Archive for News

Friday, December 19th, 2014

1500 USD Sarah Meek Africa Travel Awards for MIIS Students

***MIIS students completing research in Africa in 2015 are encouraged to apply!

***Research could be completed as part of an internship or job as well as for-credit or not-for-credit.

 

Announcing the Sarah Meek Travel Grant for Research in Africa

Starting this January, four travel grants of $1500 each will be awarded for MIIS students conducting research on social change in Africa. The research can be either independent or part of established immersive learning programs such as IPSS, DPMI+, or Frontier Market Scouts. The research must be conducted in Africa for a duration of 3 months or more. Research proposals that involve 2 months in Africa and the remainder back in the US or outside Africa will also be considered.

Click here to read more

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Interview with Professor Akaha about the East Asia Spring Break Trip!

 Akaha1 Professor Tsuneo Akaha was born and raised in Japan,and has been at MIIS since 1989 (and is about to celebrate 25 years here!) Since then, he has been travelling back and forth over the Pacific, doing research, guest lectures, and of course, visiting family. This trip, the first of its kind, and done in partnership with Professor Wei Liang, emphasizes the importance of placing Japan-China relations in the context of the dynamic and changing region of East Asia.

Q: What is the overall purpose of this trip and seminar?

We aim to bring students as close as possible to the ground in terms of policy in Japan and China, which have more problems than the other regional powers in terms of challenges. For example, the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which both countries claim; or Japanese leaders’ visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines 14 Class-A war criminals; and the two countries’ conflicting understandings of facts and the meaning of prewar and wartime history.

This course, including the field trip, will introduce our students to policy challenges from both inside each country and from outside (internationally). This will give the students a 2-level perspective. The Japanese and Chinese governments and other regional powers have their official positions and perspectives on these issues, but there are some divisions of opinion inside each country. This makes coordination of policy rather challenging, especially in Japan, because it’s a democracy.

Q: What do you mean by the “conflicting understanding of history” of the two countries?

The history that includes before, during, and after the second world war continues to color mutual perceptions and adds to the complexity of contemporary issues, and this is particularly true with respect  to territorial disputes and rising nationalism. From China’s perspective, the past history weighs much more heavily than from Japan’s perspective. Japan is more interested in a future-oriented relationship with China. From political and strategic perspectives, China wants to emphasize the past because it helps strengthen nationalism in the country, frustrate Japan’s effort to expand its international role (including security role), and also build a coalition with Korea against Japan (because Korea shares a similar history against Japan).

 Q: it is clear that history has quite an impact. Is there any room for cooperation?

Yes, indeed, as there are common challenges facing the two countries. For example, I would say, environmental deterioration and resource depletion are common concerns, particularly because both countries are heavily dependent on imported energy supplies (although this also means that the two countries are competing). Another concern is terrorism and political stability in the region. For example, the nuclear and missile development in North Korea is a potential source of instability the region.

Additionally, policymakers in both Beijing and Tokyo are struggling with the question of how to deal with the changing balance of power in the region, due to China’s rise and influence in power.

Q: Does the US play a role in this?

Yes, the US plays a very important role, for strategic, political, and economic reasons. China and the US are locked in a competition for regional leadership. Japan also wants to play a leading role in the region, and the US is her closest ally. So, where the US stands on regional issues and even on China-Japan relations – matters a lot. China is now Japans most important trading partner, but their political relations are full of problems. Some call their relations “hot economics and cold politics.” There is also a tendency to divert public attention to foreign challenges, instead of looking in. This applies to both China and Japan. China has domestic woes, such as developmental and income gaps, and serious environmental problems. And Japan is struggling to get out of its sluggish economic performance, which has lasted over the last two decades.  Each country finds the other an easy target for criticism.

Q: Please tell me what the students will get out of the seminar and the field trip?

Well, prior to the trip the students will select a topic of particular interest to them and develop a research yasukuni012proposal.  They will use the field trip to gather information and after they return, the research will culminate in a research paper. During the trip, they will be listening to local experts’ lectures, discussing regional issues with students at universities in Tokyo and Beijing, and conducting interviews with government officials and others. Among other places we will be visiting Waseda University, International Christian University, and the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo; and also Peking University, University of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing.  We will also visit some historic and cultural sites, such as the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo and the Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

This is the first time we are organizing this trip and both Professor Liang and I are very excited about it, especially because we will be visiting some familiar places in the two cities including our respective alma mater.

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Link to website and information on the course: http://sites.miis.edu/eastasia/

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Hult Prize at MIIS – Tomorrow!

Join us tomorrow at 4:30 in the Irvine Auditorium as student teams present their social business ideas to tackle President Bill Clinton’s 2015 Challenge of Early Childhood Education in the Urban Slum and Beyond.  The event will be Emceed by Program Chair Jeff Dayton-Johnson and our panel of judges will include:

– Yuwei Shi (Dean, GSIPM)

– Jerry Hildebrand (Director of the Center for Social Impact Learning)

– Beryl Levinger (Distinguished Professor and Program Chair)

– Eric Stephenson (Portfolio Manager, The Cordes Foundation)

– David Dobrowski (Evaluations Officer, First 5 Monterey County)

Come out and support your classmates as they take on one of the world’s greatest challenges and look to become the official MIIS team in the Hult Prize Regional Final in the Spring.  We will have a hosted reception in the Irvine Atrium after the final presentation where the winning team will be announced.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Lets get Sprintensive.

 

 

IPS and MPA students

Join us tomorrow evening to learn more about the upcoming change to DPP and the alternative learning semester, Sprintensive!

Wine and Pizza reception will follow! 

Sprintensive

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Hult Prize at MIIS – Team Registration

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  The priority registration deadline for the inaugural 2015 Hult Prize at MIIS competition is this Friday, November 14th.  All you need to compete is a social business idea that tackles this year’s President’s Challenge, a team of 3 – 5 members and a 10 minute pitch.  The event will be hosted at the Irvine Auditorium on Friday, November 21st at 4:30.

  In partnership with President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative this innovative crowdsourcing platform identifies and launches disruptive and catalytic social ventures that aim to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges.  Student teams compete around the world for a chance to secure $1,000,000 in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture and spend the summer inside the Hult Business Accelerator – an innovative incubator for social enterprise – and a one year membership into The Clinton Global Initiative.  The 2015 Hult Prize will focus on Early Childhood Education in the Urban Slum and Beyond – a challenge personally selected by President Bill Clinton.

  The winning team from the Hult Prize at MIIS event will be fast tracked to compete at one of the six Hult Prize regional finals events in San Francisco, Boston, London, Dubai, Shanghai, or Rio de Janeiro.  Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into the summer Hult Accelerator, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business.  A final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates will select a winning team that will be awarded the million dollar prize by President Bill Clinton himself.  In the words of President Clinton, “The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.”

Click here to read more

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

USTR Representative to Speak at MIIS

 

 

Trade club brings MIIS Alum and Director of Europe and Middle East Affairs of the United States Trade Representative to campus.

Trade club blog

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Hult Prize at MIIS Competition

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The Hult Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative and Monterey Institute of International Studies are dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs with the 2015 Hult Prize at MIIS competition.  The Hult Prize encourages the world’s brightest minds to compete in teams of 3 – 5 members to solve the planet’s biggest challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises.  On November 21st, MIIS will select a winning team to advance to the regional finals.  Each regional winner will get to spend the summer inside the Hult Accelerator – an innovative incubator for social enterprise – and the champion receives $1,000,000 in start-up funding and a one year membership into The Clinton Global Initiative.  All you need to compete is an idea, a team, and a 5 minute pitch that addresses this year’s President’s Challenge:  Early Childhood Development in the Urban Slum and Beyond.

Get more information and register your team today at go.miis.edu/hultprize

Contact: Hprize@miis.edu

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Trade Club hosts special guest Bryan O’Bryne

Bryan Flyer Final copy (1)

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

TEAM PERU: Is it right for YOU?

 

The Who, What, When, Where, Why & How!
TeamPeru_201415 copy

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Job Openings in Policy Research and Data Analysis

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Policy Studies, Research Associate

Open Society Foundations

Open Data Analyst

Research Associate in Policy Studies, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame

The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame seeks applications for the position of Research Associate in Policy Studies.  The Research Associate will work closely with the Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute on research projects, curriculum development, and organizing research and education events both at Notre Dame and elsewhere.

Application deadline: August 8th

Open Data Analyst, Open Society Foundations, London or New York

The CODEX program seeks to leverage a wide range of open (and sometimes not-so-open) information relating to the extraction of oil, gas, and mineral resources in developing countries. The purpose of the work is to demonstrate, using innovative techniques and creative approaches to data-storytelling, how open data can be a powerful tool in the fight against mismanagement and plunder of natural resource wealth in the world’s poorest countries. This work would constitute a contribution to the growing field of “Open Government.”

Application deadline: August 17th

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Courage Under Fire: An Intimate Look at UN Peacekeeping

UNA-USA – Nationwide conference call on Wednesday, August 6 at 2 p.m. ET

with

Ken Payumo
Chief of the Peacekeeping Operations Support Section for the Department of Safety and Security, United Nations

Wednesday, August 6, 2 p.m. ET

U.S./Canada Dial-in: 866-454-4208
Passcode: 8136862

Please RSVP via email to membership@unausa.org.

What do you do when you are up against a government trying to harm its own people? As men with guns tried to enter the UN camp in Bor, South Sudan, Ken Payumo, a civilian officer in charge, stood up to the South Sudanese military when 12,000 refugees fled to the UN base for safety. His brave actions are thought to have saved thousands of lives.

Join us for a conversation with Mr. Payumo, who will provide a closer look at the day-to-day challenges of UN peacekeeping and give an update on the current crisis in South Sudan.

About our speaker:

Ken Payumo is currently the Chief of the Peacekeeping Operations Support Section for the Department of Safety and Security. This section is responsible for overseeing the security of all UN peacekeeping missions. Having more than 14 years of experience in the United Nations, Mr. Payumo’s UN service includes that of Legal and Policy Advisor, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET); Political Officer, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)/Asia Middle East Division (AMED); Mission Management Officer (DPKO Police Division), and most recently Head of Office for Unity and later Jonglei states, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Prior to the UN, Mr. Payumo had served as a police officer in the New York City Police Department. Mr. Payumo is a citizen of the United States of America and was born in New York City.

-Text taken directly from e-mail from UNA-USA Membership membership@unausa.org

 

 

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

U.S. TIP Grant Solicitation for research on Trafficking in Persons

 

Email from TIP Office Public Outreach [TIPOutreach@state.gov]USA

U.S. Department of State

Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

 Competitive Grant Solicitation for Research on Trafficking in Persons in Supply Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons announces an open competition for funding of one or more projects to answer the following research question:  How do supply chains that touch sub-Saharan Africa operate and intersect with trafficking in persons, and prevent trafficking in sub-Saharan Africa?

Using the results of this research question, the successful applicant will develop a highly detailed typology across sectors, commodities, regions or other subdivisions that become apparent during the research.  The goal of the research is to enable governments and businesses to identify risks and best practices of programs, policies, and laws to combat those risks.

The request for proposals is posted on www.grantsolutions.gov and www.grants.gov under funding opportunity number AT-ATC-14-009.  To be considered for funding, proposals must be submitted by Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

U.S.-based and foreign non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public international organizations (PIOs), and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.

 

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Democracy Now! Interviews Monterey Institute GSIPM Student Amer Shurrab

Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman interviewed Monterey Institute MA International Policy Studies and MBA student Amer Shurrab yesterday.

The interview was titled “What Do Gazans Endure? A Palestinian Student Who Lost 2 Brothers, 4 Cousins Tells His Story“. Amer also earned a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and is a graduate of the Davis United World College of the Adriatic. He is from Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.

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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Tesla Pitch Continued: Cobalt, Graphite and Lithium

Peace, Trade, and Development Students Visit Tesla

Peace, Trade, and Development Students Visit Tesla

Last week the Peace Trade and Development (PTD) students met with Tesla’s global trade team at the factory in Fremont. The students were there to offer their pitch to the Tesla Challenge which called for proposals on sourcing raw materials for the new Gigafactory. In addition to the pitch session, the students were treated to lunch and a VIP tour of the Tesla factory, an impressive and re-purposed building conveniently situated in a California Free Trade Zone. “I was treating the presentation like a final exam, but when it came time to present, I had realized that we were speaking to real individuals with genuine concerns about their long-term acquisition of critical minerals. This wasn’t a quiz–my team had done in-depth research, provided a reasonable strategy, and were ready to have a conversation about alternatives.” –  Shruti Korada, PTD summer 2014 student What was the best part of the Tesla challenge?  Well, that’s subjective but things definitely got intriguing when one team suggested sourcing Lithium from the moon and another proposed a corporate-backed coup d’etat… Learn more about the PTD program via: go.miis.edu/ptd.

Monday, July 28th, 2014

DPMI: A learning journey

Josh Fleming (MA IPS '15) participates in a facilitation exercise during the second week of DPMI Monterey this June.

Josh Fleming (MA IPS ’15) participates in a facilitation exercise during the second week of DPMI Monterey this June.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had heard repeatedly on campus that DPMI (Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation) is one of the most useful courses you can take. I found this hard to believe at first, but now I agree. If you haven’t taken this leadership training in international development project management and social change then you should reconsider.

You will walk away from the DPMI training having learned some ground-breaking and ‘tried and true’ tools to solving your next problem, motivating your staff or making your next big partnership. Tools that break down these processes  into quantifiable, qualifiable methods to be used at a given moment or throughout the lifespan of a project.

If you are a non-profit guru, a development practitioner in training, or a social change maker then you will notice, quickly, that these tools and capacities that DPMI finds so important are actually pretty important. This is how USAID, and other major non-profit employers do it, and whether you like it or not USAID often sets the standard. Additionally, from the United Nations to grassroots organizations, from CSR departments to State department recruiters–most are looking for project management skills. DPMI fits them nicely into the longest three weeks of your life (Yes, I’ve thrown in a bit of sarcasm). It’s worth it though. I implore you to find one job posting that doesn’t ask for project management skills.

Click here to read more

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The Tesla Pitch

MIIS PTD students meet with Tesla to  pitch ideas for the new battery.

MIIS PTD students meet with Tesla to pitch ideas for the new battery.

Our friends from Tesla visited the MIIS campus last week. They started off the day by meeting with the Peace, Trade, and Development (PTD) summer program students. PTD students learned about what it takes to snag a job at Tesla and work under the driving force of Elon Musk’s vision. This is just the beginning of the MIIS-Tesla exchange. Next week, PTD students will visit the Tesla Gigafactory in Fremont where they will present ideas for the next electric car battery innovation.

The Challenge

The efficiency of the car battery is the lifeblood of moving Tesla forward. PTD students are posed with the Gigafactory challenge question – what are the optimal raw materials to source for battery cell manufacturing?  To arrive at a solid pitch, students will analyze a broad scope of factors, including:

  • From where and from whom can the materials be sourced?
  • What locations are optimal from a customs duty/tax and logistics cost perspective?
  • “Outside the box” ideas and key factors to consider in the sourcing decision

Interested in hearing about how the pitch goes? Stay tuned for an update in the next few days. In the meantime, you can enjoy this video!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

DPMI Plus Colloquium – Webcast!

DPMI Colloquium

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Alex Amling IPSS Cambodia

From posting these blogs to writing them! 

 

IPSS in Cambodia

It seems like ages that I was working at the GSIPM front desk, driving my boss and other staff “insane” with my preparation-related anxieties and emotional outbursts for my IPSS applications. I am sure they were as much relieved as I was when the Cambodia Office of The Asia Foundation approved my application.

Today, 93F/62% humidity (and climbing!), Cambodia feels already like home and it’s only been 7 weeks. Why does it feel like home? When I came back to Phnom Penh from a weekend visit to Siem Reap a few weeks ago, I was sitting at the back of a motorbike taxi driving me home from the bus station. I was directing him, and I got this strange feeling of coming home. I knew my way around, recognized buildings and streets. Anybody slightly familiar with Phnom Penh knows that the streets in this city are a nightmare. House numbers do not make any sense. The only way to communicate where you are is you or a building in relation to a street intersecting. You get the hang of it pretty quickly: “Hey, I live at Street 278, close to street 143, third building on the left, next to a school. Our house has a green iron gate. Walk east towards the Olympic Stadium if you get lost and call me.”  Or, “my work is on Street 242, between Monivong Blvd and Street 63.” I communicate with motorbike taxis and tuk tuk drivers the same way, “Just head towards the Royal Palace, I will show you.” Fascinating!

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It was scary to hop on a motorbike at first but now I have a bike. It is a lot of fun to bike through Phnom Penh especially on the weekends when traffic is slow. Most of the time, however, it feels like committing suicide when I merge into the traffic. There are no apparent rules, except for one: Be reckless and inch your way forward at all cost! This is particularly evident at traffic lights when the time is ticking down. At 10 seconds, you can feel the vibe of hundreds of motorbike drivers around you, getting itchy, accelerating – vroom vroom –  and rolling forward inch by inch, hitting your tire, and releasing a bunch of exhaust fumes into your face. Not that it will do anything for them – and it certainly does not do anything for me except speeding up the decay of my inner organs – but it is hilarious to watch. Then the traffic light hits 3 seconds. Oh boy! The patience has come to a sudden death, an invisible conductor begins to direct the honking concert and the chaos unfolds. The bus coming straight at you, no problem. People here can manoeuver very well. There is also a panacea for this: drafting behind a big SUV or within a group of 10 motorbikes which are forcing their way through traffic and I am good to go. Or, change lanes to the opposite side and wait on the sidewalk (the 3 or 4 in this city that actually earn the name sidewalk) and take any opportunity to make a left turn even though
the traffic light for the left turn lane is still red. I am afraid I have to re-learn how to drive when I come back to the US.

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MIISmafia reunion in Phnom Penh from left: MPA alumna Alex Murga, IPSS Candidate Alexandra Amling, IPS alumni Meg Fukuzawa and Robin Narcisso.

I was very fortunate when I got here because the arm of the MIIS Mafia reaches very far. During my preparations, I bombarded two MIIS alumni and friends working and living in Phnom Penh with hundreds of questions. We are currently four MIIS alumni because the fourth rejoined in March. They can take credit for having made my stay here so comfortable and relaxed. The first day, we went out to a local market and despite signs of a culture shock for me, my friend’s nonchalant demeanor made walking the streets of Phnom Penh almost normal. Thanks to them, I have come to love Phnom Penh very quickly.

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Cambodia is host to a plethora of NGOs, both local and international. Any non-Khmer person you meet on the streets introduces him/herself as “I am working for XYZ.” There is an obvious “invasion” of French people in Cambodia, and then, of course, the Aussies who openly call Southeast Asia their backyard. Honestly, however, Australia is the backbone of many projects here and the biggest donor. If it wasn’t for their support, many things in Cambodia would still not work very well. Not to advocate donor dependency or dismiss foreign aid as something inherently bad, the work that’s being done in Cambodia is incredible. The country is changing rapidly, economically and socially. Just the structure is still limping and has not caught up yet.

My work for TAF (yes, acronyms and abbreviations are not just a MIIS specialty!) is very challenging and inspiring. The first-hand experience of the “real thing” is amazing. The NGO field is so diverse and development has many facets. Networking is fantastic and I have met so many interesting people with very diverse backgrounds. It is an eye opener for the different possibilities and niches out there.

I will be working on a project on Intimate Partner Violence which is quite severe in the Asia-Pacific region with current studies indicating very high prevalence rates.7 Going beyond the nominative aspects of focusing on attitudes towards acceptance of violence against women, I will support a project that will look at the macro-level. I already participated in a workshop from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs,
experiencing the dynamics between donors and recipients. I am very excited to work on a project that is contributing to tackling such a serious problem.

Coming from a strictly academic and research heavy background, I have not been oblivious to the technical hurdles of policy design, implementation and evaluation, but working with people in this field makes the rather abstract discussions in a Policy Analysis class a lot more tangible.6 That being said, I have finally made my way to
Asia after all these years and, as my wonderful Australian coworker put it the other day, I am “finally becoming important.”

I am growing on many levels with IPSS. It is a good start for navigating the abyss of career development, applying knowledge and learning to know who you are.

 

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

If I could change one thing in the world….

GSIPM is pleased to introduce a new blog series – One Change (#onechange).  The series will be a collection of multimedia stories featuring staff, faculty, and students, all given their answer to the question “If I could make one change in the world, it would look like this….”

Our first GSIPM faculty member to be a part of this series is Kent Glenzer, the Associate Professor (MPA/MBA) and Acting Program Chair for Master’s in Public Administration.  After many years working with non-profits all over the world, Kent became an instructor so that he could, “help students avoid the mistakes my generational colleagues and I made.”  In this #onechange video, Kent highlights the importance and effectiveness of long-term goal setting for organizations.

Please be sure to add your reactions to Kent’s video in the comments section below!

Do you have one change in mind? Submit your #onechange stories to: professional.dev@miis.edu

 

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

MPA Capstone Participants to host a Showcase Fair on May 8, 12-2pm, McCone Atrium

MPA-CapstoneMPA students will present their capstone projects during an innovative 2-hour poster fair in the McCone Atrium on Thursday, May 8, 12-2pm. Presenters will offer up new ideas and share key takeaways in their quest to provide creative solutions for pressings issues – in our local Monterey neighborhoods and in various corners of the world.

 

Featured MPA Capstone Projects include:

Crowdfunding Campaign Design and Management

Implementing a Successful Innovation Center in Salinas

Integrating Social Wealth Indicators into Monterey County Performance Measures

Promoting Entrepreneurship in Afghanistan

Click here to download a complete list of excellent work on showcase.

The 2014 MPA capstone class invites the entire MIIS community as well as interested local community members. Guests are encouraged to ask questions, share feedback, join the dialog.

A reception will follow the showcase fair starting at 2:00 PM at the Digital Learning Commons accessible at 411 Pacific Street, Monterey CA, 93940. Light snacks and drinks will be provided.

The MPA Showcase Fair is an informational networking opportunity open to the public. Interested friends and colleagues are welcome. Support our amazing student achievements by helping us to spread the word and most importantly – be there!

Please send inquiries to: mbaimyrz@miis.edu