Archive for Student Accomplishments
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, April 25th, 2014
Friday, April 25th, 2014
- Application deadline EXTENDED to April 29 -
Team El Salvador (TES) is seeking three student leaders to lead the Team El Salvador 9 Practicum during its 2014-2015 program year.
Do you want to gain skills in leadership? International Development? Environmental policy and natural resource management? Survey creation? Improving your Spanish proficiency and communication?
Team El Salvador provides a unique, professional opportunity for MIIS students to develop and apply practical skills and enhance language proficiency and multicultural competency in a dynamic international setting.
Team leaders will cultivate a variety of professional skills while gaining real world experience. The ideal candidate has a passion for international development, strong leadership skills, and a willingness to facilitate and manage a variety of program elements, including communication and outreach, program development, fundraising, updating and developing website content and social media sites, event scheduling and management, meeting planning and travel logistics and community engagement.
Ideal Candidates will:
• Speak, write and read Spanish at a 400 level
• Understand the mission and goals of Team El Salvador and
El Salvadoran history and culture
• Have strong communication and organizational skills
• Have experience living and working in rural communities of Latin America (or other developing
• Have a lucid understanding of the unpredictable nature of development work
• Be personable, dynamic, patient, flexible and adaptable to changing program and project
• Have experience with fundraising
• Develop and deliver compelling presentations to MIIS faculty, prospective team members, etc.
Executive management and staff
Friday, April 11th, 2014
It’s been 10 years since DPMI was first launched. Numerous DPMI alums have implemented tools and strategies inspired by their training to provide creative solutions on a global and local level. In the coming months we will be highlighting this shared journey through a series of DPMI video, photo and blog submissions from our alumni incredible community.
Kathryn (Kat) Harrison, MBA, MPA ’14 used the skills she learned in DPMI while completing Frontier Market Scouts in Guatemala with Lumeter Networks. This organization provides affordable meters and other components to deliver pre-paid power to off-grid communities in emerging markets. Click here to check out Kat’s DPMI video submission.
“My academic focus has been on learning the most effective methods, necessary tools and best practices for connecting micro-, small and medium sized business owners to larger markets, cost-saving marketing resources, helpful training and seed capital. I enthusiastically plan to return to Central and South America to help many talented and hardworking indigenous communities improve their financial stability through small business development,” says Kat.
Stay tuned for more DPMI stories on the horizon:
Tyler Steer, MPA ’11, has used the skills he learned in DPMI to create a new project at Peacock Acres, in which Monterey County youth are given academic support to succeed in school. Aaron Leonard, MPA ’07 has used the capacity building skills that he learned in DPMI in his work with PACT in Myanmar. Amitay Flores, IPS ’14, has used the skills she learned to develop a social enterprise project to combat human health issues, which advanced her team to the Finals of Regional Hult Prize Competition
Join the story thread:
If you have participated in DPMI and it has or will impact your life or career, please email email@example.com to be featured in our video collage, or film yourself and submit the video to the email address. We would love to hear from you!
Learn more about the DPMI 10-year anniversary project: http://sites.miis.edu/dpmi10years/
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
MIIS alum Nicholas Tomb is participating in the Viking 14 exercise, a multinational exercise that simulates an integrated UN Peacekeeping Operation in the fictional country of Bogaland. VIKING 14 is a Command Post Exercise/Computer Assisted Exercise in the “Spirit of Partnership for Peace.” Previous VIKING-exercises have been stated as the premier Multinational and Comprehensive Approach exercise in the world.
This exercise includes nearly 3,000 participants from almost 50 countries and addresses many of the challenges in civil-military relations that modern, integrated missions face around the world. More specifically, he is serving as a Civilian Integration Planner with the Armed Forces of Georgia and will spend the 10 day Exercise session just outside of Tbilisi, Georgia. Nick is participating in the exercise through his affiliation with the Center for Civil-Military Relations at the US Naval Postgraduate School, where he works as an Assistant Program Manager in the Prevention, Relief and Recovery program.
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
NPTS student Alex Well is a former IPSS participant and his essay “AQAP Then and Now” will be featured in ICPVTR‘s September edition of Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis. Other interesting essays and articles on corruption and asset freezing in North African States can be found here. Clicking through the blog, you will notice the interesting and elaborated research work IPSS students get to do for their assignments abroad. IPSS application circle for 2014 is closed. In September, there will be more information sessions on 2015 application circle.
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
Monday, August 19th, 2013
For IEP student Sarah Cowen a dream has come true. She will serve in Mexico soon with the Peace Corps. Enrolled in the Peace Corps’ Master’s International program, she can earn her master’s degree and complete Peace Corps service at the same time. She said in an interview that she had always wanted to join the Peace Corps. MIIS then gave her the opportunity to combine her interest in environmental issues with joining the Peace Corps. You can find her story here.
Monday, August 5th, 2013
Update on Semester-Long Immersive Learning Program Participants:
GSIPM is proud to congratulate 49 special program winter-spring 2013 fellows on completing their immersive learning fellowship assignments this month, while also wishing the best to the 35 summer-fall 2013 fellows who have recently started their internships or are heading to the field in the next few weeks.
Once again, fellows from the Development Project Management Institute Practicum (DPMI+), Frontier Market Scout (FMS), and International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) have contributed to the nonprofits, social enterprises, IGOs, and NGOs they served; built up their network; and grown personally and professionally during their US and international placements this spring and summer.
Click here to read more
Click here to read more
Saturday, May 18th, 2013
This is that bittersweet time of year when we congratulate our graduates and say “farewell” to seeing them on campus as “students”.
It’s reassuring to know that the MIIS family extends beyond our campus boundaries through continued friendships, city alumni group events (find a group on Facebook!), reunions, coworkers from MIIS, and more.
Congratulations 2013 Graduates!
May there be many conversations with MIIS colleagues and friends in the future.
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
This coming spring semester several of our students will be heading off to intern at a diverse range of organizations. Through our IPSS and DPMI Plus programs, total of 47 students will be leaving the campus to gain professional experience and put their MIIS education to good use.
Please click the links below to see where our students will be!
Friday, November 30th, 2012
At 59, Steve Hoberg had built his own successful manufacturing company and seen his three children through college. After turning management of the company over to his partner, he felt he was ready for a new chapter in his career and the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) program at the Monterey Institute seemed like the perfect fit.
“It was a little hard to return to school after so many years,” Steve says of his FMS training, adding with a laugh that he was the one of few students to bring a paper notebook to the first class. Upon returning from his assignment with Kinara Capital in Bangalore, India, Steve has no doubt that he made the right decision: “It was a tremendous experience for me!”
Click here to read more
Click here to read more
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
In a competition to strategize ways to reduce the environmental impact of college campuses, students from MIIS took home the top prize. Net Impact, a non-profit that advocates for colleges to adopt better environmental practices, selected the team from MIIS as exemplars of tomorrow’s business leaders.
Click here to read more
Click here to read more
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Article Written by MIIS student Lauren Renda – Across the Border: Nepal’s Struggle with Human Trafficking
Lauren Renda is currently working on a Master’s Degree in International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies with a focus in Conflict Resolution and Human Rights. Her areas of interest include peacebuilding, gender issues, and post-conflict reconstruction inspired in part by her recent field work in Nepal.
Read Lauren’s article here!
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Almost a dozen MIIS students participated in the Nonproliferation Beijing Immersive Module over spring break 2012 lead by Professor Jinhuei Enya Dai. Dr. Dai describes the Nonproliferation Beijing Immersive Module as “an innovative advanced Chinese language immersion program that provided networking opportunities focused on nonproliferation issues and international relations. Students were committed to [speaking] Chinese and interacting with professionals, scholars and graduate students in Beijing from various institutes of international relations and professional organizations focused on nonproliferation issues. This rare opportunity offered a unique platform for MIIS young scholars to exchange professional ideas and to enhance their potential future collaborative working opportunities…”
The MIIS 2012 Beijing Delegation was invited by CACDA (China Arms Control and Disarmament Association) to conduct a week-long set of exchanges on nonproliferation issues and international relations between China and the U.S in Beijing, China. The delegation was comprised of 8 Chinese-speaking students studying nonproliferation, 1 international relations/MBA major, 2 teaching assistants and 1 instructor.
MIIS scholars who participated in the module reflected positively on the experience as a means of improving their Chinese language skills, their knowledge of Chinese perspectives on arms control issues, as well as a networking opportunity.
Tina Hu, a first year Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies student created a blog to better document the experience. To read her blog, and learn more about this immersive module from a student perspective, please visit: http://nouvellecommencement.blogspot.com/search/label/Beijing
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
Experts from GEF, FAO, the Global Ocean Forum, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), among other partners, have provided a briefing for member states and other stakeholders on the new GEF/FAO Program on Global Sustainable Fisheries Management and Biodiversity Conservation in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). This briefing introduced an innovative approach to Marine Policy and aimed to improve sustainable fisheries management and biodiversity conservation in ABNJ.
A former Monterey Institute of International Studies student, Jessica Sanders, spoke at this conference on behalf of the Global Environment Facility. Congratulations Jessica for being involved in such a great conference.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
WHEN:MAY 11TH 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM (REFRESHMENTS AT 8:30 AM)
WHERE: MG 100
WHO: BERYL LEVINGER’S ADVANCED SOCIAL CHANGE LEADERSHIP CLASS
Your classmates in Catalyst Group have been conducting an organizational assessment of the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace (CASP). Please join them for their culminating event as they present their methodology, experiences and findings over light refreshments. Look forward to seeing you there!