Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
We’ve got a new page to help you answer that question: go.miis.edu/summer
We’ve got a new page to help you answer that question: go.miis.edu/summer
Yesterday, the East Asia Practicum program had a send-off for students as they gear up for their Spring Break trip to China and Japan. As a part of ongoing China-Japan collaboration here at MIIS, the students will be going on the trip with Wei Liang and Tsuneo Akaha. Faculty and students are working together to learn about trade and security in East Asia.
Read more about the class and the trip on the East Asia Practicum Site!
Info Session: Thursday, February 12, 2015, 12-1pm @MG100
Application Deadline: September 1st, 2015
Info Session: Thursday, Feb 26, 2015, 12-1pm @CF452
Summer 2015: Early Review – March 1st, 2015; General Application Deadline – April 1st, 2015
Winter 2016: Early Review – September 1st, 2015; General Application Deadline – October 31st, 2015
Info Session: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 12-1pm @ MG100
Application Deadline: May 1st, 2015
For J-term 2015, we had 70 students go to five countries on four continents.
Sonia Esquibel, who was on the Peru Practicum on small-scale farming, sent me the wonderful photo of Team Peru (to the right).
She wrote the following about her journey, “I have really enjoyed working with students from MIIS, MIDD, AASD, and Professor Phil Murphy. Surveying and interviewing rural farmers and working with quantitative and qualitative data have been great. In terms of skill acquisition, this trip is amazing. I am super grateful for all of the Team Peru folk, thanks for all your patience and humor!”
Most of the Team Peru cohort came back this past Saturday, just two days before classes started.
Stephanie Nelson, was on the El Salvador Practicum on community development, wrote, “This place forces you to reexamine all that you hold within. It’s only when you look inside the eyes of another human being, that you begin to feel sense of raw commonality with that person and truly discover what it means to be standing in the intersection of pain, and hope.”
Judie Henderson, who attended the Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI) training at Partners in Health in Rwanda, wrote, “I am moved by the resilience of the Rwandan people.” She had much more to say, of course, and I urge those of you on campus to ask her about it if you are curious.
Dr. Jan Black led a group of students to Cuba through a Global Exchange-organized trip. Dr. Black commented on some of the shouts the group received in the streets expressing good will to Americans.
“It has been interesting to me to see that the media in the US has discussed this opening as such a major change to Cuba, but Cuba has been changing all along. Every year is different than the year before. Fortunately, there has been continuity too, and we’ve met with some of the folks who have helped Cuba keep moving ahead while keeping the best of what has been gained through the Revolution. We met this time with a former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chief of Mission to the United States who had been with the leadership since the Revolution, but the most exciting meeting always is with Connor Gorry, a MIIS alumna who is now a medical journalist and one of the foremost authorities on the Cuban healthcare system,” shared Dr. Black.
The Philippines Practicum on “Peacebuilding in Mindanao” kept a very up-to-date blog here. One blogger said, “Earlier in the day we were in a southwestern region of Mindanao called the Sultan Kudarat province and it became a very special learning experience. We met with some of the elected officials and village elders and they gave us a pretty thorough briefing on the state of affairs within their barangay. They appeared especially proud when they spoke of some of the new ideas that are being implemented to with the goal of empowering the local farmers with additional market options for their produce.”
Those that stayed in Monterey were very busy as well. Thirty-four classes and workshops were in session this January and I had the opportunity to talk to students from a few of them.
26 people from 11 countries attended DPMI Monterey, which lasted three weeks and ended last Friday. The group had the opportunity to work closely with local homeless service providers as part of one of their projects. Tom Gray said, “As a Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies student, despite the great reviews I had heard about DPMI, I had doubts about how useful the program would be for my career prospects. However, after going through the program, I am now sure I made the right decision – DPMI teaches a range of different tools and techniques that I expect to be just as useful in the US government as they are in the development field. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their project design and evaluation skills, regardless of their intended career path.”
Students in the International Marine Law Seminar collectively shared that “The class was an ocean of knowledge in a short period of time, but the experience was extremely valuable (pun intended).” They also added that they were grateful to learn from someone as admired as IUCN High Seas Policy Advisor, Kristina Gjerde. The photo above is by Chelsea Jordan, and is of an elusive rainbow spout of a humpback whale that the group got to see on their whale-watching trip at the conclusion of their course. Apparently a whale breached mere yards from their boat, close enough to make the captain swear.
Frontier Market Scouts, also known as FMS, had six workshops In January. Erina McWilliam-Lopez, the Social Impact Programs Director, sent me the photo below and added, “We just finished the first official CSIL version of the FMS training in Monterey. The cohort of 32 were diverse not only in terms of nationalities but also in terms of perspectives and skillsets. FMS participants enjoyed a surprise visit from impact investor Ron Cordes of the Cordes Foundation. Throughout the two-week training, the group experienced an accelerated learning curve during sessions focused on due diligence for impact investing, innovative business model design, organizational culture, and impact metrics systems scoping. But, they also found time for cooking an amazing pop-up Indian meal together, salsa dancing, and beautiful Big Sur hiking. It was a graceful mix of business with a touch of fun. “
About 30 students participated in Econ Bootcamp with Prof. Moyara Ruehsen and Jason Scorse. Chanel Bell said “It was a great opportunity for me to learn the fundamentals of economics. Micro provided me with a good understanding about how economics work in everyday life and macro gave me the basic understanding of how trade works between countries.”
Overall it was a very busy and productive J-term. If you have any quotes or photos from your J-term experience that you would like to share, please submit them to me, Katya Gamolsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practical and Inspiring Thought Leadership
A graduate course and high-profile speaker series featuring leaders and practitioners working to provide solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.
Impact Investment is investment made with the intention to generate measurable social, environmental and financial return. Impact investing deploys multiple sources of capital – private, philanthropic and public to address pressing global challenges. Impact investing has the potential to unlock significant sums of commercial capital, but challenges to the commercialization of impact investing remain significant. The struggle, however, may shed light on how capitalism as we know of today can and will be transformed and leveraged for maximizing welfare and wealth creation. This course engages students with thinkers and practitioners in the impact investing sector who will share their perspectives and experiences in bridging the gap between commercial and impact investments, and explore and envision a better future.
Learn more: go.miis.edu/colloquium
Course Information: Register via Banner (IPMG 8593); 2 or 3 Credit Option.
Timing and Location: March 12 – May 14, 2015 . Thursdays, 6-9pm, MG102
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 proposal. 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.
Link to website and information on the course: http://sites.miis.edu/eastasia/
The International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program at MIIS recently announced its January 2-16, 2015 workshop schedule. A summary of workshop offerings is as follows:
High-Value Organizational Consulting (IPSS 8530 A, 1-2 credits, Pass/Fail) Jan 2-3, 10:00am-5:50pm
This workshop will be taught by organizational expert and successful government, nonprofit, and private-sector consultant, Dr. Beryl Levinger. Participants will learn tools for analyzing an organization, its culture, its approach to meeting mission, and ecosystem analysis. They will also master key skills for effective organizational consulting including client reconnaissance; client relationship management; and the creation of value-added consultant deliverables. The 15 contact hour workshop in January can be taken for 1 or 2 credits. Students wishing to earn 2 credits for this workshop will turn additional deliverables in the first month of their internship – these deliverables will help them apply the tools they have learned in this workshop to better understand their host organizations. Instructor: Dr. Beryl Levinger.
Designing and Evaluating Interventions (IPSS 8531 A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan. 5-6, 10:00am-5:50pm
This workshop will cover basic tools and steps involved in designing successful interventions (i.e. projects and programs) and effectively evaluating these interventions. This workshop will prepare students to assist the growing number of organizations across various specializations that are trying to establish more systematic design and evaluation systems. Instructor: Emily Morris; Monitoring, Evaluation & Research Technical Advisor, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC).
Quantitative Data Analysis in a Professional Setting Using Excel (IPSS 8532A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan 9-10, 10:00am-5:50pm
This course is designed to meet the needs of graduate school level students who are looking to improve their understanding and abilities to collect and analyze data using Microsoft Excel. Collection and analysis are covered in the same course because proper planning and collection of good quality information requires understanding of data analysis and vice versa. The course will be broken up into three distinct modules that are each catered to the skill set of the respective audiences: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Instructor: Kevin Morenzi.
Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (IPSS 8533A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan. 15-16, 9:00am-5:00pm
Students will acquire and practice tools essential for systematically analyzing qualitative data as a professional in the government, nonprofit, or private sectors. “Learning by doing” will be the main instruction approach. Examples from typical assignments from professional setting such as needs assessment, policy analysis, and M&E will be used to facilitate learning. Instructor: Erika Takada, Senior Research Associate at Harder+Company Community Research
Networked International Organizations: Using Networks, Measurement, and Social Media for Learning That Leads To Impact (IPSS 8534A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan 15-16, 8:30am-3:30pm
This two-day workshop will help create an integrated communications strategy that makes effective use of social media and mobile tactics and tools to get results for their host organizations. Those results may be increased brand awareness, fundraising, inspiring and mobilizing stakeholders to take action, or outreach. The course will also help students develop a professional learning and networking strategy that will help them deepen the impact of their internship and support their career goals. Instructor: Beth Kanter, an author who was recently named “One of the Most Influential Women in Technology” by Fast Company.
These professional skill workshops will be open to students and professional outside of the IPSS program space-permitting. Please email email@example.com to express interest.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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
• Have a lucid understanding of the unpredictable nature of development work
• Be personable, dynamic, patient, flexible and adaptable to changing program and project
• Have experience with fundraising
• Develop and deliver compelling presentations to MIIS faculty, prospective team members, etc.
Executive management and staff
“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.
The 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:
This 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.
Participants 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.
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.
The 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”).
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:
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.
The 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.
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.
Click here for more information and online application.