A record number of EHS students competed in the 46th annual Houston Area Model United Nations (HAMUN) conference. The 29 students represented Thailand, the Czech Republic, Swaziland, and Cambodia, and five competed in crisis simulations on the topics of the Salem Witch Trials, the colonization of Mars, the French Revolution, and the war for the English throne.
Although the annual conference is typically held in person, students participated virtually through Zoom and did well. Junior William Moursund '22 won best position paper in his committee group. Senior Lyndon Walsh '21 was awarded the Andrea K. Flynn 1911 Scholarship. The scholarship is named in honor of the founder of HAMUN, Andrea Flynn, and is given to the best senior delegate at the conference who plans to pursue post-secondary education.
Established in 1975, the purpose of the HAMUN annual conference is for high school students to engage in international relations and diplomacy. According to the HAMUN website, it is the oldest Model UN Conference in the southern United States and one of Texas's largest high school conferences.
Also joining the conference virtually as the keynote speaker was EHS alumna Katherine Alexander '89. Alexander's keynote addressed how Model UN shaped her career path of working as an intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency. "My collegiate and work choices were determined, in large part due to my participation in HAMUN in my high school years," says Alexander. Alexander was one of the first members of EHS's Model UN when Ray Balch, a former history teacher at EHS, started the club in 1987. Balch served as the faculty sponsor before his retirement two years ago.
Students say it was encouraging to see one of EHS's alumni members thrive and succeed following their tenure with Model UN. "Hearing alumna Katherine Alexander speak was inspiring," says Karma Elbadawy '22. "Although we know Episcopal is setting us up for success, it was nice to see it in action, especially since I am starting to look at colleges and potential career paths for myself."
For many EHS participants, the Model UN experience is instrumental in shaping their educational and professional lives, building relationships, and improving communication skills. "I feel like Model UN has granted me great opportunities to meet new people from different schools and practice a variety of speaking skills, which is why I value my time at these conferences," says Craig Choi '22