SFA's Model Arab League team

SFA's Model Arab League team recently captured 12 awards at the 2014 Regional Model Arab League competition in Houston.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Model Arab League team received 12 awards during the 2014 Regional Model Arab League competition in Houston, winning the most awards of any team in the competition.

SFA's Kimberly Fruge' and Karina Erickson won best delegate awards on the Joint Defense Council, and their council won outstanding committee. SFA had six team members win individual speaker awards, as well.

SFA represented the United Arab Emirates. Team members met weekly in the fall and have met bi-weekly since January to prepare for this year's competition.

"This team really worked hard, and every one of them deserved an award," said Julie Harrelson-Stephens, SFA Model Arab League faculty sponsor. "You could tell how much they had prepared.

"They represented UAE very well and were instrumental in almost every policy passed at the MAL," she said. "During the competition, SFA's team dominated every one of the councils."

SFA competed against several other universities, including Texas A&M University, the University of Arkansas, Louisiana State University, Texas State University and the University of Houston Honors College.

Fruge' said the MAL experience provides students with insight into how governments work. "The Model Arab League was not just some conference I could add to my résumé. It was also fun and exciting, but, most importantly, it was an invaluable learning experience."

SFA students participating in the competition along with Fruge' and Erickson were Tailore Aguilar, Kristen Cade, Daniel Iwai, Leigh Uranga, Colten Garcia, Steffen Carrillo, Forest Bell and Don Escobedo.

The Model Arab League team is housed in the College of Liberal and Applied Arts. For more information, contact Harrelson-Stephens at (936) 468-2380 or harrelsoj@sfasu.edu.