Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Current IPSS intern, Matthew Coomer, blogs about working at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Want to learn more about what it’s really like to be an IPSS intern? Check out this blog from current Marine Debris Program intern Matthew Coomer!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

MIIS Writers Wanted!

The Middlebury Campus is now featuring “Dispatches from Monterey” and the editors are looking for Op-Ed pieces from the Monterey community.

The Opinions pages of The Middlebury Campus provide a forum for constructive and respectful dialogue on substantive issues. The opinions expressed by contributors to the Opinions section, as well as reviews, columns, editorial comics and other commentary, are views of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the newspaper.

If you are interested, email Caitlin Towers ( or

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Learn about what the NPTS students did in their J-Term in Czech Republic: Nuclear Research Reactor Practicum

MIIS, Czech Technical University: Nuclear Research Reactor Practicum January 15th–January 27th 2017

In January of 2017, nine MIIS students traveled to Prague and Vienna to attend the first Nuclear Research Reactor Practicum. This program was created in conjunction with MIIS and the Czech Technical University (CTU) to help bridge the technical gap often experienced in policyoriented students’ educations.

Dr. Lubomir Sklenka and his colleague, Judy Vyshniauskas, traveled to Monterey last year to explore opportunities for cooperation between MIIS and CTU. Dr. Jeffrey Knopf, Dr. George Moore and Carolyn Meyer teamed up and the two groups of academics crafted a comprehensive program that included lectures, experiments and day trips to additional nuclear facilities. Joe Brazda, senior manager at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), worked closely with Dr. Sklenka and Mrs. Vyshniauskas to create an internship program for one student from the course who would then stay in Prague to conduct research at the reactor.

The curriculum, spanning a period of two weeks, was comprehensive in its scope. Students attended lectures whose topics included nuclear safety and security, safeguards, research and power reactor construction and operations, front and back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, emergency preparedness, radiation protection and waste management among a host of other issues. The reactor division team at CTU rotated their lectures as different scientists presented their research in areas of reactor operations and management for both research and power reactors. It was clear the CTU team spent an enormous amount of time preparing the material and presenting it in a fashion that students from a non-technical background would understand.

In addition to the series of lectures, Dr. Sklenka and his team guided the students through a number of hands-on experiments utilizing the VR1 Sparrow reactor located on campus. At the operator’s station in the control room, students were shown how to manipulate the reactor’s control rods in an experiment on how to reach pre-determined power levels. Once the process was fully demonstrated, and training was provided on how to read the information displayed on the room’s monitors and gauges, each student was allowed to sit at the operator’s station and individually manipulate the reactor. During a neutron activation analysis experiment, a sample of material was placed into an experiment tube and lowered into the reactor where it was irradiated. This sample was then placed in a high purity germanium detector (HPGe) where its gamma ray radiation was analyzed against an online database to determine the composition of the sample. In yet another experiment, students learned about the distinction between prompt and delayed neutrons and the role they play in a reactor. More than 99% of neutrons in the fission process are prompt, meaning they are released immediately after the fissioning of an atom. Although delayed neutrons, which are released very shortly after prompt neutrons, are only a small portion of the neutrons in a reactor, a reactor would be uncontrollable without them. These hands on experiments brought a level of clarity to research reactor applications that could not be attained through lectures alone and greatly enhanced the learning experience for the students.

Dr. Sklenka arranged for a number of day trips to nuclear facilities located around the Czech Republic. The first journey involved a train ride through the Czech countryside to the Rez Research Center and reactor complex. The students were guided throughout the complex and were given presentations on its LR15 research reactor and a LR0 zero power reactor. Students were allowed to stand on top of the LR15 reactor vessel and peer into the core where the fuel assemblies glowed blue due to the presence of Cherenkov radiation while a reactor Director described day to day operations. They were then taken to the zero power reactor where scientists conduct experiments using molten fluoride salts as a primary cooling material in nuclear reactors. The afternoon was then devoted to presentations at the National Radiation Protection Institute where scientists and engineers monitor the Czech Republic for radiation incidents as well as conduct testing and analysis on anyone who might have been exposed to radiation.

The second day trip involved a trip to Skoda nuclear reactor production plant and a cultural event. Skoda is a massive industrial complex in a town named Pilzn that manufactures nuclear facility components, fuel management casks, fuel replacement rail vehicles and many other large industrial materials. A representative from Skoda gave a brief presentation on the company then led the students on a tour of a building where reactor vessels were produced as well as spent fuel casks. Reactor vessels hold the fuel assemblies and weigh up to 440 tons while spent fuel casks can weigh 70 tons, even without the two lids used to shield the fuel and seal the casks. The scope of nuclear facility production was well demonstrated and the student’s knowledge of how spent fuel is managed was significantly increased. The day did not end there. The guide then brought the students to the Pilsner Urquell brewery where they were provided with lunch, a tour and subsequent beer tasting!

The third and final day trip appeared to be the most popular with the students and was a unique and rewarding excursion. Dr. Sklenka used his relationship with the Temelin Nuclear Power Plant management team to provide the students with a tour of the facility along with three presentations covering issues in nuclear power plant management, long-term energy planning and the training and experience required to become a nuclear power plant operator. Temelin is an impressive facility with two 1000MW light-water power reactors and four cooling towers that provide 20% of the electricity consumed in the Czech Republic. The tour and presentations were followed by a comprehensive orientation in the facility’s simulation control room. The simulation control room is designed to replicate the actual control room in every detail in order to certify new operators and conduct training in nuclear safety and security. The guides described the control panels and the layers of safety mechanisms involved in their safety programs to ensure safe operations in case of an incident. One student was asked to switch off a portion of the simulated cooling system which resulted in a series of control rods automatically dropping into the fuel assembly in order to reduce power. Another student SCRAMMED (to instantly shut down all power) by pressing and emergency switch and dropping all control rods in the reactor vessel demonstrating what operators would do if a complete shut-down became necessary. This type of hands-on learning was invaluable and the students agreed visiting Temelin was a highlight of an already amazing practicum.

Dr. Sklenka concluded the course with an exam and a Q&A with the students so he and his team could find ways to improve the program. It was a fruitful discussion and the students and CTU team bade each other farewell so the students could travel to Vienna for the last day of the practicum. The CTU team and MIIS students had clearly become friends and everyone agreed the practicum was a great success.

The final day of the practicum was spent at the IAEA and the CTBTO, located in the Vienna International Center (VIC), where the students toured both facilities and attended lectures by IAEA and CTBTO professionals. The IAEA team lectured on nuclear safety and security, safeguards and emergency management. The students were allowed to tour the Incident and Emergency Center where the IAEA team centers its incident and emergency responses. At the CTBTO, MIIS alumnus Keegan McGrath brought the students to the International Data Center where a senior manager explained how he and his colleagues monitor the information arriving from the international monitoring stations (IMS) located around the world. Mr. McGrath then took the students to the on-site radionuclide monitoring station located at the CTBTO. The final activity for the practicum was held at the UN bar where Laura Rockwood, Executive Secretary of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP and CNS’s Vienna office) hosted an all MIIS social event where past and current students, interns and UN staffers were invited to meet and greet. The students had a wonderful time with their MIIS Mafia colleagues on their final day in Vienna. Nate Taylor, M.A in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies candidate, returned to Prague where he is currently conducting research relating to safeguards and research reactors during a three month internship. In a final review, the entire experience was a tremendous success with much recognition and gratitude going to Dr. Sklenka and the MIIS team for their tireless efforts in designing and executing a richly rewarding practicum. Here are some comments from students who attended:

“In addition to the site visits, the hands-on experiments were extremely interesting and helped cement concepts we had only previously learned on a theoretical basis.” Tiara Shaya MANPTS ‘18

The trip was a great opportunity to physically apply our theoretical knowledge about reactors which we learned at MIIS.  Anthony Musa MANPTS ‘17

The thing that I enjoyed most about the faculty at CTU was their worried looks when we took the reins of the Sparrow research reactor… then messing it up horribly. Aron Riggin MANPTS ‘18

The Czech Research Reactor Practicum was, without a doubt, one of the best educational
opportunities I have ever had. The chance to interact with a research reactor, and to actuallty pra
ctically apply the concepts of neutron detection and dosimetry measurement gave me an understanding of those concepts that I would not have been able to achieve with theoretical reading alone.
Nate Taylor MANPTS ‘17

The tour of the Skoda facility gave me an entirely newperspective on the difficulty of diverting fissile material from the back end of the fuel cycle. Once nuclear fuel has been sealed inside of one of Skoda’s CASTOR spent fuel casks, it’s not going anywhere undetected. Lesley Kucharski MANPTS ‘18

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Tangut’s 2017 J-Term: DPMI in Monterey.


My name is Tangut Degfay, I am from Ethiopia, and a first year student in the Development Practice and Policy program at MIIS. I first learned about DPMI during my senior year at Middlebury College because few friends of mine came to Monterey over J-term to take it. I was unable to join DPMI back then because I part of another similar intensive professional training on the Middlebury campus called MiddCORE. My experience with MiddCORE inspired me to join DPMI, because I truly enjoyed the intensive, mentor-led training aspect of it.

Coming into DPMI, my expectations were more about being able to put together all the theories and skills learned in the normal academic setting and changing them into something tangible. As well as being able to use the training to identify personal strengths and areas for improvement. For example, I have always felt that I have a good sense of networking and outreach, however, I lacked the skills to maintain good contact with my networks. I wanted to expand on this in DPMI.

I found DPMI a lot more extensive than I expected. Not only did we have different mentors and themes for every module, the activities we did throughout the three weeks were also tailored to help us aim at mastering different skills. Some of the skills I developed include; facilitation and planning,  program designing and management, systemic thinking, case study analysis and identification of gaps in development projects, seeking appreciative inquiry, crisis management, community needs assessment, knowledge exchange, building and understanding organizational identity, network analysis and data gathering, and building development indicators.  These are some of the skills I have not been able to develop in the normal academic settings.

DPMI is an intensive program, so, there were times I felt overwhelmed by the amount of information and the little time to digest all of it. However, the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time each day with mentors and students while working on different learning components made the overall program rewarding. One of my favorite moments was our negotiation activity, where we were assigned to closely study and represent different organizations, and to form partnerships with other organizations on a community development project which we designed as part of our group activities.This activity was highly demanding in terms of time and energy. It was also so much fun to try to understand the policies of other organizations, and searching for common ground for partnership.

As an aspiring development practitioner, particularly with a focus on youth development and education access in rural communities, the skills I developed in DPMI are crucial components in my studies and future career goals. I plan to utilize these skills not only in conducting community needs assessment, but also in planning, designing and executing programs to elevate the potentials of young people so that they can serve their communities as leaders of progressive change.


Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

DPMI Plus Spotlight: Addy Jimenez Haga

DPMI Plus Spring 2017 is underway and we have the inside scoop from current DPMI Plus participant, Addy Jimenez Haga, IPD. She is currently working in Peru for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC).
How did you find your practicum position?
During my first semester at MIIS, Scott Webb sent out an internship opportunity with UNLIREC – which happened to be in Peru. I pinned this message and kept it into consideration when choosing an organization for my DPMI Plus practicum. The fact that UNLIREC is in Peru is a added bonus since I spent two years in northern Peru as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
What has been the most challenging work task you have been given in your current position so far and why? 
I have been working on an Operational Forensics and Ballistics Manual; I assisted on mapping the 26 Zonas Veredales in Colombia for logistical strategy in the disarmament process; I have been disaggregating dozens of news articles connecting  private security guards with homicides, suicides, femicides and accidents while using a firearm; and I am in the process of building an M&E tool for the centre… but the most challenging aspect of it all, is the culture shock of being in a rich-feedback and team-oriented environments like what we have at MIIS, to autonomy and independence. I miss having 3-4 rough drafts that have been edited by a faculty member, and all of the brilliant minds working together to produce the best deliverable possible. Nonetheless, this has been an enriching experience and my expectations have been exceeded.
 What skill did MIIS teach you that you have found to be useful in your current work?
Courses that I have applied in the disarmament Centre are  Program Evaluation, Proposal Writing, Finance Functions, Citizen Security in Latin America, Network Analysis, and Organizational Sustainability. The skills include designing effective indicators, observing dynamics within the office and imagining its weighted network (i.e. who is the cutpoint? who is the person connecting everyone?, who has the highest eigenvector? whose brain should I pick to brainstorm career opportunities?), feeling confident when reading a logical framework, finding quantitative data, and how to make M&E sexy/appealing.
How do you see this position helping you in your future career?
I was not sure if working for the UN was something I would enjoy. I love fieldwork and will continue searching for career paths that include it. But I have also been incredibly impressed to witness, live, the relentless hard work and dedication from those at UNLIREC. I am gaining a diplomatic discourse, understanding the uphill battles of working with beneficiaries while gaining patience, and a better understanding of the phases, challenges, and the importance of communication of project cycles.
What advice do you have for someone currently looking for a DPMI Practicum?
Start thinking of regions, organizations, and/or sectors of interest early on. And in my case, I chose an internship that I once found to be somewhat deviating from my passions with the hopes of narrowing my career objective. *Side note: it actually added disarmament to my passions.
What is something you learned you enjoy to do, that you did not previously realize?
I am learning about guns! which I never thought I would be drawn to. Arms trafficking and violence caused by a weapon has broadened my lens to see development from a different angle. Security and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean are increasing, and being part of an organization that believes security to be a human right, is an honor.
What are your plans after practicum is over?
I will start searching for job opportunities next month that hopefully include a niche of international development and monitor and evaluation.
Thank you Addy and we wish you continued success!
To learn more about UNLIREC, check out their website.

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Internship advice from former IPSS and DPMI Plus Fellows

IPPSers and DPMI Plusers will soon begin a new adventure at their internships in Geneva, Washington D.C, New York City, San Francisco, Peru, and Bolivia.  These respective internships are essentially an audition for work at UNHCR, the State Department, Catholic Relief Services, IRC, and/or UNICEF to name a few.

As this years fellows are not the first to embark on such an adventure, we would like to share advice from previous years cohorts.

Last year, we asked fellows, what challenges did you experience that MIIS didn’t really prepare you for?

IPSS and DPMI Plus Fellows mentioned the following challenges: 

-email chains with over 10 cc’ed co-workers and navigating who to cc on which email.

-saying yes to everything and taking on too much

-social media management

-not being assertive about project selection

How can IPSS and DPMI Plus fellows mitigate these challenges?

IPSS and DPMI Plus fellows offered the following suggestions:

  1. Have a strong backbone
  2. Stay organized
  3. Keep an open mind
  4. Don’t take on too much
  5. Manage your expectations
  6. Be creative and come up with an innovative project proposal
  7. Remember that knowledge gained at MIIS is not the end-point
  8. Learn office culture and adjust your style accordingly
  9. Send an introductory email with a list of your skills and interests
  10. Nurture relationships.

Forbes, LinkedIn, and TED also have a number of recommendations:

  1. Ten ways interns can create a great first impression
  2. TED Talk with Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are 
  3. The ultimate intern to-do list 
  4. 6 simple steps to make a good first impression 

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Chasing Buddha – New Art Exhibit in McCone

Chester Ng is a Fine Arts photographer who focuses on dance, motion, abstract and cultural themes. His images capture both movements and expressions as well as the encounter between the subject’s energy and himself. He combines a journalistic style with an aesthetic sense to create images with mood, emotion and relevance. He invites viewers to create their own “real or imagined” stories with his images and to celebrate the spontaneity of the moment.

Chester’s photographs have received international recognition from Black & White Magazine, American Art Collector, Black & White Spider Awards, Monochrome Awards, Color Awards, PX3, Photography Masters Cup and Photographer’s Forum. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries around the Central Coast and the Bay Area. He is based in Monterey and is a member of The ImageMakers of Monterey and The Independent Photographers.

From the Artist:

To me, “Chasing Buddha” is about the Pursuit of Happiness. What struck me most about the Bhutanese people is that, in spite of their spartan existence, they seem quite content with life. Bhutan first promoted the notion of “Gross National Happiness” in 1972 as a way to balance the country’s cautious entry to modernity while preserving its traditions. That notion has since transformed into a core guiding philosophy of life that seeks to strike a balance between the individual’s spiritual and material needs.

Like the joyous spirit of these young monks at Dechen Phodrang Monastery in Thimphu, Bhutan, I felt that same jubilant energy in many of the places I visited around the country. With more than 80% of the country’s populace embracing Buddhism as their faith, the Bhutanese people strive for harmony and peace through Buddha’s teachings.

Check out the exhibit now showing in the McCone atrium!

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

DPMI Plus Summer/Fall 2017 Applications Due April 1, 2017

“What are your summer plans?” The dreaded question many do not have the answer to, but we’re here to help! DPMI Development Practicum (DPMI Plus) is an academic and professional program in which MIIS students complete a 3-9 month internship in which they apply DPMI skills to benefit the host organization.  Students have worked for The World Bank in Washington, D.C. to Catholic Relief Services in Bolivia and Ecuador.

This a great professional opportunity for students looking to gain hands on experience while receiving support from MIIS faculty.  Applications for Summer/Fall 2017 are due April 1, 2017! Don’t wait, apply today!

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Funding for Summer Internships

Is your SUMMER INTERNSHIP paying you? If NOT, MIIS will. APPLY for Immersive Professional Learning (IPL) Funding to cover your expenses for the summer. Deadlin
es are coming soon. To find out more click here

Monday, March 6th, 2017

2018 International Professional Service Semester Applications Due March 31, 2017!

Reminder: Applications for the Spring 2018 International Professional Service Semester (IPSS) are due Friday, March 31, 2017.

Who can apply: IPSS is open to DPP, NPTS, and IEP students graduating in 2018 who are interested in working fulltime in their sector while earning academic credit.

Application/Program Information:

  • You do not need to have a job or internship confirmed for next spring when you apply.
  • All applicants will be asked to take a 1-hour writing test during one of four testing windows in April. Times will be posted on and sent by email.
  • IPSS can be taken for 6-12 credits in spring 2018. Internships/jobs can be paid or unpaid and in the US or abroad.
  • Students who are accepted to IPSS can switch to other practica programs (DPMI Plus, Independent Practica) at a later date should their professional and academic interests/needs change.

To apply: IPSS application or visit


Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Sign up for Round 1 of Aspen Case Competition by March 7

MIIS has been selected as one of 25 schools to partner on the Aspen Institute’s 2017 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition.  This preeminent program differs from other MBA case study competitions in that its focus is explicitly on social, ethical and environmental decisions currently being faced by a real business.  The top five teams worldwide will be flown to New York City to present in front of corporate, academic and other friends of the Aspen Institute and to compete for a share of over $30,000 in scholarship funds.

Please visit for more information.  You may also follow @AspenBizSociety on Twitter and, for those of you who participate, join the competition’s LinkedIn group.

Our on-campus competition will take place within the 72-hour period from April 8 – 10.  There is no limit to the number of student teams that may participate at MIIS in Round 1 of the competition; please email Profs. Sandra Dow and Yuwei Shi ( and by March 7, if you’d like to sign up and be put on a team!

To help students prepare for the competition, we offer a series of preparation sessions in McGowan 99 on March 10 at 8:00 – 10:30 am followed by a 72-hour mock competition, March 13 at 6:00 – 8:50 pm, and April 7 at 8:00 – 10:30 am. In addition, the review and feedback session for Round 1 competition will be held in McGowan 99 on April 11 at 6:00 – 8:50 pm. Please make sure to attend all these sessions if you plan to participate in the competition.

Despite your busy schedule, we hope you will consider taking advantage of this opportunity to think inventively about the intersection of business and society! All degree programs welcome!



Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

DPMI Colombia a Unique Experience for MIIS Students

Thirty practitioners and Middlebury Institute (MIIS) graduate students came together in Medellin this past January to participate in the first ever iteration of DPMI Colombia. MIIS alumna Teryn Wolfe and DPMI alumna Shelley Casey of the E2E Foundation hosted a training which covered skills from module one of DPMI and incorporated content adapted to their local setting. The training offered participants both classroom instruction and practical field experience with local client organizations. The training was conducted entirely in Spanish, adding a unique learning opportunity for MIIS students. “Nothing replaces being fully immersed in a language,” recounted Katie Morton (MIIS MPA ‘18), who stayed with a host family throughout the training and learned development concepts and vocabulary in her second language.

Katie had the opportunity to complete a client project for the “Buen Comienzo” (“good start”) program. Similar to the Head Start program in the US, Buen Comienzo works to improve primary education through an integrated, child-centric model.  Buen Comienzo is part of a larger, 12 year government neighborhood revitalization initiative in the city that integrates modern architecture, nutritionists, interactive spaces, and education professionals all for the benefit of children and their development.  Katie’s role was to aid the organization in developing an evaluation strategy using the tools she learned from the E2E training.  Completing her client project side by side with local practitioners helped Katie reflect on her role in the community, what kind of questions to ask to better understand the local, organizational context, and how her work could contribute to the mission and goals of the organization.  

What was the most important ‘big idea’ from the experience?  “You can learn these tools and concepts anywhere but there’s so much more you can gain when you are applying it to a real context with people who have lived that reality.”  The training allowed her to interface with practitioners in the spirit of innovation.  Colombians from all over the country came to Medellin to share their projects and learn new skills for development: throughout the training Katie worked closely with several local social activists, one colleague was piloting a floating school model along the coast in northern Colombia.  Through DPMI Colombia, “you can gain a comprehensive picture and get to know people who have had very different experiences. It helps you gain a multidimensional understanding of a situation or context.” 

DPMI encourages alumni to incorporate DPMI skills into their own contexts and welcomes future partnerships between the Institute and alumni.


Friday, February 24th, 2017

IPSS, IONP, DPMI Plus, IEM Practicum, FMS, and Student Exchange Placements for 2017 Announced

IPSS, IONP, DPMI Plus, IEM Practicum, FMS, and Student Exchange Placements for 2017 Announced

For spring 2017, a total of 51 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 the San Francisco Bay area and as far away as Washington, D.C. Internationally, they are spread across five continents.

Programs include the International Professional Service Semester (IPSS), the International Organizations and Nonproliferation Program (IONP), DPMI Plus, the International Education Management (IEM) Practicum, the Student Exchange Program, and the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) Program.

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

International Professional Service Semester (IPSS)

Thomas Chamberlin SeeSaw Cape Town, Africa
Matthew Coomer NOAA Seattle, WA
Megan Godfrey NOAA Fairbanks, Alaska
Joshua Morris TNC Santa Cruz, CA
Sorina Seeley NOAA Fairbanks, Alaska
Akimi Yano-Manzano UNITAR Hirsohima, Japan
Daniele Elizaire UN Women New York, New York
Andrew Larson State Department Lima, Peru
Steven Perle IRC Sacramento, CA
Ariel Watkins EDC Washington, D.C.
Patrick Niceforo Korean Economic Institute Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rupp Greenbelt Alliance/Transform San Francisco, CA
Monique Rao UNICEF Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Shirin Khan Atlantic Council Washington, D.C.
Lieselotte Siegenthaler Center for Climate and Security Washington, D.C.
Laura Williams State Department Washington, D.C.
Maxwell Petersen Atlantic Council Washington, D.C.
Margaret Arno LLNL Livermore, CA

International Organizations and   Nonproliferation Program (IONP)

Julia Diamond United Nations Office of Disarment Affairs (UNODA New York
Lesley Kucharski United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) New York
Kyle Pilutti IAEA Vienna, Austria
Nate Taylor Czech Technical University/CTBTO Prague, Czech Republic


Genevieve Dabrowski Bay Area Council Economic Institute San Francisco, CA
Sarah Terherst CNFA DC/Niger
Genevieve Yehounme WRI Washington, D.C.
Addy Jimenez Haga UNLiREC Peru
William Holeness UNEP RONA Washington, D.C.
Nicholas Stulck Catholic Relief Services Ecuador
Elizabeth Falconer Catholic Relief Services Bolivia
Rachel Dickinson Global Fund for Women San Francisco, CA
Michelle Zaragoza Peace Corps Nicaragua
Adam Grant Peace Corps Armenia
Veronica Diaz US State Department and UNICEF DC/Honduras

International Education Management (IEM) Practicum

Annelise Andrade EUSA Centro Universidad International Office Sevilla, Spain
Abbiola Ballah MIIS, Center for Social Impact Learning Monterey, CA
Jenna Cotey South Puget Sound Community College Washington
Megan Dieck University of Wisconsin-Plattville Platteville, WI
Damien Lazzari UC Santa Cruz, Global Engagement ISSS Santa Cruz, CA
Heather Rahimi University of Utah Asia Campus Incheon, South Korea
Jake Reckford American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) Washington, D.C.
Will Stewart Kuwait Cultural Office Los Angeles, CA
Clarissa Stewart Middlebury- CMRS Oxford Humanities Program Oxford, England
Yuki Ueda MIIS Strategic Programs Monterey, CA
Daniel Watson Portland Community College Portland, OR

Student Exchange Programs

Sean Bonowitz Middlebury Schools Abroad France
Bryce Bay Middlebury Schools Abroad Russia

Frontier Market Scouts (FMS)

Ben Grimming Incubator Assistant @ Kalu Yala Panama
Frances Hess Impact Fellow @ Jeeon Bangladesh
Courtney Kemp Investment Relations Consultant @ Mangrove Credit Group Liberia
Christina Lukeman Impact Assessment Fellow @ Uberis Capital Cambodia
Jessica Anderson Business Development Manager @ Toucan Education Programs Belize


Friday, February 24th, 2017

IPSS Application Deadline is Nearing!

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

2017 Summer Opportunities!

Do you have any plans for the summer? If not, spend your summer in a paid internship, building language skills, or completing a professional certificate training. Below are the list of opportunities to make your summer fruitful and adventurous. Find out more: 2017 summer opportunities.

Many of the opportunities posted below are eligible (subject to availability) for MIIS Immersive Professional Learning funding.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD) Summer 2017 Research Practicum

For the summer of 2017, the AASD is seeking 12 students to participate in an 8-week intensive summer research practicum. These students will be split into two teams, each pursuing a unique research opportunity. One team will be working with the local government Office of Economic Development; the other team will make policy recommendations to institutions interested in scaling local community development projects. While these teams will be dedicated to separate projects, all students will participate in a common curriculum of research methods training, development theory and practice, and cross-sectoral collaboration.

Research Topics Education and Agriculture: An Exploration of School Garden Projects in High-Altitude Communities

The AASD has extensive experience implementing school garden projects. An important factor in these projects is the diverse climates and social structures throughout Peru, which present unique obstacles and considerations. In this investigation, students would explore specific intricacies of implementing successful school gardens, and create a deliverable to convey their findings. The AASD has worked on school garden projects with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), Qali Warma (National School Lunch Program), and the local Department of Education Administration. These local and national actors represent potential collaborators in this research.

Supporting Development Through Local Government: Challenges & Opportunities

The Office of Economic Development has numerous projects throughout the Sacred Valley and surrounding areas. These projects largely involve capacity building and resource development across many industries, including a coffee growers initiative, guinea pig farming, and flower production. In this project, students will conduct a diagnostic of the various projects housed in the Office of Economic Development. By creating a comprehensive inventory of these projects, challenges, and opportunities the AASD will work with the Calca government to identify a significant point of intervention to be explored in future iterations of the project.

Student Experience

The context of the Sacred Valley provides a rich environment for students to learn about development, while also enjoying the beauty of the Inca Breadbasket. Students will have ample opportunity to explore the many ruins and tourist attractions in the valley, but will also have a unique experience visiting and learning from local communities that are off the beaten track. Students will advance their Spanish language skills through practical application, and will be immersed in Peruvian culture throughout their time in the program.

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. The first weeks of the program will focus on building local context, research design, and methods training. Students will gain experience in field research, data interpretation, and partner engagement.

In addition to the skills-based curriculum, the practicum offers a holistic learning experience that incorporates a strong academic component. Students will utilize advanced critical thinking skills and observations from their work in the communities to explore the complexities and challenges of community development. Exposure to diverse realities and development lenses will help students to develop a global perspective, as well as providing a reflection point for personal exploration and learning.

Student Qualifications

The AASD is seeking students with diverse academic backgrounds, including: Geography, Latin American Studies, Food Studies, Environmental Studies, Agriculture, International and Global Studies, or Sociology and Anthropology. Students from all departments are encouraged to apply, however preference will be given to students who represent the listed fields. Ideal candidates have a desire to learn about research methods and process, and are conversational in Spanish.

Program Dates: June 5- July 28

Cost per Student: $4,400

Application Process

Interested students should submit a resume (cover letter optional), and a statement of purpose to Candidates who are a good fit for the program will be contacted to schedule an interview. We will contact all priority submission applicants by February 3rd (we will do our best to get back to you within one week of your submission), and all second phase applicants by April 7th .


Priority deadline: January 31, 2016

Final deadline: March 31, 2017

Guidelines for Statement of Purpose:

Your one-page statement of purpose should address the following points:

1. Why would you like to participate the AASD Summer Research Practicum? Why is this important and what are you hoping to get out of your experience?

2. How will your participation in the AASD Summer Research Practicum support your professional goals?

Your Statement of Purpose should be forward looking. While it is ok to draw on past experience for examples, we prefer that past experience and qualifications come through in your resume and (optional) cover letter.

Thank you for your interest in the AASD Summer Research Practicum- we look forward to hearing from you!


Friday, February 10th, 2017

New Blue Pioneers Program To Include Three Spots for MIIS Students July 23-August 5, 2017

Who: Program includes spots for 15 graduate students from Peking Guanghua Business School, 3 graduate students from the Middlebury Institute, and 2 graduate students from Stanford

What: The Paradise Foundation, in partnership with Peking University Guanghua Business School, the David and  Lucile Packard  Foundation  and China’s  Yintai  Foundation,  has established  the Blue Pioneer Program to identify and train the new leaders of  China’s blue economy. The Blue Pioneer Program will enable young leaders to take effective action to build the corporations,  nonprofits and social enterprises that can successfully solve the sustainability and economic challenges that China faces in and around its oceans, coasts, fisheries  and aquaculture sectors.  The program has now added the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) as partners for 2-week summer training in Monterey.

When: July 23-August 5, 2017 (all day)

Where: Program will take place at sites around the Monterey Bay

Cost: There is no program fee to participate. Double-occupancy lodging at a hotel in Monterey is available free-of-charge for those without an apartment in Monterey over the summer.

Who Should Apply: MIIS graduate students with interest and/or experience in social business, nonprofit management, coastal conservation, or environmental sustainability.

How to Apply: Interested MIIS students should apply online  by March 15, 2017.

What you will gain:

  • Training and knowledge on how to launch and grow “social enterprises” and non-governmental organizations related to the ocean
  • Interaction with Chinese graduate assistants seeking to start social enterprises focused on the blue economy
  • Exposure to marine and social business experts from California
  • Professional certificate from the Blue Pioneers Program

Why  was  the Program Created?

China’s blue economy will play a centeral role in the country’s 21st century development. China’s coastal provinces, with just 14% of its land area, have half the population of the country and two-thirds of its economic activity. The oceans are a major source of food production, employment, and economic activity. In the coming decade, China’s maritime economic is expected to achieve a growth rate nearly twice that of other sectors. This growth is challenges because China’s coasts and oceans face mounting pressures and threats. More than half of China’s fisheries are over-harvested and depleted. More than 60% of China’s coastal wetlands have been lost to development. Pollution carried by rivers to China’s coasts produce vast “dead zones” and contaminates seafood in the rapidly growing coastal aquaculture industry.

The complex economic, environmental and social issues around our oceans require business acumen and leadership to provide sustainable change. Over the next two decades, there will be a tremendous need for leaders and entrepreneurs who can build organizations that innovate to solve challenges facing China’s blue economy and those who can create businesses that can provide sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits from China’s marine resources.

Contact: For more information contact Prof. Yuwei Shi at or IPLSP Director Carolyn Meyer at

Friday, February 10th, 2017

J-TERM PRACTICA in NEPAL: My first country in Asia

Elizabeth Fisher, MPA ‘18 says, “I have travelled, studied, and worked extensively in Europe, but Nepal was my first country in Asia.” She participated in the Nepal J-Term Practica with 7 other MIIS students. The main purpose of her visit was to collect data on environmental awareness, perspectives on waste management and recycling, and the nation-wide plastic bag ban by using the data collection tools that she and her team had designed in her Field Methods class taught by Prof. Phil Murphy.

In partnership with Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), her team interviewed the residents of Dang and Surkhet Districts in Western Nepal. Her fieldwork gave her an opportunity to immerse herself in the villages where she experienced authentic rural life in Nepal. She was fascinated by the range of colors that she saw there. 

“The best part of this fieldwork was that I got to work with a great team,” highlighted Elizabeth. She also stressed that the research was focused in one geographical region, which made it easy to maximize the team’s time in Nepal. It was a challenge for her to reach out to unknown individuals in the community for interviews, but she expressed that people were open to questions and chats.

After an exhausting week of fieldwork, the Nepal team took the opportunity to visit Bardia National Park for a retreat. Elizabeth emphasized that the retreat brought the group together as they bonded more.

In the third week of the Practica, the group returned to Kathmandu and she presented the preliminary findings to HCI. “It was very satisfying and fulfilling to share the findings to the client because the client was very receptive to our findings,” says Elizabeth. Apart from presentation, she got to see the famous monkey temple in Kathmandu. She said that Kathmandu was very congested and chaotic, but she enjoyed the beautiful landscape when she traveled out of Kathmandu.

Within three weeks, she learned a lot about Nepal and its cultures and religions. Her Nepal experience taught her that one does not need all western amenities to be happy. The experience cemented some ideas and helped rejected some ideas: Nepal was a test for her to see if she wanted to work in the international development sector. She expressed her interest in international development work without forcing her ideas on others.

Elizabeth, now a second semester MPA student, is still working on the data she and her team collected in Nepal. In her Advanced Policy Analysis class, one of three “wrap-around” courses, she is examining the findings in details that will be communicated back HCI.


Friday, January 27th, 2017

GSIPM Wins Photowings Grant! and is hiring!

GSIPM won a grant from Photowings for its “Bursting the Bubble: Fostering Connections between Community and Campus” project.  The project will aim to display art throughout Monterey County that depicts MIIS students involved in their local community.  At the center of the project is the MIIS Committee on Art in Public Places (CAPP), which is recruiting volunteers and one student Project Leader in a paid position, to enact the project.  Interested students should contact Carolyn Meyer (, explaining their proposed involvement and interest in the project.

To learn more about CAPP and the Photowings grant, visit

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

East Asia Practicum Deadline Feb. 3rd

The East Asia Practicum offers students the chance to explore foreign policy, trade and security issues in a semester long seminar that will also travel to Beijing and Tokyo over spring break.  The course will be taught by Professors Akaha and Liang. Please email Prof. Liang to register by February 3rd. For more details, visit the East Asia Practicum site.


*Students are eligible to apply for immersive learning funding to offset the program fee for this course.

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