Archive for Immersive Learning (MIIS & External Ops)

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

January and Spring Break Study Abroad and Special Trainings

GSIPM Students may now view initial information on international programs for J-Term and Spring Break at go.miis.edu/2019abroad.

January Off-Site Program Locations:

  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Peru

January Special Trainings:

  • DPMI Monterey
  • Frontier Market Scouts (FMS)

Spring Off-Site Program Locations:

  • East Asia (Tokyo & Beijing)
  • Washington, D.C.
  • DPMI Kenya

Students with interests outside the programs offered, are encouraged to design their own experience. MIIS immersive learning funding can be used to offset the cost of a self-led applied learning project in the US or abroad over J-term. Schedule a meeting with your career advisor or Immersive Learning Director Carolyn Meyer through Zócalo to brainstorm options.

Contact: 

Carolyn Taylor Meyer

Director of Immersive Professional Learning and Special Programs, GSIPM

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

DPMI+ Spotlight: Chndy Rogel

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi, I’m Chndy Rogel. I am an international student from the Philippines who moved to California to pursue a Master’s degree in International Policy and Development, with a specialization in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Design. I recently graduated and completed my DPMI+ assignment in Washington, DC as an intern for the Research and Evaluation Department of the Global Education, Employment, and Engagement Unit of FHI 360. While at FHI 360, I programmed mobile data collection tools, conducted data cleaning, and performed qualitative and quantitative analysis for global education projects in West Africa and Central America.

How did you find FHI 360? Why were you interested in working with them?

When I was fresh out of college in the Philippines, I’ve wanted to apply for positions at FHI 360. However, the programs in the Philippines were primarily in health and I do not have any background in health projects. While searching for internships towards the end of my third semester at MIIS, my career advisor reminded me of FHI 360. I went to their careers page and found a research internship with the Research and Evaluation Department of the Global Education, Employment, and Engagement Unit.

I was drawn to working with them because of the variety of sectors they work in and their expertise in monitoring and evaluation. I have limited experience with education projects and I wanted to get exposure to global education through the internship at FHI 360.

What courses at the Middlebury Institute helped prepare you the most for your current position?

The courses that prepared me the most are Introduction to Policy and Data Analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis, Program Evaluation, and DPMI.

What has been an unexpected challenge you have faced while at FHI 360?

My most important takeaway is committing to finishing what I have started. It was a big challenge for me during my final three weeks because most of the tasks that I was anticipating early in my internship came later than expected. I found myself working long hours to finish everything by May 18th. I felt excited that I was trusted with so much work but also found myself getting more exhausted than usual at the end of the day. I realized (and one of my senior colleagues also noted) that it is not sustainable. I almost gave up but realized that I just needed to take more breaks and limit my work hours on weekends. Work-life balance has been a challenge for me and my colleagues have been reminding me about it. The best part about working with the Research and Evaluation Department is having a supportive group of colleagues who are eager to share what they know and would also listen to what you would like to get out of the internship. They also acknowledge the strengths and interests of the members of the team.

I was asked to extend my internship, to which I agreed, but had to take a break for two weeks while I wait for work authorization for my post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). International students cannot work after graduation until we have received our one-year OPT. I am continuing my internship until August.

What projects did you work on? How did they relate to your personal mission?

My priority projects are on fidelity of implementation of early grade reading programs in Ghana and Nigeria and on professional learning communities for teachers in Ghana, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea. I was also invited to support the work on mapping student disability screening tools for primary school-age children. One of my learning objectives for pursuing an internship at FHI 360 is to learn about their monitoring and evaluation approaches to development projects and the research initiatives they pursue.

My personal mission is to find ways to create equal access to opportunities to improve the quality of life of individuals and to support them in becoming economically active citizens. Improving the education system in developing countries, such as the Philippines, is one way of supporting individuals in reaching their full potential to become productive citizens contributing to the country’s development.

What lessons or skills did you learn “on the job?”

Personally, I have to be better on work-life balance. Even when you enjoy what you are doing, there is a limit to what your brain and body can take. In terms of professional skills, I learned mobile data collection tool programming, which I realized is something that seems to be in demand for the positions that I have been applying for. I also had the chance to observe and participate in the development of an Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (AMELP) for USAID during proposal development.

What are your plans now that you have completed your time at FHI 360?

I am currently looking for positions in international development, primarily on research, monitoring, and evaluation. DC is a great place to find headquarters experience on international development. I’m primarily interested in projects on micro, small, and medium enterprise development and livelihoods. The networking skills that I have learned at MIIS have been very useful in reaching out to professionals in this field for career advice and informational interviews.

Thanks, Chndy!

If you would like to know more about DPMI+, please email dpmiplus@middlebury.edu or visit here.

 

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Middlebury graduate and undergraduate students explore the ‘China Dream’ through 2-week practicum

Profs. Wei Liang, Yuwei Shi, and Jessica Teets accompanied 18 students to six cities in China.

The China Dream team in downtown Shanghai after meeting with Chinese investors and a tour of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Photo courtesy of Margaret Poda, MBA/IEM ’19

For two weeks, students from Middlebury Institute (MIIS) and Middlebury College, alongside Professors Yuwei Shi, Wei Lang, and Jessica Teets, traveled   across China. They spoke with over 50 people, including graduate students, policymakers, researchers, members of the business community, social entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders. Through round-table discussions and lectures, the students attempted to answer the question – what is the “China Dream?”

The group included 13 Middlebury Institute students from the US and China representing five graduate degree programs (MA International Policy and Development, MA Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies, MBA, MA Translation and Localization Management, and MA Translation and Interpretation) and five Middlebury College students representing three undergraduate degree programs (Philosophy, International Politics, and Economics).

The practicum began in the spring with an in-depth study of Chinese domestic politics, foreign policy, and social science research methods. Each student was encouraged to identify research topics they were particularly interested in exploring. The group landed first in Beijing, and visited several universities across the capital to engage with their Chinese peers in far-reaching discussions. They also met with representatives from the Foreign Affairs University and Microsoft China, and learned about subjects ranging from citizenship and patriotism in the digital space to China’s artificial intelligence development. To cap off their stay in the capital students attended a weekly press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and joined a round-table discussion with the manager of Investment Operations at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Beijing, Dr. Ke Fang.

“Perspectives on Development.” Photo courtesy of Katharine Moody Wong, MPA/IEM ’19

From Beijing, the group traveled to Suzhou and Shanghai where they spoke with the dean of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics on innovation and entrepreneurship in China, received a tour of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, learned about nonprofit incubation and social investing at the Shanghai Non-Profit Incubator, and even visited New York University’s Shanghai campus.

Moving south, the students visited Kunming, capital of Yunnan province – which borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam – to study conservation efforts and China’s grand Belt and Road Initiative. After Kunming, the group finally arrived in Shenzhen– just across the bay from Hong Kong, in the Pearl River Delta – and received instruction from several nongovernmental organizations on urban planning, conservation and the intersection of technology and charity.

Like the archetypal “American Dream”, definitions of the China Dream differ depending on who you ask, as Professor Shi discovered.

“A key take-away was understanding the diversity in perception of the China Dream among the Chinese. We expected a more uniform talk, but people shared directly about how they are (or are not) thinking about the China Dream. Being on the ground and learning about the kinds of lives the speakers have lived helped us understand this diversity in perspective. You could not grasp this lesson in a classroom. We [the faculty] thought teaching about the China Dream by going to China was a better way to learn. I walked away thinking this is the only way you can learn about this topic.”

China Dream course participants with Vice President Ding Li of Non-Profit Incubator in Shanghai, China. Photo courtesy of Emily Laur, IPD/ITED ’19

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

IPSS Spotlight: Kimani DeShields-Williams

Kimani DeShields-Williams is a fourth-semester International Policy and Development student, completing her International Professional Service Semester with the International Organization for Migration in Bangkok, Thailand. 

What were you doing before you came to the Middlebury Institute?

Before MIIS, I was completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware! My experiences on campus with study abroad, service trips with the campus ministry, and interning at the IRC had a huge influence on my decision to go straight to graduate school. MIIS was the perfect fit!

How did you find your internship? What resources would you recommend using?

During my first semester, I printed out a list of all the internships previous students held to get an idea of different possibilities. After deciding what experience I wanted to gain and which organizations I would like to work for, I began to make connections. Carolyn Meyer (Director of Immersive Professional Learning and Special Programs) helped me get in contact with the Regional Office here in Bangkok and now I’m here! In my opinion, the best resource is your network! Simply talking to people, asking questions and not being afraid to reach out will take you a long way. Not to mention, the MIIS mafia is strong. We have connections everywhere! 

Have any of the lessons you learned at the Institute been applicable to your current position?

I feel everything I studied at MIIS has been applicable. My internship involves a lot of proposal review. Drawing from my experience in Professor Ortiz’s proposal writing and Beryl’s program evaluation, I have felt confident in utilizing my knowledge to improve project proposals and develop tools. In addition, the hands-on nature at MIIS has taught me how to be critical and innovative. 

What has been your favorite moment of your internship so far?

My supervisor “threw me into the fire”,as he said, and gave me the opportunity to present a new framework to a group of project managers from different country missions. The first big presentation is always the scariest, but it felt good to have the opportunity to put myself out there.

My other favorite moment was my first day. My supervisor once again threw me in and sent me to a meeting to represent the IOM among other UN agencies. I was inspired by the representatives at the meeting and could not believe I was in the same room them. The United Nations has been a dream of mine since my freshman year of high school. Being in that meeting at that moment motivated me to continue on my path. 

 Working abroad can be mentally and physically exhausting. What do you do for self-care?

Bangkok is a busy city. When I feel overwhelmed, I try to find a quiet place to write. I enjoy sitting on my balcony or going to the park for a quiet and pretty place to take a “breather.” 

If you could give first semester-Kimani advice about school, work, internships…what would it be?

It all works out in the end! Don’t doubt yourself!

Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share?

I know the process of finding an IPSS placement can be stressful. For anyone who is in the middle of searching for internships, don’t give up! Also, don’t be scared to take this opportunity to learn about a new culture or branch out!

Thank you, Kimani. We wish you all the best moving forward!

If you would like to learn more about IPSS and how you can participate, come to our informational session Thursday, March 1, 2018 in MorseB105 from 12-1pm or check us out online.  

 

 

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

IEM Practicum, DPMI Plus, IONP, MGIMO, IPSS, and FMS internships for Spring 2018 Announced

For Spring 2018, a total of 57 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey students will participate in our distinguished semester long immersive learning programs, to be placed around the country and the globe.

Domestically, students are as close as Monterey, CA and as far away as Washington, DC. Top cities include 7 positions in DC, 6 in the Bay Area, and 6 in New York City. Internationally, they are spread across five continents and 21 countries (Peru, France, Senegal, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Russia, Austria, Thailand, Cambodia, Kenya, Switzerland, Zambia, the Netherlands, Argentina, Laos, Mexico, Canada, Nepal, Ecuador, and Indonesia.

Programs include the International Education Management (IEM) Practicum, DPMI Plus, International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP), the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO),and the International Professional Service Semester, (IPSS).

Below is a list of current participants, their organizations, and their locations.

International Education Management (IEM) Practicum

Name Placement Location
Anatoliy Artamonov Perlata  Community College District SF Bay Area
Anna Galbraith Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development Peru
Ashley Gauer Global Majority/Monterey Bay Economic Partnership Monterey, CA
Emily Bastian Student-Athletes Abroad Monterey, CA
Ashley Bayman University of California, Santa Cruz, Global Engagement Santa Cruz, CA
Carol Lin Sciences Po Bordeaux France
Chelsea Lavallee* UNESCO Senegal
David Austin VIA Programs Monterey, CA
Gabriela Ray VIA Programs Monterey, CA
Kathleen Tyson Technical University of Denmark Denmark
Leslie Miles Marymount University International Student Services Arlington, VA
Madison Mentz University College Cork Ireland
Margot Draeger* IRC and Kidnected Salt Lake City
Paige Wheeler International Student House Washington, DC
Pilar Diaz de la Rubia Middlebury Schools Abroad Spain: Madrid Spain/U.S.
Stephanie Espinoza Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego San Diego, CA
Grace O’Dell MIIS CACS Monterey, CA
Ting Wang San Jose State University San Jose, CA

 *Dual Degree (IEM/MPA) student

DPMI Plus

Name  Placement  Location
Chndyli Tara Rogel FHI 360 Washington, DC
Megan Garland Mercy Corps Portland, Oregon
Ekshana Karki Chhetri Youth Workforce and Entrepreneur at World Learning Washington, DC
Chelsea Lavallee* UNESCO Dakar Dakar, Senegal
Margot Draeger* IRC/Kidnected World Salt Lake City, UT
Ashley Gauer* Global Majority/Monterey Bay Economic Partnership Monterey, CA

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)

Name Placement Location
Caroline Day Exiger Diligence New York, NY
Leonid Demidov The M&A Advisor Forest Hills, NY
Summer Gary UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, NY
Adlan Margoev PIR Center Moscow, Russia
Noah Mayhew* International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna, Austria
Alain Ponce Blancas PIR Center Moscow, Russia
Alicia Rorabaugh iJet Integrated Risk Menlo Park, CA
Alexander Ross TESLA San Carlos, CA
Daria Selezneva* UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, NY

*Also completing IONP fellowships

International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP)

Name Placement Location
Daria Selezneva UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, NY
Noah Mayhew* International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna, Austria

International Professional Service Semester (IPSS)

 

Name Organization Location
Elizabeth Brooks LAM, Sciences Po-Bordeaux Bordeaux, France
Luciane Coletti Conservation International Foundation Arlington County, VA
Kimani DeShields-Williams International Organization for Migration (IOM) Bangkok, Thailand
Elizabeth Fisher UNICEF Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mikki Franklin Combating Terrorism Center, West Point New York State
Madiha Jamal LSA Environmental Consulting and CA Coastal Commission California
Andrew Kiemen Measure to Improve, LLC Salinas, CA
Julia Lipkis International Rescue Committee New York City
Alexandra Long City of Anchorage Resilience Program, Mayor’s Office Anchorage, Alaska
Steven Luber UNIDIR Geneva, Switzerland
Thabo Mubukwanu United Nations Development Programme Lusaka, Zambia
Libiao Pan Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization The Hague, The Netherlands
Aricquel Payne Six Square Austin, TX
Mariko Powers Conservation International Foundation Manila, Philippines
Lama Ranjous 350.org and UN MGCY New York City
Laura Schroeder InterAction DC
Rebecca Sher Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de America Latina (CADAL) Buenos Aires, Argentina
Patrick Wilhelmy Kuli Kuli (FMS Fellow) Bay Area, California
Stephanie Villalobos William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies Washington, DC
Zijuan (Fiona) Huang Save the Children Vientiane,Laos
Mario Lamar US State    Department Mexico City, Mexico
Taylor Hadnot Schaffer &  Combs Bay Area, California
Brijlal Chaudhari Paurakhi Savings &    Credit Cooperative Limited Toronto, Canada and Parsa District, Nepal
Nasema Zeerak UNFPA New York City

 

FrontierMarketScouts

Name Placement Location
Bin Li* Nexus for Development Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Camilla Vogt* Unreasonable Boulder, CO
Celina Lima Marquete Fair Trade Thailand/ Cambodia
Emily O’Hara* Village Capital Washington, DC
Jennie Vader* Digital Undivided Atlanta, GA
Kaitlyn Throgmorton Impaqto Quito, Ecuador
*Non-MIIS Students

Conflict Resolution

Name Placement Location
Onaba Payab Asia Foundation Washington, D.C.

Independent Practicum

Name Organization Location
Lauren Halloran Search for Common Ground Nairobi, Kenya

International Environmental Policy

Name Placement Location
Clesi Bennett San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission San Francisco, CA

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Planning J-term & Spring Break 2018

Maybe you want to tackle a grueling research project in some remote location wearing an embarrassing hat. Maybe you want to wear fuzzy socks on your parent’s couch and just sleep off fall semester. No judgement.

Whatever your intentions, your pals at GSIPM are here to help you scope out MIIS winter & spring break opportunities and narrow in on what’s a fit for you.

 

If you have an appetite for something beyond the amazing GSIPM options, consider paying a visit to our friends at Omprakash. With over 172 partners across 39 countries, their bread and butter is playing matchmaker for organizations hungry for talent. Anyone can peruse and apply for available positions without incurring eye-roll inducing placement fees.

 

To help ensure you make the most of your time, consider these your To Do’s:

  1. Familiarize yourself with aforementioned amazing  options
  2. Schedule time with your adviser or the lovely Carolyn Meyer
  3. Once you’ve nailed down a plan, apply for that sweet, sweet IPL funding.

 

Whatever you choose, the crew at GSIPM is here for you.

 

Friday, September 15th, 2017

January and Spring Break Off-Site Courses and Special Trainings

GSIPM students now view initial information on international programs and special trainings offered in January and over Spring Break at http://go.miis.edu/practica.

January Off-Site Program Locations:

-Cuba

-Peru

-Colombia

-Egypt

-Rwanda

-France

-Czech Republic

January On-Campus Trainings and Courses:

-DPMI–International Development and Social Change

-FMS—Social Enterprise Management and Impact Investing

-Note: Additional courses including many 1-unit workshops taking place in January 2018 will be announced in early November when the spring course schedule is posted.

Spring Break Opportunities:

-The Balkans

-Washington, DC Career Exploration

Please check-back regularly as student budgets are posted on each program website.

Students with interests outside the programs offered, are encouraged to design their own experience. MIIS immersive learning funding can be used to offset the cost of a self-led applied learning project in the US or abroad over Jterm. Schedule a meeting with your career advisor or IPLSP Director Carolyn Meyer through Zócalo to brainstorm options.

Contact: 

Carolyn Taylor Meyer

Director of Immersive Professional Learning and Special Programs, GSIPM

831-647-6417

cmeyer@miis.edu

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Immersive Learning Student Portal is Live!

Read about students’ immersive learning projects all around the world including in the United States from 2014-2017.  Click here to visit the student portal. The student portal is a compilation of immersive learning experiences of MIIS students along with their project deliverables.

Immersive learning is the learning that occurs when students are outside of the traditional role of teacher and student. Immersive learning is collaborating with other people, organizations, and governments. It is the critical process of applying critical thinking and is a cornerstone of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) pedagogical philosophy on helping students develop skills and knowledge for preparing students to build a better world. 

Immersive Learning Programs include internships, DPMI +, IPSS, J-term & Spring Practica, summer opportunities, and directed studies. Through immersive learning programs, students take part in projects where they are outside of the traditional role of teacher and student.

To learn more about Immersive Professional Learning Programs and funding click here

 

Monday, May 15th, 2017

IEMer Heather Rahimi Excels on South Korean Practicum

Heather Rahimi MAIEM ‘17 has spent the last four months on practicum at the University of Utah Asia campus in Incheon, South Korea.  Having never set foot on the Asian continent prior to her practicum, Heather utilized takeaways from her MIIS coursework, non-verbal communication and flexibility to excel throughout her experience.

What has been the most surprising thing you have encountered on your practicum in Korea?

Seeing as it’s my first time in South Korea, let alone Asia, I have encountered many surprises. I think the biggest surprise, or at least the one that has had the biggest positive impact on me, is understanding that one doesn’t need verbal language to communicate with others. My Korean is limited to “hello”, “thank you”, and “goodbye”, so coming here inspired a certain amount of fear in me. However, I discovered so much can be said without words, especially in Korea. A simple grunt can say a million words! These days I grunt at everything, it can mean “yes”, “oh!”, “I understand”, “I’m so sorry”, you name it! So here is a word of caution to all those who see me after I return state-side, be prepared for countless grunts, warm smiles, and a little bit of pushing.

Credit: Snow College News

What has been one of the most valuable skills or takeaways from your coursework at MIIS that has helped you succeed in your practicum work?

I was pretty nervous for my first day on the job, I was certain I wouldn’t know anything and would have to constantly ask my supervisor for help. But, I quickly found out, my coursework at MIIS had taught me so much more than I thought and left me utterly, if not overly, prepared for this position. I was most grateful for the skills I learned in my Staff Management course. Even as an intern, I definitely needed to manage up, be aware of cross-cultural differences, such as communication styles, and be prepared to lead a meeting when no one else was up for the task.

How has your experience in Korea informed what you hope to do next (whether or not you know what that is at the moment)?

My practicum position at UAC has taught me many invaluable lessons and enabled me to grow as a person and a professional. As an intern, I have been able to work on a variety of projects that wouldn’t typically fall under one person’s job responsibilities. Each project has given me insight into what type of work I want to do in my future and made me realize that although I would prefer to work in education abroad, I am now also open to and enjoy working in international student and scholar services. Whereas before I only wanted to work in education abroad, I can now broaden the scope of my job search and better identify positions that I will thrive in based on my first-hand experience with job responsibilities and work environments.

 

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

DPMI Plus Spotlight: Addy Jimenez Haga

DPMI Plus Spring 2017 is underway and we have the inside scoop from current DPMI Plus participant, Addy Jimenez Haga, IPD. She is currently working in Peru for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).
How did you find your practicum position?
During my first semester at MIIS, Scott Webb sent out an internship opportunity with UNLIREC – which happened to be in Peru. I pinned this message and kept it into consideration when choosing an organization for my DPMI Plus practicum. The fact that UNLIREC is in Peru is a added bonus since I spent two years in northern Peru as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
What has been the most challenging work task you have been given in your current position so far and why? 
I have been working on an Operational Forensics and Ballistics Manual; I assisted on mapping the 26 Zonas Veredales in Colombia for logistical strategy in the disarmament process; I have been disaggregating dozens of news articles connecting  private security guards with homicides, suicides, femicides and accidents while using a firearm; and I am in the process of building an M&E tool for the centre… but the most challenging aspect of it all, is the culture shock of being in a rich-feedback and team-oriented environments like what we have at MIIS, to autonomy and independence. I miss having 3-4 rough drafts that have been edited by a faculty member, and all of the brilliant minds working together to produce the best deliverable possible. Nonetheless, this has been an enriching experience and my expectations have been exceeded.
 What skill did MIIS teach you that you have found to be useful in your current work?
Courses that I have applied in the disarmament Centre are  Program Evaluation, Proposal Writing, Finance Functions, Citizen Security in Latin America, Network Analysis, and Organizational Sustainability. The skills include designing effective indicators, observing dynamics within the office and imagining its weighted network (i.e. who is the cutpoint? who is the person connecting everyone?, who has the highest eigenvector? whose brain should I pick to brainstorm career opportunities?), feeling confident when reading a logical framework, finding quantitative data, and how to make M&E sexy/appealing.
How do you see this position helping you in your future career?
I was not sure if working for the UN was something I would enjoy. I love fieldwork and will continue searching for career paths that include it. But I have also been incredibly impressed to witness, live, the relentless hard work and dedication from those at UNLIREC. I am gaining a diplomatic discourse, understanding the uphill battles of working with beneficiaries while gaining patience, and a better understanding of the phases, challenges, and the importance of communication of project cycles.
What advice do you have for someone currently looking for a DPMI Practicum?
Start thinking of regions, organizations, and/or sectors of interest early on. And in my case, I chose an internship that I once found to be somewhat deviating from my passions with the hopes of narrowing my career objective. *Side note: it actually added disarmament to my passions.
What is something you learned you enjoy to do, that you did not previously realize?
I am learning about guns! which I never thought I would be drawn to. Arms trafficking and violence caused by a weapon has broadened my lens to see development from a different angle. Security and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean are increasing, and being part of an organization that believes security to be a human right, is an honor.
What are your plans after practicum is over?
I will start searching for job opportunities next month that hopefully include a niche of international development and monitor and evaluation.
Thank you Addy and we wish you continued success!
To learn more about UNLIREC, check out their website.

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Community Action Hub: Explore the Past, Present and Future of Collaborative Learning

MIIS and California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB) have been collaborating on a project called Community Action Hubs. The underlying question being explored is: How might we have more meaningful, long-term engagements with community organizations that we partner with? This includes student, faculty and staff projects, practica and research. In an effort to collect and share historical data, Immersive Learning has been capturing a range of information on collaborative learning with the local community and surrounding areas. Whether you have a research focus in mind or want some inspiration from past work, check out the database! girl-watkins_coastline-with-boats

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

J-term Practicum in Cuba is ON!

Dr. Jan Black and a second faculty member will be leading a JTerm Practica in Cuba January 10-20. This course can be taken for 0, 2, or 4 credits. Learn more and apply by October 31st at http://sites.miis.edu/cuba/.cuba-tours

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

International Winter Academy Call for Participants

IPD is very glad to announce its next International Winter Programs in Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation, Mediation, Security and Intercultural Dialogue, which is going to be held in Switzerland. Applicants could choose either 10 days Winter academy or 3 Month CAS-Research program in their filled application.

View the application form or visit the School of Peacebuidling, Mediation, Conflict Resolution, Intercultural Dialogue, Security & Human Rights webpage for more information.

 

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Spotlight on Paige Butler

paige-butler-profile

Assistant Professor, International Education Management

Here at MIIS, students can participate in a wide range of international and domestic immersive learning opportunities. Whether students travel during January-term, spring break, summer or do an independent practicum, students have a number of options at their fingertips. The faculty who lead these trips recognize the value of these immersive professional experiences. We at GSIPM wanted to sit down with some and let them share for themselves.

What’s Your Spirit Animal? Can’t think of one? Name an animal, now another, and finally another.

Jaguar ← What you think your spirit animal is.

Monkey ← What others think you are.

Llama ← What your spirit animal really is.  (Paige’s note: I just returned from Peru where I saw many llamas!)


Why did you decide to enter your field?…Tell me about your journey.

I had my first international experience when I was in high school at age 16. I went to Eastern Europe and traveled through Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic. I grew up in a small farming community in Iowa, so visiting these cities and seeing so many new things was one of those experiences that changed my life, and propelled me into my international career – even if I didn’t even know how transformational it really was until many years later.

As a college student, I studied abroad in Mexico and Guatemala and worked in the Spanish department helping organize study abroad programs. I also worked for a program that provided after-school and summer care for children of US military families abroad which allowed me opportunities to live and work in Japan, Italy and Germany.  While my world experiences were adding up, I still hadn’t considered an international career.

I decided to pursue my Masters in Higher Education at Arizona State University (ASU) so I flew from Guatemala back to Iowa and without much hesitation, I packed up my car and drove to Arizona. While in graduate school, I started working in Student Affairs and Higher Education Administration. I enjoyed it, but I missed the international component.  After my first year at ASU, I had an opportunity to lead engineering undergraduate students abroad on a summer program that ASU was offering in partnership with two other universities.  This was a program that visited universities in England, France and Spain and I coordinated and led the trip, which was my first official study abroad experience as an administrator. I soon realized working in international education administration combined what I enjoyed about working with students in higher education and my passion for international experiences and cultural learning.

I completed my Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in Higher Education at Arizona State University. I worked in the study abroad office and later in academic affairs while completing my degree, and for my dissertation I researched outcomes of short-term study abroad participation. That research solidified how valuable education abroad is in shaping personal and academic development for college students. I had personally experienced many changes as a result of studying abroad, and I knew I wanted to be able to create those types of learning experiences for other students in my future career.

After completing my doctorate, I took a position in the private sector and managed academic affairs and faculty-led programs for a large study abroad provider, CEA.  There I worked with nine academic centers and international staff around the world as well as 100+ colleges and universities across the US, developing study abroad programs for hundreds of US college students.  It was a tremendous experience and rounded out my professional experiences.  Eventually, my desire to be in the classroom full-time grew and the IEM program at MIIS was a perfect fit where I could combine my expertise in international education and higher education administration to train rising professionals who will work in international education.


How would you explain your practicum course and fieldwork?

Onsite Perspectives of Education Abroad Management in Spain is an elective course focused on Education Abroad Management. We partner with Middlebury Schools Abroad in Madrid, Sede Prim.

While developing the program, I met Middlebury Schools Abroad Director in Madrid, Dr. Patricia Rodriguez,  who provided valuable input as I created the course and immersive learning experience.  It was important to connect the work we do in IEM with the work Patricia and her team do in Madrid managing study abroad programs. IEM students who participate in the program learn about education abroad management from the host community perspective.  This program gives students the opportunity to better understand education abroad from an international context. This course is a complement to the IEM courses taught on campus in Monterey.

Students complete small projects or fieldwork dedicated to managing education abroad in Spain. In 2016, students worked on projects about various components of the education abroad experience that Middlebury staff manage, including: homestays, marketing & social media, experiential learning and co-curricular activities, and orientation. Students explored how to create experiences that foster intercultural development and student growth, with an emphasis on language development in alignment with Middlebury’s mission.   Students are also meeting with local experts who work in education abroad, visiting Spanish universities and other education abroad programs across Madrid and practicing their own intercultural and linguistic skills during our time in Spain.

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Why Spain and not Peru or Ecuador?

I was primarily looking for a place that had a large variety of education abroad programs, because I wanted to do a comparative analysis of education abroad programs and be able to offer opportunities for project work onsite. Spain is among the top 5 countries hosting U.S. students studying abroad.  It was also a goal to partner with Middlebury Schools Abroad and deepen the connectivity with the IEM program. After considering the infrastructure and resources available across Middlebury’s Schools Abroad network, Madrid was among our top choices. Since I have previously spent time in Spain, I felt comfortable coordinating the program and had a strong network to draw upon for organizing the onsite experiences.  It is my hope that this program could be replicated in other locations in the future, perhaps in France or China.  IEM is also looking at other options to meet our diverse student interests so I look forward to seeing what emerges!


What would a student get out of this experience?/How could students market the skills they will acquire?

In addition to specific knowledge and skills gained through the coursework and projects completed on site, students were able to expand their network in international education through a variety of site visits and expert meetings.  Students were able to see a variety of education abroad programs first-hand, and gained a deeper understanding the differences between programs. Students were able to analyze the mission of Middlebury Schools Abroad and comparatively evaluate education abroad programs offered by Spanish universities like Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, U.S. based program providers/international education organizations like CIEE and CEA and U.S. universities with programs like the University of San Diego Madrid Center.  Students can practice Spanish language skills relevant to international education throughout the program as well since most site visits and guest speaker meetings are held in Spanish.  We honor the Middlebury Language Pledge while interacting with study abroad students at Sede Prim.

Throughout the program Team Spain participants also reflect on their own understanding and experiences with education abroad and this program helps them break down their own stereotypes and biases of education abroad.  They also reflect on their intercultural development throughout the program, learning more about cultural differences between the US and Spain and how those might impact students who are studying abroad or how it might impact staff working with peers across the ocean.  Students take the Intercultural Development Inventory prior to participating in the program, which is an an assessment that measures intercultural competence—the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities. Intercultural competence has been identified as a critical capability for international educators and is a central goal of the majority of education abroad programs.  This program offers students the chance to reflect on their own intercultural development and think about its application to future careers in education abroad.

Shortly after the immersive learning program abroad, we received opportunities for seven practicum placements from the organizations that we partnered with and others who heard about the type of work our students were doing in Madrid.   I’m happy to report that we have five IEM students in Spain this fall in positions that were created following our J-Term program – a third of the students returned to Spain for their practicum!  There is real value for students to gain experience in the field through on site practicum work and it has been a goal of the IEM program to increase international practica opportunities for our students.

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Is there a story that captures one of your most rewarding or significant moments or could you share what drives you to do these types of programs?

[Pulls down signed Team Spain group photo hanging in office] Students framed and signed this awesome memento as a thank you and to remember our inaugural IEM immersive learning program.  This is our group pictured in Toledo during a daytrip we took as part of the program. A team of students planned this as part of their project work in which they were creating co-curricular and experiential learning activities for Middlebury students. The students had to apply Experiential Learning Theory into practice to develop the excursion for our group.  It was their job to prepare their peers for the experience (abstract conceptualization), lead the excursion (concrete experience) and debrief the experience (reflective observation).  This experience gave the team leaders practice in understanding onsite administration of study abroad programs from a learning perspective as well as administrative skill development.  The team had to create a budget, coordinate train tickets for the group, create the itinerary and plan of where we were going and what we would be learning, while applying theory to practice and considering the host city context of a city they had not previously visited.  The team coordinated and led the excursion for our group as a pilot program. While leading the trip, I watched them change roles from being a student to taking on the role of a program leader.  They did a tremendous job, but some things didn’t go as planned and I watched them encounter these difficulties – from schedules being off-track, site visits being different than expected, getting lost, and managing a small group of students not arriving on time at the meeting point before departing for the train station.  They had to determine how to navigate these obstacles and make decisions in the moment using information they have learned through their courses and practice in IEM.  After the program, the students also developed and conducted an evaluation of the excursion and made adjustments to the excursion based on the pilot program, and now Middlebury’s Sede Prim team offers this as an optional excursion for their study abroad students.

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For more details, read the full interview.

For more information on Paige Butler, visit her MIIS faculty profile.  

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

East Asia Practicum Info Session

Information Session:

East Asia Seminar and Spring Break Immersive Trip to Tokyo and Beijing

The immersive trip (March 18-26) is an integral part of the semester-long seminar “Foreign Policy, Trade, and Security in East Asia,” taught by Professors Akaha and Liang (GSIPM) in the spring of 2017. Everyone who wants to join the trip is required to register either for 4 credits (preferable) or for audit.

When: Thursday, October 13th at 12:00pm

Where: Casa Fuente 434

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Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Stretch work: More than another web space. CHECK IT OUT!

groupwork1If you’ve recently visited the Immersive Learning page, you might have noticed a little section called “Stretch Work” and wondered what that even means?! If you’ve heard professors and staff around campus mention this concept at all, it has likely been to promote self-directed learning and new skill development. This concept allows students to create many of their learning opportunities through stretch work. And, they can carry this approach into their careers.

The Stretch work site is to make it easier for you to explore new ways to identify and work on strengthening core competencies. Check it out or submit your ideas/blogs on how we might stretch ourselves more!

Not convinced? See what Professor Edward Laurance had to say.

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

IMMERSIVE LEARNING INFO SESSION

WHEN: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th at 12:00 PM

WHERE: CASA FUENTE 434

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Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the MIIS experience. While you are here, you are able to participate in a wide range of international and domestic immersive learning opportunities during the January term and spring break. Practica provide students with opportunities to explore real world contexts as freelance consultants, field researchers, and junior-level professionals.

Immersive Learning recently announced 2017 Practica and now invite you to an informational session to discuss the variety of opportunities available. Where can you picture yourself —Colombia, Czech Republic, East Asia, Egypt, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, Spain or here in California?

For complete details on 2017 opportunities visit http://go.miis.edu/practica.

Friday, May 6th, 2016

IPSS Fellow Gaelen Hayes Writes About Her IPSS Journey

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Gaelen Hayes, IPS, 2015 IPSS Fellow

Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development, Calca, Peru

1. Please describe your experience at MIIS (your program, courses, what motivated you to apply for IPSS, and any other details that you think are relevant).

I was in the IPS (now IPD) program at MIIS. When I first came to MIIS I was having a hard time deciding between IPS and MPA, and I ultimately decided on IPS because it allowed greater freedom to customize my degree. I ended up taking a lot of MPA classes as my electives, so I think I got the best of both worlds.

I applied for IPSS because I had a personal research project that I wanted to pursue, and IPSS allowed me to get credit (and financial aid!) to do it. IPSS seemed like the best fit for my project because of the flexibility it allows in how you complete your service project. I worked with several mentor professors prior to and throughout my IPSS semester, and their help and support was crucial. One of the most valuable things I took away from IPSS was these professional relationships. I still regularly turn to these professors for advice, despite the fact that IPSS is over.

In terms of describing my experience at MIIS, I would say that I learned that these opportunities can be as much or as little as you make them. To get the most out of my time at MIIS, or my IPSS semester, I had to decide to put myself out there and to put in effort to make connections, take on projects, and to participate whenever an opportunity presented itself. Historically I am a fairly passive person, so this was a big lesson for me to learn!

2. What were your career aspirations when you applied for IPSS?  Did these change during or after your immersive learning experience. If so, how?

When I applied to IPSS my career aspirations were still somewhat vague- I knew I wanted to work in community development. The people I worked with during IPSS helped me to realize what I am good at. Identifying these strengths clarified the type of position I should pursue within the development field.

3. Describe your career now.  How did your time at MIIS/during your immersive learning program prepare you for this career or lead you to this career (if applicable)?

Following IPSS I was hired by the organization I did my placement with. My role involves steering our organizational development (putting those DPMI skills to use!), helping to design and implement community research, and growing the experiential learning side of our organization. Because my job description is so broad, it allows to me to use the spectrum of skills I learned at MIIS, from strategic planning to survey creation.

4. What was most valuable about your MIIS experience?  What was most valuable about your IPSS experience?  Is there anything you would have done differently?

I learned many valuable and applicable skills at MIIS, which have led me to the position I am in currently. I guess this would be the most valuable thing I took away, the tangible skills. A close second is the relationships I built in the short time I was there. This network of professionals in my field will be a resource that I take with me wherever I go. From the first day of orientation MIIS stresses the importance of networking, but I never saw myself as someone capable of doing this, so I kind of blew it off. Turns out it is pretty important, and not as hard as it sounds.

The most valuable thing I took away from my IPSS experience, besides the professional contacts, was a clearer understanding of my own capabilities. By having the opportunity to take the skills I had learned and run on a project of my own design, I realized how much I had actually internalized from my classes at MIIS. I also learned what I am not so good at, and this helped me to understand the best way for me to add value to the organizations where I applied to work.

5. What advice or thoughts do you have for MIIS students exploring similar opportunities?

Take advantage of opportunities like IPSS, DPMI+, and other internship type situations. It is a great way to take the training wheels off in a situation that is still safe and supportive. Through MIIS and the community there are many chances to practice what you learn in class; take advantage of as many as you can!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

DPMI+ Fellow Jeanine Willig on her experience at Social Impact

Jeanine Willig (far left), DPMI+ Fellow & IPS 2016 student

Organization:  Social Impact

Title: Performance Evaluation Intern

Location: Washington, D.C.

Social Impact contracts with lots of different organizations, mainly for performance and impact evaluation and capacity building.  As a Performance Evaluation Intern, Jeanine’s been working to support the impact evaluation team on Social Impact contracts with USAID.  Last month, Jeanine helped conduct a literature review for FHI360’s Rural Teacher Retention Program in Ghana.  She also worked on an impact evaluation of a WASHPlus project in three districts of Bangladesh that are highly impacted by climate change and experience constant flooding.  Jeanine loves the variety of projects she gets to work on at Social Impact and says she never gets bored.  “I have days where I look up and I haven’t noticed the time go by,” Jeanine says.  “It’s been a HUGE learning curve.  I can’t believe it’s been a month already.”

Jeanine has recently signed up to assist with the evaluation of a Millennium Challenge Corporation anti-corruption project in Honduras.  The goal of the project was to help the Honduran government meet anti-corruption standards in order to be eligible for funding for development.  The evaluation with which Jeanine will assist involves quantitative and qualitative methods to measure impact and entails a comprehensive 23 evaluation questions (typically impact evaluation involves three to six evaluation questions).

How did MIIS prepare you to succeed as a Performance Evaluation Intern at Social Impact?

Jeanine credits Beryl Levinger’s Program Evaluation class with preparing her most directly for her work with Social Impact, which so far involves heavy use of data-evaluation methods, understanding and analyzing qualitative data, and “really getting into the nitty-gritty.”  Another class that was particularly useful was Ed Laurance’s Intro to Human Security & Development.  The “on-time assignments” in this class gave her the skills to be able to research and sort through information rapidly and effectively.  When asked what advice she had for MIIS students interested in similar work, Jeanine recommended that all students take Data Analysis (she wishes that she had).  She also said, “Finance and budgeting is such a NEED in this industry.  People who currently do it are doing it because no one else can and they have just taught themselves.  Skills in finance or budgeting will make your job application stand out.”

Any other advice for current students?

Jeanine wants other MIIS students to keep in mind that “people will care about you and last minute stuff is okay.  When an advisor says that you’ll find a spot, have faith.  Having a good attitude about the job search is important.  You’ve got to keep it in perspective.  Keep your ears open – there are things out there you don’t know about and opportunities you can’t even imagine, so just keep an open mind.  There’s so much out there.”

Find out more…

You can read more about Jeanine’s experiences on her blog.

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Reminder: Apply for DPMI+ for summer/fall 2016

DPMI+ Application Deadline