Archive for MIIS Update

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Still looking for January workshops?

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.51.42 PMDid you know that all MIIS students are able to take International Professional Service Semester workshops this January?

IPSS workshops include: High Value Organizational Consulting, Designing and Evaluating Interventions, Quantitative Analysis with Excel, and Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis.

In Designing and Evaluating Interventions (IPSS 8531 A, 1 Credit, Pass/Fail) January 6-7, 2016 with Instructor Erika Takada, “Participants will design an intervention with an accompanying monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system.”

In Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (IPSS 8533 A, 1 Credit, Pass/Fail) January 9-10, 2016 with Instructor Emily Morris, “Students will learn and practice key methods of applied qualitative data collection and analysis.”

In High Value Organizational Consulting (IPSS 8530 A, 1-2 Credit, Pass/Fail) January 14-15, 2016 with Instructor Beryl Levinger, “Participants will learn tools for analyzing an organization, its culture, its approach to meeting mission, and ecosystem analysis.”

In Quantitative Analysis with Excel (IPSS 8532 A, 1 Credit, Pass/Fail) January 16-17, 2016 with Instructor Kevin Lorenzi, “Students will improve their understanding and abilities to collect and analyze data using Microsoft Excel.”

These professional skills workshops are open to students and professionals outside of the IPSS program, space permitting.  Please email to express interest.

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Brown Bag Lunch Discussion – “Military Support to Foreign Disaster Response”

Mark your calendar to have lunch with Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland!

Who: All interested MIIS community

What: Discussion and Q&A on: Military Support to Foreign Disaster Response

When: Tuesday, December 1 (12:15-1:15)

Where: Morse B106

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher W. Wendland is the current U.S. Army War College Fellow at MIIS. LTC (P) Wendland worked as a Military Crisis Response Planner at United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from 2009-2012. He worked alongside representatives from the Department of State, USAID, and the United Nations  to develop complementary disaster response plans for a number of devastating natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear reactor meltdowns, tropical storms, and flooding) and will provide an overview of the U. S. Government process to provide U. S. military support with anecdotal stories from the following response efforts: Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Haiti, Japan, Thailand, and Nepal.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

MIIS Students in London for UN’s International Maritime Organization Meeting

imoLast week a group of 7 students, led by Professor Patrick Cotter, went to London to attend the London Convention and London Protocol on ocean dumping of wastes and other matter at the UN’s International Maritime Organization(IMO) in London. Before leaving for the London Meeting students were asked prepare a position paper on the topics that were going to be discussed by the delegates. The topics for the papers were front-line environmental issues being considered at the meeting, including, marine geoengineering, carbon dioxide capture and storage, compliance with the treaties, technical cooperation and assistance, ship recycling, disposal of mine tailings, marine litter, environmental effects of chemical munitions disposal, and 25-year review of radioactive waste disposal in the ocean. The students were able to then listen to the discussions and debate on issues during the meeting.

During breaks for tea or lunch, they had the opportunity to interact with delegates who expressed their positions during the plenary session, including delegates from the Canada, Panama, Turkey, the US, GreenPeace and the London Convention/London Protocol Secretariat. In total there were 49 Contracting Parties (nations) at the meeting, 2 associate members, 11 observer nations, 5 NGO observers, 3 UN agencies, and MIIS student observers at the meeting.  The meeting was chaired by Nigeria with support from the London Convention/London Protocol Secretariat.

The MIIS Digital Learning Center setup a chat for the group using “SlackBot”.  During the meeting, Professor Cotter was able to comment instantly on points that were being made to allow the students to understand the importance or implications of an intervention by a national representative.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

DPMI and DPMI Plus Application Deadline for January Trainings is October 31

DPMI WI 2014

Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI) is 3-week training open to development professionals, career-changers, and graduate students.  The modules include (1) Managing Development Projects, (2) Social Change and Participatory Development, and (3) Strategic Partnership and Social Entrepreneurship. DPMI uses a cross-sector approach, taking promising practices from the development field and combining these tools with successful concepts drawn from the private sector.

DSC_7964The focus of this course is to apply and practice leadership methods within the areas of international development project management and social change.  We are looking for a diverse group of individuals whose passion revolves around the development and empowerment of communities at large.  Apply for January programs offered in Monterey and/or Rwanda by October 31.


20140117_154420With DPMI you will….

-Learn ground-breaking and ‘tried and true’ tools to solving problems, motivating staff, and establishing partnerships.

-Use the tools and standards set by major non-profits that break down and quantify processes through the lifespan of a project.

-Gain critical project management skills.  And learn how to put your training into action.

After participation in DPMI, Middlebury Institute students have the opportunity to go into the field for 3-9 month professional internships and be part of the DPMI Plus program. Read more about this opportunity on our DPMI LinkedIn Blog. Apply for DPMI Plus by October 31.

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Briefing and Q & A on Military Support in Conflict Resolution

Mark your calendars to have lunch with Major General William C. Hix!

Who: All interested MIIS students and faculty

What: Briefing and Q & A on: “Military Support to Conflict Resolution in the World Today”

When: Wednesday, October 21 (12pm-1pm)

Where: Morse B206

Food and Drink Provided!

Major General William C. Hix

Major General William C. Hix

Major General Hix’s almost 35-years of military experience provide him the necessary background to answer any questions youmay have about the U.S. Army’s support to Conflict Resolution in the World Today.

Prior to his current assignment at the Pentagon, Major General Hix was the Deputy Director for the Army’s Capabilities and Integration Center where he oversaw the linkages between emerging technologies and soldier success on the battlefield.

His experience includes combat tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan, assignments with 82nd  and 101st Divisions, the First Special Forces Group in Japan, as a Military Observer in the Western Sahara, as policy officer in the Republic of Korea, and as a Strategist on the Joint Staff.

Born in Washington, D.C., Major General Hix was commissioned as an infantry officer following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 1981. He holds a Masters of Military Art and Science, was a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University and is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Immersive Learning in Mindanao

Theiline Cramer in the field in Mindanao. Photographed by Maritza Munzon

Theiline McMahon Cramer in the field in Mindanao (Photographed by Maritza Munzón)

Theiline McMahon Cramer (Talie), duel degree candidate in TESOL and IEM, participated in last January’s Center for Conflict Studies field course entitled, Challenges to Peacebuliding in Mindanao led by Dr. Puspha Iyer.

Talie’s blogs speak to the immersive learning experience at MIIS, “I’m basking in the opportunity to reflect on my own experience as I learn a mile-a-minute.  It’s day one and my mind is full of preconceptions and is ready to be filled and sculpted and filled with the knowledge of the people that live in this very foreign world. ”  Her stories from Mindanao are very introspective and humble, “the longer we are here, the more I learn – and more and more I realize I know nothing at all.”

Tylie’s blog posts also highlight profound learning moments, “Going from meeting to meeting, community to community, I’ve begun to zoom in on the details of an individual’s experience, what the meaning behind a certain man or woman’s answer to a question about their experience with peace education may mean on a broader scale.  This trip is so rich with knowledge and experience that, honestly, I had started to focus in on the details – the details that lead you to the broader picture that these international organizations maintain.”

Read more about Tylie’s and her cohorts experiences in Mindanao on the field course blog Challenges to Peacebuilding in Mindanao>>>.

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Immersive learning in Japan and China

Merideth Bush touring the Japanese Diet in Tokyo.

The Dean of the Graduate School of International Policy and Management, Dr. Kent Glenzer, describes immersive learning as, “flying in a plane while you build it.”  Merideth Bush, duel degree candidate in IPD and MBA, participated in last Spring Break’s East Asia Practicum course, on foreign policy, trade, and security led by Dr. Tsuneo Akaha and Dr. Wei Liang.  During the seminar, Merideth “flew her plane” with a great deal of openness, awareness, and humor.

Thinking back on her experience, Merideth wrote, “I think of a region where I was impacted by the blend of the ancient with the modern, something that for me, as an American and and therefore a citizen of a very young country, was new and fascinating.  –I remember standing in the middle of Tiananmen square trying to imagine the immense plaza 26 years earlier, packed with passionate university students like myself, many of whom would meet tragic deaths in the very place where I stood.”

She also remembers, “a hilarious tutorial on how to eat noodles with chopsticks and a memorable first-experience with a high tech toilet fully equipped with a heat seat, sound effects, and frankly a rather over zealous bidet.”

Merideth concluded, “the political education I received in Tokyo and Beijing was invaluable, but it is the cultural experiences that will stay with me for years to come.”  Read more about Immersive Learning experiences available this January-term 2016 and Spring Break 2016>>>.

Monday, September 14th, 2015

2016 January and Spring Break Opportunities

At MIIS, our immersive learning experiences extend beyond the classroom. There will be an Informational Session on Tuesday, September 22nd about Immersive Learning opportunities for MIIS students. The session is open to all degrees and will give students an opportunity to learn more about the various international and domestic immersive learning programs. The session will also cover ways to fund your immersive learning. To learn more now visit:

Date: Tuesday, September 22

When: 12:00-1:00pm

Where:  Morse B106

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Friday, September 11th, 2015

IPSS Info Session this Tuesday


This Tuesday, September 15th, there will be an informational session about the International Professional Service Semester (IPSS).  The IPSS program is offered through the Graduate School of International Policy and Management (GSIPM) during the Spring Semester.  IPSS is an immersive learning experience, in which fellows secure internships with international organizations in the US and abroad and earn up to 12 units of academic credit.  This session will cover IPSS requirements, syllabi, and stories from Spring 2015 IPSS fellows.

When: Tuesday, September 15th

Time: 12-1pm

Where: Morse B106

To learn more information about IPSS visit or email

Friday, September 4th, 2015

IPSS Fellow Cervando Banuelos worked to verify and deter state sponsored cyber attacks

Cervando Banuelos

Cervando graduated from the Institute in August 2015 with a masters in Non-proliferation and Terrorism Studies and is now pursuing a masters degree in Computer Science at the Naval Post Graduate School.

IPSS Fellow Cervando Banuelos, worked at the Verification Research Training and Information Center (VERTIC) in London this past spring.  Based on his experience at VERTIC, Cervando believes, “Cyber security is an issue in economics, finance, infrastructure, nuclear power, and his ability to view adorable kittens online.  In other words, cyber security is now a fundamental part of everything.”

The question is, can we stop all  cyber attacks today with a deterrence agreement?  Unfortunately, no we can’t.

Cervando believes that our first step should be to deter state-sponsored cyber attacks, “these are attacks carried out by foreign government agents and members of foreign intelligence communities and they could be for disruption, theft or damage.  And I say that an agreement for the deterrence of state sponsored cyber attacks with international cooperation and an overseeing and enforcing body, and compliance through verification would limit the amount of attacks and the destructiveness of the attacks.”

Read an article that Cervando co-wrote during his IPSS fellowship at Vertic, in Trust and Verify, Issue 148.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

IPSS Fellow Victoria Bell tracked illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing(IUU)

Victoria Bell

Victoria Bell recently completed her IPSS fellowship and graduated from the Institute with a masters degree in International Environmental Policy.

Victoria Bell believes, “Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and proves to be a food security, human security, and economic issue.”

For her IPSS fellowship, Victoria worked as an Ocean Policy Fellow at the Marine Conservation Institute in Washington, D.C. in an effort to accurately assess the issue of IUU fishing that generates over 20 billion dollars annually.

Victoria’s fellowship was unique because it coincided with the start of the 114th Congress.  Her task was to push a bill first proposed by Madeline Bordallo of Guam to regulate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU).

Victoria participated in a team effort to rally democrats and republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate to sponsor a bill that will lessen the economic incentive for IUU fishing.  In order to make her pitch, Victoria became very familiar with IUU fishing stories including those of egregious human trafficking offenses of the Bandit 6 that Sea Shepard had been tracking in the southern ocean.

Victoria shared, “this current Congress is as close to passing (IUU) legislation as we have ever come and it’s very exciting.”  Victoria and her team were responsible for 15 members of Congress that have co-sponsored IUU legislation. Read more about her fellowship on her IPSS student profile page>>>

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Afro-Brazilian Entrepreneurs!

MIIS Alumna, Yuniya Khan recently completed Frontier Market Scouts training and has hit the ground running.  Her vision is to create a movement, led by Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs, that transforms the city of Salvador, Brazil into a thriving ecosystem of growth, innovation, and well being for all its citizens.  She is raising funds through and is seeking your support. They have nearly half their goal already funded!

Take a look at her project video and the website: for more information.

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

IPSS Fellow Theresa Gauvreau worked to improve legal apparatuses in Pakistan

Theresa Gauvreau Picture

IPSS Fellow Theresa Gauvreau recently completed her last IPSS deliverable and graduated from the Middlebury Institute with a Masters degree in International Policy Studies with a concentration in Human Security and Development.

Theresa Gauvreau, 2015 Dunspaugh Dalton recipient spent her last semester at the Middlebury Institute as an International Professional Service Semester Fellow and worked for the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in the office of Pakistan.

Gauvreau was tasked with strengthening  legal education programs in Pakistan to improve the capacity of legal apparatuses, improve student’s opportunities and their access to practical training. She was also involved in an initiative to improve conditions for female police officers.

Through her IPSS experience at the Bureau,  Theresa has gained new skill sets and the insider knowledge desired for a top level State Department employee.  She is currently pursuing a career as a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service.

Interested in learning more about former IPSS participants?  Check out our student profiles page>>>

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Congratulations to 2015 IPSS Graduating Fellows



Congratulations 2015 IPSS fellows! 

This Spring, 30 International Professional Service Semester fellows set off to work in Austria, Italy, Myanmar, Namibia, Peru, Romania, Samoa, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Washington D.C., and Monterey County.  These students worked for some of the most well known organizations in the international policy world, including The United Nations Development Program, UN Women, The Food and Agriculture Organization, The World Trade Organization, World Wildlife Fund, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, The Marine Conservation Institute, The International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Organization for Migration.

IPSS fellows have written that their internships were tremendously valuable, both academically and professionally.  Students were able to expand on their academic studies through trainings, conferences, and field-research.

Several of these semester long internships have resulted in job offers for IPSS 2015 fellows!  We wish all fellows the best in their new careers!


Thursday, August 13th, 2015

DPMI Plus Fellow Mia Schmid works to improve water security in India

Mia Schmid

Mia Schmid is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at the Middlebury Institute with a concentration in learning, evaluation, and accountability.

Mia Schmid believes that “monitoring and evaluation of social development projects needs a radical reorientation to locate community organizations at the helm of the learning process.”

Mia is currently on her DPMI Plus assignment,  a semester long immersive learning opportunity for graduate students at the Middlebury Institute, working in 120 degree heat in Jodhpur, India. Her first project involves launching a new initiative focused on water security within 6 villages in the Thar desert.

Schmid will also document program strategies related to women’s self help groups and vocational training programs, develop a field reporting tool, and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan for a new pilot program.  Learn more about her experience on her blog>>>. 



Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

IEM Practicum-DPMI Plus fellow collaborates with progressive language school in Mexico

Luz Vasquez

Prior to studying at the Institute, Luz served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador in the Community Organization and Economic Development Program.

Luz Vazquez-Ramos, candidate for a dual graduate degree in Public Administration and International Education Management, is currently working as a Special Projects Manager for the CETLALIC Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico for her IEM Practicum and DPMI Plus fellowship.  CETLALIC, self-described as the most politically and socially progressive Spanish language school in Mexico, was founded in 1987 by Salvadorian and Nicaraguan refugees.  Every language course is taught following Paulo Friere methodology, an approach designed to teach Spanish, Mexican culture, and generate a sense of solidarity with Latin America.  The program also offers students an opportunity to participate in a variety of social justice programs.   In a recent exchange with the GSIPM office, Luz wrote, “As a former student of CETLALIC, I have learned about current and past social justice movements through CETLALIC, however I never understood the intentional and direct connection to El Salvador and to Nicaragua.  I am beyond touched and humbled by the work CETLALIC has done.”  This summer and into the fall semester, Luz will be developing a new study abroad program specifically created for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students.

Through her background and work at CETLALIC, Luz has become inspired to develop greater solidarity among undocumented immigrant youth in the United States and the academic community in Mexico.

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

MIIS IPSS Fellow Liz Martinis researches financial inclusion in Peru

For her IPSS fellowship, Liz Martinis worked with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development and conducted field research with IPSS fellow, Gaelen Hayes.


Imagine hiking up a mountain, finally arriving to a house, flipping a coin that ultimately lands heads instead of tails, and continuing up the mountain to the next house. Such research has been conducted using dice and flipping a coin in order to maintain randomization. For the last 6 months, IPSS fellow and Dunspaugh Dalton recipient Liz Martinis has been hiking around the Sacred Valley of Peru conducting research centered on financial access and inclusion.  Fortunately, Liz has had the support of IPSS fellow Gaelen Hayes and the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development, a non-profit started by MIIS Alumni, Aaron Ebner and Adam Stieglitz, to conduct this immersive research project.

Liz’s interest in the region began with an initial research project with Team Peru in January 2014.  Since then, she’s been determined to learn more about financial culture within historically marginalized communities.  She believes that, “a key asset for insuring health of communities is access to financial resources.  These resources allow families to invest in livelihoods, education, and health, as well as fortifying them against unexpected shocks and times of hardship.”  Through her research with Hayes, Liz has experienced surprises and challenges in the field, and her study has evolved based on responses from surveys, focus groups, and semi-structured interviews.  Ultimately, her hope is to “help families gain resources which can be used in a manner they deem most beneficial.”  Read more about her findings here.


Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

DPMI alumnus puts training to work in food security efforts in Ethiopia

IMG_1772Sitting down with Care Deputy Chief of Party and January 2015 Monterey DPMI Alumnus, Girma Hailu

During a 3-day trip to Addis Ababa after the DPMI Kenya training, I was able to meet-up with January 2015 DPMI Monterey alumnus, Girma Hailu in his hometown of Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia.

Girma has been serving as Deputy Chief of Party, Food Security for Farmers (FSF) for CARE in Ethiopia since last fall.

The CARE Food Sufficiency for Farmers project (FSFP) is a 5 year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and executed by CARE Canada through CARE Ethiopia. The project aims at ensuring sustainable food security of chronically food insecure women, men, girls and boys in selected districts of the Oromiya and Amhara regions. The project works in collaboration and builds on the Ethiopian government National Food Security Programs and targets over 34,000 households; among which 13 percent are female-headed. The project will be implemented through 3 main components: i) improving the enabling environment for food security; ii) diversifying economic activities for food insecure households and iii) improving resilience to climate risks.

Click here to read more

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

MIIS Center for the Blue Economy fellow gets surprise visit from MIIS staff at Nairobi UNEP Headquarters

IMG_1707On the day of my departure from Nairobi, I ventured to the Gigiri neighborhood of Nairobi to visit the 140 acre United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON). The complex houses over 20 UN offices including the headquarters for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). Both UNEP and UN-Habitat headquarters were established in Nairobi in the late 1970s.

After you pass through UNON security you are greeted by a beautiful winding walking path lined with international flags ending at life-size bronze elephants and 10 meter high “KaribuUN” letters. The compound offers the chance of observing local wildlife such as red duikers, squirrels, marsh mongoose, vervet monkeys and olive baboons.

As I toured the conference center, I made my way to the new UNEP offices to visit our unsuspecting Center for the Blue Economy Fellow, Emma Tonge, currently serving as an intern on the Marine Litter Project. Emma follows in the footsteps of 2015 CBE fellow, Kelsey Richardson (IEP ’05) whose summer 2014 UNEP Marine Litter Project research is now being used in two published UNEP reports including: “Valuing Plastics: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry” and a second report on the use of microplastics in personal care and cosmetics products. Kelsey is now serving as a MIIS International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) fellow at the Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa.

Click here to read more

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

MIIS IPSS alumnus tracks illicit weapons trading around the world

Information provides governments and policymakers with arms data previously never available.

It was my first year working at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey when I met MIIS IPS ’06 alumnus Jonah Leff. He was studying the effects of conventional and small arms violence under the tutelage of MIIS professor Edward Laurance, a pioneer in the field of small arms and light weapons trade treaties and research. Jonah was also a fellow serving an internship at the United Nations Office for Disarmament Research (UNODA) through the MIIS International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program. The IPSS program is designed to help students jump-start their careers through junior-level internships in their field during their final semester of graduate schoo.

Jonah currently serves as Director of Operations at Conflict Armament Research and is based out of Nairobi, Kenya (where we recently met). It’s been wonderful reconnecting with Jonah over the years and to see the MIIS and Middlebury College students he has supported in entering the important field of preventing armed violence.

Click here to read more