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After a year like no other, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Model United Nations (MUN) team returned from the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference as champions.  Although they are accustomed to taking top honors at the conference—indeed, this was their 35th year of victory—this year’s result felt particularly sweet.

The team represented two countries at the conference, Gabon and Barbados.  Sixteen members of the team served as delegates from Gabon and 10 from Barbados, and each member had specific areas of expertise relative to their country’s priorities.

For the duration of the conference, the team was spread across several ballrooms in two hotels, negotiating with other represented countries on issues ranging from antimicrobial resistance to nuclear weapons.  Each member of the team negotiates with students from all over the world, and rooms vary in size from about 40 to over 400 student delegates.  Earning top honors at the conference means that the entire team is recognized for excellence in negotiation, diplomacy, and remaining true to each country’s actual priorities.

The highest honor at the conference, the award for Outstanding Delegation, is given to only about 10 percent of teams, and was earned by both Gabon and Barbados. This year marked monumental success as the team won the most peer awards across both delegations in MUN history, and Gabon was recognized as the most influential delegation across the entire conference.

In addition, team members won multiple awards for their written position papers and also were selected by their peers from other schools as outstanding delegates in committee.

The team’s faculty adviser Tracy Slagter said there are many people to thank for this year’s success.

“The MUN Executive Board, and notably MUN President Matthew Clowney and Vice President Zoe Dahse, were exceptional leaders all year, and it paid off in New York,” she said.

She also noted alumni advisers David Litman ’12, Chase Mitchell ’15, and Karee Orrick ’18, for their expert advice on the team’s performance all week.

Slager said the biggest thanks goes to Kenneth Grieb, the team’s long-time adviser who passed away in July.

“He instilled a passion and work ethic in this team that survives year after year, and that is why they’re so successful. They are his legacy, and an immeasurable gift to me,” she said.

Dahse also recognized Slagter’s contributions.

“For a year in transition, the Oshkosh MUN executive board thanks Dr. Slagter for her continued support and influence in picking up the pieces this year, and assisting our team in the year’s monumental victories. We are excited to see her continue to lead MUN,” she said.

The team’s honors are as follows:

Gabon and Barbados (team-wide Outstanding Delegation awards)

* indicates Outstanding Delegate in Committee (peer award)

+ indicates Outstanding Position Paper Award

Names in italics are graduating this spring.

First Committee (Political)

  • Zachary Vetter*, senior, political science/international studies, of Mayville,
  • Gabe Anderson*,  freshman, political science, of Park Falls
  • Carrie Reed, senior, international studies/psychology, of Oshkosh
  • Seth Gerstner, freshman, international studies/philosophy, of Watertown

Second Committee (Economic)

  • Matthew Clowney, senior, political Science/international studies, of Greendale
  • Coleman Korb, junior,  international studies, of Appleton
  • Ryan Schauer, senior, electrical engineering tech, of Spencer
  • Patrick Remick, freshman, history, of Hoboken, New Jersey

Third Committee (Social)

  • Josey Strand*, senior, Spanish/international studies/anthropology, of New Berlin
  • Alex Siebers*, senior, mathematics (teaching),  of Sherwood
  • Tannyr Locy*,  freshman, elementary education/special education, of Hortonville
  • Jasmine Washington*, freshman, pre-business, of Salem

UNFCCC (Climate Change)

  • Steph Liechty*+, senior, political science/international studies, of Oregon
  • Natalie Britt*+, junior, Spanish/international studies, of Plymouth
  • Michael Hettig*, senior, political science, of Greenfield
  • Elizabeth Tillou*, junior, international studies; of Juneau

UNEA (Environment and Sustainability)

  • Zoe Dahse*+, junior, political science, Racine
  • Matt Dinse*+, sophomore, pre-business, of Oakfield
  • Jon Shanks+ , junior, political science, of Rhinelander
  • Grant Steffen+, freshman, undeclared, of Appleton

C-34 (Peacekeeping)

  • Kirby Lawlis*, senior, history/international studies, of Stevens Point
  • Peter Hermann*, junior,  pre-nursing, of West Bend

UN-Women (Gender Equality)

  • Tabitha Engstrom+, senior, Spanish/international studies, of  Crystal Lake, Illinois
  • Madison Signor+, freshman, political science, of Oswego, Illinois

World Health Organization (Global Public Health)

  • Sydney Devitt*, junior, international studies/political science, of Crystal Lake, Illinois
  • Amy Gogin*, senior, French/international studies, of Monroe

The team will begin the quest for its 36th victory in September 2019 and will start recruiting new members. It will be hard to replace the depth of knowledge and experience graduating seniors are taking with them, but the team is committed to training and developing new leaders, no matter their previous experience. Students from all majors are welcome to join.

If you or someone you know is interested in negotiation, international affairs and team-building,  send an email to or find MUN next year at Taste of Oshkosh.