By Daniel Wallace
Nine UH students participated in the inaugural Model G20 Summit at American University in Washington, D.C. In two teams, students tackled real-world issues in the Sherpa and Financial tracks as the delegations for Saudi Arabia and the United States. Team U.S.A. was recognized as the Best Overall Delegation, the highest honor given at the simulation. The students representing Saudi Arabia received an Honorable Mention for their demonstration of excellence in the Finance track.
The students, pictured here, included (front row, l-r): Jose Reyes, Taylor Ferguson, Tim Seiter, Julia Hess, Dina Hamadi, and Manager of Honors Co-Curricular Programs Adrian Castillo. Second row (L-R): Tanooha Veeramachaneni, Jackson Crawford, Nour Haikal, and Brinda Penmetsa. The teams were also accompanied by the team’s adviser, Honors Director of Special Programs Keri Myrick.
“It was really interesting to represent President Trump and see nations with vastly different cultures and agendas gather together to collaborate on the most pressing economic issues of today,” said Tanooha Veeramachaneni, an Honors biomedical major at UH and member of the winning team. “Coming from a STEM background, I was completely out of my element, but that was what enthralled me. I found that medicine and policy share something in common—humanity.”
Best Overall Delegation: Tanooha Veeramachaneni, Nour Haikal,
The summitt brings together undergraduate and graduate students from across the U.S. and abroad, and simulates a G20 Leaders’ Summit. Delegations research, debate, network, and negotiate on the most challenging issues of global affairs. In the spirit of Washington’s political and diplomatic culture, it also features a symposium of high-level speakers and G20 practitioners.
Nour Haikal, a sophomore Honors student, was initially nervous about the Summit. “I didn’t know what to expect,” she remarked. “There were students in law school, lawyers from Spain and Germany, students working on graduate degrees—all attending the G20 summit. They were all unique, and very talented, but, also, I think this was my favorite part about the summit. It was meeting all these different people who spoke different languages and lived in very different places.”
Ms. Myrick is thrilled about her team’s success. “These types of simulations—Model G20, Model Arab League, Model United Nations—provide students with essential skills in preparing for graduate study and, beyond that, success in the workplace: critical thinking, writing in a professional setting, formal debate and diplomacy, active listening as a form of communication. Our team did a fantastic job and I’m very proud of them,” she said.