Archive for MAIPS
Monday, March 6th, 2017
Who can apply: IPSS is open to DPP, NPTS, and IEP students graduating in 2018 who are interested in working fulltime in their sector while earning academic credit.
- You do not need to have a job or internship confirmed for next spring when you apply.
- All applicants will be asked to take a 1-hour writing test during one of four testing windows in April. Times will be posted on go.miis.edu/ipss and sent by email.
- IPSS can be taken for 6-12 credits in spring 2018. Internships/jobs can be paid or unpaid and in the US or abroad.
- Students who are accepted to IPSS can switch to other practica programs (DPMI Plus, Independent Practica) at a later date should their professional and academic interests/needs change.
Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Why did you decide to enter your field?…Tell me about your journey.
I got a BS and MA in History. I decided there was no future in that after I finished a thesis on the Holocaust. I felt powerless. So I decided to pursue something more proactive: policy. When I started that degree, I found that I was lacking in quantitative skills. So I spent a great deal of time acquiring them. When this position opened up, I thought it was a great fit. I was interested in having an international focus. And, my mentor was the same person whose book was used for the course I would be teaching–William Dunn.
How would you explain your practicum course a/o fieldwork?
The topics and locations are subject to change from year to year. In our first iteration, we had two students: Aaron Ebner and Adam Stieglitz, the founding members of Team Peru. They were established in Peru; had their own NGO, the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development; and they were very successful at grassroots organization.
Robert McCleery came up with the idea of conducting research involving Team Peru. Then, I suggested involving students. We were soon joined by three other colleagues: Fernando DePaolis; Kent Glenzer; and Jeff Dayton-Johnson. The plan soon evolved from sending students down during J-term to a three course progression. First, students would be prepared to conduct research. Next, they would actually work in the field to gather the information we need. Last, we would work with the students to evaluate and analyze the information and create a deliverable for a client. That started the “wraparound” progression that we have today. We now have a 2 credit course during the fall semester (Field Methods) where students train in building surveys, and conducting focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The second class is the J-term Fieldwork. The last class, Advanced Policy Analysis, focuses on analyzing the collected data and preparing reports based on our findings. Not everyone has to take part in all three courses. But, all three courses together constitute a project, and students have an actual client, for whom they prepare a policy deliverable. Students must not only learn, but also apply skills for research and policy analysis from these and other classes. This is one of the most practical field research opportunities that we offer at the institute.
Peru was our original program location, and this year we are doing the same process in Nepal and Salinas. Each location will likely interest different groups of students. In Nepal, the research question will focus on communicating and building support for NGOs. There might also be work with the local population. In Salinas, the Mixed-Methods Evaluation, Training and Analysis (META) Lab has been hired to do a program evaluation. This is centered on Why’D You Stop Me (WYSM), a program that teaches locals about what the police are up against while also teaching police how not to escalate or how to deescalate a situation. We will be really looking for the source of tension in the community. This is a primarily Hispanic community and it will be interesting and lively especially in light of what is happening across the country. There has been a lot of buy-in with the Salinas Police Department and we try to work a lot with them.
Why Peru vs. Ecuador vs. Honduras?
We used to do Peru and El Salvador. They already had students going and we just helped analyze their data. With Nepal, we had two students familiar with the country. And one had been a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) who served in Nepal who was able to get extra training. One student has agreed to come back and lead it this time. It always depends on whether you have an NGO and a client to help do logistics and gain access to populations. And, it makes it valid research. It’s a service learning approach, so we need to be in service to somebody if we are giving the final deliverable to someone who counts on what you are giving them.
What connections do you have there?
In Peru we have past leaders from Team Peru. Adam and Aaron, were my students years ago and when they graduated they maintained their relationship with Middlebury and MIIS, so that was easy. The other NGOs have people we are very familiar with. We continue building rapport with some of them. And now we are in discussions with a new NGO. They supplied all the interpretation last year.
In Salinas we had been working with the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace (CASP). We still attend all of their network meetings. MIIS and the META Lab are well known there. We want to be present so we can work with them and pick up projects and give back to the community. I mostly go on my spare time and sometimes are able to cover the cost of travel for META Lab staff attendees who represent MIIS. Because of that several NGOs know us well. We were asked specifically to participate in the grant that supports our evaluation work. Fernando DePaolis will be the faculty lead for the project.
What draws you back?
I like being in the field. If you can’t get your feet dirty, why do you even do this stuff? If you talk with native Quechua speakers and talk with the people who have been there for thousands of years, it is amazing. It’s the kind of experience you don’t get any other way. I’ve always loved being in a research environment. I’m very dedicated and interested in methods of doing research. If I’m going to teach it I’d better be able to do it.
What would a student get out of this experience?
Every place they could go and get a degree they would have an opportunity to do projects. Very few would allow them to do actual fieldwork with actual deliverables with someone who really needs it. Being able to collect data in person is unmatched. What you will see is that some of the well known institutions will take students to do some professor’s project. This isn’t that. This is something students develop, vet, manage, execute and analyze. There is no other school doing this.
How would you advise a faculty interested in leading a class abroad for the first time?
Play to your strengths. Team up with someone who is interested so you can distribute the load. This started as the effort of 5 faculty members, so don’t take it all on yourself. Use those who are knowledgeable in the area, and come up with a compelling question so you can motivate students. In your recruitment the main thing you are looking for is motivation. Brilliance is something they can work on, but motivation you can’t get any other way.
Can you tell a story or share some of the challenges you’ve faced leading these programs?
One is just trying to help with another site while on-site myself. We happened to have some truly talented people available last year and that was our great luck. But when you are out there actually leading one of these, you have to be HR, IRB, an instructor and a manager. So there is a lot to balance at this time. And people have to realize that you are in charge not the NGO. You have to keep logistics straight, keep research valid – do the work to get a random sample and keep people motivated, though that could be a challenge. It’s a stressful environment. People get rest, but not enough. Nerves get frayed. People realize that this isn’t what they want to do with their lives while others fall in love with it. You have to be ready to help someone see how they fit in and get people into the right tracks that will keep them and keep the project functioning.
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?
For me the most rewarding part comes in the third course when people look back at what they’ve done. Normally it’s not me telling them but the students themselves realizing what they’ve accomplished. This is a year of effort and people realize the scope of what they’ve been through and what they’ve produced. The flip-side is that they realize that actual research is messy business. And they get a better idea of what they can and cannot do with field research. You might realize later that the questions initially asked were totally useless or the people on the ground weren’t interested.
What research or practices guide your approach to offering these programs?
[Looks over at bookshelf and laughs] There are a lot of resources. About seven to ten of these are great books that I go to all the time. I also troll the web. One thing is that you can’t expect to find what you are looking for in one book. Check two to three sources to get an idea of what is meaningful to you.
Is there anything you’d like to add/share?
I find this rewarding, but don’t take my word for it. I’d rather you go and talk to someone who went. It really is real work and it will feel like it, but that has a lot of rewards. It’s a whole lot better than Disneyland.
For more information on Phil Murphy, read his MIIS Faculty Profile.
Friday, May 6th, 2016
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
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.
Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
IPD student and IPSS fellow Danny Pavitt is currently in the field working as an Environmental Peacebuilding Intern at Conservation International. Conservation International (CI) has been around for 30 years and was established with a vision that included not only the conservation of nature, but also the well-being of humans in relation to nature. As Danny puts it, the overarching mission of CI is to promote healthy ecosystems globally and improve human well-being (ensuring a healthy, productive planet for everybody).
At CI, Danny is one of four staff members working in the Peace and Development Partnerships department of the Policy Center. Environmental peacebuilding is at the intersection of capacity development, conflict resolution, and environmental conservation. One of the central goals of the Environmental Peacebuilding Department is to raise awareness about the interconnectedness of conservation and peacebuilding. Environmental conservation is not impossible in conflict areas; you can actually use environmental peacebuilding to mitigate conflict. Promoting healthy ecosystems and mitigating conflict are not mutually exclusive and in fact can work more effectively in tandem.
Danny is currently working with his team to develop a training manual for global field staff to help them better incorporate conflict-sensitive programming. The manual will have about 10 modules that are all parts of environmental peacebuilding and will address questions such as: How can we analyze conflict that exists? and How can we tie in different parts of environmental peacebuilding? So far, Danny has completed a Conflict Analysis Module. This module is helps engage local stakeholders in a conversation in order to become as informed as possible about situations of conflict in a given area. The idea is that if you understand the situation, conflict, root causes, and main players, you can implement sustainable conservation programs while being conflict-sensitive.
Danny describes his experience at CI as full of learning. He notes that “it’s been really eye-opening to be in an organization that’s so well-established in what it does and in the field” and has enjoyed collaborating with people who are influential in the environmental conservation world. Since starting at CI, Danny has realized how connected everything is: “It’s no longer just about environmental conservation – you can’t really think about environmental conservation without thinking about gender, equality, capacity development, infrastructural growth, the economy, international development… These things are no longer separate for me and they never will be.”
Danny took a leap of faith after his first semester at MIIS and decided to enroll in the 2015 Summer Peacebuilding Program despite being totally new to the subject matter. This experience opened his eyes to the opportunities out there surrounding environmental peacebuilding. Some of the courses at MIIS that prepared him for his current work include Organizational Sustainability with Professor Ortiz and Human Security and Development with Professor Laurance. Danny encourages current MIIS students to explore different and intriguing things they’re curious about but don’t necessarily have experience in (like the Summer Peacebuilding Program for him). Danny got to his current position by really putting himself out there to explore and understand different parts of international development and to figure out what he didn’t want to do. In his role now, he enjoys what he’s doing so much it doesn’t even feel like work.
For a glimpse into the work of Conservation International, check out their Nature is Speaking advertising campaign.
Thursday, March 10th, 2016
Monday, February 22nd, 2016
Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in the 2016 Online DC Summer Internship Fair and connect directly with employers in government, public policy, international affairs, communications, and philanthropy. This event is great for those exploring opportunities in Washington DC. The event will take place on March 1, 2016 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Thursday, February 4th, 2016
Are you interested in social impact, social investing, stakeholder assessment, and/or environmental impact assessment? Would you like to pursue a professional certification in ‘Introduction to Analysis of Social Impact’? Why not bolster your knowledge of these topics in a course taught by a leading professional in the field?
Join Professor Sara Olsen in the three credit course MBAG 8616 Emerging Discipline of Impact Accounting and Management. The course is open with no pre-requisites, and will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm throughout the entire term, starting February 10th.
The course will provide students with an overall framework within which to understand the social/environmental impact of any enterprise, and will then equip students with a practical toolkit. This toolkit can be applied to any entity to gauge its impact, and to manage impact as a strategic asset and/or risk factor.
In addition to other topics, Professor Olsen will cover content to prepare you to sit for an optional professional certification in ‘Introduction to Analysis of Social Impact’, awarded by Social Value International (SVI). Pursuing the optional certification requires an exam fee of $100.
Register for MBAG 8616 Emerging Discipline of Impact Accounting and Management today!
Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Help MIIS defend its title!
The Economist Case Study Competition is now live! That means that the People’s Choice voting is now open, so be sure to vote for MIIS, and tell your friends!
Students Hesham AlSaati, Thomas Gilmore and Michael Mahoney are representing MIIS with their Real Vision Investment Case Study. View their presentation! Don’t forget to vote and share!
For more information on the challenge description and prizes, check out this link.
Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
The Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies is pleased to announce that two MIIS and two Middlebury students will participate in a research trip to the Russian Far East under the supervision of Professor Tsuneo Akaha (GSIPM). The trip is designed to introduce the participants to the political and economic issues of contemporary Russia, with a focus on her Far Eastern territories, and relations with the neighboring countries. Students will take part in meetings with faculty, researchers, and students of Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok and the Economic Research Institute in Khabarovsk, as well as local community representatives in these two largest cities in the Far East. The students will develop a research report based on their trip and pre-trip and post-trip research. Students who wish to earn academic credit will consult with Prof. Akaha and Prof. Vassilieva. 2 Directed Study credits can be earned.
The entire cost of the trip will be covered by the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies, a MIIS project funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Preference will be given to students with advanced Russian language skills.
Two MIIS participants will be selected through the following procedures:
- An essay describing the applicant’s background and interest in Russia (including the Far East) and her relations with the regional neighbors, including Korea, Mongolia, China, and Japan. The essay should be three-pages long and submitted by email to Prof. Akaha and Prof. Anna Vassilieva by November 24, Tuesday.
- An up-to-date resume, to be submitted along with the above essay.
- An oral interview after review of the above submissions.
Applicants will be notified of the results of the selection by December 4, Friday.
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
DPP professor Wei Liang was recently quoted in an article in the Los Angeles Times about China’s unveiling of a new high-speed rail line to the border of North Korea. The 129-mile rail goes to the border city of Dandong, a key hub for trade and tourism between China and North Korea. China is also preparing to open a border trade zone in Dandong.
Professor Liang adds a knowledgeable perspective to the article, “The new Shenyang-Dandong line is more an expression of good intention to expand investment in infrastructure throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond than a reflection of the prospect for increased economic collaboration with Pyongyang.”
Professor Liang further talks about China-North Korean trade relations in the article.
Read the full article here.
Monday, July 6th, 2015
Attention MIIS mafia! Your future classmates need your help! If you are a current student of one of the following programs (or know a friend who is) and will be in town on 7/24, please come, share your experience and provide guidance for our incoming graduate students! If you are interested, please email Kimberly England (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Howard Wu (email@example.com). Thank you!
- Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies
- International Policy and Development
- International Trade and Economic Diplomacy
Thursday, June 18th, 2015
The issue of trade has been a hot topic recently and is weighing heavily on the minds of President Obama and congressional leaders. MIIS GSIPM professor of trade and development, Robert Rogowsky, recently published an editorial in the Washington Examiner concerning trade and the role of the United States.
Professor Rogowsky’s editorial, “Trade politics and the decline of American leadership”, focuses on the historic role the U.S. has played over the last 70 years in liberalizing trade policies along with the importance of upcoming trade policies.
Friday, May 8th, 2015
Refugee Education Challenge is now accepting ideas to improve education opportunities for children in refugee camps.
“Now is the chance to share an idea you have for how to improve education for refugees. We’ve partnered with UNCHR and UNICEF – so even if you aren’t able implement your idea yourself, there’s an opportunity you to submit a winning idea that could be implemented through partnerships with organizations already working with UNICEF and UNHCR.
Winning ideas on our shortlist will attend a design support bootcamp hosted by IDEO.org designers, where participants will learn how to apply human-centered design to their challenge idea. A handful of these ideas will be selected to receive a share of $500,000 in funding and design support.”
Design Principles for Refugee Education:
- Focus on what we can do now
- Design for gender equality
- Keep resource limitations in mind
- Design for uncertainty
- Take an inclusive approach
- Be culturally sensitive
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
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!
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
San Jose, CA – April 30th, 2015
“Join us for lunch and a one-of-a-kind, fast-paced, multi-media seminar on the history of global trade that will guide you though the seven decades-long odyssey that has come to be known as ‘globalization’. ‘Making Hay’ presents the convergence of historical events and undeniable factors that drove the U.S. to become a ‘Consumption Society’.
This seminar traces the process of global trade and globalization, as well as its impact on U.S. manufacturing and service industries. A careful examination of the past six decades reveals that global trade has had both positive and negative impacts on the U.S. economy, creating jobs in some areas while losing them in others.
‘Making Hay’ is presented by Dan Gardner, President and co-founder of Trade Facilitators, Inc. (TFI). An author of four books on global trade, Dan Gardner’s ‘Making Hay’ is one of the most interesting and entertaining seminars ever presented on global trade and should be a necessary requirement for professionals and students alike to experience.
The seminar concludes with a series of suggestions and interactive Q&A on how the U.S. can compete more effectively in the Age of Globalization.” – retrieved from flyer
3 Flames Restaurant & Banquet
1547 Meridian Ave., San Jose, CA 95125
WHEN: April 30th, 2015; 11:30am; – Lunch: Noon-12:30pm; Conference: 12:30-2:30pm
Online Registration: $55 (including lunch) ; Deadline: April 29th, 5:00pm
@Door: $10 surcharge
Visit: http://www.mbita.org/events/makinghay.html for more information, Registration, & sponsorship opportunities!
Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
MIIS Faculty, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, recently had an interview with Max Fisher of Vox on – “What everyone gets wrong about Iran nuclear negotiations.”
He touches on a variety of topics including safeguards, dual use goods, the NPT, automatic enforcement mechanisms, breakout calculations, uranium stockpiles, and much more!
Excerpt from the interview:
“We have this crazy situation right now where the IAEA has basically no access to the places where the centrifuges are made. And so Iranian put those centrifuges on a truck, and if they drive them to [a publicly declared nuclear site such as] Natanz and install them there, then they’re safeguarded. But, if they, you know, drive them to some hole in a mountain then, no, they’re not safeguarded, we don’t see them.” – Dr. Lewis
To read the full article and interview, follow this link: What everyone gets wrong about Iran nuclear negotiations
Dr. Lewis is the Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at MIIS.
Click to check out Jeffrey Lewis’s MIIS Faculty Profile
Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
Students from all MIIS Programs are encouraged to Apply!
Description of Responsibilities
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, April 14th!
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Check out current IPSS fellow and International Policy Studies student at MIIS, Aileen Yang’s blog article featured on LinkedIn. Aileen is spending her last semester at MIIS as an intern at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a distinguished IPSS fellow. She is blogging about her experience in Geneva, relevance of MIIS classroom simulations, and life at the WTO.
You can check out the story here, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/from-simulations-reality-interns-reflection-aileen-yang?trk=hb_ntf_MEGAPHONE_ARTICLE_POST