make a career out of international relations, he will “definitely use the skills that I have learned through Model UN in whatever field I choose.”

Liam Rivers ’25

Rivers joined Model UN this year to further pursue his interests in international relations and politics. His committee discussed two topics: the ethics of artificial intelligence and the protection of cultural and intellectual property. “I was able to improve my public speaking skills while also learning about some of the most concerning and prevalent issues of the day and how the UN goes about solving them,” he said. “Overall, YMUN was a very fun and interesting experience — one that I think any student at Gilman can benefit from.”

Patrick Ryan ’24

A member of the Model UN club since sophomore year, Ryan took on leadership roles as VP as a junior and now president of the club in his senior year. Reflecting on his experience at Yale, Ryan said he has learned how to “cut through the tension” that exists in a competition and “create a fun and enjoyable environment to work with others. … Model UN is a fantastic avenue to learn how to collaborate with other people.”

Ryan also noted the growth of other members in the club. “I’m extremely proud of how far the underclassmen have come in the last two years. I’ve seen them grow from shy freshmen or sophomores who rarely got up to speak into confident sophomores and juniors who are commanding a room.” As he nears graduation, Ryan said he feels confident in the younger students. “I’m so thrilled to have them take over the club next year.”

When he heads to William and Mary next year, Ryan plans to study political science and international relations. “I’m extremely thankful for the opportunities Gilman has given me with Model UN to grow not only as a person but as a collaborator and leader.”


 

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