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August 06, 2021

Skill & Sportsmanship Spell Success at Harvard China Model UN

Skill and sportsmanship fueled the Academy of the Holy Angels’ success at this summer’s virtual Harvard China Model United Nations Conference. The Academy’s delegates to this international event drew several honors and demonstrated leadership, mentorship, expertise, and diplomacy.


“I could not be more proud of each and every one of our Angel delegates,” AHA Model UN Adviser Jennifer Cucchisi commented. “They truly personified what it means to be an Angel, and I am honored to be able to work with them.”


AHA Model UN Junior President Caroline Dupas earned first place in her highly competitive committee, and was named Best Delegate for her work representing Malaysia. Dupas received a commemorative gavel in honor of her achievement. This Pearl River, New York, resident previously earned gavels for being named Best Delegate/first place at the Dartmouth and Dalton Model UN conferences.


“She handled herself with grace and dignity, even when not always faced with it,” Cucchisi said of Dupas. “The chairperson of her committee stated before giving out awards that he was amazed that the delegates were able to solve their issues during the committee without getting (non-students) involved at all. As I witnessed it firsthand, I can tell you the leader in that was Caroline. When others went low, she went high!”
AHA’s Celine Hong and Natalie Yoo both earned Honorable Mentions for representing Occupied Palestine in different committees. Cucchisi noted the high level of difficulty these delegates faced due to the complex situation in this part of the world.
“They both excelled and made me so proud with their vast knowledge of the topic at hand and the eloquence in which they presented. This was only their second conference,” Cucchisi said of these delegates, both of whom reside in Englewood Cliffs.
AHA Model UN Senior President Ria Jani distinguished herself as a representative of Singapore, while demonstrating outstanding leadership and sportsmanship.
“Despite not medaling, I cannot say how much Ria proved herself to have won in so many ways,” Cucchisi said. “She truly led her team to awards with her excellent leadership all year long. She is a huge driving force behind our success this year, and she continued that leadership with others during the conference. Ria truly personifies what it means to be an Angel and I am so very grateful to be able to work with her. What an amazing young woman she is!”
Jani, who resides in Haworth, mentored a young international student who did not know the rules of Model UN, and another delegate who was not feeling confident because English is not her first language.
Although the conference is based in China, the event is held in English. Cucchisi explained that the international conference is sponsored by Harvard’s International Relations Council and Alpha Partners Education, which is located in Beijing. This year’s event was their 11th conference in China.


Cucchisi noted that the majority of attendees were from international schools and English is not their first language. There were no translators.


As a fun fact, Cucchisi pointed out that, due to the time difference between China and the United States, AHA’s delegates finished the four-day event in just three days.


Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.