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

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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>>>

Monday, August 24th, 2015

The Circle Economy Presents ‘The Circular Awards’ Apply by September 30

circularsUpon reading this headline, you might be asking yourself, “What is the circular economy?”.  The circular economy is a resource efficient alternative to the traditional wasteful linear economy. It decouples growth from scarce resource use allowing economic development within natural resource limits and allowing companies to innovate to enable customers and users to do ‘more with less’.

The Circular Awards cover 7 categories and a people’s choice award, they are: Award for Circular Economy Leadership, Award for Circular Economy Multinational, Award for Circular Economy Government, Cities & Regions, Award for Circular Economy Investor, Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor, and the People’s Choice Award. Entries are due by September 30th, 2015 and can be submitted by clicking here. The awards will be presented at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2016.

Past winners include organizations such as Method. Based in San Francisco, Method is a pioneer in premium, environmentally-conscious and design-driven home care, fabric care and personal care products. The company has a product development engine built on circular economy principles to ensure that all its products are sustainable. This includes using materials that can be infinitely recycled in technological and biological cycles, using renewable sources of energy, producing clean water and practicing social fairness. The company’s products and processes have brought about innovations that have saved millions of tons of waste, eliminated countless toxic chemicals from homes, and reduced the carbon footprint of ordinary household products by more than a third. method currently has over 80 products that are “Cradle-to- Cradle” certified at the Gold level. The company is also building the first LEED Platinum certified manufacturing facility in the industry, which will be carbon neutral, water neutral, and landfill free. It will be powered by 800kW of on-site solar and wind energy (


Friday, August 14th, 2015

Congratulations to 2015 IPSS Graduating Fellows



Congratulations 2015 IPSS fellows! 

This Spring, 30 International Professional Service Semester fellows set off to work in Austria, Italy, Myanmar, Namibia, Peru, Romania, Samoa, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Washington D.C., and Monterey County.  These students worked for some of the most well known organizations in the international policy world, including The United Nations Development Program, UN Women, The Food and Agriculture Organization, The World Trade Organization, World Wildlife Fund, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, The Marine Conservation Institute, The International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Organization for Migration.

IPSS fellows have written that their internships were tremendously valuable, both academically and professionally.  Students were able to expand on their academic studies through trainings, conferences, and field-research.

Several of these semester long internships have resulted in job offers for IPSS 2015 fellows!  We wish all fellows the best in their new careers!


Thursday, August 13th, 2015

DPMI Plus Fellow Mia Schmid works to improve water security in India

Mia Schmid

Mia Schmid is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at the Middlebury Institute with a concentration in learning, evaluation, and accountability.

Mia Schmid believes that “monitoring and evaluation of social development projects needs a radical reorientation to locate community organizations at the helm of the learning process.”

Mia is currently on her DPMI Plus assignment,  a semester long immersive learning opportunity for graduate students at the Middlebury Institute, working in 120 degree heat in Jodhpur, India. Her first project involves launching a new initiative focused on water security within 6 villages in the Thar desert.

Schmid will also document program strategies related to women’s self help groups and vocational training programs, develop a field reporting tool, and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan for a new pilot program.  Learn more about her experience on her blog>>>. 



Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

IEM Practicum-DPMI Plus fellow collaborates with progressive language school in Mexico

Luz Vasquez

Prior to studying at the Institute, Luz served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador in the Community Organization and Economic Development Program.

Luz Vazquez-Ramos, candidate for a dual graduate degree in Public Administration and International Education Management, is currently working as a Special Projects Manager for the CETLALIC Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico for her IEM Practicum and DPMI Plus fellowship.  CETLALIC, self-described as the most politically and socially progressive Spanish language school in Mexico, was founded in 1987 by Salvadorian and Nicaraguan refugees.  Every language course is taught following Paulo Friere methodology, an approach designed to teach Spanish, Mexican culture, and generate a sense of solidarity with Latin America.  The program also offers students an opportunity to participate in a variety of social justice programs.   In a recent exchange with the GSIPM office, Luz wrote, “As a former student of CETLALIC, I have learned about current and past social justice movements through CETLALIC, however I never understood the intentional and direct connection to El Salvador and to Nicaragua.  I am beyond touched and humbled by the work CETLALIC has done.”  This summer and into the fall semester, Luz will be developing a new study abroad program specifically created for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students.

Through her background and work at CETLALIC, Luz has become inspired to develop greater solidarity among undocumented immigrant youth in the United States and the academic community in Mexico.

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

MIIS IPSS Fellow Liz Martinis researches financial inclusion in Peru

For her IPSS fellowship, Liz Martinis worked with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development and conducted field research with IPSS fellow, Gaelen Hayes.


Imagine hiking up a mountain, finally arriving to a house, flipping a coin that ultimately lands heads instead of tails, and continuing up the mountain to the next house. Such research has been conducted using dice and flipping a coin in order to maintain randomization. For the last 6 months, IPSS fellow and Dunspaugh Dalton recipient Liz Martinis has been hiking around the Sacred Valley of Peru conducting research centered on financial access and inclusion.  Fortunately, Liz has had the support of IPSS fellow Gaelen Hayes and the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development, a non-profit started by MIIS Alumni, Aaron Ebner and Adam Stieglitz, to conduct this immersive research project.

Liz’s interest in the region began with an initial research project with Team Peru in January 2014.  Since then, she’s been determined to learn more about financial culture within historically marginalized communities.  She believes that, “a key asset for insuring health of communities is access to financial resources.  These resources allow families to invest in livelihoods, education, and health, as well as fortifying them against unexpected shocks and times of hardship.”  Through her research with Hayes, Liz has experienced surprises and challenges in the field, and her study has evolved based on responses from surveys, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews.  Ultimately, her hope is to “help families gain resources which can be used in a manner they deem most beneficial.”  Read more about her findings here.


Friday, July 24th, 2015

Are you ready for a challenge?

D-Prize is dedicated toward expanding access to poverty-alleviation solutions. While many solutions exist, the challenge is distributing these solutions to those who need them most.

D-Prize challenges social entrepreneurs to develop better ways to distribute technologies and methods to improve people’s lives.

D-Prize is awarding up to $20,000 to social entrepreneurs with the best solutions to specific challenges in the following areas:

  • Girls Education
  • Energy
  • Education
  • Governance and Infrastructure
  • Global Health
  • Custom

A two page idea needs to be submitted by September 7!

Visit the D-Prize website to learn more about the challenges, the goals of D-Prize, and the read about recent winners.

Monday, July 6th, 2015

GSIPM Students wanted for participation in graduate student panel!

Attention MIIS mafia! Your future classmates need your help! If you are a current student of one of the following programs (or know a friend who is) and will be in town on 7/24, please come, share your experience and provide guidance for our incoming graduate students! If you are interested, please email Kimberly England ( or Howard Wu ( Thank you!

  • Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies
  • International Policy and Development
  • International Trade and Economic Diplomacy

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

DPMI alumnus puts training to work in food security efforts in Ethiopia

IMG_1772Sitting down with Care Deputy Chief of Party and January 2015 Monterey DPMI Alumnus, Girma Hailu

During a 3-day trip to Addis Ababa after the DPMI Kenya training, I was able to meet-up with January 2015 DPMI Monterey alumnus, Girma Hailu in his hometown of Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia.

Girma has been serving as Deputy Chief of Party, Food Security for Farmers (FSF) for CARE in Ethiopia since last fall.

The CARE Food Sufficiency for Farmers project (FSFP) is a 5 year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and executed by CARE Canada through CARE Ethiopia. The project aims at ensuring sustainable food security of chronically food insecure women, men, girls and boys in selected districts of the Oromiya and Amhara regions. The project works in collaboration and builds on the Ethiopian government National Food Security Programs and targets over 34,000 households; among which 13 percent are female-headed. The project will be implemented through 3 main components: i) improving the enabling environment for food security; ii) diversifying economic activities for food insecure households and iii) improving resilience to climate risks.

Click here to read more

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

MIIS Professors Release Study on Importance of Agriculture in Monterey County

MIIS professors Jeffrey Langholz and Fernando DePaolis conducted a study on the impact of agriculture on the economy of Monterey County. reported on the study on June 30.

The study shows that agriculture contributes $8.1 billion to the local economy and provides 76,000 jobs, making it the county’s largest employer.

According to the report, Professor Langholz says that while having one sector be responsible for employing so many people has risks, the fact that agriculture in Monterey County is so diverse does help lessen the risk. He adds that Monterey has one of the most diverse crop portfolios in the nation.

Read the full article by

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