Hollins University earned multiple honors at the annual Appalachia Regional Model Arab League (MAL) conference, held at Hollins November 4-6.
Eight delegations comprised of student representatives from George Mason University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia State University, Hollins, Roanoke College, Virginia Military Institute, and Roanoke’s Community High School participated in the event, now in its eighth year.
MAL is the flagship Youth Leadership Development Program of the National Council on U.S. – Arab Relations (NCUSAR). According to NCUSAR, MAL’s goal is “allowing emerging leaders to learn firsthand what it is like to put themselves in the shoes of real-life Arab diplomats and other foreign affairs practitioners. In the process, students deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Arab world and its peoples. They also strengthen their ability to engage in the art of reasoned argument and spirited debate, and become better prepared to be knowledgeable, well-trained, and effective citizens as well as civic and public affairs leaders.”
John P. Wheeler Professor of Political Science Edward Lynch and Assistant Professor of Political Science Courtney Chenette jointly organized the 2022 conference. Lynch is teaching Hollins’ Model United Nations/Model Arab League course this academic year, and Chenette will lead the course beginning in Fall 2023.
“Hollins again held a successful and stimulating Model Arab League conference,” Lynch said. “This is an important element of Hollins’ emphasis on experiential learning, and I am happy that so many students took leading roles in the Councils.” He noted that Hollins President Mary Dana Hinton welcomed the delegates at the outset of the conference, which “sends an unmistakable signal to our visitors that Model Arab League is important here. Professor Chenette and I greatly appreciate the support we receive from the Hollins administration.”
The conference opening also featured a talk on Islamic art by Michelle Moseley, associate professor and chair of art history and visual culture at Virginia Tech.
Hollins students served in key leadership roles at the conference, including Bianca Vallebrignoni ’23, secretary general; Chanmolis Mout ’23, assistant secretary general; and Jenna Johnston ’25, chief justice of the Arab Court of Justice simulation.
Hollins was named the conference’s Overall Distinguished Delegation. Students also came away with several group and individual awards:
- Distinguished Delegation in the Council on Palestinian Affairs: Ava Kegler ’25 and Sammy Stuhlmiller ‘25
- Outstanding Delegation in the Summit of the Arab Heads of State: Kayla Richardson ’24 and Phil Anh
- Outstanding Chair: Harper Dillon ‘25
- Distinguished Chair: Sofia Olivares ’25 and Claire Ross ‘23