March 07, 2013
LAWT News Service
California State University, Dominguez Hills political science student Arnaud Lukombo received an honorable mention award at the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN), held in Boston Feb. 14-17.
HNMUN is the oldest, and considered the most prestigious of Model UN conferences in the county, bringing together more than 3,000 students from American and international universities to serve as UN delegates and debate global issues as if they were before the UN.
Lukombo, who is an international student from France, said he came to the U.S. three years ago with a limited command of English. He spent a year in the CSU Dominguez Hills American Language and Culture Program through the College of Extended and International Education before enrolling as an undergraduate in the political science department.
“It’s thanks to the language program and to Professor Hamoud Salhi [associate professor of political science] that I was there,” Lukombo said of winning the award, referring to the solid foundations in English and of political science, respectively, he has received.
Lukombo was recognized with the honorable mention for his contributions as a member of the HMNUN’s Organization of Islamic Cooperation delegation representing Palestine on talks concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Lukombo was among eight students from CSU Dominguez Hills who participated in the HMNUN, debating and negotiating resolutions on topics ranging from targeted killings to the aging populations of the Third World. The delegation included Brigett Garibay (senior, political science), Iran Guzman (senior, political science), Regina Hernandez (senior, political science), Ana Lopez (senior, political science), Jennifer Lopez (junior, criminal justice), and Julia Pak (senior, political science), all representing Central African Republic; and Lukombo and Raffi Norberg (junior, political science), representing Palestine. The students participated in five committees: Commission on the Status of Women, Disarmament and International Security, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Third World Assembly on Aging, and World Health Organization.
The students are part of a Model UN class (POL 339) taught by Salhi through the Department of Political Science each spring semester. The class is designed to train students in the art of diplomacy, including public speaking, debate, negotiation, and consensus building.
Up next for the class will be the Western Collegiate Model UN conference in Santa Barbara March 28-30. Lukombo will be there, hoping to bring back another award for the university.