Archive for Courses

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Apple Pie and Pineapple Sorbet: U.S. and Cuban Nationalism

Why is Cuba such a contradiction? Because Cuba is characterized by everything I was told the world should not be!  Socialist not democratic, communist not capitalist, systemic human rights violations, a dictatorship, inefficient, unproductive; should I continue?  I was able to get a sense of this notorious island during a seven day immersive learning excursion with twenty-seven other MIIS students and the renowned Professor Jan Black.

There was a time when I imagined Cuba as a socialist utopia. I had thought Cuba was going to be the national anthropomorphization of Eugene V. Debs famous quote that is “opposing a social order where it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives to secure barely enough for a wretched existence.  But, there is no substitute for actually visiting the country – after seven days in Cuba, I’ve realized that the little island nation, and the United States, are a lot more complex than I was led to believe in the comfort of my Midwest upbringing.

As an American, I grew up on the smell of apple pie; lightly toasted crust, crisscrossed across the top, somehow evoking feelings of liberty, justice…righteous stuff. You see, Cuba, at least for United States citizens, is one gigantic contradiction and trying to digest and make sense of the country through the nationalistic viewpoint from which my mind has been programmed to think, whether I like it or not, is no easy task. Close your eyes and think about apple pie. Now, envision biting into pineapple sorbet.  So, I apologize now if, and that is a big if, you get to the end of this blog and you walk away more confused than you started. That’s fine though. Cuba could be the poster child for the phrase; the more you know the less you think you know.

Our professor and guide Dr. Jan Black told us to experience Cuba using our five senses. I would like to take the liberty of taking you, my reader, along for the ride with the idea of trying to engage your five senses. Unfortunately, I am less likely to engage your sense of smell.  But, here we go:

We met with all different types of people, from Cuban foreign ministers to a diplomat from the U.S. Interest Section. We also met with individual Cubans, both pro-government and oppositionist. We met with U.S. expats working with the Cuban health system and Cuban students studying international relations. What was so trying after listening to all of them was that you could easily pick each one up and place them into two buckets, Cuban Nationals (CN) or U.S. Nationals (USN). Whether we were speaking to Cuban oppositionists or expat sympathizers of the Cuban government their rhetoric fit, nicely, within these two buckets. Their world-views and indeed those of us students had been systematically crafted by the nations from which they grew up and regardless of their support for either side or not they continued to use rhetoric that perpetuated the conflict between the United States and Cuba. What was most contradictory of all was that these two worldviews of the same conflict were like hearing two completely different stories for two completely different historical events told perpetually for generations upon generations without change.

How are these national worldviews constructed within a citizenry? It is often much more subtle than one would assume.  Irrespective of whether we understand nationalism as a positive or negative force, it is generally acknowledged that nationalism places the nation on the highest pedestal and viewed as the supreme agency of meaning, collective identity, and moral justification.  Critically noting that one of the powerful ways in which nationalism becomes historically instated is through its presumption that the nation is sacred, likening it to be equivalent to the church.  Interestingly, if nationalism is being valued as sacred within the population we can see its physical manifestation in the ritualized images of national leaders and national public ceremonies that are underscored by the nations presumed history of greatness. Harry Anastasiou, a professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and world-renowned leader in the settlement process in Cyprus, goes as far to claim nationalism can be a justification for divine election.

Che.1.

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

TEAM PERU: Is it right for YOU?

 

The Who, What, When, Where, Why & How!
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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.

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Friday, July 25th, 2014

Incoming MPA Student Reaches-out to Faculty To Develop Ultimate International Development Summer Reading List!

The Ultimate MIIS Reading List

The Ultimate MIIS Reading List

Returning to school after some time away from academia is a precious challenge. However being in school is also a commodity. While most of my undergraduate peers are beginning their careers, perhaps even starting to put down roots, graduate students choose to go back to school in order to further their education and get closer to their career goals. As a recently accepted Master of Public Administration (MPA) student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), I understand the initial fears and concerns students may have upon starting a new program. It has been about four months since I received the good news and I have had plenty of time to determine how I feel about attending MIIS in the fall. Although I am overall excited and grateful, I am honestly a bit nervous. Seeing that my academic skills seemed rusty I took it upon myself to email the MPA program faculty requesting ideas, readings, books, articles, and any other resource I should look at before classes start in August. Unsurprisingly, the faculty was supportive and accommodating. The following is a list of 18 recommended readings from Monterey Institute MPA and MAIPS faculty:

  1. Take a look online at William Arrocha’s and Nuket Khardam’s syllabi for their development theory courses here at MIIS.
  2. Study and absorb UNDP’s concept of human development.
  3. Browse the last ten years of the World Bank’s World Development Report.
  4. The Anti-Politics Machine by James Ferguson
  5. Ideas for Development by Robert Chambers
  6. Provocations for Development by Robert Chambers
  7. The Honor Code by Kwame Appiah
  8. Capital by Thomas Piketty (Editor’s Note: The GSIPM Dean may take you out to lunch if you read every word of this 600-page monster!)
  9. The Tyranny of Experts by William Easterly
  10. Social Physics by Alex Pentland
  11. Humble Enquiry by Edgar Schein
  12. Power of Development by Jonathon Crush
  13. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  14. The Routes of Man by Ted Conover
  15. Why Nations Fail by Daren Acemoglu
  16. Encountering Development by Arturo Escobar
  17.  “Organizational Assessment: a Framework for Improving Performance” (Free book available here http://www.idrc.ca/openebooks/998-4/).
  18. To get more immersed in policy, review the articles in https://www.project-syndicate.org/ (This website publishes policy concerns and ideas of leading global thinkers and policymakers).

After taking a look at this list, it became apparent that in order to succeed at MIIS, students must be engaged and passionate about their programs. Without a passion and thirst for knowledge, completing a graduate degree program would be an insurmountable task. Incoming MIIS students may be a bit hesitant or nervous about the challenge ahead. Although these feelings are natural, it is necessary to rise above, be proactive and start to materialize your short and long-term goals. MIIS provides the resources and opportunities; it is up to us, the incoming graduate students to bring the passion and innovation. It is time to start preparing and planning for a bright future here at MIIS. About the Author: Chris Callaghan is an incoming Master of Public Administration (MPA) Candidate for the fall 2014 semester. He is a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz.

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Cuba Presentations – Wednesday April 30!

Join the students from the Spring Break Cuba trip and hear their presentations on their experiences in this fascinating country! Public welcome.

Wednesday, April 30 in the DLC.

Cuba Practicum Digital Sign

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Team El Salvador Leadership Applications – Still time to apply! -

- Application deadline EXTENDED to April 29 - 

Team El Salvador Practicum 2014-2015 Call for Leadership Applications

Team El Salvador (TES) is seeking three student leaders to lead the Team El Salvador 9 Practicum during its 2014-2015 program year.

Do you want to gain skills in leadership? International Development? Environmental policy and natural resource management? Survey creation? Improving your Spanish proficiency and communication?

TES leadership is open to all MIIS students, from all departments and fields of study!

How to apply? Please send resume and cover letter to: teamelsalvadormiis@gmail.com by Tuesday, April 29th. Visit us at: http://blogs.miis.edu/teamelsalvador

Team El Salvador provides a unique, professional opportunity for MIIS students to develop and apply practical skills and enhance language proficiency and multicultural competency in a dynamic international setting.

Team leaders will cultivate a variety of professional skills while gaining real world experience. The ideal candidate has a passion for international development, strong leadership skills, and a willingness to facilitate and manage a variety of program elements, including communication and outreach, program development, fundraising, updating and developing website content and social media sites, event scheduling and management, meeting planning and travel logistics and community engagement.

Ideal Candidates will:

• Speak, write and read Spanish at a 400 level
• Understand the mission and goals of Team El Salvador and
El Salvadoran history and culture
• Have strong communication and organizational skills
• Have experience living and working in rural communities of Latin America (or other developing
countries)
• Have a lucid understanding of the unpredictable nature of development work
• Be personable, dynamic, patient, flexible and adaptable to changing program and project
demands
• Have experience with fundraising
• Develop and deliver compelling presentations to MIIS faculty, prospective team members, etc.
Executive management and staff

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Free Online course with World Bank representatives

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Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided” is a World Bank hosted free online course on the internet platform of coursera. Session starts January 27th and will run for four weeks.

This MOOC has a week-by-week structure, with resources, activities and exercises for you to engage in during each of the four weeks of the course. Each week, you will find a variety of course material (…). You can register here.

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) Fellowships, Germany

BTThe Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) is a fully-funded scholarship opportunity,  and is currently accepting applications. CBYX is a yearlong fellowship to study and work in Germany. CBYX is open to applicants in all career fields, though preference is given to students in STEM fields, agriculture, business, and vocational fields. Students traditionally underrepresented in study abroad opportunities are especially encouraged to apply. The fellowship is funded by the US and German governments through a grant provided by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended. More information can be found here. The program includes: 

• 2 months intensive German language training
• 1 semester of study at a German university or university of applied sciences
• 5-month internship with a German company in the participant’s career field
• Transatlantic airfare, health insurance, and monthly living expense stipends
Prior German language knowledge is not required, though it is preferred. Applicants should have clear career goals and some relevant work experience in their career field, which may include summer, part-time, or internship work. Participants must be between the ages of 18-24, possess a high school diploma or equivalent, and be US citizens or permanent residents. The application deadline for the 2014-2015 program is December 1, 2013 

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Human Rights Essay Award Competition

index45This annual competition sponsored by the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law seeks to stimulate the production of scholarly work in international human rights law. The 2014 topic is Persons with Disabilities and International Human Rights Law.

images25Participants have the flexibility to choose any subject related to the assigned topic. The best articles may be published in the American University International Law Review. The Academy will grant two Awards, one for the best article in English and one for the best article in Spanish. The Award in each case will consist of: 1) a scholarship to the Academy’s Program of Advanced Studies, 2)     travel expenses to and from Washington D.C., 3) housing at the university dorms, and 4) a per diem for living expenses. Deadline for submission is February 1, 2014. Click here for more information.

Friday, October 18th, 2013

2-Week Intensive Program on Transitional Justice and Economic Development

Mount Holyoke College and Smith College are proud to cohost “Reconstructing Societies in the Wake of Conflict: Transitional Justice and Economic Development,” a two-week  of the Women in Public Service Project (WPSP). This intensive program, cosponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, is scheduled for May 25–June 6, 2014. The institute invites applications from societies recovering from recent (within the last decade) conflict, with a preference for delegates from Asia.

Through panel discussions and working groups based on actual cases and projects, as well as workshops, debates and special events, the 2014 institute will promote leadership skills and explore the multiple legal, political, economic, social, and cultural approaches to recovering from violence and safeguarding human rights. The funding for this program covers: tuition, accommodations, meals, field trips, and travel from arrival at the delegates’ home airport to one of two airports – Boston, Massachusetts or Hartford, Connecticut.  The delegates will work with a travel agency and the Institute to make the arrangements. Application deadline is November 15, 2013. Click here to apply online.

BlaThe Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) is a program of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center which empowers the next generation of women around the world and mobilizes them on issues of critical importance in public service. Through innovative research, dynamic learning institutes, and strategic peer-to-peer and two way mentoring, the WPSP is committed to a new global partnership aimed at reaching a minimum of 50 percent representation of women in public service by 2050 (“50 × 50”).

Friday, October 18th, 2013

USIP Training Courses for Individuals Working on Conflict Issues

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The Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding of the United States Institute of Peace offers onsite, online and customized courses on conflict prevention, management, and resolution. The Academy’s practitioner-oriented courses, held at the USIP headquarters in Washington and elsewhere, prepare professionals for work in and on conflict zones. Courses include:

  • Negotiation, Mediation, Conflict Analysis, and Advising and Mentoring
  • Rule of Law, Islamic Law, and Transforming Security Forces
  • Gender and Peacebuilding, Economics and Conflict, and Rebuilding Social Sectors

The knowledge and skills imparted in the Academy’s courses are based on lessons learned and best practices from the field. Instructors include people who have firsthand experience in conflict zones. Class sizes are small and participants interact with highly skilled senior practitioners. The courses, which attract participants from a range of backgrounds, impart specific skills through case studies, simulations, and small group exercises. Here is the link to the 2013 course catalog. Click here for more information and applications.

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Online Course: TC141- Mapping for International Development

tc141-badge-400px-shadow.pngThe use of digital mapping tools is beginning to reshape the way that international development activities are carried out. Government agencies, NGOs, companies, and other actors are beginning to turn to digital maps to draw attention to human rights violations, help communities prepare for natural disasters, visualize social media trends in real-time, monitor election violence, distribute food and other resources more effectively and so much more.

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In this four-week online certificate course, participants will learn practical skills related to all aspects of the map creation process: (1) How to gather data for your map or work with data that already exists; (2) How to organize and classify data effectively; (3) How to design an aestheticly beautiful digital map; (4) How to maintain the map over time. Some of the platforms and tools we will explore include: OpenStreetMap, GoogleMapMaker, MapBox, Ushahidi, ArcGIS, as well as Palantir and CaerusGeo.

  • $395 if application and payment is submitted by October 11th
  • $445 if application and payment is submitted by start of course
  • Group discount rates available. For more details, please contact us at info@ techchange.org.

Click here for more information and online application.

Monday, September 9th, 2013

NYTimes Article on ‘The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman’ Highlights Issues To Be Covered in DPMI Rwanda Training

Those interested in taking the Development Project Management Institute training in Rwanda January 14-23, 2014 are encouraged to check-out the September 4 New York Times Magazine article, “The Global Elite’s Favorite Strongman“.

The in-depth biographical piece provides insight on the life an goals of Rwandan President Paul Kagame while highlighting the remarkable transformation Rwanda has undergone as well as the problems that still persist.

The DPMI Rwanda training will cover HIV, health, education, and social marketing. Participants will apply skills developed in the training on a project with a local nonprofit.

Applications for DPMI Rwanda accepted through October 31.

 

 

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

GSIPM Colloquium Presents: Christopher Twomey, Assistant Professor at NPS, Wednesday, March 27!

The colloquium is a semester-long guest speaker series, bringing leaders and practitioners from all over the world to share their experiences in trying to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Christopher Twomey, Assistant Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School will present on the topic of  The Role of Culture in International Security.

Twomey_MAY2010

Join us in MG100 on Wednesday, March 27 at 6pm! MIIS Community Welcome!

Learn more at go.miis.edu/colloquium.

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

GSIPM Colloquium Presents: Steve Clemons, Editor at Large at The Atlantic, on Tuesday, March 26!

The colloquium is a semester-long guest speaker series, bringing leaders and practitioners from all over the world to share their experiences in trying to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Steve Clemons Editor at Large at The Atlantic and founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation will present on the topic of Managing Traditional Alliances.

http://www.aspenideas.org/sites/default/files/pictures/people/Steve_Clemons1.jpegJoin us in Irvine Auditorium on Tuesday, March 26 at 6pm! All welcome!

Learn more at go.miis.edu/colloquium.

Friday, March 8th, 2013

GSIPM Colloquium Presents: Amy Hawthorne and Sophal Ear

GSIPM Colloquium Presents: Amy Hawthorne and Sophal Ear on Wednesday, March 13 at 6pm in Irvine Auditorium. All Welcome!

For more information visit go.miis.edu/colloquium.

Sophal Ear

Sophal Ear

Professor, Naval Postgraduate School

Lecture Topic:  Transition and Democracy-building

Amy Hawthorne

Amy Hawthorne

Consultant & Former Advisor, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Lecture Topic:  Transition and Democracy-building

 

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Wednesday, Feb. 19 Presentation by GSIPM Colloquium Guest Speaker Mark Valencia

Dr. Mark J. Valencia is an internationally known maritime policy analyst, political commentator and consultant focused on Asia. He was a Senior Fellow with the East-West Center for 26 years where he originated, developed and managed international, interdisciplinary projects on maritime policy and international relations in Asia. He has a M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and a Ph.D in Oceanography from the University of Hawaii. Before joining the East-West Center, Dr. Valencia was a Lecturer at the Universiti Sains Malaysia and a Technical Expert with the UNDP Regional Project on Offshore Prospecting based in Bangkok.

Join us for Mark’s Skype presentation on Wednesday, February 20 at 6pm in MG 100!

For more info visit go.miis.edu/colloquium.

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

GSIPM Colloquium Presentation by Joseph Cirincione Tonight in Irvine at 6pm!

Join us tonight, Wednesday, Feb 13 at 6pm at the Irvine Auditorium for the GSIPM Colloquium Guest Speaker Joseph Cirincione’s presentation on the topic of Nonproliferation Challenge of Old and New.

To access the live stream go here: http://go.miis.edu/cirincione!

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Monday, February 11th, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, Colloquium Guest Speaker Joseph Cirincione President, Ploughshares Fund will present on the topic of Nonproliferation Challenge of Old and New

MIIS and GSIPM Present: The Fourth Annual Global Problems and Solutions Colloquium “Evolving Global Security Challenges: From Traditional to Nontraditional Security Challenges”.

Wednesday, February 13, Colloquium Guest Speaker Joseph Cirincione President, Ploughshares Fund will present on the topic of Nonproliferation Challenge of Old and New.

To access the live stream for the presentation go here: http://go.miis.edu/cirincione or join us at the Irvine Auditorium at 6pm!

All inquiries regarding the GSIPM Colloquium or this particular lecture should be addressed to Professor Tsuneo Akaha at MIIS phone: 831-647-3564; e-mail: takaha@miis.edu.

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Upcoming DPMI & DPMI Plus Info Session

Development Project Management Institute Information Session

When: Tuesdayday, March 3, 12:15 – 2:00pm
Where: McGowan 102
What: DPMI is a three-week training in project management and design, strategic partnership, social entrepreneurship, and facilitation as they relate to the field of international development. DPMI Plus is a course in which students complete deliverables in their field of study while serving a 3-9 month internship.

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