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Santiago Canyon College Model United Nation Team Wins Three Awards at National MUN in New York


​(Orange, CA) - Recently, Santiago Canyon College (SCC) Model United Nations (MUN) team travelled to New York where they won three awards at the National Model United Nations. Eleven team members traveled to New York, where they represented the delegation from Czech Republic.

At the conference, there were nearly 6,500 delegates representing 440 colleges and universities. SCC’s MUN delegation won for distinguished delegation as well as winning two position paper awards. SCC’s delegation included Anaheim resident Esther Chian; Santa Ana residents Steven Cortez, Jesus Diego Calixto, Qihua Hou, and Celina P. Martinez; Yorba Linda resident Troy D. Gagnon; Irvine residents Jie Liang and Sung-Won Moon; Fullerton resident Kathryn D. Lozano; Corona resident Gerald E. Sirotnak; and Orange resident Julia Willingham.

Issues discussed at this year’s conference included: promoting rights and strengthening protections for older persons, improving coordination in humanitarian response to natural disasters and other emergencies, realizing the rights of indigenous women, investing in sustainable energy for rural areas, strengthening the rule of law for post-conflict recovery, mobilizing inclusive partnerships for sustainable development, ensuring equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in society and development, and combating illegal trade in wildlife.

The three awards the team won this year were:

- Distinguished Delegation
- Outstanding Papers in General Assembly Third Committee
​- Economic and Social Council Plenary (ECOSOC)

First-year political science major Jesus Calixto had been interested in Model UN since middle school, but was unable to participate due to the schools he attended not having the program. Fast forward to the Early Welcome event at SCC when Calixto heard Narges Rabii-Rakin, SCC professor of history and political science, talk about the program which made him want to join. However, he did not join until his second semester because he wanted to be able to put his all into the team and devote enough time to it. For anyone interested in joining Model UN, he said the program is an eye opener and it offers more than anyone could imagine.

Calixto recalls a special moment he had with Rabii-Rakin and his fellow teammates, “The professor had told us that we are a special team, because the majority of the team had no experience prior to taking this course,” he said. “We went to New York for the conference and we came home with three awards. She told us that she was absolutely blown away!”

Students across the globe get the chance to come together to discuss complex, current global issues. Delegates are asked to prepare to come to the conference ready to solve the issues assigned to them that are relevant to the countries represented in the delegation. Some delegations are also allowed the chance to meet with their country’s official United Nations (UN) delegate. Of those delegations, some are even advised by their country’s official UN delegate.

The National Model United Nations is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The organization aims to positively affect the lives of their participants by preparing them to be better global citizens through quality educational experiences which emphasize collaboration and cooperation to resolve real conflicts. The National MUN envisions a world of civically engaged people who strive to achieve peaceful, multi-lateral resolutions to conflict.

For more information about the SCC Model United Nations team, contact SCC professor of history and political science Narges Rabii-Rakin at (714) 628-4940. For more information about the conference, visit

About Santiago Canyon College

Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves about 17,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and seniors - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

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Media Contact:
Judy Iannaccone
Phone: (714) 480-7503​