This weekend, Kayla Caniff won an award for representing the United Kingdom.

The 18-year-old Santa Fe College linguistics sophomore stood with her partner, Reeya Gupta, in the General Assembly of the Model United Nations conference and successfully passed a resolution about peacekeeping.

Caniff was one of 19 students from the Santa Fe College Model United Nations club who participated in the 25th annual Southern Regional Model United Nations conference in Atlanta this past weekend

During its 10th year of participation, the club earned five awards. For the first year, some student participants also received academic credit in accordance with a new course offered this Fall about the U.N.

The team won three outstanding delegate awards and two country delegation awards, said Jennifer Forshee, the team’s adviser and assistant professor of political science at Santa Fe.

Santa Fe paid for the costs of the conference, including travel expenses and registration fees.

The conference is based upon the actual U.N., so there are several committees, said Gupta, the team’s secretary. A position paper completed prior to the conference and participation in the committee determines if performances are granted awards. It is based upon a point system, she said.

Forshee said the students showed dedication as they prepared to compete with about 50 other schools in the competition.

"They take their representation of a country very seriously and do a lot of research," she said.

While Caniff has won awards before for her participation in Model U.N. competitions, her most recent award was the culmination of 48 hours without sleep.

"I stayed up for two days straight writing resolutions in hopes of getting it passed," she said, adding she felt the conference was sometimes very intense.

"It felt great that my hard work was recognized," she said.