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Lucas Bladen • Secretary-General

Lucas is currently a senior in the Honors Program majoring in political science with a double minor in human rights and French and francophone studies. This is his seventh and final year participating in UCMUN, having previously served as director-general, director of UNHCR, and administrative assistant director of DISEC, in addition to having been a delegate for three consecutive years. He is honored to have been chosen as this year's secretary-general, and he hopes to make UCMUN's 20th annual conference the greatest one yet. Outside of UCMUN, he has studied abroad in Paris at the Sorbonne, led field research on international migration in France and Italy, interned for Senator Richard Blumenthal, been a political organizer for Senator Chris Murphy and the Connecticut Democratic Party, and is a writer for the UConn Political Review. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, running, and drinking coffee. Lucas looks forward to meeting you in November! Please feel free to email him at secretary-general@ucmun.com or lucas.bladen@uconn.edu with any questions or concerns.

 

Mary Vlamis • Director-General

Mary is a junior at the University of Connecticut pursuing a double major in political science and economics with a minor in mathematics. This is her third year working on the staff of UCMUN. After being a director of WFP last year and assistant director to UNHCR the year prior, Mary is incredibly honored to be serving as director-general for UCMUN XX. As director-general, Mary aspires to foster an environment of respect, cooperation, and intellectual curiosity, leading to a conference full of fruitful debate. Outside of Model UN, Mary is a Student Academic Services Assistant for the Economics Department and a conversation partner with Cross Cultural Connections. When she isn’t sitting in class or thinking about UCMUN, Mary can be found laughing at herself, her friends, or a Netflix comedy special. Mary is eager to see the staff’s hard work come to life with this year’s UCMUN conference and is patiently waiting for the weekend filled with conversations on stimulating issues and unique solutions. Feel free to reach out to Mary at mary.vlamis@uconn.edu or director-general@ucmun.com with any questions or concerns!

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Mary Szarkowicz
Conference Director

Mary is a senior in the Honors Program pursuing a dual degree in political science and accounting. She has served as the assistant director for the United Nations Children's Fund and the topic Specialist for the Commission on the Status of Women. Outside of Model United Nations, Mary works at the Office of the Registrar and has interned with the U.S. Senate and the Department of Justice. She is also involved in undergraduate research and enjoys travel, Crossfit, and reading. Mary is looking forward to meeting everyone at this year's conference! Please feel free to reach out to her at mary.szarkowicz@uconn.edu with any questions or concerns.

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Jillian Rastinejad
Chief of Staff

Jillian is currently a senior in the Honors Program with a double major in physics and human rights and a minor in astrophysics. With UCMUN, she has previously served as an assistant director for DISEC, the director of UNICEF, and the director of Security Council. Those past committees were a joy to chair, and Jill is excited to see all the amazing things that the UCMUN staff and delegates do this year. Outside of Model UN, Jill likes learning Persian (she's half-Iranian) and learning more about Persian and Chinese culture (she's also half-Chinese!). Recently, in her free time, Jill has been watching a lot of '90s-early 2000s TV shows like Seinfeld and The West Wing, but she's not afraid to rewatch staples like The Great British Baking Show or 30 Rock. Please do not hesitate to contact her with questions, comments or concerns at jillian.rastinejad@uconn.edu.

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Monica Antony
Director of Education

Monica is a junior majoring in physiology and neurobiology, pursuing a career as a physician's assistant. Previously, she has been a topic specialist in the past two conferences in UNEP and UNICEF and she is excited to serve as the director of education for the upcoming conference. Monica is also an active member in UConn's ASHA for Education, PAPCA, and Red Cross Club. In her spare time Monica likes to play tennis, drink coffee, and listen to music by Kanye West. When she's not at school, you can find her working in the pharmacy or hospital. She is extremely excited to meet all of you and to make this conference the best one yet. If you have any questions please contact her at monica.antony@uconn.edu.

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Emilyn Tuomala
Director of Administration

Emilyn is a senior at UConn, planning to graduate with a double major in political science and global studies with a concentration in security policy, as well as minor in Arabic, history and German. This is her fourth conference, having previously served as a member of security, the director of ICJ, and the assistant director-general. Besides UCMUN, Emilyn is a member of the marching band, Alpha Omicron Pi, Kappa Kappa Psi and College Republicans. She can always be found with a smile on her face and a coffee in hand. If you have any questions, please reach out to her at emilyn.tuomala@uconn.edu.

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Arjun Ahuja
Director of Security

Arjun Ahuja is a sophomore pursuing a major in Political Science and Philosophy with a hope to attend law school upon graduating. An avid Model-Un participant, Arjun has been an active member since his junior year of high school where he learned the importance of diplomacy and the art of public speaking. He also participates in UConn’s Travel Model UN team in which they travel the country competing on the college circuit. As Director of Security, he hopes to bring an atmosphere of safety and calm as to allow delegates to do what they do best, solve the problems of our time. When not participating in various Model UN activities, Arjun enjoys hanging out with his fraternity brothers at Phi Gamma Delta, better known as FIJI, playing basketball, and pretending he knows how to play the guitar. He hopes that this conference will be the safest one yet and urges any delegates or faculty advisors to reach out to him with any questions at arjun.ahuja@uconn.edu

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Christina Van Deventer
Director of Media

Christina is a senior honors student pursuing a major in marketing and minors in computer science and philosophy. This is her fourth year participating in UCMUN, having previously served as the director of the Human Rights Council and the administrative assistant for the Counter Terrorism Committee. Outside of UCMUN, Christina is the treasurer of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Society, and previously worked as a congressional intern in the Office of Representative Jim Himes. In her free time, Christina enjoys reading and watching reruns of The West Wing. She is looking forward to seeing everyone at the conference this fall! If you have any questions for Christina, you can reach her at christina.van_deventer@uconn.edu.

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Nick Monaco
Crisis Coordinator

Nick is currently a senior in the honors program majoring in biomedical engineering. This will be his fourth year as a part of UCMUN, having been an assistant director for the Historical Crisis Committee his first year, the director of DISEC his second year, and the director of the Historical Crisis Committee his third year. Nick has been involved in Model UN since middle school and has always been passionate about current events. Outside of UCMUN, Nick enjoys watching sports, playing basketball, and staying active while simultaneously watching lots of Netflix. Please email him with any questions at nicholas.monaco@uconn.edu.

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Jenny Ma
Community Outreach Coordinator

Jenny is a senior at UConn pursuing a major in biological sciences, with a plan to enter the healthcare field upon graduation. While she is interested in pursuing a career in biology, she has always enjoyed following politics and has learned to love Model UN after being a part of her high school’s Model United Nations club. She loved attending conferences with her peers who were also passionate about working together to solve the problems that the United Nations faces every day. After serving as assistant director of the UNHRC and CSW in the first two years of college, she is now serving her second year as the outreach coordinator. She enjoys singing, playing the piano and guitar, and spends the rest of her free time watching The Bachelor, Modern Family, Marvel shows, and reruns of Elf. Please do not hesitate to contact Jenny at jenny.ma@uconn.edu.

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Matthew Macesker
Assistant Director General

Matthew is a senior in the Honors Program double majoring in both electrical and computer engineering with a minor in math. He has been involved with UCMUN since he was a freshman, having previously worked as an assistant director and topic specialist for DISEC, and then as the director for CTC. This year, as the assistant director-general and the director for the Security Council, he hopes to ensure that every delegate has a fulfilling experience at the conference. Outside of UCMUN, Matthew does undergraduate research involving system optimization, spends summers interning with top engineering companies, and goes on long painful hikes with the UConn Outing Club. In his free time, he enjoys going kayaking, playing video games, and building a collection of vinyl records that would make any hipster blush. Please feel free to contact him with any questions at matthew.macesker@uconn.edu.

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Rohit Kandala
Assistant Director of Education

Rohit is a senior currently majoring in history and minoring in both philosophy and communications. This is his third year participating in UCMUN, and he’s previously been the topic specialist of UNHRC and DISEC. Outside of UCMUN, Rohit has spent a semester abroad in Athens, Greece, done multiple research projects, and interned for a technology start-up based in India (ask him all about it!). In his free time, Rohit likes to read, write, travel, and listen to music whenever he can. He is quite excited to be Assistant Director of Education and JCC’s Topic Specialist and hopes to make the conference unforgettable. Feel free to reach out to him at rohit.kandala@uconn.edu