Archive for MAIEM
Monday, December 15th, 2014
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
Friday, November 14th, 2014
On Tuesday, November 18 GSIPM will be holding our 2014 Fall Graduation Photo Session beginning at 11:45 a.m. The pictures will take place on the steps of City Hall, adjacent to Friendly Park. The photos that will be taken are group photos, so we are asking that you arrive as close to 11:45 a.m. as possible. Our photographer will not be taking any individual photos.
Due to professional courtesy, family and friends will not be permitted to take photographs while our photographer is working. Shortly after the photo session, GSIPM will follow up with an e-mail explaining ordering and payment options.
The dress code for this event will be business attire. So please be prepared to dress appropriately for the occasion.
Friday, November 14th, 2014
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
Monday, October 20th, 2014
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.
Dr. Jan Black, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Taylor Meyer, email@example.com
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!
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Monday, October 6th, 2014
Monday, September 29th, 2014
Monday, September 29th, 2014
Why is Cuba such a contradiction? Because Cuba is characterized by everything I was told the world should not be! Socialist not democratic, communist not capitalist, systemic human rights violations, a dictatorship, inefficient, unproductive; should I continue? I was able to get a sense of this notorious island during a seven day immersive learning excursion with twenty-seven other MIIS students and the renowned Professor Jan Black.
There was a time when I imagined Cuba as a socialist utopia. I had thought Cuba was going to be the national anthropomorphization of Eugene V. Debs famous quote that is “opposing a social order where it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives to secure barely enough for a wretched existence. But, there is no substitute for actually visiting the country – after seven days in Cuba, I’ve realized that the little island nation, and the United States, are a lot more complex than I was led to believe in the comfort of my Midwest upbringing.
As an American, I grew up on the smell of apple pie; lightly toasted crust, crisscrossed across the top, somehow evoking feelings of liberty, justice…righteous stuff. You see, Cuba, at least for United States citizens, is one gigantic contradiction and trying to digest and make sense of the country through the nationalistic viewpoint from which my mind has been programmed to think, whether I like it or not, is no easy task. Close your eyes and think about apple pie. Now, envision biting into pineapple sorbet. So, I apologize now if, and that is a big if, you get to the end of this blog and you walk away more confused than you started. That’s fine though. Cuba could be the poster child for the phrase; the more you know the less you think you know.
Our professor and guide Dr. Jan Black told us to experience Cuba using our five senses. I would like to take the liberty of taking you, my reader, along for the ride with the idea of trying to engage your five senses. Unfortunately, I am less likely to engage your sense of smell. But, here we go:
We met with all different types of people, from Cuban foreign ministers to a diplomat from the U.S. Interest Section. We also met with individual Cubans, both pro-government and oppositionist. We met with U.S. expats working with the Cuban health system and Cuban students studying international relations. What was so trying after listening to all of them was that you could easily pick each one up and place them into two buckets, Cuban Nationals (CN) or U.S. Nationals (USN). Whether we were speaking to Cuban oppositionists or expat sympathizers of the Cuban government their rhetoric fit, nicely, within these two buckets. Their world-views and indeed those of us students had been systematically crafted by the nations from which they grew up and regardless of their support for either side or not they continued to use rhetoric that perpetuated the conflict between the United States and Cuba. What was most contradictory of all was that these two worldviews of the same conflict were like hearing two completely different stories for two completely different historical events told perpetually for generations upon generations without change.
How are these national worldviews constructed within a citizenry? It is often much more subtle than one would assume. Irrespective of whether we understand nationalism as a positive or negative force, it is generally acknowledged that nationalism places the nation on the highest pedestal and viewed as the supreme agency of meaning, collective identity, and moral justification. Critically noting that one of the powerful ways in which nationalism becomes historically instated is through its presumption that the nation is sacred, likening it to be equivalent to the church. Interestingly, if nationalism is being valued as sacred within the population we can see its physical manifestation in the ritualized images of national leaders and national public ceremonies that are underscored by the nations presumed history of greatness. Harry Anastasiou, a professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and world-renowned leader in the settlement process in Cyprus, goes as far to claim nationalism can be a justification for divine election.
Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Applications Invited for a Trip to the Russian Far East in Spring 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.
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 Friday, November 7, 2014.
- 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 Friday, November 14, 2014.
Applications Invited for Research Trips or Internships in Russia in Summer 2015:
The Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies is pleased to announce that there are funds available for four MIIS students to undertake an internship and/or research in Russia in the summer of 2015.
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. The available funding covers round-trip travel, accommodation allowance, and miscellaneous expenses. Only students with advanced Russian language skills will be considered.
Four students will be selected through the following procedures:
- An essay in Russian describing the applicant’s background and interest in Russia. The essay should be three-pages long and submitted by email to Prof. Anna Vassilieva by Sunday, March 1, 2015.
- An up-to-date resume, to be submitted along with the above essay.
- A detailed research/internship proposal, including desired placement, focus of research/internship, and deliverable.
- An oral interview after review of the above submissions.
Applicants will be notified of the results of the selection by Sunday, March 15, 2015.
Inquiries may be addressed to Prof. Vassilieva at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 25th, 2014
A Vision of the Inter-Korea Relations and the U.S. Korea Alliance
Mr. Han Dong-man has been serving as Consul General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco since May 2013. Consul General Han received his Bachelor’s at Yonsei University in Korea and his Master’s in International Organization Law at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris, France. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1985 and has held Secretary posts in Algeria, the United Kingdom, and Australia as well as in the Office of the President in Korea. In 2002, he served as the Director of the Security Policy Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and as Consul at the Korean Consulate General in New York. He also served as the Ministry-Counsellor at the Korean Embassy in Washington D.C. Prior to his post in San Francisco, he served as the Director-General of the International Economic Affairs Bureau of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011 – 2013). Consul General Han received the Order of the Service Medal in 2012 and he has written four books, including The Next 10 Years of Korea, an insightful look at the future of Korea on the international stage for the next decade to come. He is married and has two sons.
Open to the public
Irvine Auditorium, Monterey Institute of International Studies
6:00-7:30 pm, Thursday, October 2, 2014
This lecture is co-sponsored by The Center for East Asian Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies and The Gentrain Society of Monterey Peninsula College.
For inquiry, contact Prof. Tsuneo Akaha, Monterey Institute of International Studies at (831) 647-3564.
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Participation: Guiding Value or Empty Buzzword?
During Professor Levinger’s recent sabbatical, she worked with 14 international organizations in 16 different contexts and countries. The one thread that bound this set of amazingly diverse experiences together is that each organization claimed to embrace participation as a value that guided their work. Her talk will explore the very diverse meanings that organizations attach to the term “participation,” and what this means for the future of development work.
All are welcome.
When: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 12:15 – 1:45 PM
Where: McGowan 100
Monday, September 8th, 2014
- Blog contributed by Maritza Munzon, MPA/IEM ‘15
I was in Kenya a total of two months; at the time it felt longer, maybe because it’s a slower pace of life in Kisumu, or maybe because compared to a year at MIIS anything else seems to go at a snail’s pace. Whichever the case, slow was nice and much needed. Now looking back it seems like it all went by in a blur, I can’t believe how much I saw and experienced in two short months, while still having time to cook, read for fun and watch the World Cup every night! The DPMI training was intense of course, but nothing short of what is to be expected from a MIIS workshop, except that it was longer (10 days). This meant 8 hours a day of group work, charting, mapping, learning new tools and immediately applying them. We mostly failed at implementing the tools properly, but a great deal was learned from correcting our mistakes. I can now say that I am no expert at program design, but I know how to tackle the task of designing a program.
Our guide/mentor/program liaison, Rose Waringa, is a multitasking superwomen, she did a great job of taking care of us in and out of Kisumu. On the weekends we were taken to explore the local sites, it was great to get out of Kisumu and leave the books behind for a bit. There is LOTS of natural beauty near town and I feel fortunate to have taken a walk through Kakamega Forest, taken a boat ride on the biggest lake in the world (Lake Victoria) and visited President Obama’s paternal grandmother! Never thought I’d get to do any of it, let alone the last part!
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Friday, August 15th, 2014
Social Networking: A Guide to Strengthening Civil Society through Social Media has been developed as a reference guide for civil society organizations (CSOs) working in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development and its implementing partners in advancing their critical missions. In line with the USAID Strategy on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (June 2013), this manual is designed as a blueprint for CSOs to:
• Integrate and use technology to promote democracy, human rights and governance;
• Utilize social media to support greater citizen participation and transparent political
• Strengthen mutual accountability among CSOs, government institutions and
citizens by creating real-time and direct interaction and organizing.
Social media operations are most effective when they are strategically incorporated as part of an organization’s outreach, program design and implementation, and monitoring and evaluation efforts. With this in mind, the guide is intended as a local capacity building tool to strengthen the ability of entire organizations, their staff and members to deliver greater impact. This guide (Version 1, 2014), presents an overview of the most widely-used and accessible
social media tools. Future manuals will capture developments in the social media.
Social Networking: A Guide to Strengthening Civil Society through Social Media includes interactive features such
as links to multimedia content, websites and workouts to help civil society organizations engage and share information.
View the flipbook and download a PDF version at www.usaid.gov/SMGuide4CSO. Use #SMGuide4
Monday, July 28th, 2014
I had heard repeatedly on campus that DPMI (Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation) is one of the most useful courses you can take. I found this hard to believe at first, but now I agree. If you haven’t taken this leadership training in international development project management and social change then you should reconsider.
You will walk away from the DPMI training having learned some ground-breaking and ‘tried and true’ tools to solving your next problem, motivating your staff or making your next big partnership. Tools that break down these processes into quantifiable, qualifiable methods to be used at a given moment or throughout the lifespan of a project.
If you are a non-profit guru, a development practitioner in training, or a social change maker then you will notice, quickly, that these tools and capacities that DPMI finds so important are actually pretty important. This is how USAID, and other major non-profit employers do it, and whether you like it or not USAID often sets the standard. Additionally, from the United Nations to grassroots organizations, from CSR departments to State department recruiters–most are looking for project management skills. DPMI fits them nicely into the longest three weeks of your life (Yes, I’ve thrown in a bit of sarcasm). It’s worth it though. I implore you to find one job posting that doesn’t ask for project management skills.
Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Monday, May 5th, 2014
From posting these blogs to writing them!
IPSS in Cambodia
It seems like ages that I was working at the GSIPM front desk, driving my boss and other staff “insane” with my preparation-related anxieties and emotional outbursts for my IPSS applications. I am sure they were as much relieved as I was when the Cambodia Office of The Asia Foundation approved my application.
Today, 93F/62% humidity (and climbing!), Cambodia feels already like home and it’s only been 7 weeks. Why does it feel like home? When I came back to Phnom Penh from a weekend visit to Siem Reap a few weeks ago, I was sitting at the back of a motorbike taxi driving me home from the bus station. I was directing him, and I got this strange feeling of coming home. I knew my way around, recognized buildings and streets. Anybody slightly familiar with Phnom Penh knows that the streets in this city are a nightmare. House numbers do not make any sense. The only way to communicate where you are is you or a building in relation to a street intersecting. You get the hang of it pretty quickly: “Hey, I live at Street 278, close to street 143, third building on the left, next to a school. Our house has a green iron gate. Walk east towards the Olympic Stadium if you get lost and call me.” Or, “my work is on Street 242, between Monivong Blvd and Street 63.” I communicate with motorbike taxis and tuk tuk drivers the same way, “Just head towards the Royal Palace, I will show you.” Fascinating!
It was scary to hop on a motorbike at first but now I have a bike. It is a lot of fun to bike through Phnom Penh especially on the weekends when traffic is slow. Most of the time, however, it feels like committing suicide when I merge into the traffic. There are no apparent rules, except for one: Be reckless and inch your way forward at all cost! This is particularly evident at traffic lights when the time is ticking down. At 10 seconds, you can feel the vibe of hundreds of motorbike drivers around you, getting itchy, accelerating – vroom vroom – and rolling forward inch by inch, hitting your tire, and releasing a bunch of exhaust fumes into your face. Not that it will do anything for them – and it certainly does not do anything for me except speeding up the decay of my inner organs – but it is hilarious to watch. Then the traffic light hits 3 seconds. Oh boy! The patience has come to a sudden death, an invisible conductor begins to direct the honking concert and the chaos unfolds. The bus coming straight at you, no problem. People here can manoeuver very well. There is also a panacea for this: drafting behind a big SUV or within a group of 10 motorbikes which are forcing their way through traffic and I am good to go. Or, change lanes to the opposite side and wait on the sidewalk (the 3 or 4 in this city that actually earn the name sidewalk) and take any opportunity to make a left turn even though
the traffic light for the left turn lane is still red. I am afraid I have to re-learn how to drive when I come back to the US.
I was very fortunate when I got here because the arm of the MIIS Mafia reaches very far. During my preparations, I bombarded two MIIS alumni and friends working and living in Phnom Penh with hundreds of questions. We are currently four MIIS alumni because the fourth rejoined in March. They can take credit for having made my stay here so comfortable and relaxed. The first day, we went out to a local market and despite signs of a culture shock for me, my friend’s nonchalant demeanor made walking the streets of Phnom Penh almost normal. Thanks to them, I have come to love Phnom Penh very quickly.
Cambodia is host to a plethora of NGOs, both local and international. Any non-Khmer person you meet on the streets introduces him/herself as “I am working for XYZ.” There is an obvious “invasion” of French people in Cambodia, and then, of course, the Aussies who openly call Southeast Asia their backyard. Honestly, however, Australia is the backbone of many projects here and the biggest donor. If it wasn’t for their support, many things in Cambodia would still not work very well. Not to advocate donor dependency or dismiss foreign aid as something inherently bad, the work that’s being done in Cambodia is incredible. The country is changing rapidly, economically and socially. Just the structure is still limping and has not caught up yet.
My work for TAF (yes, acronyms and abbreviations are not just a MIIS specialty!) is very challenging and inspiring. The first-hand experience of the “real thing” is amazing. The NGO field is so diverse and development has many facets. Networking is fantastic and I have met so many interesting people with very diverse backgrounds. It is an eye opener for the different possibilities and niches out there.
I will be working on a project on Intimate Partner Violence which is quite severe in the Asia-Pacific region with current studies indicating very high prevalence rates. Going beyond the nominative aspects of focusing on attitudes towards acceptance of violence against women, I will support a project that will look at the macro-level. I already participated in a workshop from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs,
experiencing the dynamics between donors and recipients. I am very excited to work on a project that is contributing to tackling such a serious problem.
Coming from a strictly academic and research heavy background, I have not been oblivious to the technical hurdles of policy design, implementation and evaluation, but working with people in this field makes the rather abstract discussions in a Policy Analysis class a lot more tangible. That being said, I have finally made my way to
Asia after all these years and, as my wonderful Australian coworker put it the other day, I am “finally becoming important.”
I am growing on many levels with IPSS. It is a good start for navigating the abyss of career development, applying knowledge and learning to know who you are.