Alumna’s Gift to support Model UN at Gannon University

Posted: December 21, 2017

An endowed fund established by Deborah Dubik will support the Model United Nations held each year at Gannon University.

Dubik, a 1976 Gannon University graduate and former University Trustee, served for 11 years as an administrative law judge for the state of Iowa and practiced as a litigator for 15 years in Davenport, Iowa. She now works as a mediator assisting parties to resolve disputes rather than proceed through lengthy litigation.

As a student, Dubik served as Secretary General of the Model United Nations.

"Mediation takes diplomacy.  Resolving disputes takes diplomacy. … Model United Nations is diplomacy in action," Dubik said. "What it taught me, and what I hope it will teach all the participants, is that diplomacy is vital to our lives."

The very first Model UN took place in March 1954 with 11 high schools participating.  Today, Gannon's Model UN program brings together several hundred students from 50 different high schools across the tri-state region.

"The Dubik gift to the Model UN comes at a very important turning point in the club's activities," said Associate Professor of Political Science Anjali Sahay, coordinator of Gannon's Model UN program. "Our students are more poised than ever to take part in Model UN conferences.  We want to send our students to more conferences such as traveling internationally to NAMUN (North American Model UN) in Toronto, Canada in February 2018 as well as other opportunities such as a UN seminar to the UNHQ in New York, NY.

Gannon hopes to offer a Model UN Summer Camp in the future, Sahay said.

"Not only would this benefit high school students to prepare better for the conference in fall, but encourage new schools, or those who do not have the resources to prepare and come to the conference to benefit from this," she said. "More than anything else, this gift enables the club to be more active and visible round the year and helps students to get experiential learning by both hosting and participating in Model UN conferences." 

Future goals also include Gannon establishing a UN Day commemorating the creation of the United Nations in 1945, and a speakers series featuring international relations specialists discussing current events and issues.