Front Row: (L-R: Thandika Thompson, Julian Coakley and Jamielle Whittaker)
Back Row: (L-R: Danielle Terrelonge, Marcos Gonzalez, Fenel Etienne and
Jarlens Princilis. )

MIAMI GARDENS, FL March 28, 2012 – Florida Memorial University (FMU) students brought home the gold during the 31st Annual Bethune-Cookman University Model United Nations Conference. This year’s theme was Ensuring Advancements in Human Rights, Technology, and Peace and Security. Model United Nations (MUN) is an academic simulation that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda. Julian Coakley won Best Delegate for Switzerland; Danielle Terrelonge won Best Delegate for Saudi Arabia; and the Saudi Arabia delegation won Best Delegation. Winning half of the available awards, FMU’s two student delegations bested teams from Stetson University, Bethune-Cookman University, Savannah State University and other institutions.

“The environment was very competitive. We had previous best delegate wins, but, we never took two delegations to the competition,” Olivia Jackson, Ph.D., Model UN advisor and political science and international relations professor. “I am impressed that our students defeated others teams that featured students from school that are noted for training lawyers.”

During the simulation, students develop hands-on experience in civic engagement, communications, international relations and diplomacy through simulations of activities conducted by the United Nations. To capture the roles of representatives of different countries, students conduct research on that country’s culture, economy, and strategic goals as well as relevant regional and global issues. During sessions, students discuss, debate and work together to find solutions.

“The experience was very challenging because we were not given the specific details only a theme,” said Danielle Terrelong, senior political science and public administration student. “In preparation, we did a lot of research. But, we had to perform extemporaneously.”

The conference was divided into three committees of which FMU delegations served on two. Students debated with delegates from other schools representing the United States, China, Dominica, Lebanon, and South Africa. FMU students successfully introduced resolutions in both committees. Through intense negotiations and remarkable oratorical debate skills, the students were able to convince other delegates to sign on to the resolutions, thus leading to the adoption of both resolutions in their respective committees.

In the end, FMU won half of the competition’s available awards. Team members include:

FMU Saudi Arabia Delegation: Danielle Terrelonge, Jarlens Princilis, and Thandika Thompson.

FMU Switzerland Delegation: Julian Coakley, Fenel Etienne, Marcos Gonzalez, and Jamielle Whittaker.

For media inquiries, contact Zachary Rinkins, communications coordinator, at (305) 626-3624 or


About Florida Memorial University:
Located in the City of Miami Gardens, Florida Memorial University is a private, historically Black institution offering 42 undergraduate degree programs and four graduate degree programs to a culturally diverse student body. Since its inception in 1879, the University has upheld a commitment to providing a solid foundation for thousands of young people and opening doors to educational opportunities that may have otherwise been closed to them. As South Florida’s only Historically Black College or University (HBCU), it is widely recognized for being the birthplace of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” and the home of student Barrington Irving, Jr., the first pilot of
African descent and youngest pilot ever to fly solo around the world. Dr. Henry Lewis, III, PharmD, is the university’s twelfth president. For more information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at (305) 626-3624. You can support FMU by visiting

Category: Press Release