Archive for Immersive Learning (MIIS & External Ops)

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Immersive Learners Champion Seven Countries through Nine Programs

I sat down with Maritza Munzón (MPA/IEM ’15), and Rafael Hernandez (MPA ’15) at a local coffee shop last week to interview them about MIIS’s Immersive Learning Programs. Maritza has traveled on five trips to six countries through MIIS (Peru, Cuba, Kenya, Mindanao, and East Asia), and Rafael has gone to four (Peru, Cuba, Rwanda, and East Asia). Both had a lot to say, much more than I can fit into this interview; I can’t encourage you enough to talk with your peers about their experiences abroad.

Q: What made you choose the immersive learning programs you chose?

Maritza: For me it’s always about “why not?” It is always a question of “if I don’t go, will I regret it?” And the answer is almost always “Yes”. So I do everything I can to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. MarRafFurthermore, because I am in the IEM degree program and want to conduct these trip myself one day, the best way to learn how to do this is to go on as many as I can!

Rafael: I was eager to begin traveling right away when I got here. That was the reason I picked this school over many other options – the traveling component. Right of the bat I could go on this Peru trip, that had a practical application of policy analysis, – and so I went.

M: I don’t think many people have traveled the way we travel here at MIIS.

There is only so much reading you can do about culture, practice, and so on, but you need to embed it in your muscle memory to learn and understand.

Q: Have you gone on any trips together?

Both went to Peru (but in different communities), as well as Cuba, and East Asia.

M: Peru started my obsession with these trips; the experience got my feet wet and then I wasn’t scared, anymore, to do the others.

Q: Are there any programs you especially wish you could have gone on?

R: I would have liked to go to the Philippines.

M: I would have done the El Salvador trip if I had the time. But I am always torn between what is familiar and what is less accessible. El Salvador is within my reach because of language, so I decided to take the leap and go on trips that I was less likely to do on my own:  Kenya, East Asia, and the Philippines.

Q: How did the programs and learning styles compare?

Both: Cuba was more like learning tourism, while Peru and East Asia where more research based: we did academic research in Asia, and field research in Peru.

M: I was a guinea pig for many of the trips – for example:  Kenya, Peru, and East Asia. Cuba was established. Being on a program in its first incarnation is a valuable experience for someone learning about how these programs are conducted.

R: I learned a lot about different types of intelligence and understanding. You know there is the computer competency type, where you either know it or you don’t. And if you don’t, you can ask help from someone who does – and there are no ego problems associated with that. Cultural competency, on the other hand, and especially at this school, is more complicated in that way. Then there is emotional intelligence (EQ) versus the IQ. When you go to speak to someone in a village, everyone on these trips is so concerned about being politically correct, which makes them all self-conscious. I found that the best way to take to people is honestly and openly.

Q: Since you have gone on so many of these programs, do you have any constructive feedback?

R: Like I said, these trips are one of the reasons why I chose this school. And we are so grateful for these experiences.

M: Growing up the way I did, I would have never been able to do this on my own. And I am grateful, and the best way I can give back is by applying my IEM knowledge and skills and giving constructive feedback. I was able to design a pre-departure training for the Peru trip, which was very well received, but not yet implemented. Based on our experience in Peru, Cortney Copeland and I designed a pre-departure workshop and assessment for that trip through our IEM Design and Assessment Class. In the workshop we wanted students to bond with the people in their groups, learn each other working styles and strength, while also getting to practice giving the surveys and entering the data. There are always hiccups with international travel and our goal was to develop cohesive groups before departure to help student better work through some of those unpredictable moments. The assessment consisted of a simple survey that students took before and after the trip to better inform staff and faculty of what is working and what needs improvement.

One of my frustrations with the organization of these trips is that the system that puts these trips together does not value the experience that the students going already have. Because the information isn’t coming from a respected magazine or periodical, but from the mouth of a student, who has had the personal experience or cultural experience growing up – but they didn’t write a paper on it, so…. We don’t get a diploma for growing up bilingual or for living similar lives to that of the people we are studying.

R: So if professors and institutions have a way, for better or worse, of validating those experiences, for example, “here is Maritza, she grew up in a culture that…..” and by doing that, it validates the person, and symbolically validates the peers that have experienced this. People come back like “I was shocked to see this and that”, and that is the only thing that gets the spotlight. But there are people who have lived this their whole lives.

M: Out of the bad comes the good. MIIS is proud of its international diversity on campus, but now there are also conversation on national diversity and socioeconomic diversity as well, which is something that came out of a critique on one of these trips. We go on these trips, and learn, and some things are difficult, but the important thing is to take the bad with the good and make something out of it. For some of us, that meant creating the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which highlights domestic diversity on campus and is working on assessing the needs of all students, whether international students, first generation college students, student of color, LGBTQ, or second career seekers. We not only wanted to address diversity by identifying the needs of all students on campus but to make sure it is something that continues to be addressed in the institution after we are gone.

Professors should also make a point to make focus groups mandatory. A format of how to measure the trips as a whole, but also each trip individually, so it can be improved upon, but that responsibility also shouldn’t sit solely on the professor’s shoulders.

Q: Any advice for students who will travel on these programs in the future?

M: Some things you can’t prepare for. Keep an open mind, don’t sweat the small stuff. Like dirt, bugs-

R: – and cold showers –

M: – and so on because it distracts from the experience. Don’t fight the discomfort.

R: You don’t need language to communicate with people. You shouldn’t necessarily know a language perfectly – keep the willingness to go at the forefront. Don’t be catered to: we chose to go, to help. Be the one helping, not the helped. Own your decision to go.

Language should not be a barrier to communicating with people. In fact, I learned from my inability to speak the local language, which became a resource of information, connection, and interaction. When I ask you, “how do you say this?”, I become your student and switch the power dynamic. People love to teach you, to speak from authority. There is laughter, and it breaks the ice and opens new things. They think, “Here is a person who wants to know my language.” It helps equalizing the playing field.

Q: Is there something you never travel without?

M: I carry medicine for altitude sickness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, congestion, and allergies; but I also carry hydration salts and EmergenC to try and prevent getting sick as well. You never know how sick you are going to get and might not be able to get to a pharmacy right away or be able to communicate what you need so its good to carry some meds you trust. Oh! and  Baby wipes.

R: Baby wipes! Pen and notepad.

*shows us his pen and notepad, which, sure enough, are in his back pocket*

M: That’s what I picked up, now I’ll do that.

R: I like to record sounds from the trips, it brings you back. *plays recording*

M: Learn how to say a greeting, and please and thank you in the local language.

R: So important!

____________________________________________________________

smaller headshotKatya Gamolsky (joint BA/MA ‘17) is a first year student who works for the Immersive Learning Programs Office. She recently went on the Los Angeles trip that focused on Homelessness, with Dr Iyer, and will be attending DPMI DC this summer. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to know more about our Immersive Learning Programs, please email her at immersive@miis.edu.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Student Presentations for East Asia Trip

Thursday, May 7th 6:30-8:30pm

Venue to be announced

Come listen to students present on their Spring Break Immersive Trip to East Asia! They will cover topics including history and territorial disputes between Japan and China, nationalism, soft power, trade policies, international education policies in Japan and China, their roles in the Chiang Mai Initiative and emerging regional trade frameworks, and partnership with Brazil!

EastAsiaTrip

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Team El Salvador 9 Presentation

Team El Salvador

Please join the members of Team El Salvador 9

in a presentation of their project work during J-Term 2015 in El Salvador

Thursday, April 16, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Digital Learning Commons (DLC), MIIS

420 Calle Principal, Monterey

Come hear about innovative collaborations in coastal resource management, sustainable fishing, public space design for community empowerment… and plans for future initiatives!

~Light refreshments will be served~

To RSVP and for more information, please contact:  anegro@miis.edu

 

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

News about the East Asia Spring Break Journey!

 

 

News from the participants and professors was posted on the miis.edu front page.east asia

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Team El Salvador Looking for a Team Leader!

Students from all MIIS Programs are encouraged to Apply!

TES Leader

TES Leader 2

 Description of Responsibilities 

TES Leader 5

Leadership term lasts early May 2015 to early May 2016

For more information check out the Team El Salvador Blog or email any questions to teamelsalvadormiis@gmail !

Send Resume & Cover Letter to teamelsalvadormiis@gmail.com by Sunday, April 14th!

 

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL) Launch Invitation

You are invited to join MIIS faculty, staff, students and alumni for the launch of the Center for Social Impact Learning on March 25th in Monterey, California!

CSIL

The Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL) provides relevant learning and research programming for students interested in exploring and developing careers in social entrepreneurship and impact investment management.

 Register for this free event today! 

 

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Follow a Current IPSS Fellow’s Blog

 

 

Tom Gray, is in the Nonproliferation & Terrorism Studies (NPTS) graduate program here at MIIS.  His final semester at MIIS he is working at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria as an IPSS fellow.  Follow his journey through his blog, Every Wich Way.

Tom’s Blog offers an insightful perspective of what it is like working for a large international organization in the nonproliferation domain.

Enjoy the Blog!

http://sites.miis.edu/everywichway/

 

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

What are you doing this summer?

We’ve got a new page to help you answer that question: go.miis.edu/summer

summer

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

East Asia Practicum Program Send-off as they Gear-Up for Spring Break Trip

EastAsiaPracticum

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!

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Update on the Sarah Meek Travel Grant for Research in Africa

Summer and Fall Applications Invited

In January several students applied for this grant but none were awarded. In every case the requests were for the summer because there was little time for anyone to prepare a travel grant proposal for the spring immersive learning programs.

The result is that all the money available for travel grants is now available for summer and fall travel for research on social change in Africa. The research must be conducted in Africa for a duration of at least 2 and a half months.

To receive this grant students must submit a research design that focuses on a social condition in Africa of the applicant’s choosing; e.g., poverty, environment, crime, armed violence, gender inequality, conflict, disease, education, refugees, etc., with the goal of making policy/program recommendations that can change that condition.

The application must include the following elements:

  1. Dates of research
  2. Location of research, to include a letter of support from an organization which is hosting or assisting you with your project.
  3. A two page statement that includes a complete research design, to include a research question, a literature review that shows a need for this research, evidence generation methods, and its potential impact on the social condition.
  4. A description of the deliverable and date of completion.

Applications must be received between now and 1 April. A committee of faculty judges will evaluate all applications and determine the recipients of the award by 15 April. Awards will be given as reimbursement for travel to Africa. Only enrolled students may receive a travel grant. If two students will be conducting the research together, the award will be split between the two students with a cap of $1500 per award. Travel will not be awarded for an internship, unless appropriate research will be conducted as part of the internship.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss the eligibility of your planned research for this award, please make an appointment with Professor Ed Laurance at elaurance@miis.edu. He can also be reached at 831-402-2631.

These awards are made possible by a continuing donation from the family of Sarah Meek, a MIIS alum of 1996 whose life was cut short while working to improve social conditions in Africa.

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

New Internship Opportunity in Uganda!

Looking for a summer internship opportunity in Africa? Check out ISLA – and feel free to join tomorrow’s info session from 12pm-1pm in Morse B206! http://www.isla-serve.org/

*MPAs – this could count for DPMI Plus!

isla Uganda

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Upcoming Info Sessions for IPSS, DPMI, and Tunisia

IPSS 2016

http://www.miis.edu/academics/monterey-abroad/service-semester

Info Session: Thursday, February 12, 2015, 12-1pm @MG100

Application Deadline: September 1st, 2015

 

DPMI, DPMI +

http://www.miis.edu/academics/short/development-management

Info Session: Thursday, Feb 26, 2015, 12-1pm @CF452

Application Deadline:

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

 

Tunisia’s Transition to Democracy – June 2015

http://www.globalmajority.org/, and more info here.

Info Session: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 12-1pm @ MG100

Application Deadline: May 1st, 2015

 

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

J-term for MIIS Students, Off and On Campus

For J-term 2015, we had 70 students go to five countries on four continents.peru photo

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.

phillyThe 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.”

 

Local Action in Monterey!

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 how10834880_1540130296237511_8138925882615918401_o (1) 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 tFMS-Ladieserms 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 immersive@miis.edu.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

1500 USD Sarah Meek Africa Travel Awards for MIIS Students

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

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

 

Announcing the Sarah Meek Travel Grant for Research in Africa

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

To receive this grant students must submit a research design that focuses on a social condition in Africa of the applicant’s choosing; e.g., poverty, environment, crime, armed violence, gender equality, conflict, disease, education, refugees, etc., with the goal of making policy/program recommendations that can change that condition.

The application must include the following elements:

  1. Dates of research
  2. Location of research, to include a letter of support from an organization which is hosting or assisting you with your project.
  3. A two page statement that includes a complete research design, to include a preliminary literature review that shows a need for this research, the who, what, where, and how of the project, and its potential impact on the social condition.
  4. A description of the deliverable and date of presentation.

Applications must be received between now and 15 January. A committee of faculty judges will evaluate all applications and determine the four recipients of the award by 20 January. Awards will be given as reimbursement for travel to Africa in 2015.  If you have any questions or wish to discuss the eligibility of your planned research for this award, please make an appointment with Professor Ed Laurance at elaurance@miis.edu.  He can also be reached at 831-402-2631.

These awards are made possible by a continuing donation from the family of Sarah Meek, a MIIS alum of 1996 whose life was cut short while working to improve social conditions in Africa.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Upcoming Deadlines for Summer Internship Opportunities in Spain, Argentina and Chile

Cultural Vistas is accepting applications for the Summer Internship Program in Spain and the Internship Programs in Argentina and Chile.
 
The application deadline for all three programs will be January 15, 2015.
 
Summer Internship Program in Spain
This program provides an opportunity for U.S. and Canadian students to gain international work experience, improve Spanish language skills, and experience Spanish culture firsthand. Participants complete unpaid three-month internships in companies across Spain. Internship placements are available in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to business, economics, engineering, finance, Spanish studies, international relations, IT, media/communications, non-profit sector and tourism.
 
For detailed information and application materials, please visit their website at:http://culturalvistas.org/programs-for-students-and-professionals/internships-abroad/summer-internship-program-in-spain
 
Internship Program in Argentina
This program provides unpaid internship opportunities for U.S. and Canadian students and young professionals in either Buenos Aires or Córdoba, Argentina. Two program options are available: a 4-week Spanish language course and an 8-week internship with an Argentinean company (Combination Language/Internship Option) or a 12-week internship with a host company (Internship Option). Internship placements are available in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to business, economics, engineering, finance, Spanish studies, international relations, IT, media/communications, non-profit sector and tourism.
 
For detailed information and application materials, please visit their website at:http://culturalvistas.org/programs-for-students-and-professionals/internships-abroad/internship-program-in-argentina
 
Internship Program in Chile
This program provides unpaid internship opportunities for U.S. and Canadian students and young professionals in Santiago de Chile. Two program options are available: a 4-week Spanish language course and an 8-week internship with a Chilean company (Combination Language/Internship Option) or a 12-week internship with a host company (Internship Option). Internship placements are available in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to business, economics, engineering, finance, Spanish studies, international relations, IT, media/communications, non-profit sector and tourism.
 
For detailed information and application materials, please visit their website at:http://culturalvistas.org/programs-for-students-and-professionals/internships-abroad/internship-program-in-chile
Cheers!

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Look!

east asia snip

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Boren Awards: Scholarships and Fellowships

Upcoming Application Deadline for Fellowship – January 27th, 2015

Great opportunity for those who are studying or who want to study less commonly taught languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili – among MANY others. Boren Awards also has an African Flagship Languages Initiative, for those interested in studying Akan/Twi, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Wolof, or Zulu. Check out Boren Awards website for a complete list of languages as well as Country Preferences, fields of study, and length of study.

Boren Fellowships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded.”

“Boren Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.” – Retrieved from Boren Awards Website

Not just national security:

Boren Awards views National Security  broadly, to include “the challenges of global society, including sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.” – Retrieved from Boren Awards Website

This is a great opportunity to study a unique or uncommonly taught language – perfect for MIIS Students!

For more information check out their Website: https://www.borenawards.org/boren_fellowship

Application Deadline: January 27th, 2015

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Application deadline extended: Cuba J-Term trip

The application deadline to the J-Term trip to Cuba (January 6 – 17, 2015) has been extended until November 30. So it is not too late to register for this unique opportunity to get immersed in a country that has essentially been off-limits to most Americans for more than half a century.

To learn more about this opportunity – including testimonies from previous students – and to apply click here

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Lets get Sprintensive.

 

 

IPS and MPA students

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

Wine and Pizza reception will follow! 

Sprintensive

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Cuba J-Term Information Session – Wednesday, October 22nd

Curious about Cuba? Spend J-Term with us!

Dr. Jan Black will host an info session about the practicum on Wednesday, October 22, 6:00 -7:30 pm in McGowan 100.

If you’re thinking about joining the J-Term trip to Cuba, please come to the info session to find out more. This opportunity is open to all current MIIS students.

If you’re not able to make it to the info session, but are interested in the trip, please email us for more details.

Contact persons:

Dr. Jan Black, jblack@miis.edu

Carolyn Taylor Meyer, carolyn.taylor@miis.edu

Molly Moreland,mmoreland@miis.edu

Please include all three of us in your email so we can get back to you as quickly as possible.

Hope to see you there!