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Student Spotlight

Student: Nathan Bronstein. School: The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, where he is a senior. Achievement: Bronstein, 18, Shipley's student body president, won an award for best delegate of his committee at this year's Princeton Model United Nations Conference.


Nathan Bronstein.


The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, where he is a senior.


Bronstein, 18, Shipley's student body president, won an award for best delegate of his committee at this year's Princeton Model United Nations Conference.


What committee were you on at this year's conference?


I participated in a crisis committee called the Iranian Supreme National Security Council. This committee simulated the workings of the Iranian government in response to various issues within our country. There were approximately 18 people in this committee. . . .

During this conference, we sat around a table and openly discussed all the issues as they came up. We mobilized military forces, secretly constructed a nuclear bomb, dealt with a humanitarian and refugee crisis, created new trade agreements, and we passed a major arms deal with the Russian Federation.


What was your role?


Each person in this committee was given a member of the actual Iranian government to research and "act out." I was given the first vice president of Iran, Parviz Davudi. Since the chair acted as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Iran's Supreme Leader was not represented, my position was the "most powerful" of the other positions distributed.


Why did you win the award for best delegate?


I received the best delegate award because, of all the people within my committee, I best exemplified how one is to act at a Model United Nations. I acted respectfully to everyone else, though I made sure to include myself in everything. I made sure to solidify myself as an essential part of every agreement and every action taken.

By the end of the conference, I was either the person who led the decision to take action in a certain way, or if someone else was leading a decision, they would run it by me to get my opinion first.

This was not done by "taking over," but by befriending everyone else and winning their respect, while respecting them, as well. I also did everything while staying within the policies of Parviz Davudi himself.


How did you contribute to the committee's decisions?


All the decisions and accomplishments made in this committee were done with every single member of the committee contributing. I am proud to say, however, that the majority of actions taken were taken after my initial proposal. I also helped ensure that everyone who needed to speak got their chance, even when others were trying to talk over them.

I also wrote up many of our decisions and "plans of action." In fact, I was one of the primary reasons the arms agreement with the Russian Federation was passed. Finally, any time we had to address the people of our country, it was always my job to give an "inspiring" power speech.


What was most exciting for you?


The night crisis we had was definitely the most exciting part of our experience. At midnight one night, we received a call in our hotel, and we were told that there was a crisis and that we needed to rush to our committee room as fast as we could.

Upon arriving, we had a special debriefing from a Princeton undergrad pretending to represent another section of the Iranian government. We were told about a nuclear meltdown, we were given mock news reports, and, as we began trying to solve the crisis, new reports continued coming into the room, continually changing our situation.


What was your committee's final standing?


In the end, our committee was successful in many of our goals. For example, we essentially succeeded in solving many of the economic problems facing our country, and we managed to quell much of the political and social instability. Perhaps the most unique end result of the simulations was our success in developing our nuclear weapon and our plans for invading Israel.


What does this award mean to you?


This award is extremely important to me because it is a symbol of success in an area that I really want to pursue in my life. I am also honored that I was seen as the best delegate within my committee, especially since there were very talented people working alongside myself.

Finally, my winning this award has proven that I am capable of playing the role and understanding viewpoints very different from my own.


Do you want to work for the U.S. government or the United Nations someday?


Absolutely. In fact, I have wanted to work in politics or international affairs ever since I was 10 years old.


Have you picked a college or major?


I have been accepted into American University in Washington, D.C. I know I will major in political science or international studies, and I will probably end up double-majoring so that I can do both.

What a history teacher says:

"Nathan is smart, articulate and comfortable speaking in public," Chris Simpson says. "He's also a good listener, sensitive and empathetic, and he has a great sense of humor. He has a lot of poise for someone so young, as well as a remarkable lack of ego, which is an asset if you are engaged in negotiations."

- Shannon Hallamyer