Seven students, representing Millersville University’s Middle Eastern Studies Organization (MESO), competed against more than 120 students from 15 other colleges/universities at the Capital Area Regional Model Arab League simulation, held at Georgetown University, November 11-13. Four Millersville University students took home awards.

Millersville University students with Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud (L-R): Dart Lederhouse, Curtis Martin, Bjorn Bolte, Alyssa Anderson, Derek Smith, Richard Lyons and Crystal Manafi.

Participants were required to remain in character as members of diplomatic delegations from the countries they represented. This year, Millersville’s delegation represented Jordan.

The objective for each delegation was to pass resolutions to the primary council that reflected the actual interests of the states they represented. On the final day of the simulation, all delegations came together in a Summit Meeting, where all resolutions from the councils were voted on by the delegations.

Awards were also given to participants based on performance in academic, procedural and behavioral terms. Millersville students who received awards included Derek Smith and Bjorn Bolt, who earned Honorable Mention awards for their representation of Jordan on the Joint-Defense Council; Richard Lyons, who earned the Best Delegate for Environmental Affairs award for his representation of Jordan on the Environmental Affairs Council and Crystal Manafi, who earned an Honorable Mention for chairing the Political Affairs Council.

The three other students who attended the event were Dart Leaderhouse, Alyssa Anderson and Curtis Martin.

Award winners had the opportunity to meet and have their picture taken with the event’s keynote speaker Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud. Millersville’s MESO and their recent achievements will be discussed in the upcoming, updated paperback edition of Arab Voices by Dr. James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C. Zogby was invited to speak at the Millersville University International Policy Conference in September. Impressed by MESO’s engagement in the issues of the Middle Eastern region, he decided to feature them in his book.

For more information, contact Craig Ilgenfritz, advisor of MESO, at or 717-372-3550.

Leave a comment