Archive for News
Thursday, October 13th, 2016
Members of the MIIS community are invited to join Profs. Yuwei Shi and Sandra Dow in spending time with and learning from an exceptional group of social innovators who will be on campus on Friday, November 4th for the J.M.K Innovation Prize. The founders of the following award-winning nonprofits/social enterprises will be in attendance:
- Advancing Real Change, Inc.: Using state-of-the-art investigative tools and methods, legal defense teams can highlight an offender’s life history, reducing severe sentences and reshaping a retributive criminal justice system.
- Bay2Tray / Real Good Fish: Bringing local fish into schools proves a powerful way to cultivate the next generation of ocean stewards, while promoting sustainable seafood and supporting a community’s fishing industry. Founded by MIIS alum Alan Lovewell.
- Behold! New Lebanon: A model for activating human resources in rural places, this “living museum of contemporary rural life” celebrates the inventive residents of New Lebanon, New York while engaging every sector of the town.
- org: To advance worker well-being, Coworker.org harnesses online tools to advocate for freelancers, independent contractors, and others in today’s gig-based workforce.
- Essie Justice Group: This peer-support program’s “healing to advocacy” agenda empowers women with incarcerated loved ones to push for social and policy reform, while boosting their economic resilience.
- Growing Veterans: Through a unique blend of peer mentoring, community farming, and “dirt therapy,” Growing Veterans uses sustainable agriculture as a catalyst for ending veteran isolation.
- Land Art Generator Initiative: A series of large-scale public art installations seeks to transform unloved clean-energy infrastructure into wildly inspiring cultural and economic assets.
- ScholarCHIPS: To break the cycle of intergenerational incarceration, ScholarCHIPS supports college students in the Washington, D.C. area who are among the millions of children with incarcerated parents.
From 11:00am – 12:30pm, we’ll break into groups to think through how emerging mega-trends (e.g., growing inequality) will impact the future of these and other mission-driven organizations. From 12:30pm – 2:00pm, participants are invited to join a celebratory end-of-week picnic catered by Alan Lovewell’s organization featuring – what else? – sustainably sourced fish!
Space is limited. Please complete this form to register. Additional logistical details will be emailed to those who register.
We hope you can join us for this special opportunity!
Thursday, February 11th, 2016
Julia Belliard MPA ’05 has become the a point person for human resources related information in the California agricultural sector through her position as executive director of the Agricultural Personnel Management Association (APMA).
Take a look at this article in which she shares her journey from Belarus to MIIS and beyond.
Friday, January 29th, 2016
MIIS CBE research findings cited in ‘Washington Post’ and ‘The State’ articles on Atlantic offshore drilling
This Wednesday 50 coastal leaders lobbied in opposition of offshore drilling exploration plans proposed by the Obama Administration. Data from a Middlebury Institute Center for the Blue Economy report was used in support of the importance of the ocean ecosystem to the local local economy and cited in national media last month.
Monday, January 25th, 2016
The Monterey Commission on the Status of Women is seeking nominations for its 2016 Outstanding Women of Monterey County awards. Honor Monterey County’s outstanding women by nominating someone who has significantly improved the lives of others, and the adversity they overcame. The 2016 awards will be presented March 20th at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Nomination forms are available at the Monterey Commission on the Status of Women’s website in both Spanish and English.
Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
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.
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Thursday, June 18th, 2015
The issue of trade has been a hot topic recently and is weighing heavily on the minds of President Obama and congressional leaders. MIIS GSIPM professor of trade and development, Robert Rogowsky, recently published an editorial in the Washington Examiner concerning trade and the role of the United States.
Professor Rogowsky’s editorial, “Trade politics and the decline of American leadership”, focuses on the historic role the U.S. has played over the last 70 years in liberalizing trade policies along with the importance of upcoming trade policies.
Monday, June 15th, 2015
A June 9th reception in Nairobi drew over 25 members from the entire Middlebury community including alumni from Middlebury College, the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), the MIIS Frontier Market Scouts fellowship, and the MIIS Program on Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation (DPMI).
The event was held at the Aga Khan Graduate School of Media and Communications in the 9 West building in the Westlands neighborhood of Nairobi, the site of the June 2-11 DPMI Kenya training. The group welcomed the wonderfully diverse group of DPMI Kenya trainees to the alumni community. DPMI Kenya participants in the June training hail from over seven different countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Niger, Venezuela, the Philippines, South Africa, and the US).
Highlights from the event include how effortlessly the group of alumni from different Middlebury backgrounds connected as well as the short speech made by guest of honor, Dr. Beryl Levinger, a Distinguished Professor and Development Policy and Practice Program Chair at MIIS. During Beryl’s speech, she likened what many alumni are doing in the development and social enterprise space to a quote from Thomas Edison on the process of inventing the light bulb, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Beryl then told the group, “You fail many times trying to find the right approach. The common thread is that you are all here trying to make a difference.”
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Monday, May 4th, 2015
Presentations at Irvine Auditorium this Thursday, May 7th, 6:30-8:30pm, Reception 8:30-9:30pm!
The students that went on the first ever two-country program through MIIS Immersive Learning Programs, the East Asia: China and Japan trip, will be presenting this Thursday at Irvine, with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception to follow. The presentations will be very interesting as this program included a semester long seminar which concluded in robust papers, and the feedback from the journey has been very interesting!
The East Asia Practicum was an investigative tour of Tokyo, Japan and Beijing, China, where participants met with and interviewed policymakers, former politicians, and renowned scholars. With unique research topics looking into the the international relations of the region, students were able to seek first-hand information on the dynamics of the two major players: Japan and China. The rise in status of either nation will set the political and economic tone for the region. By experiencing and researching within each nation, students will be able to provide original ideas on the current state of Sino-Japanese relations and the future of region.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/466841256799447/
Monday, April 27th, 2015
I sat down with Maritza Munzón (MPA/IEM ’15), and Rafael Hernandez (MPA ’15) at a local coffee shop last week to interview them about MIIS’s Immersive Learning Programs. Maritza has traveled on five trips to six countries through MIIS (Peru, Cuba, Kenya, Mindanao, and East Asia), and Rafael has gone to four (Peru, Cuba, Rwanda, and East Asia). Both had a lot to say, much more than I can fit into this interview; I can’t encourage you enough to talk with your peers about their experiences abroad.
Q: What made you choose the immersive learning programs you chose?
Maritza: For me it’s always about “why not?” It is always a question of “if I don’t go, will I regret it?” And the answer is almost always “Yes”. So I do everything I can to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. Furthermore, because I am in the IEM degree program and want to conduct these trips myself one day, the best way to learn how to do this is to go on as many as I can!
Rafael: I was eager to begin traveling right away when I got here. That was the reason I picked this school over many other options – the traveling component. Right off the bat I could go on this Peru trip, that had a practical application of policy analysis, – and so I went.
M: I don’t think many people have traveled the way we travel here at MIIS.
There is only so much reading you can do about culture, practice, and so on, but you need to embed it in your muscle memory to learn and understand.
Q: Have you gone on any trips together?
Both went to Peru (but in different communities), as well as Cuba, and East Asia.
M: Peru started my obsession with these trips; the experience got my feet wet and then I wasn’t scared, anymore, to do the others.
Q: Are there any programs you especially wish you could have gone on?
R: I would have liked to go to the Philippines.
M: I would have done the El Salvador trip if I had the time. But I am always torn between what is familiar and what is less accessible. El Salvador is within my reach because of language, so I decided to take the leap and go on trips that I was less likely to do on my own: Kenya, East Asia, and the Philippines.
Q: How did the programs and learning styles compare?
Both: Cuba was more like learning tourism, while Peru and East Asia where more research based: we did academic research in Asia, and field research in Peru.
M: I was a guinea pig for many of the trips – for example: Kenya, Peru, and East Asia. Cuba was established. Being on a program in its first incarnation is a valuable experience for someone learning about how these programs are conducted.
R: I learned a lot about different types of intelligence and understanding. You know there is the computer competency type, where you either know it or you don’t. And if you don’t, you can ask help from someone who does – and there are no ego problems associated with that. Cultural competency, on the other hand, and especially at this school, is more complicated in that way. Then there is emotional intelligence (EQ) versus the IQ. When you go to speak to someone in a village, everyone on these trips is so concerned about being politically correct, which makes them all self-conscious. I found that the best way to take to people is honestly and openly.
Q: Since you have gone on so many of these programs, do you have any constructive feedback?
R: Like I said, these trips are one of the reasons why I chose this school. And we are so grateful for these experiences.
M: Growing up the way I did, I would have never been able to do this on my own. And I am grateful, and the best way I can give back is by applying my IEM knowledge and skills and giving constructive feedback. I was able to design a pre-departure training for the Peru trip, which was very well received, but not yet implemented. Based on our experience in Peru, Cortney Copeland and I designed a pre-departure workshop and assessment for that trip through our IEM Design and Assessment Class. In the workshop we wanted students to bond with the people in their groups, learn each other’s working styles and strength, while also getting to practice giving the surveys and entering the data. There are always hiccups with international travel and our goal was to develop cohesive groups before departure to help student better work through some of those unpredictable moments. The assessment consisted of a simple survey that students took before and after the trip to better inform staff and faculty of what is working and what needs improvement.
One of my frustrations with the organization of these trips is that the system that puts these trips together does not value the experience that the students going already have. Because the information isn’t coming from a respected magazine or periodical, but from the mouth of a student, who has had the personal experience or cultural experience growing up – but they didn’t write a paper on it, so…. We don’t get a diploma for growing up bilingual or for living similar lives to that of the people we are studying.
R: So if professors and institutions have a way, for better or worse, of validating those experiences, for example, “here is Maritza, she grew up in a culture that…..” and by doing that, it validates the person, and symbolically validates the peers that have experienced this. People come back like “I was shocked to see this and that”, and that is the only thing that gets the spotlight. But there are people who have lived this their whole lives.
M: Out of the bad comes the good. MIIS is proud of its international diversity on campus, but now there are also conversation on national diversity and socioeconomic diversity as well, which is something that came out of a critique on one of these trips. We go on these trips, and learn, and some things are difficult, but the important thing is to take the bad with the good and make something out of it. For some of us, that meant creating the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which highlights domestic diversity on campus and is working on assessing the needs of all students, whether international students, first generation college students, student of color, LGBTQ, or second career seekers. We not only wanted to address diversity by identifying the needs of all students on campus but to make sure it is something that continues to be addressed in the institution after we are gone.
Professors should also make a point to make focus groups mandatory. A format of how to measure the trips as a whole, but also each trip individually, so it can be improved upon, but that responsibility also shouldn’t sit solely on the professor’s shoulders.
Q: Any advice for students who will travel on these programs in the future?
M: Some things you can’t prepare for. Keep an open mind, don’t sweat the small stuff. Like dirt, bugs-
R: – and cold showers –
M: – and so on because it distracts from the experience. Don’t fight the discomfort.
R: You don’t need language to communicate with people. You shouldn’t necessarily know a language perfectly – keep the willingness to go at the forefront. Don’t be catered to: we chose to go, to help. Be the one helping, not the helped. Own your decision to go.
Language should not be a barrier to communicating with people. In fact, I learned from my inability to speak the local language, which became a resource of information, connection, and interaction. When I ask you, “how do you say this?”, I become your student and switch the power dynamic. People love to teach you, to speak from authority. There is laughter, and it breaks the ice and opens new things. They think, “Here is a person who wants to know my language.” It helps equalizing the playing field.
Q: Is there something you never travel without?
M: I carry medicine for altitude sickness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, congestion, and allergies; but I also carry hydration salts and EmergenC to try and prevent getting sick as well. You never know how sick you are going to get and might not be able to get to a pharmacy right away or be able to communicate what you need so its good to carry some meds you trust. Oh! and Baby wipes.
R: Baby wipes! Pen and notepad.
*shows us his pen and notepad, which, sure enough, are in his back pocket*
M: That’s what I picked up, now I’ll do that.
R: I like to record sounds from the trips, it brings you back. *plays recording*
M: Learn how to say a greeting, and please and thank you in the local language.
R: So important!
Katya Gamolsky (joint BA/MA ‘17) is a first year student who works for the Immersive Learning Programs Office. She recently went on the Los Angeles trip that focused on Homelessness, with Dr Iyer, and will be attending DPMI DC this summer. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to know more about our Immersive Learning Programs, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, April 3rd, 2015
News from the participants and professors was posted on the miis.edu front page.
Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
MIIS Faculty, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, recently had an interview with Max Fisher of Vox on – “What everyone gets wrong about Iran nuclear negotiations.”
He touches on a variety of topics including safeguards, dual use goods, the NPT, automatic enforcement mechanisms, breakout calculations, uranium stockpiles, and much more!
Excerpt from the interview:
“We have this crazy situation right now where the IAEA has basically no access to the places where the centrifuges are made. And so Iranian put those centrifuges on a truck, and if they drive them to [a publicly declared nuclear site such as] Natanz and install them there, then they’re safeguarded. But, if they, you know, drive them to some hole in a mountain then, no, they’re not safeguarded, we don’t see them.” – Dr. Lewis
To read the full article and interview, follow this link: What everyone gets wrong about Iran nuclear negotiations
Dr. Lewis is the Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at MIIS.
Click to check out Jeffrey Lewis’s MIIS Faculty Profile
Thursday, March 26th, 2015
– Blog contributed by Kelly Quackenbush, MPA ’15
On Friday, March 13th, my team and I piled into Tim’s van for the drive up to San Francisco, and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have butterflies in our stomachs. We were on our way to compete against nearly 50 other schools in the 2015 Regional Hult Competition. The challenge this year was “How can we provide quality early education to ten million children under age six in urban slums?”
My team consisted of Timothy Cunningham, Katie Barthelow, Noah Halton, and myself, and we had been working together for 6 months on our social enterprise, the Learning Roots Network. Our idea was to use technology to facilitate real-life interaction between caregiver and child. We would organize workshops about holistic early childhood education, and facilitate activity design sessions whereby residents in slums would create activities that made sense to them. These would be simple, short activities, such as stacking cups, identifying colors around the house, or counting grains of rice. Our idea was based on the premise that knowledge already exists in slums. What we wanted to do was shine a light on those local ways of knowing and nurture them to create a marketable product (which we call an “activity-based app”). Ultimately, we hoped, we would challenge people’s ideas about where knowledge comes from (doesn’t have to be from “experts”), and how value is created (value can come from slum communities).
Friday afternoon we arrived for registration and were handed folders, asked to pose for pictures, and shown to our very own break-out room, where we could relax and prepare. Half the teams would present in the morning, and half in the afternoon. We were scheduled for the morning, which meant that we would hear other teams’ pitches in the afternoon. Our friend Nicole Manapol volunteered to accompany us for the day as our “team advisor” and it was wonderful to have the extra support as we practiced our pitch the last few times. Finally, we were called.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Check out current IPSS fellow and International Policy Studies student at MIIS, Aileen Yang’s blog article featured on LinkedIn. Aileen is spending her last semester at MIIS as an intern at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a distinguished IPSS fellow. She is blogging about her experience in Geneva, relevance of MIIS classroom simulations, and life at the WTO.
You can check out the story here, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/from-simulations-reality-interns-reflection-aileen-yang?trk=hb_ntf_MEGAPHONE_ARTICLE_POST
Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
At the Sustainable Brands Conference 2015 San Diego, nearly 2,000 thought leaders, brand innovators, designers, and global business leaders will gather to explore various topics and issues pertinent to sustainability. Whether through plenaries, workshops, the Activation Hub, the Innovation Open, or networking events, this conference has been designed to benefit everyone from NGOs and small business owners, to CEOs and global brand leaders. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join them in discovering how to tap emerging innovations to successfully scale sustainability Now.
Check out the website here, http://events.sustainablebrands.com/sb15sd/about
All MIIS students can receive conference funding as well!
Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Tom Gray, is in the Nonproliferation & Terrorism Studies (NPTS) graduate program here at MIIS. His final semester at MIIS he is working at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria as an IPSS fellow. Follow his journey through his blog, Every Wich Way.
Tom’s Blog offers an insightful perspective of what it is like working for a large international organization in the nonproliferation domain.
Enjoy the Blog!
Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
We’ve got a new page to help you answer that question: go.miis.edu/summer
Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
Development Practice and Policy: One Program, Two Degree Options
(Source: DPP Facebook Event Page)
So, you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the DPP program – and now you can finally get the full scoop!
DPP will be hosting a wine & cheese mixer at the McCone Atrium (outside Irving Auditorium) on Wednesday, March 4th, at 5:00PM. If you are MPA, IPS, or IDP, you are now part of the larger umbrella of DPP. Join us at the mixer to hang out with DPP colleagues and faculty and hear more about the program!
Date: Wednesday, March 4th
Location: McCone Atrium (Outside Irving Auditorium)
RSVP on the Facebook Event! Or feel free to just show up!
And check out the MIIS DPP page for more information about the Program!
Monday, February 23rd, 2015
Looking for a summer internship opportunity in Africa? Check out ISLA – and feel free to join tomorrow’s info session from 12pm-1pm in Morse B206! http://www.isla-serve.org/
*MPAs – this could count for DPMI Plus!