A Lasting Impact
Rayan El Amine
Kari Beck, affectionately called Mrs. Beck by her students, has been participating in Model United Nations for many years now (citing one of her first conferences as the 1995 Hague Conference, where she represented Cameroon!). Yet, as someone who has immersed themselves in such a community, absorbing everything it has to give, and truly becoming a household name among those who have also invested their lives in MUN, there is something unique to Mrs. Beck’s loving nature, as well as her ability to attract those who would stray away from Model United Nations to such a unique conference.
In a conversation I had with her, I was struck by not only her humility, but by her capacity to look to the future. To be able to simultaneously both hold a significant understanding of the past, but also have such an optimistic view of what could be– it’s not just humbling, but also inspiring for any delegate. In fact, when citing her favorite part of THIMUN, she professed, “ I think the most powerful piece is when students step outside their comfort zone and represent a country whose policy they don’t agree with. Students become more analytical and critical thinkers when their beliefs are challenged.” Yet the most surprising part of our conversation came when I asked her who had impacted her over her time in MUN. Rather than citing some famous celebrity, she chose a local legend: “Lisa Martin is an inspiration. She is one of the most passionate, selfless, focused individuals I’ve encountered and I’m impressed with all that she has accomplished and the difference she has made in so many individuals’ lives through her tenure as the THIMUN Q Director. She will be missed.”
Mrs. Beck’s ability to captivate students into joining such a conference is special. Her impact may not come from loud speeches or grand gestures, but rather in the small intimate relationships she is able to establish with students. I think concluding this conversation with the words of one of her former students may have the most impact:
“Mrs. Beck is the reason I fell in love with MUN, she made it manageable, accessible, and easy, and for that, I am eternally grateful.”