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Mercer’s Model Arab League Delegation
Wins National Championship

April 7, 2009

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON — A team of 13 Mercer University students took home top honors from the National Model Arab League Conference in Washington, D.C., recently. The team, representing the country of Lebanon, outperformed delegations from 24 other universities in 17 states and one foreign country to claim The Outstanding Delegation Award. Mercer is now considered the reigning national champion for this invitation-only annual event.

“The students worked hard to earn these recognitions and spent months reading, discussing and preparing for their roles at the conference,” said the team’s adviser Dr. Eimad Houry, director of Mercer’s International Affairs Program. “All the students should be commended for the excellent work. They did an incredible job and the awards reflect that.”

In addition to the group award, a number of Mercer students won individual awards. Senior Alina Eprimian, an international affairs major, was selected as Outstanding Delegate for what is considered the toughest committee at the conference, The Palestinian Affairs Committee, Dr. Houry said. Juniors Austin Deray, a history major, and Carli Rodriguez-Feo, an international affairs and Spanish double major, won the outstanding delegate awards for the Environmental Committee. Leah Morton, a Mercer graduate and first-year law student at Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law, won two outstanding delegate awards for her performance in the Arab Court of Justice:  Outstanding Justice and Outstanding Advocate. Deray was also selected to chair one of the committees for the 2010 National Model Arab league.

The Mercer team also included senior Tomash Bukowiecki, an international affairs and economics double major; senior Jennifer Cooper, an international affairs and business double major; junior Sarah Hassan, an international affairs and Spanish double major; Jessica Johnson, a political science and women’s and gender studies double major; junior Taylor Malcolm, a business and Spanish double major; sophomore Alice Reilly, a biology major; senior Azor Smith, an international affairs and political science double major; junior Jon Smith, an international affairs and political science double major, and junior Hannah Vann, a women’s and gender studies major.

Among the participating schools Mercer’s delegation outperformed at the March 26-29 competition were Northwestern University, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Pittsburgh, George Washington University, Northeastern University, George Mason University, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the American University of Cairo.

Two weeks earlier, the same delegation took part in the Southeast Model Arab League held in Spartanburg, S.C. Once again, the team and individual members distinguished themselves by winning a number of awards, Dr. Houry said. The delegation placed second to host Converse College, winning an Honorable Mention Award. Additionally, Deray, Rodriguez-Feo, Hassan, Cooper, Reilly, Vann, Eprimian and Morton won individual awards.

Model Arab League is the premier student leadership development program of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Through Model Arab League students learn about the politics and history of the Arab world and the arts of diplomacy and public speech. Colleges from across the United States are invited to participate.

About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has approximately 7,600 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah; three regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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