Monday, November 23rd, 2015


Flag_of_the_People's_Republic_of_China.svgTaught by Jessica Teets, Orion Lewis, and Wei Liang (MIIS) June 7, 2016 – July 5, 2016

In this proposed off-campus course, we will conduct academic research to explore the topics of trade, diplomacy and development in China. Students will work with the professors to develop projects before the program, including designing appropriate research methodology such as interviews, surveys, statistical analysis, and other methodologies. Next, we will travel to Beijing, where top scholars will workshop our research ideas, and then travel to 2 research sites (Beijing and Kunming) in teams consisting of at least one professor and a team of MIIS and Middlebury students. At each site, the team will conduct fieldwork using the methodologies developed on campus. Students will have the option of incorporating their original research into an independent study project, senior thesis, or Masters thesis upon their return to campus next Fall.

-No language requirement, although some Mandarin would be helpful
-Spring 2016: enroll in a one-hour/week independent study section with Professor Lewis
-Spring 2016: register for PSCI0221 The Politics of China (Middlebury) or DPPG/ITED 8579 China: Trade, Diplomacy and Development (MIIS), or have taken an equivalent class on modern China

How to Apply:
Our hope is that students will select an area of interest that will become the focus of a final project continued into the next year as a senior thesis or independent study. All publications from this fieldwork will list student names as either coauthors or research assistants. Interested students should submit an unofficial transcript, a statement that includes major, minor(s), year abroad experiences (past or planned), and a two-page essay explaining why you would like to take the course, your goals for the experience, and the particular strengths, interests, and experiences you would bring to the course. Please submit the application materials to Professor Lewis ( by January 15, 2016. For additional information, please contact Professor Lewis, or Professor Liang (

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Still looking for January workshops?

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.51.42 PMDid you know that all MIIS students are able to take International Professional Service Semester workshops this January?

IPSS workshops include: High Value Organizational Consulting, Designing and Evaluating Interventions, Quantitative Analysis with Excel, and Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis.

In Designing and Evaluating Interventions (IPSS 8531 A, 1 Credit, Pass/Fail) January 6-7, 2016 with Instructor Erika Takada, “Participants will design an intervention with an accompanying monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system.”

In Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (IPSS 8533 A, 1 Credit, Pass/Fail) January 9-10, 2016 with Instructor Emily Morris, “Students will learn and practice key methods of applied qualitative data collection and analysis.”

In High Value Organizational Consulting (IPSS 8530 A, 1-2 Credit, Pass/Fail) January 14-15, 2016 with Instructor Beryl Levinger, “Participants will learn tools for analyzing an organization, its culture, its approach to meeting mission, and ecosystem analysis.”

In Quantitative Analysis with Excel (IPSS 8532 A, 1 Credit, Pass/Fail) January 16-17, 2016 with Instructor Kevin Lorenzi, “Students will improve their understanding and abilities to collect and analyze data using Microsoft Excel.”

These professional skills workshops are open to students and professionals outside of the IPSS program, space permitting.  Please email to express interest.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Brown Bag Lunch Discussion – “Military Support to Foreign Disaster Response”

Mark your calendar to have lunch with Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland!

Who: All interested MIIS community

What: Discussion and Q&A on: Military Support to Foreign Disaster Response

When: Tuesday, December 1 (12:15-1:15)

Where: Morse B106

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland is the current U.S. Army War College Fellow at MIIS. LTC (P) Wendland worked as a Military Crisis Response Planner at United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from 2009-2012. He worked alongside representatives from the Department of State, USAID, and the United Nations  to develop complementary disaster response plans for a number of devastating natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear reactor meltdowns, tropical storms, and flooding) and will provide an overview of the U. S. Government process to provide U. S. military support with anecdotal stories from the following response efforts: Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Haiti, Japan, Thailand, and Nepal.

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Join us for the IMO Program Debrief Tonight!

Join us from 6-7 PM Monday, November 16 in McGowan 100. Students who participated in the Immersive Learning Program trip to the International Maritime Organization meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and London Protocol on ocean dumping will give a summary of their assigned agenda topic, the results of debate at the meeting, and their experiences while in London.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Applications invited for a trip to the Russian Far East in Spring!

The Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies is pleased to announce that two MIIS and two Middlebury students will participate in a research trip to the Russian Far East under the supervision of Professor Tsuneo Akaha (GSIPM). The trip is designed to introduce the participants to the political and economic issues of contemporary Russia, with a focus on her Far Eastern territories, and relations with the neighboring countries. Students will take part in meetings with faculty, researchers, and students of Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok and the Economic Research Institute in Khabarovsk, as well as local community representatives in these two largest cities in the Far East. The students will develop a research report based on their trip and pre-trip and post-trip research. Students who wish to earn academic credit will consult with Prof. Akaha and Prof. Vassilieva. 2 Directed Study credits can be earned.

The entire cost of the trip will be covered by the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies, a MIIS project funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Preference will be given to students with advanced Russian language skills.

Two MIIS participants will be selected through the following procedures:

  1. An essay describing the applicant’s background and interest in Russia (including the Far East) and her relations with the regional neighbors, including Korea, Mongolia, China, and Japan. The essay should be three-pages long and submitted by email to Prof. Akaha and Prof. Anna Vassilieva by November 24, Tuesday.
  2. An up-to-date resume, to be submitted along with the above essay.
  3. An oral interview after review of the above submissions.

Applicants will be notified of the results of the selection by December 4, Friday.

Inquiries may be addressed to Prof. Akaha at or Prof. Vassilieva at

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

MIIS Students in London for UN’s International Maritime Organization Meeting

imoLast week a group of 7 students, led by Professor Patrick Cotter, went to London to attend the London Convention and London Protocol on ocean dumping of wastes and other matter at the UN’s International Maritime Organization(IMO) in London. Before leaving for the London Meeting students were asked prepare a position paper on the topics that were going to be discussed by the delegates. The topics for the papers were front-line environmental issues being considered at the meeting, including, marine geoengineering, carbon dioxide capture and storage, compliance with the treaties, technical cooperation and assistance, ship recycling, disposal of mine tailings, marine litter, environmental effects of chemical munitions disposal, and 25-year review of radioactive waste disposal in the ocean. The students were able to then listen to the discussions and debate on issues during the meeting.

During breaks for tea or lunch, they had the opportunity to interact with delegates who expressed their positions during the plenary session, including delegates from the Canada, Panama, Turkey, the US, GreenPeace and the London Convention/London Protocol Secretariat. In total there were 49 Contracting Parties (nations) at the meeting, 2 associate members, 11 observer nations, 5 NGO observers, 3 UN agencies, and MIIS student observers at the meeting.  The meeting was chaired by Nigeria with support from the London Convention/London Protocol Secretariat.

The MIIS Digital Learning Center setup a chat for the group using “SlackBot”.  During the meeting, Professor Cotter was able to comment instantly on points that were being made to allow the students to understand the importance or implications of an intervention by a national representative.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

J-Term Practica Deadlines Approaching

J-Term Practica Deadlines are Approaching

Take advantage of all of the great opportunities to learn in the field before it’s too late! As we approach November this semester, it is important to start thinking about J-term and working on those applications for participating in practica abroad! Many of the immersive learning programs have a deadline of October 31st to apply. So don’t delay if you are thinking of going abroad this January. To learn more about J-term Practica and their application deadlines, visit:


Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

DPMI and DPMI Plus Application Deadline for January Trainings is October 31

DPMI WI 2014

Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI) is 3-week training open to development professionals, career-changers, and graduate students.  The modules include (1) Managing Development Projects, (2) Social Change and Participatory Development, and (3) Strategic Partnership and Social Entrepreneurship. DPMI uses a cross-sector approach, taking promising practices from the development field and combining these tools with successful concepts drawn from the private sector.

DSC_7964The focus of this course is to apply and practice leadership methods within the areas of international development project management and social change.  We are looking for a diverse group of individuals whose passion revolves around the development and empowerment of communities at large.  Apply for January programs offered in Monterey and/or Rwanda by October 31.


20140117_154420With DPMI you will….

-Learn ground-breaking and ‘tried and true’ tools to solving problems, motivating staff, and establishing partnerships.

-Use the tools and standards set by major non-profits that break down and quantify processes through the lifespan of a project.

-Gain critical project management skills.  And learn how to put your training into action.

After participation in DPMI, Middlebury Institute students have the opportunity to go into the field for 3-9 month professional internships and be part of the DPMI Plus program. Read more about this opportunity on our DPMI LinkedIn Blog. Apply for DPMI Plus by October 31.

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Briefing and Q & A on Military Support in Conflict Resolution

Mark your calendars to have lunch with Major General William C. Hix!

Who: All interested MIIS students and faculty

What: Briefing and Q & A on: “Military Support to Conflict Resolution in the World Today”

When: Wednesday, October 21 (12pm-1pm)

Where: Morse B206

Food and Drink Provided!

Major General William C. Hix

Major General William C. Hix

Major General Hix’s almost 35-years of military experience provide him the necessary background to answer any questions youmay have about the U.S. Army’s support to Conflict Resolution in the World Today.

Prior to his current assignment at the Pentagon, Major General Hix was the Deputy Director for the Army’s Capabilities and Integration Center where he oversaw the linkages between emerging technologies and soldier success on the battlefield.

His experience includes combat tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan, assignments with 82nd  and 101st Divisions, the First Special Forces Group in Japan, as a Military Observer in the Western Sahara, as policy officer in the Republic of Korea, and as a Strategist on the Joint Staff.

Born in Washington, D.C., Major General Hix was commissioned as an infantry officer following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 1981. He holds a Masters of Military Art and Science, was a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University and is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Immersive Learning in Mindanao

Theiline Cramer in the field in Mindanao. Photographed by Maritza Munzon

Theiline McMahon Cramer in the field in Mindanao (Photographed by Maritza Munzón)

Theiline McMahon Cramer (Talie), duel degree candidate in TESOL and IEM, participated in last January’s Center for Conflict Studies field course entitled, Challenges to Peacebuliding in Mindanao led by Dr. Puspha Iyer.

Talie’s blogs speak to the immersive learning experience at MIIS, “I’m basking in the opportunity to reflect on my own experience as I learn a mile-a-minute.  It’s day one and my mind is full of preconceptions and is ready to be filled and sculpted and filled with the knowledge of the people that live in this very foreign world. ”  Her stories from Mindanao are very introspective and humble, “the longer we are here, the more I learn – and more and more I realize I know nothing at all.”

Tylie’s blog posts also highlight profound learning moments, “Going from meeting to meeting, community to community, I’ve begun to zoom in on the details of an individual’s experience, what the meaning behind a certain man or woman’s answer to a question about their experience with peace education may mean on a broader scale.  This trip is so rich with knowledge and experience that, honestly, I had started to focus in on the details – the details that lead you to the broader picture that these international organizations maintain.”

Read more about Tylie’s and her cohorts experiences in Mindanao on the field course blog Challenges to Peacebuilding in Mindanao>>>.

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Immersive learning in Japan and China

Merideth Bush touring the Japanese Diet in Tokyo.

The Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management, Dr. Kent Glenzer, describes immersive learning as, “flying in a plane while you build it.”  Merideth Bush, duel degree candidate in IPD and MBA, participated in last Spring Break’s East Asia Practicum course, on foreign policy, trade, and security led by Dr. Tsuneo Akaha and Dr. Wei Liang.  During the seminar, Merideth “flew her plane” with a great deal of openness, awareness, and humor.

Thinking back on her experience, Merideth wrote, “I think of a region where I was impacted by the blend of the ancient with the modern, something that for me, as an American and and therefore a citizen of a very young country, was new and fascinating.  –I remember standing in the middle of Tiananmen square trying to imagine the immense plaza 26 years earlier, packed with passionate university students like myself, many of whom would meet tragic deaths in the very place where I stood.”

She also remembers, “a hilarious tutorial on how to eat noodles with chopsticks and a memorable first-experience with a high tech toilet fully equipped with a heat seat, sound effects, and frankly a rather over zealous bidet.”

Merideth concluded, “the political education I received in Tokyo and Beijing was invaluable, but it is the cultural experiences that will stay with me for years to come.”  Read more about Immersive Learning experiences available this January-term 2016 and Spring Break 2016>>>.

Monday, September 14th, 2015

2016 January and Spring Break Opportunities

At MIIS, our immersive learning experiences extend beyond the classroom. There will be an Informational Session on Tuesday, September 22nd about Immersive Learning opportunities for MIIS students. The session is open to all degrees and will give students an opportunity to learn more about the various international and domestic immersive learning programs. The session will also cover ways to fund your immersive learning. To learn more now visit:

Date: Tuesday, September 22

When: 12:00-1:00pm

Where:  Morse B106

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Friday, September 11th, 2015

IPSS Info Session this Tuesday


This Tuesday, September 15th, there will be an informational session about the International Professional Service Semester (IPSS).  The IPSS program is offered through the Graduate School of International Policy and Management (GSIPM) during the Spring Semester.  IPSS is an immersive learning experience, in which fellows secure internships with international organizations in the US and abroad and earn up to 12 units of academic credit.  This session will cover IPSS requirements, syllabi, and stories from Spring 2015 IPSS fellows.

When: Tuesday, September 15th

Time: 12-1pm

Where: Morse B106

To learn more information about IPSS visit or email

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

DPMI Info Session this Thursday


This Thursday, September 10th, there will be and informational session on the Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI) Program. The program will earn you a certificate in International Development and Social Change. The session will cover all of the DPMI training offerings and give you a chance to hear from past program participants. To learn more about the program right now you can visit:

When: Thursday September 10th

Time: 12-1pm

Where: Morse B106

Friday, September 4th, 2015

IPSS Fellow Cervando Banuelos worked to verify and deter state sponsored cyber attacks

Cervando Banuelos

Cervando graduated from the Institute in August 2015 with a masters in Non-proliferation and Terrorism Studies and is now pursuing a masters degree in Computer Science at the Naval Post Graduate School.

IPSS Fellow Cervando Banuelos, worked at the Verification Research Training and Information Center (VERTIC) in London this past spring.  Based on his experience at VERTIC, Cervando believes, “Cyber security is an issue in economics, finance, infrastructure, nuclear power, and his ability to view adorable kittens online.  In other words, cyber security is now a fundamental part of everything.”

The question is, can we stop all  cyber attacks today with a deterrence agreement?  Unfortunately, no we can’t.

Cervando believes that our first step should be to deter state-sponsored cyber attacks, “these are attacks carried out by foreign government agents and members of foreign intelligence communities and they could be for disruption, theft or damage.  And I say that an agreement for the deterrence of state sponsored cyber attacks with international cooperation and an overseeing and enforcing body, and compliance through verification would limit the amount of attacks and the destructiveness of the attacks.”

Read an article that Cervando co-wrote during his IPSS fellowship at Vertic, in Trust and Verify, Issue 148.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Center for Conflict Studies invites proposals for its 2015 annual conference

The Center for Conflict Studies is happy to announce its 2015 annual conference:

Breaking Down Shades of Color: Power, Privilege and Potential in Race Conflict


“Siamese crocodiles”

This conference aims to highlight the sources, nature and growing incidence of race-based conflicts and the efforts being made to manage, resist and transform these conflicts.

Proposals are invited from graduate students, along with academics and practitioners in conflict studies, peace studies and other related disciplines who can offer perspectives from their empirical research particularly on but not limited to the following conference sub-themes:
1. Race and Ethnicity
2. Race and Religion
3. Race and Immigration
4. Race and Class
5. Race and Gender/Sexuality
6. Race and Academia/Education
7. Race and Culture
8. Race and Arts
9. Race and Language
10. Race and Media
11. Race and Criminal Justice System (Law, Law Enforcement, Prisons)
12. Race and Democracy
13. Race and Slavery
For more information visit:
Guidelines & Deadlines
All proposals, of 400-500 words, together with a bio of 100-150 words, should be submitted using this online form. Please also include your contact details (email and telephone). Proposals must include the specific dates of when empirical research was or will be conducted. All proposals must be received by midnight (PST) on September 30, 2015. Selection of participants will be based on scholarly merit, depth of empirical research and relevance to conference topics. At this time there are no travel scholarships available. All queries should be sent to


Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

DPP professor’s expertise sought about China’s new rail line to North Korean border

Associate Professor Wei Liang

Associate Professor Wei Liang

DPP professor Wei Liang was recently quoted in an article in the Los Angeles Times about China’s unveiling of a new high-speed rail line to the border of North Korea. The 129-mile rail goes to the border city of Dandong, a key hub for trade and tourism between China and North Korea. China is also preparing to open a border trade zone in Dandong.

Professor Liang adds a knowledgeable perspective to the article, “The new Shenyang-Dandong line is more an expression of good intention to expand investment in infrastructure throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond than a reflection of the prospect for increased economic collaboration with Pyongyang.”

Professor Liang further talks about China-North Korean trade relations in the article.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

IPSS Fellow Victoria Bell tracked illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing(IUU)

Victoria Bell

Victoria Bell recently completed her IPSS fellowship and graduated from the Institute with a masters degree in International Environmental Policy.

Victoria Bell believes, “Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and proves to be a food security, human security, and economic issue.”

For her IPSS fellowship, Victoria worked as an Ocean Policy Fellow at the Marine Conservation Institute in Washington, D.C. in an effort to accurately assess the issue of IUU fishing that generates over 20 billion dollars annually.

Victoria’s fellowship was unique because it coincided with the start of the 114th Congress.  Her task was to push a bill first proposed by Madeline Bordallo of Guam to regulate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU).

Victoria participated in a team effort to rally democrats and republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate to sponsor a bill that will lessen the economic incentive for IUU fishing.  In order to make her pitch, Victoria became very familiar with IUU fishing stories including those of egregious human trafficking offenses of the Bandit 6 that Sea Shepard had been tracking in the southern ocean.

Victoria shared, “this current Congress is as close to passing (IUU) legislation as we have ever come and it’s very exciting.”  Victoria and her team were responsible for 15 members of Congress that have co-sponsored IUU legislation. Read more about her fellowship on her IPSS student profile page>>>

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Afro-Brazilian Entrepreneurs!

MIIS Alumna, Yuniya Khan recently completed Frontier Market Scouts training and has hit the ground running.  Her vision is to create a movement, led by Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs, that transforms the city of Salvador, Brazil into a thriving ecosystem of growth, innovation, and well being for all its citizens.  She is raising funds through and is seeking your support. They have nearly half their goal already funded!

Take a look at her project video and the website: for more information.

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

IPSS Fellow Theresa Gauvreau worked to improve legal apparatuses in Pakistan

Theresa Gauvreau Picture

IPSS Fellow Theresa Gauvreau recently completed her last IPSS deliverable and graduated from the Middlebury Institute with a Masters degree in International Policy Studies with a concentration in Human Security and Development.

Theresa Gauvreau, 2015 Dunspaugh Dalton recipient spent her last semester at the Middlebury Institute as an International Professional Service Semester Fellow and worked for the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in the office of Pakistan.

Gauvreau was tasked with strengthening  legal education programs in Pakistan to improve the capacity of legal apparatuses, improve student’s opportunities and their access to practical training. She was also involved in an initiative to improve conditions for female police officers.

Through her IPSS experience at the Bureau,  Theresa has gained new skill sets and the insider knowledge desired for a top level State Department employee.  She is currently pursuing a career as a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service.

Interested in learning more about former IPSS participants?  Check out our student profiles page>>>

Next Page »