Left to right: John Flowers, Johnny Craig, Matt Szatkowski, Nicholas McGahan. Middle Row: Erin Ryan, Phillip Gaynor, John McCormick, Zach Miller, Melisa Jukic, Eleanor Zeff, Ashlee Voboril. Liana Kruce, Charvel Moltzan, Maria Cosma, Kashmira Chawla.

Students win top honors at Model EU Simulation

Student teams from Drake earned three first-place awards at the recent Midwest Model European Union Simulation in Indianapolis. Accompanied by Eleanor Zeff, associate professor of politics and international relations, 13 Drake students participated in the event, which involved three days of discussions and negotiations with more than 150 students from 11 Midwest universities. Drake also received the Best Delegation award and brought home the winning plaque to display on Drake’s campus for the year.

Students who won first place were Maria Cosma, a junior from Des Moines who participated as the prime minister of Hungary; John Flowers, a junior from Des Moines who participated as the environmental minister of Hungary; and Charval Moltzan, a junior from Columbia, Mo., who participated as foreign minister of Hungary.

“The experience was a really great way to practically apply the facts and theories that we are learning about in our study of the European Union in a fun and interactive environment,” Moltzan said. “Winning was definitely unexpected, because there were so many really great students there. I think it came down to expressing ideas while at the same time uniting people.”

Drake entered two teams in the April 19-22 simulation, representing Hungary and Sweden. In addition to Cosma, Flowers and Moltzan, other Drake participants were Kashmira Chawla, a sophomore from Urbandale; Johnny Craig, a first-year student from Waterloo, Iowa; Phillip Gaynor, a sophomore from Arlington Heights; Melisa Jukic, a sophomore from Des Moines; Liana Kruce, a junior from Indianola; Nicholas McGahan, a first-year student from Des Plaines, Ill.; Zach Miller, a sophomore from Carlisle, Iowa; Erin Ryan, a sophomore from Chicago; Matt Szatkowski, a senior from West Des Moines; and Ashlee Voboril, a first-year student from Des Moines.

“These awards represent outstanding individual and team efforts,” Zeff said. “We were all very excited to win the Best Delegation award, and the students were especially proud to win the award for Drake University.”

The EU-Midwest is one of only four events of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1993 and hosted by the Indianapolis campus of Indiana University, it is designed to help college and university students learn about the workings of the European Union through a hands-on simulation. The simulations offer active learning environments where students can also internationalize their perspectives on world events and organizations.

The Drake contingent was funded by Drake’s Center for Global Citizenship and individual alumni donations.