Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Introduction to the 2018 Startup Challenge competition (Monterey)

Introduction to the 2018 Startup Challenge competition (Monterey)

When: Wed. February 21, 2018 6pm-7:30pm Pacific Time

Where: Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Morse building A101. 426 Van Buren Street, Monterey, CA (map)

Learn more about the Startup Challenge new venture competition and how to apply at one of our introductory sessions held throughout the Monterey Bay region.

What is it? Startup Challenge Monterey Bay helps innovators develop their ideas into new businesses. It supports the founding, funding and growth of new and innovative businesses in the Monterey Bay region. Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is a five month competitive acceleration process that teaches, coaches, mentors, networks and connects entrepreneurs to the knowledge and resources they need. Startup Challenge Monterey Bay empowers entrepreneurs to communicate their ideas effectively to investors, customers and employees.

There are three divisions in the competition:

  • Venture division is open to businesses that are intended to scale and provide venture-investor level returns. • Main Street division is open to small businesses, sole proprietorships, and non-profits.
  • Student division is open to students in high school, community colleges, colleges, and graduate schools.
  • Cash prizes for winners in each division.

Applications due March 12, 2018

For more information about the event go to

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) 2019 Info Session: March 1

Have you heard about our International Professional Service Semester or IPSS, but are unsure what it all entails? Come to Morse B105 from 12:50-1:50 on Thursday, March 1 to get a closer look!

What it can do for you:

IPSS will help you gain hands-on experience working in a public policy or social change organization by working with organizations such as:

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
Conventional Arms Branch (New York City)
Food and Agriculture Organization (Rome, Italy)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Romania)
Marine Conservation Institute (Washington, D.C.)
International Atomic Energy Agency (Vienna, Austria)
U.S. Dept. of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Washington, D.C.)
Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (Calca, Peru)
International Organization for Migration (Bangkok, Thailand

and More!

Monday, February 19th, 2018

Summer Research Program with the Andean Alliance For Sustainable Development

The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD) is looking for students to participate in an intensive summer research practicum. The AASD has carried out research for the past four years independently and in conjunction with major US and Peruvian institutions. As members of a research team, students will participate in a complete iteration of a research project, from initial client engagement through deliverable creation and delivery. Not only are our research methods appropriate for these communities, but always attempt to address and positively impact local challenges. The AASD has researched themes ranging from bringing organic produce to market, effects of climate change on small-scale farmers and how access and connectivity affect poverty.


For more information check out their website.

Monday, February 19th, 2018

IEM Spotlight: Anna Galbraith, Andean Alliance

Making new friends in Peru!

Anna Galbraith is a third-semester, IEM student currently completing her practicum with the Andean Alliance in the beautiful Sacred Valley of Peru. We spoke with her recently to see what she has been up to and how her experience at MIIS prepared her for this new opportunity. 

Why did you choose the IEM program at MIIS?

Choosing the IEM program at MIIS was basically a no-brainer. I had been living in Spain teaching English but wanted to transition into something different in the States, something still related to international education but outside of the teaching role. The IEM program valued all of the skills I had learned abroad, but gave me a chance to learn the necessary skills to enter into the field as a manager. Honestly, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I got to spend a year in beautiful Monterey with an amazing cohort; learn from passionate, caring professors; and build my resume with on-campus work (as a GA in Recruiting, and as the Spanish tutor/activity coordinator for SILP). And now I find myself in the Sacred Valley of Peru, starting my practicum with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development!

How did you find your practicum opportunity? What was your strategy?

 My practicum search/decision was pretty seamless. I had worked previously with the organization in Marketing and Recruiting, and fell in love with the organization and their mission. I chose to work with them again in Design and Assessment. During that time I was able to communicate quite a bit with their previous intern, IEM alum JoLyn Rekasis, who had nothing but great things to say about her experience. My goals for practicum were to find a place where I could continue using Spanish (preferably in Latin America), to learn more about service learning, and to be able to try out a variety of responsibilities. The Andean Alliance checked all of the boxes.

Tell me about an incident where your Intercultural Competence (ICC) skills were challenged.

Considering it’s my first time in Latin America, my ICC skills are being tested on a daily basis! I’m also living with a host family, who is absolutely wonderful, but that experience comes with its own little challenges as well. I’m working on questioning my own biases and am finding it interesting to plot my journey on the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (nerdy, I know!). Some minor bumps in the road have been learning how to haggle, which I’m terrible at, and trying to look at guinea pigs as a nutritious, sustainable food source, instead of as adorable pets.

What are some unanticipated challenges you’ve faced so far in your new position?

Considering I knew the organization really well before coming, I wasn’t thrown too many curveballs upon arrival. However, navigating the differences in vocabulary between Spain and Peru has been a fun (read: frustrating) endeavor! That and the prevalence of Quechua makes me feel like I’m learning Spanish all over again.

What is one thing you’ve learned on the job?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve learned that theories of change and program logic models should be fundamental aspects of any organization, which is what they told us in Design and Assessment but which I had secretly hoped was an exaggeration (sorry for doubting you, professors!!).

What has been one highlight of your time abroad so far?

I arrived to Peru just in time to help the Andean Alliance host MIIS and Middlebury College students for J-term. It was exhilarating to experience a program right away and a pleasure to work with such a talented group. We even went to Machu Picchu together, which was an experience I’ll never forget!

Ana enjoying the sites at Macchu Picchu.

What advice do you have for any future IEM practicum students in regards to class choices, internship opportunities, or the IEM field in general?

 My advice would be to try out as many different classes and opportunities while on campus as possible, as that was the best way for me to determine what excited me and what didn’t. Definitely use the classes with learning partners as a way to become acquainted with the opportunities available. I also suggest taking an honest look at your own gaps in knowledge and taking advantage of the resources on campus to fill them (I’m looking at you, Excel workshops!). When it comes to practicum, go with your gut, and take into account your own personal goals as well as educational/professional ones. Oh, and while you’re in Monterey, take advantage of all of the natural beauty that the area has to offer. Sunset study breaks are ALWAYS a good idea.


Thank you for sharing your experience with us Anna. We wish you continued success!

To learn more about the IEM program or if you have questions about practicum, please contact or view us online.

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

MIIS students ask tough questions to world leaders…and get answers.

Snapshot of Oliver Grau recording his question for OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurría.

In January 2018, students enrolled in IPSS workshops had the opportunity to participate in a social media engagement campaign hosted by the World Economic Forum. The campaign encouraged students to ask a world leader at the Forum a question in response to the prompt “How can we create a #sharedfuture?”

Current International and Policy Development student Oliver Grau asked, “How we can create a sense of shared ownership for those who feel detached from globalizing forces?

Secrety General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurría, replied!

See his video response here!

Click here to learn more about the How can we create a #sharedfuture campaign.


Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

IEM Practicum, DPMI Plus, IONP, MGIMO, IPSS, and FMS internships for Spring 2018 Announced

For Spring 2018, a total of 57 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey students will participate in our distinguished semester long immersive learning programs, to be placed around the country and the globe.

Domestically, students are as close as Monterey, CA and as far away as Washington, DC. Top cities include 7 positions in DC, 6 in the Bay Area, and 6 in New York City. Internationally, they are spread across five continents and 21 countries (Peru, France, Senegal, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Russia, Austria, Thailand, Cambodia, Kenya, Switzerland, Zambia, the Netherlands, Argentina, Laos, Mexico, Canada, Nepal, Ecuador, and Indonesia.

Programs include the International Education Management (IEM) Practicum, DPMI Plus, International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP), the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO),and the International Professional Service Semester, (IPSS).

Below is a list of current participants, their organizations, and their locations.

International Education Management (IEM) Practicum

Name Placement Location
Anatoliy Artamonov Perlata  Community College District SF Bay Area
Anna Galbraith Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development Peru
Ashley Gauer Global Majority/Monterey Bay Economic Partnership Monterey, CA
Emily Bastian Student-Athletes Abroad Monterey, CA
Ashley Bayman University of California, Santa Cruz, Global Engagement Santa Cruz, CA
Carol Lin Sciences Po Bordeaux France
Chelsea Lavallee* UNESCO Senegal
David Austin VIA Programs Monterey, CA
Gabriela Ray VIA Programs Monterey, CA
Kathleen Tyson Technical University of Denmark Denmark
Leslie Miles Marymount University International Student Services Arlington, VA
Madison Mentz University College Cork Ireland
Margot Draeger* IRC and Kidnected Salt Lake City
Paige Wheeler International Student House Washington, DC
Pilar Diaz de la Rubia Middlebury Schools Abroad Spain: Madrid Spain/U.S.
Stephanie Espinoza Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego San Diego, CA
Grace O’Dell MIIS CACS Monterey, CA
Ting Wang San Jose State University San Jose, CA

 *Dual Degree (IEM/MPA) student


Name  Placement  Location
Chndyli Tara Rogel FHI 360 Washington, DC
Megan Garland Mercy Corps Portland, Oregon
Ekshana Karki Chhetri Youth Workforce and Entrepreneur at World Learning Washington, DC
Chelsea Lavallee* UNESCO Dakar Dakar, Senegal
Margot Draeger* IRC/Kidnected World Salt Lake City, UT
Ashley Gauer* Global Majority/Monterey Bay Economic Partnership Monterey, CA

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)

Name Placement Location
Caroline Day Exiger Diligence New York, NY
Leonid Demidov The M&A Advisor Forest Hills, NY
Summer Gary UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, NY
Adlan Margoev PIR Center Moscow, Russia
Noah Mayhew* International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna, Austria
Alain Ponce Blancas PIR Center Moscow, Russia
Alicia Rorabaugh iJet Integrated Risk Menlo Park, CA
Alexander Ross TESLA San Carlos, CA
Daria Selezneva* UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, NY

*Also completing IONP fellowships

International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP)

Name Placement Location
Daria Selezneva UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, NY
Noah Mayhew* International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna, Austria

International Professional Service Semester (IPSS)


Name Organization Location
Elizabeth Brooks LAM, Sciences Po-Bordeaux Bordeaux, France
Luciane Coletti Conservation International Foundation Arlington County, VA
Kimani DeShields-Williams International Organization for Migration (IOM) Bangkok, Thailand
Elizabeth Fisher UNICEF Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Mikki Franklin Combating Terrorism Center, West Point New York State
Madiha Jamal LSA Environmental Consulting and CA Coastal Commission California
Andrew Kiemen Measure to Improve, LLC Salinas, CA
Julia Lipkis International Rescue Committee New York City
Alexandra Long City of Anchorage Resilience Program, Mayor’s Office Anchorage, Alaska
Steven Luber UNIDIR Geneva, Switzerland
Thabo Mubukwanu United Nations Development Programme Lusaka, Zambia
Libiao Pan Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization The Hague, The Netherlands
Aricquel Payne Six Square Austin, TX
Mariko Powers Conservation International Foundation Manila, Philippines
Lama Ranjous and UN MGCY New York City
Laura Schroeder InterAction DC
Rebecca Sher Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de America Latina (CADAL) Buenos Aires, Argentina
Patrick Wilhelmy Kuli Kuli (FMS Fellow) Bay Area, California
Stephanie Villalobos William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies Washington, DC
Zijuan (Fiona) Huang Save the Children Vientiane,Laos
Mario Lamar US State    Department Mexico City, Mexico
Taylor Hadnot Schaffer &  Combs Bay Area, California
Brijlal Chaudhari Paurakhi Savings &    Credit Cooperative Limited Toronto, Canada and Parsa District, Nepal
Nasema Zeerak UNFPA New York City



Name Placement Location
Bin Li* Nexus for Development Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Camilla Vogt* Unreasonable Boulder, CO
Celina Lima Marquete Fair Trade Thailand/ Cambodia
Emily O’Hara* Village Capital Washington, DC
Jennie Vader* Digital Undivided Atlanta, GA
Kaitlyn Throgmorton Impaqto Quito, Ecuador
*Non-MIIS Students

Conflict Resolution

Name Placement Location
Onaba Payab Asia Foundation Washington, D.C.

Independent Practicum

Name Organization Location
Lauren Halloran Search for Common Ground Nairobi, Kenya

International Environmental Policy

Name Placement Location
Clesi Bennett San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission San Francisco, CA

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

IEM Spotlight: Dan Solomon

Daniel Solomon is a graduate student at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).  He is currently interning within Intercultural Learning at CIEE, fulfilling the practicum portion of his master’s program in International Education Management.  He has been living in Valparaíso, Chile, and working out of the CIEE study center in Valparaíso, since July of this year.

This interview was kindly conducted by Martha Shtapura-Ifrah, Center Director, Haifa

Title: Intercultural Learning Intern
Hometown: Arlington Heights, Illinois
M: Where are you from originally?  Where have you lived?

D: Originally, I am from the suburbs of Chicago, though I’ve lived mostly outside of Chicago since 2009. I lived in Israel for one year as a community service volunteer and an event coordinator. I came back to the US for the holidays in 2010 while I was waiting for my working holiday visa for New Zealand to come through. Originally that experience was supposed to be for a year, but I obtained another visa and stayed for 2 years. I later did some travelling across the U.S. and Southeast Asia on the way to Australia, where I did another work and holiday visa for a year. When I came back to the US this time I decided that I wanted to take my international living experience and apply it towards a future career in international education.

While I was job searching, I began working for Cirque du Soleil and traveled with them for almost a year. Later in the run, I started to apply for graduate schools with international programs and I was accepted into the International Education Management program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

M: What was your bachelor’s degree in?

D: My bachelor’s degree was in visual communication with a minor in marketing. My life, prior to the travelling described before, was in live entertainment where I worked in customer service and event coordination.

M: I feel like you have what I call “the travelling virus.”

D: Yes, that would be accurate. That was instilled in me from childhood. My father, growing up in Chicago, always wanted to drive and see other parts of the country. I think when he was a kid they made one trip out to California and that was all he got. So, when I was old enough, I think I was 10, we made our first road trip. Every year my dad would look at a map and pick a different direction away from Chicago and that was the direction we would go. In my childhood I got to see a large part of the country through the windows of the minivan and that obviously carried on to the rest of my life.

M: How did you come to Chile? What was your incentive?

D: When it came time to actually look into practicum placements, I was focused on an institute of higher education in the US. My goal is to work in a study abroad office, to encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad, so I wasn’t thinking about doing an international practicum or working with a program provider. One of my professors who came to know me well over the year in Monterey, including my interest in intercultural development, sent me information on an intercultural learning internship with CIEE. I had completed a course with this professor during J term where we went on site visits to universities, program providers, and branch campuses at different sites in Madrid and CIEE’s orientation session was the site visit that most impressed me. At that point, I got in touch with Elsa and we talked about what an internship would look like. The options presented to me where working remotely from the U.S., going to the CIEE offices in Portland, or coming to Valparaíso. An important component for me was being in an environment where students are, so it made sense to want to be on-site.  In addition, this region of South America topped my personal travel wish list and would allow me to continue developing my Spanish language skills.

M. How has your experience been so far?

D. It’s been great. Certainly there were challenges, especially with the language. I studied Spanish in high school for three years, but I hadn’t studied Spanish for over 15 years before my graduate degree. One of the highlights at MIIS is that they require a language as part of the program. They allowed me to do a summer language intensive program, a year’s worth of college Spanish in 8 weeks, before starting my degree program and that’s what really sent me on this path. Without that, I wouldn’t have been able to go to Madrid, and I wouldn’t have been able to come here to Chile. Even with that, the Chilean way of speaking, which drops some of the consonants like the “d” or the “s” sounds at the end of words, and adds a lot of slang or colloquial words that have origins in the indigenous populations, has taken getting used to.

M: Have you noticed any differences in nonverbal communication as well?

D: When I’m on public transportation, there’s more acceptance of physical contact than there would be in the US.

M: Can you describe the family that you lived with?

D: I live with my host mom, Rosa, two of her sons, and a “nephew” who is the son of one of Rosa’s good friends. He’s going to school in the area, but he is from the north of the country. So there’s 4 of us.

M: And how was the experience in the beginning? A bit awkward?

D. Yes, I think it was a bit awkward at the start. The first day that I moved in, the grandmother passed away. I think that one of the good things that came out of me being a new person that joined their family is that it was an

opportunity where all of the family members from both the extreme north and extreme south ends of Chile came together in the middle to celebrate the life of their mother and grandmother and I got to meet the family all together in one place. I come into the house after a walk and I am greeted by 30 people doing karaoke. That was my welcome to the family.

M: I wanted to ask you what you’ve learned about your host culture and your own culture but first we need to define what your culture is. How would you define yourself culturally?

D: I am definitely American in a lot of ways. As much as I’ve travelled, and consider myself understanding of cultural differences, I am still very heavily on the individualist side, and that is an American trait. It was me deciding on my own to leave the US and go live in Israel, or New Zealand, or Australia. Coming here and being part of this culture in Chile, a collectivist culture, I like it. My ancestors came from Russia, from a more collectivist society, and I see that in a lot of what my mom says or what my grandparents said. It was nice to come to Chile and be part of that, to live in a host family where at least once a week the family gets together for a big meal. Either we’re having the meal in our house or it’s an opportunity to go visit one of Rosa’s friends or family friends because it is ingrained into the culture here. Lunch is a big part of that. In many U.S. offices work is the most important thing. A lot of times you go and get lunch, and then sit by your desk and just keep working. You don’t really take time out to have a real lunch. Here, between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock, everyone stops what they’re doing and we all spend an hour having lunch together in the office. It’s definitely something to appreciate. I think that my next stop, when I leave here and go back to the U.S. for my next job, that would be a difficult readjustment. “What do you mean I have this half an hour lunch break that I need to take by myself?”

M: Did you learn anything new about yourself while being an intern?

D: I’ve learned that I can survive in a Spanish speaking environment. It is nice that I have this other language skill and that I don’t have to rely on someone else’s level of English.

M: What are some of the most meaningful projects that you were involved with?

D: Going over IDI data from the Spring 2017 semester and breaking that information out by study center, by region, and by demographics of the students. In addition, looking at the ICL course evaluations that we were able to collect and looking at student feedback. Those were all incorporated into the Academic Affairs Outcome Report. The second project is the newsletter and that’s been really good as a way to have contact with some of the instructors in different parts of the world who are doing the Embedded Intercultural Component, who are running the ICL, or who are willing to do interviews with interns for newsletters. What I’m starting to work on, Elsa and I are going to facilitate a training for staff to run the Embedded, or a variation of that. And that will be, I think, the most rewarding component of my internship. It is just in the early stages at this point.

M: what have you learned significantly from the internship?

D: it’s almost been like another intercultural communication course for me. I took the Embedded Intercultural Component course myself and now I am looking into being able to adapt that and facilitate that for this next round. The ICL course didn’t run in Valparaíso, but I had access to all the facilitation notes and the readings so it’s been good for me to have the opportunity to continue my own personal training and to have access to different articles and resources that I didn’t have during my degree program. I think that has been one of the largest components of my learning, a continued personal development of my intercultural sensitivity.

M: What has been the highlight of your internship so far?

D: The people. I work in a wonderful office and everyone’s been, even from the start, extremely welcoming of me here. And those lunches help, we have all that time to spend together and have conversations and get to know each other. I enjoy coming in and saying hello to everybody. In Chile you greet people by touching your right cheek to their right cheek. It’s something you don’t usually do with people you don’t know well in the US, what would be considered intimate contact. But here, even if I meet someone for the first time, if I am introduced to someone at work or in my host family, that’s how we greet each other.

M: If you could summarize in one word your total experience in Chile, what would you say?

D: I would say enlightening. Being an older student in graduate school, and now being here and living with a host family and working on these projects, it’s like I’ve had the opportunity to do a real study abroad experience with all the information that I have now on how to adjust and how to go through the stages of cultural transition. I think that everything that I’m going through and experiencing in my time in Chile will be valuable in my being able to see this from a student’s perspective and being able to support them throughout their  study abroad journey with empathy, knowledge, and sound advice.

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

IPSS 2018 January Pre-Departure Workshops Announced

The International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) program at MIIS recently announced its January 4 -17, 2018 workshop schedule. A summary of workshop offerings is as follows:

High-Value Organizational Consulting (IPSS 8530 A, 1-2 credits, Pass/Fail) Jan 4-5, 9:00am-5:00pm

This workshop will be taught by organizational expert and successful government, nonprofit, and private-sector consultant, Dr. Beryl Levinger.  Participants will learn tools for analyzing an organization, its culture, its approach to meeting mission, and ecosystem analysis.  They will also master key skills for effective organizational consulting including client reconnaissance; client relationship management; and the creation of value-added consultant deliverables.  The 15 contact hour workshop in January can be taken for 1 or 2 credits. Students wishing to earn 2 credits for this workshop will turn additional deliverables in the first month of their internship – these deliverables will help them apply the tools they have learned in this workshop to better understand their host organizations. Instructor: Dr. Beryl Levinger.

Designing and Evaluating Interventions (IPSS 8531 A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan. 13-14, 9:00am-5:00pm

This workshop will cover basic tools and steps involved in designing successful interventions (i.e. projects and programs) and effectively evaluating these interventions.  This workshop will prepare students to assist the growing number of organizations across various specializations that are trying to establish more systematic design and evaluation systems. Instructor: Emily Morris; Monitoring, Evaluation & Research Technical Advisor, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC).

Quantitative Data Analysis in a Professional Setting w/ Excel (IPSS 8532A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan 6-7, 9:00am-5:00pm

This course is designed to meet the needs of graduate school level students who are looking to improve their understanding and abilities to collect and analyze data using Microsoft Excel. Collection and analysis are covered in the same course because proper planning and collection of good quality information requires understanding of data analysis and vice versa. The course will be broken up into three distinct modules that are each catered to the skill set of the respective audiences: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Instructor: Kevin Morenzi.

Applied Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis (IPSS 8533A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan. 11-12, 9:00am-5:00pm

Students will acquire and practice tools essential for systematically analyzing qualitative data as a professional in the government, nonprofit, or private sectors. “Learning by doing” will be the main instruction approach. Examples from typical assignments from professional setting such as needs assessment, policy analysis, and M&E will be used to facilitate learning. Instructor: Scott Gregory Pulizzi

Networked International Organizations: Using Networks, Measurement, and Social Media for Learning That Leads To Impact (IPSS 8534A, 1 credit, Pass/Fail) Jan 16-17, 9:00am-5:00m

This two-day workshop will help create an integrated communications strategy that makes effective use of social media and mobile tactics and tools to get results for their host organizations.   Those results may be increased brand awareness, fundraising, inspiring and mobilizing stakeholders to take action, or outreach.  The course will also help students develop a professional learning and networking strategy that will help them deepen the impact of their internship and support their career goals. Instructor: Beth Kanter, an author who was recently named “One of the Most Influential Women in Technology” by Fast Company.

These professional skill workshops will be open to students and professional outside of the IPSS program space-permitting. Please email to express interest.

Monday, November 27th, 2017

D-Prize Social Venture Competition

The application deadline for the D-Prize social venture competition is on December 10th!

According to the folks at D-Prize, the world has already invented a lot of ways to combat poverty, but the best interventions struggle to ever be distributed at mass-scale. This competition is meant to identify business or NGO designs that solves one of their Distribution Challenges.

What’s the prize? Up to 30 social entrepreneurs will be awarded up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in any region where extreme poverty exists.

Who should apply? You should have enormous ambition, and can imagine yourself as a successful entrepreneur. You are ready to launch your new venture, and – if a pilot proves successful – you are excited to grow it into a world changing organization.

Yea, but I’m a student… Don’t worry! If you’re still a student or have existing commitments, you should be able to share a clear idea how you would transition into a full-time founder.

D-Prize is exclusively interested in ventures that will scale distribution of an already proven poverty intervention in the developing world. They do not fund prototypes of promising new interventions

Join the competition today by filling out the 2017 application packet.

If you want to hear more, check out their TEDxTalk.

Friday, November 10th, 2017

DPMI Plus Spotlight: Malvya Chintakindi


Malvya at the Taj Mahal. It is around half a day’s journey from where she currently lives!

We spoke with Current DPMI Plus student Malvya Chintakindi about her experience as a researcher for the organization Outline India, which specializes in quantitative and qualitative research. She talks about her strategy for finding the right internship, which classes from MIIS have helped her out the most, and advice for working in development.

How early did you start looking for internships?

During my DPMI Monterey classes, I was of the mindset that I would look for an internship as summer approaches – probably during March. I soon realized that I wanted to a internship in India as it is more pertinent and relevant. I actually started looking for jobs/internships in February 2017 and my plans were finalized in May 2017. The earlier one starts, the better.

What was your strategy? 

I had two points in mind – 1. I want to work in India, 2. I would like my role to include Monitoring and Evaluation duties. Finding a job/internship by based the job title alone can be heavily misleading. It is not easy to find a job that says “M & E Officer” or “M & E Specialist” as it may not always be feasible or practical depending on the region of work, terminology used in the region and what “M & E” particularly entails for that specific organization. I broadened my scope of search and looked for anything within the development sector with my own specifics in mind.

What suggestions do you have for interviewing well?

I was myself! Once through the written test, I had a skype interview where I spoke about everything that excites me.

 Which classes at MIIS have been the most practical in terms of the work you are doing now?

 A mock interview with enumerators, before kickstarting fieldwork for a project with Tsuda University, which aims at building a multidimensional index for measuring poverty and life satisfaction.

Definitely DPMI, Program Evaluation, and Organizational Sustainability. I wish that I had taken classes on finance for nonprofits.


What is the best advice you received for working in development?

I have been hearing out anyone who talks to me about the field of development. I think ground level experience is invaluable and I am so excited to embark on ground/field work soon.

A snapshot of one of the enumerators from the Tsuda University project, This project aims to build a multidimensional index to assess the overall life satisfaction of individuals belonging to low and middle-income groups.

What are your plans once the internship is completed?

I will still be working with the same organization and exploring the field of development in India.

What has been the most surprising thing to happen to you since arriving in India?

I am living in a city called Gurugram up north – away from my home city, Hyderabad. It has been a great learning experience to be in a new city, exploring both new foods and culture. I have been mistaken for a school kid so many times!



Any other tips or suggestions for students who are about to begin their internship search?

Be yourself – do not compromise on that. Give everything a very persistent try. Search for internships early and be sincere.


Thank you Malvya! Best of luck!

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Are MIIS Alums using a New Model of Sustainable Development in Peru?

Full Article Published in Middlebury Magazine
By Carolyn Kormann ’04
Photographs by Brett Simison

OVER THE PAST HALF DECADE, in the Andes Mountains of southern Peru, two bearded Americans—a couple of Middlebury Institute graduates named Aaron Ebner MPA ’11, and Adam Stieglitz MPA ’11—have made the same harrowing trip hundreds of times. Their starting point is the city of Calca, where they live, and their destination is Lares, a district on the other side of a mountain pass—14,448 feet above sea level—where a group of indigenous, Quechua communities with Incan roots are scattered. Since 2009, Ebner and Stieglitz—under the auspices of their nonprofit organization, the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD)—have worked and conducted research in the region, establishing long-term relationships with the campesinos who survive there by farming and raising animals on the steep mountainsides. Ebner (known locally as Ah-ron), Stieglitz (A-dam), and the AASD have, at this point, become household names.

Julio Cesar Nina and Yésica Cusiyupanqui had seen numerous NGOs come and go in their native Peru. What they’ve experienced with the Andean Alliance is a different story.

The AASD is a small, unique NGO. Its mission is to support community-led development projects. Unlike other NGOs, at least those working in the Andes, one of its primary tactics has been the establishment of deep trust-based relationships with the communities in which it works. Since Ebner and Stieglitz started the organization while they were graduate students at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, they have also made academic research and experiential education key components of the alliance’s model. Their approach relies heavily on the help of students who take part in their courses and programs.

International NGOs have traditionally followed and, in many cases, still follow a top-down model of development. In the cartoon version of this model, an NGO shows up in an isolated, poor (by Western metrics) place and tells its residents what they are missing, or what will improve their quality of life, or what skills they should learn. NGOs dig a well, or teach some classes, or do whatever it is that they determine the place needs, despite having never lived there. Then, like a traveling circus, they leave.

Ebner and Stieglitz are critical of this approach but admit that their own mindset when they arrived in Peru was not so different. They gave lip service to the idea of community-led development, but actually came to the Andes like nouveau eco-missionaries, with a plan to build greenhouses next to schools. They believed that this simple idea could immediately create significant improvements in people’s lives. Instead, over the next eight years, they were humbled, frustrated, resented. Some of the greenhouses were ignored or unused, the victims of changing school directors or a lack of community ownership. Ebner and Stieglitz had many sleepless nights wondering what they were doing with their lives, and if their efforts had any value or impact. They spent years without salaries. But they also were not afraid to acknowledge their failures, their misunderstandings, and to use those experiences to help them refine and refocus the alliance’s mission.

Gradually, the AASD has made a small but steadily positive impact. School greenhouse projects led to family greenhouse projects, which turned out to be much more successful and sustainable. (Since 2012, they have helped 65 families build them.) Beginning in 2014, they began emphasizing the experiential-education arm of their organization and started collaborating with Middlebury professors to create courses for both graduate and undergraduate students. Students did a semester of in-class preparation for the work they would do on site in Calca—during J-term or summer recess—then another semester of follow-up reflection and analysis. (The AASD has also conducted an independent research practicum every summer since 2015.) These projects have centered around topics related to social change and communication, climate change, or, this year, school greenhouse gardens. The AASD has then presented its findings to organizations like Calca’s regional office of economic development, ensuring that community members’ wants, needs, and concerns are addressed on the larger institutional and governmental stage.

Several Middlebury Institute alumni have traveled down to Calca and stayed with the AASD after their internships or independent studies ended, including, most notably, two current senior staff members: Gaelen Hayes, the experiential learning program manager, and Christopher Miller, the director of organizational development. Miller told me that he especially values how the AASD establishes long-term relationships with the people who live in the region. Their approach, he added, couldn’t be more different from big governmental or NGO development projects. “We’re not coming into these communities like Oprah: ‘You get a greenhouse! And you get a greenhouse! Everybody gets a greenhouse!’” Miller said. “We know that’s never going to work. Instead, we go to these community assemblies and present these ideas to everyone. Those who are really open to it, really see the benefit of it—that’s where you’ll see success.”

Adam Stieglitz and Aaron Ebner at a school in Choquecancha.

What is scalable, they say, is their hybrid model bridging experiential education with community-led development. Stieglitz believes it will revolutionize the future of education and cross-cultural exchange, and will spread around the world. He sees universities working with other small NGOs to support their grassroots

development efforts by sending students to help them. Students, in turn, have new hands-on and place-based learning opportunities. The model has endless possibilities, some of which have been piloted at Middlebury already: undergraduate students working with a regional economic development office to evaluate their programs, network with other experts in a particular field, and help the office adapt the program to make it better; and wraparound courses that precede and follow a student’s research done in Calca. “It’s not just about a three-week experience during J-term,” Stieglitz said. “It’s everything leading up to that and what comes after.” He imagines an evaluation class in which students design a way to evaluate one of the AASD’s programs, then go to Calca and carry it out; or a live case study, in which people in a community in Peru are involved in the class taking place at Middlebury. “It’s about building that cohesion,” he said. “Experiential education is adding value locally, in Peru.” But in their model, it’s “not just about students coming in and helping communities. There is also this bilateral flow, push and pull—what students are taking away from these brilliant sustainable communities as it relates to their studies.”


Read the full article published in Middlebury Magazine here.

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale

Interested in attending or presenting at the world’s largest global health and social entrepreneurship conference? Well the 15th annual Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale is happening on April 14-15, 2018!

This event annually convenes 2,000 leaders, changemakers, students, and professionals from all fields of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.

There is a highly reduced registration rate (40% lower than the regular rate) during October, so don’t miss this opportunity to register now!

Abstracts are currently being accepted from professionals and students for research presentations, program presentations, and for the social impact pitch presentations, including submissions for the $10,000 and $5,000 GHIC Innovation Prize. October 15 is the final abstract deadline for submitting a research or program abstract.

The conference has 300 confirmed speakers to date – see them all here.

Global Health & Innovation Conference
April 14-15, 2018 | Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
15th annual conference

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

How high quality evaluations are helping to improve the lives of school children in Cambodia

Author: Monique Rao

MIIS graduate, Monique Rao completed her DPMI Plus practicum for UNICEF Cambodia this past August. If you are interested in a Spring internship with UNICEF Cambodia, they want to hear from you! You can find the listing for their current Spring 2018 Evaluation Intern opportunity here.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, September 2017: In June this year, the UNICEF Office of Evaluation at Head Quarters in New York announced the organization’s 15 Best Evaluations of 2016. Out of 101 evaluations completed globally, UNICEF Cambodia’s Evaluation on Child-Friendly School Policy was selected as one of the top 15 across the entire organization. This recognition shows UNICEF Cambodia’s commitment to transparency, accountability and improvement, and illustrates how the outcomes of high quality evaluations can positively impact the lives of children here and around the world.

Speaking about the role evaluation plays at UNICEF Cambodia, Country Representative, Ms. Debora Comini stated: “UNICEF is keen to continuously promote reflection and engage in seeking evidence to guide our work for children. A well conducted evaluation will always produce lessons that we must transparently debate and apply.”

But what exactly is an evaluation? Why is it so important for UNICEF to invest time and resources in conducting them? And, how does this help make a difference in the lives of children which is UNICEF’s central mission?

Evaluation is a type of research-based activity that UN agencies, governments and non-government organizations (NGOs) carry out. They measure the results of implemented projects, programmes or policies against the intentions of what they set out to achieve.

Let’s say UNICEF wanted to implement a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programme in schools so that children have access to proper washing stations and restrooms at school. Initial questions the team might ask are: in which provinces will we implement this programme and why, how many schools will we provide washing stations and restrooms for, how many children will this affect, and by doing so, what will this achieve? Perhaps they intend that by providing a child with safe water, in an area where they otherwise would not have access to it, then this will decrease the occurrences of preventable diseases due to poor sanitation and increase school attendance.


In general, evaluations are conducted once the project, or phase of the project, has been completed. The evaluation team will ask the same questions the implementing team asked before beginning the project: How many children were given to access to clean water? How many schools did they build washing stations and restrooms for? Why did they choose to start this programme in this province, and was this a good choice? The Evaluator’s job is to use observation, statistics, interviews and surveys to determine the extent to which the programme has achieved its goals. In the example of a school

©UNICEF Cambodia/2014/Isabelle Lesser

water and sanitation programme, by how much did the amount of preventable diseases caused by these decrease, and did school attendance improve, if at all?

UNICEF then takes the key findings, lessons learned and recommendations from the evaluation to make improvements and adjustments to the programme or future phases of the programme, so the end result has the greatest impact. In the example of the school WASH programme, any improvements would be made to ensure that programme is implemented in the most efficient and effective way in order to improve children’s access to WASH facilities. Ultimately, better health and school attendance, lead to more opportunities later in life for these children.

Let’s look at the Child-Friendly Schools (CFS) policy evaluation that made UNICEF’s top 15 evaluations, as an example of the positive impact that evaluation has on Cambodian children.
The CFS policy aims to have all children enrolled in school and improve access and quality of education nationwide. It seeks to have schools that are practicing student-centered learning in a healthy, safe environment for children to ensure they get the best education possible, and uses six key elements to assess this: 1. Access to Schooling, 2. Effective Teaching and Learning, 3. Security, Health and Safety, 4. Gender Responsiveness, 5. Community Engagement, and 6. Overall School Management and Leadership.

Two types of teams are used to assess whether schools are actually adhering to the six key elements above: District Training and Monitoring Teams (DTMTs) and School Clusters.  Both groups are made up of school directors, teachers, and parents, but work at the district level and local level respectively.

One of the key findings of the evaluation of this policy was that School Clusters were more effective in implementing the CFS policy at the local school level than the DTMTs. Generally, this is because members of School Clusters were from the same commune or community, so they could meet more frequently to discuss their schools’ adherence to the policy, which when done properly, means safer, cleaner, more inclusive and ultimately, more child-friendly spaces for students.

As a result of this finding from the evaluation, there was a sharing in responsibility of the key elements between DTMT or School Clusters. DTMTs were restructured to be responsible for all six elements of the CFS policy and school performance as a whole. The role of School Clusters was also redefined so that they would just be responsible for the second key element, “Effective Teaching and Learning” in the schools.  This change to more clearly defined roles, plus some additional government support, meant that School Clusters would be more effective in helping schools train teachers in more child-centered techniques that will make learning more fun and engaging for their students, ultimately benefitting the children to the largest extent.

As CFS is being implemented across the country, the idea is that by using successful monitoring systems like the School Clusters, Cambodian schools will become safer, more welcoming places for children to learn and grow.

The example of the Child-Friendly School Policy in Cambodia demonstrates why it’s important to conduct evaluations. Without them, we wouldn’t know how successful programmes and projects are, or whether or not they’re actually helping improve the lives of children, which is the overall goal of UNICEF’s mission.

*Monique Rao has interned with UNICEF Cambodia’s evaluation team until August 2017.
*Sarah Cowley, Communication intern, has also contributed to this story.

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

IEM Practicum Spotlight: Dave Malacki

We spoke with the always delightful Dave Malacki about his current IEM practicum experience in Portland, Oregon. Read on to see what he has to say about the pros and cons of staying local vs. working abroad, post-practicum plans, and tips on finding the best practicum fit for you!

How did you find your practicum? What is your job title? How big is your office?

My practicum search first began by identifying liberal arts institutions in California, and after discussing some options with IEM faculty I expanded my geographic search northward into the Pacific Northwest (PNW). I conducted informational interviews with IEM students on practicum and IEM alum in the PNW as well as having a cold email template ready to send to any institution that met my search criteria.

I held multiple conversations with the assistant director in Lewis & Clark College’s Overseas & Off-Campus Programs office and opted to join their team based on the projects I desired working on that aligned with their needs. The Overseas office has three full-time staff members and three student workers. I’m serving as their graduate assistant for the term.

What has been the most surprising/unexpected thing to happen to you at work?

Well, before even having the first conversation with LC I knew their study abroad participation rate was rather high (60-65%), yet did not expect such high interest from newly matriculated students. This was a pleasant surprise and required me adapting my advising strategy away from major-specific advising more towards general education advising as most freshmen have yet to declare majors.

On another note, the first project I worked on was a rather robust redesign of their application portal. Due to it being a large project, it was somewhat daunting and required working with campus stakeholders to identify resources available on campus to reduce the final price point. It was surprisingly challenging, yet very rewarding to see it implemented for all fall applicants.

What are the pros and cons of doing your practicum in the U.S. vs abroad?

Well, doing practicum in the US was a very personal decision between my partner and I. We both would have loved to live overseas, but didn’t really want to go through immigration procedures again if we decided to come back to the US.

A pro of doing practicum anywhere in the US is the ability to network in that location. It’s great to do phone informational interviews, yet doing them face-to-face really helps both parties establish a bit more rapport which could lead to potential job notifications earlier.

Do you have a favorite local Portland spot?

Ohh, I have this awesome tea spot, Tea Chai Té (where I’m ironically writing this), that serves the best milk tea I’ve had outside of China! To jive with the hipster vibe, one of their locations is inside of an old train caboose.

Aside from businesses, the entire Columbia River Gorge and areas around Mt. Hood for hiking and exploring are easily my favorite places to enjoy some time in nature and escape from city life. Unfortunately, the fires in the Gorge have closed a couple of the epic trails I did there. However, for anyone looking to get some awesome exposure, the Cooper Spur trail on the NW flanks of Hood offers views of Rainier, St. Helens, Adams, Jefferson, and on clear days a couple of the Sisters. It tops off around 8,500 feet with nearly 5,000 feet of elevation gain in about five miles. Well worth the constant trudge up!

Which IEM course has helped prepare you the most in your daily work?

It’s difficult to pinpoint one specific course, yet based on the book that I find myself reaching for in the office most days I suppose Education Abroad Management. Advanced Topics in Education Abroad, as well as Design & Assessment, were both highly useful in the work that I’ve done thus far, too. I’m continually referring to the NAFSA Guide to Education Abroad to ensure that my project work is getting rooted in established practice. Both skills developed through D&A, along with topics discussed during Advanced Topics have helped me greatly in drafting reports and informing the designs of projects.

Do you have any plans post-practicum? If so, what are they?

Find a job! Extending beyond that I’m planning on returning to Pittsburgh a bit later in 2018 to see my two best friends get married. As always, I have plenty of concerts I want to attend and the northwest is a great place to ensure that happens! Professionally speaking, I do want to stay connected in the field through conference attendance and establishing connections with organizations like Lessons From Abroad and PDX Abroad.

What has been your favorite cultural experience?

I think most of my classmates know I have a keen interest in live music. Recently, I caught a performance by a solo pianist in an old church that had the most amazing acoustics. It certainly helped that the performer was covering mostly Phish and The Grateful Dead, two of my favorite bands. Initially, I wanted to write going to Powell’s Bookstore for the first time, but that just seemed too generic. However, Powell’s is a great place to get lost on any rainy day!

Final thoughts?

The process of finding a practicum site accompanying with having a full course load was a stressful experience for myself. I had classmates that didn’t find practicum until well after the end of the spring term, and having that patience could prove useful when determining the best fit.

Best of luck in the future Dave!

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

IEM/DPMI Plus Practicum Spotlight: Charlotte Grant

Charlotte Grant is an IEM/MPA student who is currently completing her IEM/DPMI Plus practicum working as an Adolescent Initiative Intern for Save the Children in Laos. We spoke with Charlotte about which classes from MIIS have helped her the most, the pros of taking an unpaid internship, and what life “on the ground” is like in Laos!

How did you come across your internship?

Actually, I was in the process of sending emails to UN offices and IOM offices in Southeast Asia when a friend mentioned that there was one at Save the Children in Laos that she wasn’t going to take. I had a quick Skype session with her contact and it sounded like what I wanted to be doing and was a position where I could learn a lot in a very short amount of time.

Why did you choose Laos?

It sort of chose me I guess. I knew I needed my practicum/DPMI+ to be either paid or cost neutral. I looked for opportunities in Southeast Asia so I could take advantage of the Freeman Foundation monies. Since cost of living in Laos is so low the $5000 grant is going really far. If visas allowed for it I could probably afford to stay longer than 6 months. Unfortunately business visas are pretty highly regulated.

What has been the most unexpected thing to happen to you at work? Outside of work?

I expected to be working on design and evaluation planning components of a new project. But I’ve actually been able to work a lot on the new global Every Last Girl campaign and International Day of the Girl events. I’ve created two videos, one of which will be shown at the event as well as at a regional conference in Bangkok. I was also sent into the field to photograph young mothers in everyday life. Many of my photos will be printed and displayed at a gallery for International Day of the Girl and others will be used for the global campaign. I’ve always loved photography so getting to combine my passion for development AND photography has literally been a dream come true. I spend my days at work creating frameworks for situational analyses and editing photos and videos. If I was getting paid I would probably never leave.

Outside of work I’ve been surprised with how friendly and happy everyone is here. Having previously visited communist countries I half expected the same demeanor. However, Laotians are nothing but friendly, helpful and caring. The people I rent my apartment from lived in France for many years so we actually communicate in French instead of English or Lao. On Wednesday nights I play board games with their son and his friends from France. Learning to play new games in a language I’m still learning has been a challenge but really fun!

What has been your favorite cultural activity in Laos?

Hopefully that will come next week! All of this month has been the boat racing festival. Each village has their own boat races and then there is a national holiday for the Vientiane boat race. I went to one village’s race on the Mekong but supposedly the one next week is huge since everyone has work off and people come from all over.

Much like the American south with churches on every corner, here there are temples on every corner. Many times they are used as landmarks. For example, “the mini mart with good bread is by this temple” kind of thing.

What is one thing you hope to gain from your experience abroad?

I hope I don’t just gain one thing! Overall, I would like to feel confident about going to work in an international development office in the field. I think there a lot of things I need in order for that to happen but so far, I’m gaining all of that and more here in Laos.

Which class or classes have helped you the most so far in your new position?

Language! I know it’s a prerequisite for MIIS, but honestly doing SILP and learning French has been incredible. Not only has it given me a circle of friends here I never would have known previously, it’s also opened work opportunities and allowed me to communicate with locals who speak French.

Data and Policy Analysis- Laos is communist. That’s no secret. But because of that there is very limited data and research done on touchy subjects. Having learned R has actually allowed me to be able to pull UN data and run my own analysis which I’ve then been able to use in reports and even in the video I created.

Not a class, but Human Centered Design has been HUGE for me here. I pitched the idea of running a short workshop with my team to help us design the new program for very young adolescents and my supervisor liked the idea so much she thought of three more ways we could use it. One of which is coming up very soon. I’ll be introducing the idea of HCD through a workshop aimed to build community. Though not confirmed the topic will be “How can we build community on a multi-cultural team.” Save the Children Laos recently hired two Hmong staff members to work on this project because we are targeting Hmong communities. They speak a different language and have many unique cultural traditions. Since they came on board there has been a clear divide in the staff. This workshop will attempt to begin to bridge that gap and then will be followed up by a staff retreat where we can delve deeper into some of the things that came up and where we try to prototype some of the ideas that came out of the workshop.

Favorite new food from Laos?

SO MANY! I’m super into the BBQ right now. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Not US BBQ, Korean, nothing. Super tasty and fun. You BBQ everything at your table and there is sort of like a moat of broth and veggies surrounding the meat that’s over the fire so the veggies cook as the broth heats. I’ll send a photo or video of it.

Do you have any tips for people who are apprehensive about taking an unpaid internship?

JUST DO IT. I cannot say this enough. If you are apprehensive about it, do it in SE Asia so you can apply for the Freeman. The flexibility my office has given me with deliverables is incredible. They’ve been so open and accommodating and are grateful for everything that I produce. They’ve been impressed with what I’ve been able to do after my 3 semesters at MIIS. (hopefully this means they’d be open to someone else taking on my role!)

Yesterday I had dinner with Save the Children Norway and they mentioned jobs they had available. My resume has been pushed into the hands of CRS, Unicef, and USAID chiefs of party and country directors. The connections you make while in the field are incredible. I understand MIIS has deep connections but it pales in comparison to the personal relationships you build while simply being in country (sorry MIIS Mafia) and actually being able to sit by a pool and talk about your career goals over a cold Beerlao (This literally happened. I was sitting by a pool with a USAID Nurture Chief of Party, mentioned CRS, and she mentioned the country director lived right behind her. He now has my CV and is circulating it to see if there are any positions that fit my skill set). This experience has become the cornerstone of my resume and the $3000 it would have cost me on my own was probably worth it. Fortunately, with the Freeman I didn’t have to worry about that.


To follow Charlotte on her journey abroad check out her blog: lifeofasaveintern and instagram: chgrantz.

If you would like to learn more about DPMIPlus email Miranda Meyer at


Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Planning J-term & Spring Break 2018

Maybe you want to tackle a grueling research project in some remote location wearing an embarrassing hat. Maybe you want to wear fuzzy socks on your parent’s couch and just sleep off fall semester. No judgement.

Whatever your intentions, your pals at GSIPM are here to help you scope out MIIS winter & spring break opportunities and narrow in on what’s a fit for you.


If you have an appetite for something beyond the amazing GSIPM options, consider paying a visit to our friends at Omprakash. With over 172 partners across 39 countries, their bread and butter is playing matchmaker for organizations hungry for talent. Anyone can peruse and apply for available positions without incurring eye-roll inducing placement fees.


To help ensure you make the most of your time, consider these your To Do’s:

  1. Familiarize yourself with aforementioned amazing  options
  2. Schedule time with your adviser or the lovely Carolyn Meyer
  3. Once you’ve nailed down a plan, apply for that sweet, sweet IPL funding.


Whatever you choose, the crew at GSIPM is here for you.


Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

IEM Practicum, DPMI Plus, IONP, and Boren Fellow Participants for Fall 2017 Announced

For fall 2017, a total of 58 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey students will participate in our distinguished semester long immersive learning programs, to be placed around the country and the globe. Domestically, students are as close as Monterey, CA and as far away as Washington, D.C. Internationally, they are spread across five continents.

Programs include the International Education Management (IEM) Practicum, DPMI Plus, International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP), and the Boren Fellows Program.

Below is a list of current participants, their organizations, and their locations.

International Education Management (IEM) Practicum

Name Placement Location
Christopher Adams Middlebury School Abroad Spain Spain
Lauren Bell Peace Corps Liberia Liberia
Noelle Boucher Education USA Malaysia
Khatab Cissokho Middlebury School Abroad Cameroon Cameroon
Caitlin Cook Portland Community College USA
Janira Cordova California State University at Dominguez Hills USA
Jessica DiFoggio Middlebury C.V. Starr School in Italy Italy
Grace Earley DC Language Immersion Project USA
Catherine Golub Middlebury Schools Abroad at ICU in Tokyo Japan
Charlotte Grant Save the Children- International Laos(SCIL) Laos
Eli Hatch NYU School of Professional Studies, Tokyo Japan
Schuyler Horn Monterey County Weekly USA
Victoria Hudak UC San Francisco USA
McKenna Hughes Middlebury C.V. Starr School in France France
Elizabeth Imasa Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI) USA
Alyssa Jackson EUSA Madrid Spain
Martha Jensen DIS Study Abroad in Scandanavia Denmark
Seth Joyner Univeristy of Utah Asia Campus South Korea
David Malacki Lewis and Clark College USA
Anna McCreedy UC Berkeley International Office USA
Jessica Meado CEA Study Abroad Prague Czech Rep.
Melissa Nix EUSA Spain
Karla Piacentini Foundation for Sustainable Development USA
Erika Quinonez Florida International University USA
JoLyn Rekasis The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development Peru
Rebecca Richey Performing Arts Abroad (PAA) and Syracuse University Madrid Center USA
Hope Sanders Kent State University USA/Italy
Alexander Smith Northeastern University, Global Experience Office USA
David Smith EUSA Sevilla Spain
Daniel Solomon CIEE USA/Chile
Brett Srader International School of Myanmar Myanmar
Eric Staab WorldChicago USA
Laura Stipic Syracuse University France
Shayna Trujillo Diversity Abroad USA
Yijun Wang California State University San Marcos USA
Stephanie Weisfeld Case Western Reserve University USA
Sarah Whitley University of Utah Asia Campus South Korea
Katy Wilson Middlebury Institute of International Studies USA
Ayako Yamada Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Philippines
Zilin Zheng ISS and FIUTS offices, University of Washington USA


Name Placement Location
Eli Hatch NYU School of Professional Studies Tokyo Tokyo, Japan
Sarah Whitley University of Utah Incheon, South Korea
Amy Nguyen Relief International Myanmar (remote)
Karla Piacentini Foundation for Sustainable Development Sacramento, CA
Charlotte Grant Save the Children Luang Prabang, Laos
Malvya Chintakindi Outline India Gurgaon, India
Lauren Bell Peace Corps Response Liberia
Katie Morton TechnoServe Johannesburg, South Africa
Katie Boynton Oasis Legal Service Oakland, CA
Cody Minnich   Unicef Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Ayako Yamada Asian Institute of Management Makati, Philippines

Boren Fellows

Name Placement Location
Chelsea Lavallee African Flagship Language Initiative (French) Senegal
Andrew Meador Hopkins-Nanjing Center Certificate of Graduate Studies (Mandarin) China
Jimmy Smith Middlebury Schools Abroad Jordan

International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP)

Name Placement Location
Joseph Rodgers UN Instistitute for Disarmement Research (UNIDIR) Geneva, Switzerland
Stephanie Halasz International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Vienna, Austria
Maria Rivas Cueva Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Vienna, Austria
Paul Warnke UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, New York
Margaret Rowland UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York, New York

Leave of Absence

Name Placement Location
Ariana Alva Ferrari Think Beyond Plastic Honduras

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Unicorn Strategies: Like Magic, But Better

Ever wonder what happens to graduates once they leave MIIS? We spoke with recent graduate Lieselotte Siegenthaler, a consulting partner at Unicorn Strategies, to get the scoop!

Unicorn Strategies (located in Washington, D.C.) is a company that provides pro bono chief of staff services to retired national security leaders. In exchange, these leaders make themselves available for client projects where they work with young women in national security to solve real world client problems.

Could you tell me a little bit about your background and how it led you to Unicorn Strategies?

In undergrad I interned in both the public and private sector, including stints at the Department of Commerce, at a private tech security firm in Germany and with a human rights lawyer at the UN in Geneva. After graduating, I worked in administration at tech security companies in San Francisco. Working in these positions exposed me to various smaller scale security issues and avenues towards intercultural communication.

Last summer I interned at the American Security Project, where I met my business partner, Maggie, who was Chief of Staff to the CEO at the time. We collaborated on a project involving Timor-Leste and Australia’s maritime boundary dispute and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Part of the project included interviewing the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, as well as liaising with Australian diplomats and American political figures. In working together, we realized while we have different professional backgrounds, our skill and knowledge sets complemented each other’s.

In interacting with and researching the many think tanks and nonprofits in DC, I learned about the pivotal role that retired national security leaders play in these organizations. Maggie’s extensive experience working with retired flag officers at American Security Project afforded her significant insight into how the officers were able to succeed after retiring, and how sometimes they do not have the opportunity to properly use their expertise after transitioning out of government. In addition to recognizing security leaders’ post-retirement contributions to national security, we noticed, and sometimes experienced, the challenges of being a woman in security. Both of our professional and academic lives provided us with large networks of young women either aspiring to work or already working in security.

While thinking about these two groups Maggie and I identified gaps that may prevent them from achieving their career goals. For many retired national security leaders, it’s the gap between their capabilities and how much they are able to contribute to the national security space. For young women working in security, it is the gap between them and the retired leaders, which inhibits their opportunity for mentorship and network expansion.

How/When did you create this company?

After I returned to MIIS for the fall semester and Maggie started her master’s program at Georgetown, we continued to explore the two gaps. Unicorn Strategies came together over the course of the next several months, after recognizing not only the connected gaps such as retired leaders and a network of young women in security, but also acknowledging the impact of our combined skill set in filling that need. Our official foundation date was February 2017 when we won our first contract and we moved into our office April (come visit us!). It’s been a learning process, but we love Unicorn because it allows us to work both in and outside of the traditional national security system to support a more equitable, free, and prosperous world.

What does that mean in practice? 

The chief of staff services translates to helping security leaders use their knowledge and skills as they transition out of government and into the private sector. This can include getting them on retainer at a news organization, an advisory position at consulting firm, or speaking engagements. They are also currently working with one retired IC leader to do a Track II dialogue in Eastern Europe!

In addition to the chief of staff services, companies and advocacy organizations approach us to complete projects, such as writing op-eds, or advising on specific policy issues. To work on the projects, we partner young women in security with the leaders we are staffing. This facilitates knowledge transfer, grows everyone’s networks, and creates mentorship opportunities.

To learn more about Unicorn Strategies go to

OR if you are looking for a Fall internship they are hiring! Join the herd.



Friday, September 15th, 2017

January and Spring Break Off-Site Courses and Special Trainings

GSIPM students now view initial information on international programs and special trainings offered in January and over Spring Break at

January Off-Site Program Locations:







-Czech Republic

January On-Campus Trainings and Courses:

-DPMI–International Development and Social Change

-FMS—Social Enterprise Management and Impact Investing

-Note: Additional courses including many 1-unit workshops taking place in January 2018 will be announced in early November when the spring course schedule is posted.

Spring Break Opportunities:

-The Balkans

-Washington, DC Career Exploration

Please check-back regularly as student budgets are posted on each program website.

Students with interests outside the programs offered, are encouraged to design their own experience. MIIS immersive learning funding can be used to offset the cost of a self-led applied learning project in the US or abroad over Jterm. Schedule a meeting with your career advisor or IPLSP Director Carolyn Meyer through Zócalo to brainstorm options.


Carolyn Taylor Meyer

Director of Immersive Professional Learning and Special Programs, GSIPM


Thursday, September 14th, 2017


2 or 3-week international development and social change training open to all degree programs with optional credit-bearing internship/job fellowship open to DPP and IEP students.

All students interested in DPMI & DPMI PLUS, are recommended to attend this INFO SESSION on Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017, at Casa Fuente-434.

Click here to read more

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