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Sustainable GeoDome to Serve as Hub of Activities for Earth Week, TEDxMonterey

eco_dome

The GeoDome takes shape behind the Admissions building on April 19, 2014.

TEDxMonterey “Edges” and Earth Week 2014 at the Monterey Institute both unofficially kicked off on Saturday with the construction of a GeoDome that will house numerous activities during the week ahead. Earth Week is a five-day long event featuring debates, presentations, workshops and activities focused on different environmental issues each day. TEDxMonterey, now in its fifth year at the Institute, is a full day celebration of ideas worth spreading with a diverse group of speakers addressing everything from life on other planets to the origins of creativity.

The GeoDome is a 30-foot diameter geodesic dome with 750 square feet of usable interior space, constructed entirely of sustainable materials. Created by The Eco-Infinity Group of Pacific Grove, the GeoDome features flooring made from recycled rubber tires, chandeliers created from recycled six-pack rings, inflatable sofas made from recycled materials, post-consumer recycled cardboard benches, bio-ethanol fireplaces and a 1500-watt solar energy system providing power. 

The GeoDome will function as the hub for activities associated with both Earth Week and TEDxMonterey during the week of April 21, transforming a parking lot into a learning space. 

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Sustainable GeoDome to Serve as Hub of Activities for Earth Week, TEDxMonterey

eco_dome

The GeoDome takes shape behind the Admissions building on April 19, 2014.

TEDxMonterey “Edges” and Earth Week 2014 at the Monterey Institute both unofficially kicked off on Saturday with the construction of a GeoDome that will house numerous activities during the week ahead. Earth Week is a five-day long event featuring debates, presentations, workshops and activities focused on different environmental issues each day. TEDxMonterey, now in its fifth year at the Institute, is a full day celebration of ideas worth spreading with a diverse group of speakers addressing everything from life on other planets to the origins of creativity.

The GeoDome is a 30-foot diameter geodesic dome with 750 square feet of usable interior space, constructed entirely of sustainable materials. Created by The Eco-Infinity Group of Pacific Grove, the GeoDome features flooring made from recycled rubber tires, chandeliers created from recycled six-pack rings, inflatable sofas made from recycled materials, post-consumer recycled cardboard benches, bio-ethanol fireplaces and a 1500-watt solar energy system providing power. 

The GeoDome will function as the hub for activities associated with both Earth Week and TEDxMonterey during the week of April 21, transforming a parking lot into a learning space. 

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4/18: Renowned Political Scientist Francis Fukuyama to Give Public Lecture at MIIS

francis_fukuyama_bio

Dr. Francis Fukuyama.

On Friday, April 18 the internationally renowned political scientist and economist Francis Fukuyama will give a public lecture in the Monterey Institute’s Irvine Auditorium. Dr. Fukuyama is the latest in an exceptional line of highly respected and influential speakers to address some of the world’s most pressing and challenging issues as part of this semester’s Spring Colloquium dedicated to economic diplomacy and statecraft. 

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI).  He has written widely on issues in development and international politics but is perhaps best known for his influential 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man declaring the triumph of liberal democracy and arrival of a post-ideological world. His most recent book, The Origins of Political Order was published in 2011 and the companion volume Political Order and Political Decay will be published later this year.

Dr. Fukuyama’s lecture at MIIS will be titled “Economic Diplomacy and Global Governance in a Multi-polar World,” and it will be followed with a session for questions and answers. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. in the Irvine Auditorium at 499 Pierce Street in Monterey, and is free and open to the public.

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4/18: Renowned Political Scientist Francis Fukuyama to Give Public Lecture at MIIS

francis_fukuyama_bio

Dr. Francis Fukuyama.

On Friday, April 18 the internationally renowned political scientist and economist Francis Fukuyama will give a public lecture in the Monterey Institute’s Irvine Auditorium. Dr. Fukuyama is the latest in an exceptional line of highly respected and influential speakers to address some of the world’s most pressing and challenging issues as part of this semester’s Spring Colloquium dedicated to economic diplomacy and statecraft. 

Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI).  He has written widely on issues in development and international politics but is perhaps best known for his influential 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man declaring the triumph of liberal democracy and arrival of a post-ideological world. His most recent book, The Origins of Political Order was published in 2011 and the companion volume Political Order and Political Decay will be published later this year.

Dr. Fukuyama’s lecture at MIIS will be titled “Economic Diplomacy and Global Governance in a Multi-polar World,” and it will be followed with a session for questions and answers. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. in the Irvine Auditorium at 499 Pierce Street in Monterey, and is free and open to the public.

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MIIS Students Have “Eye-Opening” Experience on Spring Trip to Shanghai Free Trade Zone

shanghai_2nd_day

Professors Li Juan Zhang (seated, 2nd from left) and Robert Rogowsky (seated, far right) with MIIS students and local hosts in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Last fall, Professors Robert Rogowsky and Li Juan Zhang designed an immersive learning course to give Monterey Institute students the opportunity to experience first hand the real-world issues, impacts and policy implications of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ). Fifteen students then joined them for a week-long trip to China over the March Spring Break, where they visited the Shanghai FTZ, met local policy makers, and learned from guest lectures by industry professionals and scholars. Students also had the opportunity to meet with faculty and students from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and work with them.

Abdel K. Seck (MAIPS ‘13) calls the trip “a lifetime opportunity” because of the valueless amount of learning it offered him. Minnie Patnick (MBA/MAIPS ‘15) is especially grateful to her professors for organizing such an enriching experience filled with amazing site visits and “phenomenal” lectures. Like many graduate students, Haiben Ren (MAIPS ‘14) is focused on career opportunities and says that it was great to meet so many important people in the Shanghai FTZ, “where potential job positions are from in the future.” All of the students spoke of the importance of well-designed immersive learning opportunities, to put what they learn in the classroom into perspective, and to deepen their understanding of the issues they will face as professionals.

 

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Alumna Tricia Bean: Nurturing Her “Latin Soul” Through Love of Teaching

Tricia Bean (MATFL ’96) and family

Tricia Bean (MATFL ’96) and family.

Growing up in Florida, Tricia Bean (MATFL ’96) had her curiosity about other countries and cultures sparked at a very early age. “I knew a lovely Cuban lady who told me stories about her native country,” says Tricia, adding that as a young girl she developed a desire to travel and master the beautiful Spanish language.

When she was fifteen she went to Maracay, Venezuela as an exchange student with American Field Service (AFS) and “fell in love with the people, the country, the music, the tradition, and the language.” She happily shares that her Venezuelan friends often said she was born in the wrong country with the “soul of a Latina.” She completed her junior year of college in Alcalá de Henares, Spain where Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote de la Mancha, was born.

The international community at MIIS proved the “perfect fit” for Tricia. As a student she worked part-time for the Santa Rita School District in Salinas, and upon graduation she was hired as a bilingual teacher to teach English Language Development (ELD), Spanish, and Spanish for Spanish speakers at Gavilan View Middle School in the district. Her passion and enthusiasm for sharing her love of language and interest in other cultures is inspiring.

During her time at Gavilan View, Tricia took students abroad with the People to People Student Ambassador Program, was honored with the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Scholarship, and spent a year teaching English in Baranquilla, Colombia. Today Tricia is “proud to be among the talented faculty and staff of Carmel High School,” where she and a colleague designed and implemented a program to better meet the literacy needs of native Spanish speakers.

She collaborates regularly with the Institute, bringing students to the Institute’s International Education Day activities each year, participating in local language teacher discussions and hosting MATFL practicum students in her classroom. “I enjoy being able to give back to the institution that has given me so much.”

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New Service-Learning Course Teaches Students to Design Programs by Participation

Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands

Lynn Bentaleb (MPA ’08), Kathryn Lattman (MAIEM ’14), Amitay Flores (MAIPS ’14), Molly McMills (MPA ’13), Maria Kovell (MPA ’14), Ali Philbrick (MAIEM ’14), and Natalie Cox (MPA ’14) at the Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands Summit.

Monterey Institute students from the International Education Management, Public Administration, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Teaching a Foreign Language, and Translation and Interpretation degree programs are participating in a new course this semester, learning about program design while working with seven local organizations on projects that further each of their missions.

The new course, “Service-Learning: International and Domestic Community Partnerships,” was developed and taught by Professor Netta Avineri, who is passionate about civic engagement and likes to connect her lessons with real world applications. The organizations are: Big Sur Charter School, Community Assessment of Monterey County, Girls' Health in Girls' Hands, International School of Monterey, Lyceum, National Steinbeck Center, and the YMCA.

Alexandra (Ali) Philbrick (MAIEM ’14) and Kathryn Lattman (MAIEM ’15) have been working with the Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands initiative this semester. Every year girls in Monterey County organize a summit with peer-taught sessions, which Ali and Kathryn attended. They are working on a video to help the next group of girl organizers and also helping out with curriculum design, activities, and lessons, and doing research for a report.

“It could not be more perfect for me,” shares Ali, who will build on her experience working with local girls when she heads off to Peru for the practicum portion of her degree in the fall. In Peru, she will be working with the nonprofit organization Girlsportworks whose mission is to teach life skills to young women through athletics. “This is exactly what I want to be doing in the future,” she says. “Netta put a lot of thought into this,” says Kathryn appreciatively of the course, and adds that “you can’t beat the opportunity to learn by doing and do good at the same time by helping others.”

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MIIS Alumni Find Dream Jobs Come with Familiar Faces – Fellow MIIS Alumni

alumni_enclaves

Thailand alumni – all part of the diplomatic corps -- and their families gathered for a group photo.

A story we posted last year about alumni from the same era working at the U.S. Embassy in Turkey seems to have started a trend, spurring a flurry of e-mails from groups of MIIS alumni working closely together around the world!

Christine Carlson-Ajlani (MPA ’13) wrote to tell us about what she calls “the MIIS enclave” at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT) in the International Labor Affairs Bureau. After serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco as part of her MIIS Peace Corps Master’s International degree, Christine landed her “dream job” last year.

Christine attributes her success directly to the skills she learned in the Peace Corps and the instruction of professors Edgard Coly and Beryl Levinger. She recently helped secure a $5 million grant to combat child labor in Morocco and will be travelling back there to help create their monitoring and evaluation plan. When she arrived at her new job, she discovered that two out of 45 new colleagues also graduated from MIIS: Rachel Rigby (MBA ’03) and Lorena Davalos (MAIPS ’05).

A competitive fellowship program specifically designed to hire MBA graduates brought Rachel to the Department of Labor in her last year at MIIS; Lorena brought experience from working on youth employment issues in Brazil to the job. All three are tireless advocates of reducing child labor and forced labor around the world. As Christine says, “It’s pretty great working across the street from the Capitol Building in the heart of international policy making in D.C., especially with two other talented colleagues from MIIS!” 

Four classmates working in three different embassies in neighboring countries recently got together in Bangkok, Thailand. The hosts, Jennifer Green Matlock (MAIPS ’02) and her husband Dean Matlack (MPA ’01), both work at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. Yekta Noyan (MAIPS ’02) works for the Turkish Embassy in the same city. Their friend Darby Parliament (MAIPS ’03), who works at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, also flew over from Malaysia with his wife Adanys.

Another MIIS get-together was held in Berlin recently, when Lara (Tozawa) Sullivan (MAIPS ’02) and John Kastning (MATI ’05), who both work at the U.S. Embassy, met up with fellow MIIS alumna Nicola Kim (MAIPS ’05), who works in the Canadian Embassy.

For more stories from the Communiqué, check out our latest edition online.

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April@MIIS: World Class Speakers, Cultural Events, Conferences

TEDxMonterey

TEDxMonterey returns to the Monterey Institute on April 26 with a look at “Edges.”

April is an exciting month at the Monterey Institute with a plethora of activities, including many events that are open to both the campus community and the larger Monterey Bay area community. Upcoming include:

  • Friday, April 4: The annual International Trade Conference, focusing this year on “U.S.-China Agriculture Trade Barriers,” starting at 8:00 a.m. in the Irvine Auditorium. (Free and open to the public; please register online.)
  • Friday, April 11: The Monterey Institute welcomes Steve Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA, delivering the keynote address "Bringing Human Rights Home" at the annual Human Rights Fair in the Irvine Auditorium at 6 p.m. (Free and open to the public; no registration required.)
  • Saturday, April 12: The annual International Bazaar is one of the most cherished events of the year at the Monterey Institute, where students and other community members come together and enjoy food and entertainment from the various cultures represented on campus. The Bazaar always coincides with Spring Visit Day, offering prospective students and their families the opportunity to visit campus. (International Bazaar is for the MIIS campus community only; prospective students may sign up for Visit Day online.)
  • Thursday-Friday, April 17-18: "Ukraine, Russia and Cyber Threats" is the very timely topic of a unique cyber security conference co-hosted by “Suits and Spooks” and the Monterey Cyber Security Initiative, featuring speakers from Ukraine, Russia, Great Britain, Estonia and the United States discussing the current Crimean crisis and global cyber security risks. (Open to the public; registration fee for public attendees; free registration for MIIS faculty, staff, and students.)
  • Friday, April 18: As part of the Spring 2014 Colloquium on Economic Diplomacy and Statecraft, the Institute will host renowned political economist and commentator Francis Fukuyama for a public lecture in the Irvine Auditorium at 6 p.m. The title of his talk is "Economic Diplomacy and Global Governance in a Multi-polared World." (Free and open to the public; no registration required.)
  • Saturday, April 26: In its fifth year at the Monterey Institute, the theme for TEDxMonterey 2014 is "Edges" - a celebration of what emerges when we embrace the edge: discovery, invention and transformation. A diverse group of speakers will share their stories, insights and scientific discoveries, and audience members will have ample opportunity to interact with each other as well as presenters during breaks, over lunch and at the reception to be held after the program concludes. (Open to the public; ticket purchase and registration online.)


In addition, the week of April 21 will also feature a host of activities organized by Monterey Institute staff, faculty, and students to celebrate Earth Day, with each day of the week be devoted to an issue or area such as energy, food, and water.

Whatever your area of interest might be, we hope to see you on campus this month! 

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Monterey Institute Professor Interprets for First Lady Michelle Obama During Visit to China

Laura Burian in China

Prof. Laura Burian (center-left) of the Monterey Institute interpreting for First Lady Michelle Obama in China. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

“It was very inspiring to see our professor in action and working with such high-profile individuals,” says Joan Li-Chun Wang (MATI ’14) of the photos in national and international media showing Professor Laura Burian of the Monterey Institute next to First Lady Michelle Obama, serving as official interpreter during her visit to China.

It was no surprise to her students that Translation and Interpretation Prof. Burian is a highly accomplished and respected interpreter who works with the highest levels of government, but seeing her appear in media coverage of the First Lady’s visit to China hit home for many of them. “It serves as motivation for us, reminding us that we are not far away from interpreting at the top level,” says Weihao Zhang (MACI ’14), “and if we work hard, maybe one day we will be able to have such opportunities as well.”

Weihao Zhang was especially “thrilled” to hear that the First Lady had included his home high school in her itinerary. “In addition to its pioneering strides of connecting remote schools in rural areas with online classrooms, Chengdu #7 High School really stands out in its focus on international education and partnership.”

Joan Wang says that she could see from media reports and videos how crucial Prof. Burian’s role was in facilitating communications between the First Lady and the people she met. She adds that she thinks it was “nice to see how important to role of the interpreter is, especially to students of interpretation.”

Prof. Burian says that it was very exciting to participate in this trip: “I am truly honored to have been entrusted with this assignment.” For Weihao Zhang it was further evidence “that our education here at MIIS is provided by the most prestigious practitioners in the field, which is truly valuable.”

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