Archive for MIIS Update
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 email@example.com.
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
Friday, September 5th, 2014
When: Thursday, September 18th at 12:15-1:30
Where: Irvine Auditorium
The NetImpact Club and the MBA Student Association will co-host an on-campus presentation of Social Impact Investor & Venture Philanthropist, Bud Colligan.
John C. “Bud” Colligan is a forward-thinking community activist, social entrepreneur, investor and company builder. Bud is co-founder of Pacific Community Ventures, a non-profit community-development organization, partner at Accel Partners, a global venture capital firm, former Chairman and CEO of Macromedia, a multimedia software company, and the founder and CEO of South Swell Ventures, a private investment firm.
The MIIS community is warmly invited to attend Bud’s talk on the 18th in which he will be examining the relationship between for-profit and non-profit activity.
Bud will discuss social impact investing and explore the question:
“How do we do the most good in society?”
Want to learn more about opportunities in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing at MIIS? Visit go.miis.edu/csil
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Thursday, July 31st, 2014
The concept of Immersive Learning is a significant component of the MIIS experience. Every student is encouraged to take advantage of the many venues available to expand his/her skills and knowledge beyond the classroom setting. Luckily, students do not need to look too far, as the Monterey Institute is home to an important number of research centers and initiatives available for students to explore innovative and original approaches to pressing global issues.
From the possibility of participating in relevant internships and fellowships, to the opportunity to conduct further research and the chance to be published in scholarly journals, faculty and staff at each of the eight research centers and initiatives are available to supplement the students’ learning process, by exposing them to specialized resources and tools.
- The Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) explores the economic contributions of the oceans and coasts to human welfare, as well as the current economic drivers that undermine ocean health.
- The Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) develops programs and publications contributing to the exploration of conflict, from understanding its causes to developing tools and skills to resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner.
- The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) sponsors research, seminars and lectures relating to contemporary issues pertaining to the region of East Asia (China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan).
- The Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL), the newest research center on campus, provides programs for budding social entrepreneurs and conducts research on management issues in social ventures and impact investing.
- The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) is the largest nongovernmental organization in the world devoted to curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and is the only organization dedicated exclusively to graduate education and research on nonproliferation issues.
- The Mixed-Methods Evaluation, Training and Analysis Laboratory (META Lab) aims to capitalize on the flourishing importance of data-science as a discipline, and the rising demand for evidence-based policy evaluation.
- The Monterey Cyber Security Initiative (MCySec) addresses the impact of the information age on security, peace and communication through multidisciplinary research, key-leader engagements and public-private partnerships.
- The Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program (MonTREP) conducts in-depth scholarly research, assesses policy options, and engages in public education on issues relating to terrorism and counterterrorism, extremist groups, regional studies of terrorism, and related aspects of international and homeland security.
Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman interviewed Monterey Institute MA International Policy Studies and MBA student Amer Shurrab yesterday.
The interview was titled “What Do Gazans Endure? A Palestinian Student Who Lost 2 Brothers, 4 Cousins Tells His Story“. Amer also earned a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and is a graduate of the Davis United World College of the Adriatic. He is from Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.
Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Last week the Peace Trade and Development (PTD) students met with Tesla’s global trade team at the factory in Fremont. The students were there to offer their pitch to the Tesla Challenge which called for proposals on sourcing raw materials for the new Gigafactory. In addition to the pitch session, the students were treated to lunch and a VIP tour of the Tesla factory, an impressive and re-purposed building conveniently situated in a California Free Trade Zone. “I was treating the presentation like a final exam, but when it came time to present, I had realized that we were speaking to real individuals with genuine concerns about their long-term acquisition of critical minerals. This wasn’t a quiz–my team had done in-depth research, provided a reasonable strategy, and were ready to have a conversation about alternatives.” - Shruti Korada, PTD summer 2014 student What was the best part of the Tesla challenge? Well, that’s subjective but things definitely got intriguing when one team suggested sourcing Lithium from the moon and another proposed a corporate-backed coup d’etat… Learn more about the PTD program via: go.miis.edu/ptd.
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.
Sunday, July 13th, 2014
Our friends from Tesla visited the MIIS campus last week. They started off the day by meeting with the Peace, Trade, and Development (PTD) summer program students. PTD students learned about what it takes to snag a job at Tesla and work under the driving force of Elon Musk’s vision. This is just the beginning of the MIIS-Tesla exchange. Next week, PTD students will visit the Tesla Gigafactory in Fremont where they will present ideas for the next electric car battery innovation.
The efficiency of the car battery is the lifeblood of moving Tesla forward. PTD students are posed with the Gigafactory challenge question – what are the optimal raw materials to source for battery cell manufacturing? To arrive at a solid pitch, students will analyze a broad scope of factors, including:
- From where and from whom can the materials be sourced?
- What locations are optimal from a customs duty/tax and logistics cost perspective?
- “Outside the box” ideas and key factors to consider in the sourcing decision
Interested in hearing about how the pitch goes? Stay tuned for an update in the next few days. In the meantime, you can enjoy this video!
Monday, May 26th, 2014
May 22, DPMI alumni and friends gathered in the DLC to celebrate 10 years of DPMI, and the many partnerships that nurtured the program’s achievements and innovation.
The evening kicked off with attendees breaking the ice by answering the question, “if you could have a super power, what would it be?” Below are just a few things that would change as a result of DPMI super powers:
- No more income disparity
- Environmental damage would be reversed
- Steve Hollingworth would be able to slam dunk a basketball…every time!
DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program are invited to attend the D.C. 10 year anniversary reception:
In Washington, D.C.:
When: Thursday, May 29 from 6:15 – 8:00pm
Where: Middlebury office in DC, 1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1225
Who: DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program
Guest Speaker: Michelle DeFayette, Integrated Learning Systems Practice Area Director at Engility Corporation/International Resources Group
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 831.647.6417
About: DPMI is a three-week professional training program that prepares participants for managing development projects around the world. Since its’ founding in 2004, DPMI has accomplished many milestones, including trainings in Ecuador, Egypt, Rwanda, and a training that will take place in Kenya this summer. All programs combined have cultivated approximately 970 new development leaders, from 40 different countries.
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.
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
MPA students will present their capstone projects during an innovative 2-hour poster fair in the McCone Atrium on Thursday, May 8, 12-2pm. Presenters will offer up new ideas and share key takeaways in their quest to provide creative solutions for pressings issues – in our local Monterey neighborhoods and in various corners of the world.
Featured MPA Capstone Projects include:
Crowdfunding Campaign Design and Management
Implementing a Successful Innovation Center in Salinas
Integrating Social Wealth Indicators into Monterey County Performance Measures
Promoting Entrepreneurship in Afghanistan
Click here to download a complete list of excellent work on showcase.
The 2014 MPA capstone class invites the entire MIIS community as well as interested local community members. Guests are encouraged to ask questions, share feedback, join the dialog.
A reception will follow the showcase fair starting at 2:00 PM at the Digital Learning Commons accessible at 411 Pacific Street, Monterey CA, 93940. Light snacks and drinks will be provided.
The MPA Showcase Fair is an informational networking opportunity open to the public. Interested friends and colleagues are welcome. Support our amazing student achievements by helping us to spread the word and most importantly – be there!
Please send inquiries to: email@example.com
Monday, April 28th, 2014
A new Summer Business Boot Camp will be offered at MIIS from August 8-18, 2014. The training (ECPR 8550 Business Fundamentals) is designed to introduce non-MBA students to fundamental concepts to enhance business acumen and boost professional confidence.
The boot camp was designed with the Non-MBA in mind as a way to build business acumen and gain the competitive edge for a managerial role in human or financial resources or in freelance contracting services such as interpretation or translation.
All classes are scheduled from 9am to 5:30pm with a one hour lunch break in between.
|Dates||Course Title and Instructor (click names to view bios)|
|August 8 – 9||Decision Science – Professor Eddine Dahel|
|August 10-11||Accounting – Professor Canri Chan|
|August 12 – 13||Marketing – Professor Fredric Kropp|
|August 15 – 16||Managerial Economics – Professor Moyara Ruehsen|
|August 17 – 18||Finance – Professor Sandra Dow|
Course Requirements and Related Fees
For the August 8 – 18, 2014 Summer Business Boot Camp, the fee is $850. This is a one-time only discount to celebrate the inaugural boot camp. The 2015 Summer Business Boot Camp training fee will be $1,600 USD.
Participants will be required to complete the online MBAMath.com training by August 6th. The MBAMath.com costs $149 and will help students to brush up on basis quantitative skills and excel use.
Fun Fact: several complimentary happy hours will offer students a way to mingle with top MIIS instructors and build new connections with peers.
Please send inquiries to Lauren Patron: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more or to apply, visit: http://www.miis.edu/academics/programs/mba/bootcamp