2017 Intern Spotlight: Jospeh Melkonian

Jospeh Melkonian

Home Institution: University of California, Davis

Major: International Relations

“This summer I have had the privilege to learn from some of the forefront in the field of nonproliferation while participating in research in the field. The experts I have met are kind as well as brilliant, both generous in providing research and career advice and skilled in sharing their wealth of knowledge. I have learned much about nonproliferation, disarmament, and weapons of mass destruction this summer, and intend to carry the knowledge and skills I have acquired back with me into my university studies.

I have had the opportunity to contribute towards several ongoing projects at CNS. I appreciate that the coordinators at CNS have encouraged me to use my foreign language skills in my research, whether that be looking up incidents involving radioactive material in France or independent research on French nuclear policy.

Aside from the beautiful scenery and excellent faculty, I would say the diplomatic simulation we ran near the end of July has been the highlight of the program this summer. CNS expert and former South African diplomat Jean du Preez led a simulated dialogue on the issue of nuclear disarmament, with each intern representing a different nation. We faced the real-world dilemma of attempting to reach agreement while trying to remain true to our nations’ official platforms, and lived the simulated scenario, meeting amongst ourselves outside of the “official” setting in private groups to discuss concessions we could make. We arrived at agreement, despite tense exchanges over issues and wording.

All in all, I am extremely grateful for the internship this summer, and hope to apply what I have learned at CNS in the future.”