From the monthly archives: April 2011

Open House visitors have come and gone and it’s time for the Admissions staff to take a deep breath and relax.  Whew!  We were really happy with the Open House, and it seemed that prospective students were, too.

While I’m recharging my inner blogger, I thought I’d point you toward a site where you can spend some free time.  Students are invited each year to submit their theses to the Tufts Digital Library.  You can scan the lists of each year’s submitted theses and then, if you choose to check one out, click the title, read the abstract, and pull up the PDF.  I hope there’s one there that catches your interest.  This year’s writers have just been invited to submit their work, so check back in the summer if you want to know the hot topics for 2010-2011.


Fletcher is filled with new faces today as we welcome prospective students.  It’s an action packed day for them — classes, Q&A sessions, roundtable discussions, meeting future classmates, etc.  Everyone is off at lunch now, and I’m taking this quiet minute to share some of the scenes from this morning.

First, everyone checked in as they arrived:

Then they grabbed breakfast, and found a spot in the Hall of Flags to relax and eat:

They were welcomed by Dean Bosworth:

And soon headed off to information sessions on each of the degree programs, followed by classes.  Prospective students at one of the classes heard from the dean a second time — this time acting as the president in a simulation exercise.  (I took this photo through a window.  Sorry for the fuzzy quality, but you can see the dean at the head of the table, looking presidential):

Now, as I said, everyone’s at lunch, but their bags are hanging out in our office:

After lunch, there’s a choice of attending a class or a presentation by the Office of Career Services.  Then more classes, a tour of Blakeley Hall or Ginn Library, more Q&A, etc.!  A busy day for all of us, and, for our visitors, a ten-hour window into Fletcher life.


I always aim to write my blog posts before 1:00, so that they go out by email on the same day.  And, frankly, if I’m going to write something, I need a deadline.  (Maybe you can relate!)  But this has been a week of many visitors to the Admissions Office, plus students calling prospective students from every available computer and phone.  I’ve also been spending time with current students, presenting two quick information sessions on second-year scholarships and collecting the applications they need to submit by April 21.  So it’s all busy busy!  I hope to write something a little more substantive tomorrow.  For today, the buzz outside my door is keeping me from creative focus, and I might as well join the activity.


There are the traditions that take a generation to grow.  And then there are Fletcher traditions, which can establish themselves in the blink of an eye.  Such is the story of thesis haikus.  Scroll back one year to an unusual suggestion from one student to others that they summarize their theses as haikus.  Fletcher thesis haikus share the ancient Japanese poetry’s three line (seventeen syllable) format.  What Fletcher “thes-kus” lack in seasonal imagery, they make up for in variety and creativity.  So here is a sample of 2011 thesis titles and related haikus, submitted by students to each other at the prompting of Elspeth Suthers, whose example sets the tone:

Elspeth Suthers
Corruption and Ethnic Tensions in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan — Reconceiving the Citizen-State Relationship In the Former USSR

Kyrgyzstan. Georgia.
Governance not good for me
Stalin’s ghost laughing.

Suzanne Andrews
Savings Groups in Agriculture Projects: The Challenge of Mixed Incentives

Savings groups are great
Everyone wants a piece –
Try leaving them alone.

Vanessa Corlazzoli
What we know and don’t know about the effectiveness of Gender Based Violence Programming in Bolivia
To stop violence
Men: change your cultural norms
Nothing else will work.

Elise Crane
Bridging the Void: Social Media’s Potential to Transform Intergroup Relations in Fractured Societies

Media divides
Societies are broken;
Can e-Forums mend?

Andrew Daehne
Hip-Hop and Politics in Senegal: The Power of a Movement to Mobilize Through Music

Hip-hop, politics.
Would Senegal please stand up?
Rap, vote with your beat.

Jacqueline Deelstra
Citizen Monitoring of Government Service Delivery: Using Mobile Phones to Amplify Citizen Voice and Enforce Accountability. A case study of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
Government neglect
People need water, teachers
SMS can help?

Eduardo Garcia
Business Savvy or Tech Savvy? Comparing uptake and returns of Business Skills Training versus Technical Skills Training

gen biz=1
generate tech=1
regress wage biz tech.

Ida Norheim Hagtun
Humanitarian Action Powered by SMS — What Are the Ethics and Accountability Implications of Using SMS to ‘Crowdsource’ Humanitarian Needs Assessments?

You gave them a say.
Now they expect proper aid.
Are you ready yo?

Trevor Keck
Blurring the Lines: When does a Civilian Lose Protection under the Laws of War
Who is a civilian and who is a combatant?
Nobody knows.
But target civilians, and you may end up at the Hague.

Laura Kuhl
From a Culture of Disaster Response to a Culture of Adaptation: Addressing Flooding and Climate Change in Honduras

Disaster response
Climate change adaptation
Time to transition.

Kimberly Lyon
Linkage or Leakage? The Jamaican Hospitality Sector’s Demand for Locally Produced Food
Small farms, big hotels.
Jamaica, no problem mon.
We import seafood.

Althea Middleton-Detzner
Corporate-Community Relations and the Role of Nonviolent Action/Civil Resistance:  The Case of Freeport-PT Mining in West Papua, Indonesia
Blockades Shut Freeport
How does company react
to People Power?

David Reidy
Who Are Those Guys? Improving Spoiler Typologies and Analyzing Motivation, Consent, and New Warfare Actors for the United Nations

Is it a spoiler?
Or perhaps insurgency?
Aren’t they the same?

JR Siegel
The Diffusion of Off-Grid Solar PV in Rural Bangladesh

Bangladesh PV
Energy dearth solution?
For the rich, it seems.

Kelsi Stine
A State of Inequality: Confronting Elite Capture in Post-conflict Guatemala
Poor Guatemala
Your corrupt elites hoard land
No peace for Mayans.

Aaron Strong
Tackling Bunker Fuel Emissions: The Evolution of Global Climate Change Policy at the International Maritime Organization

Maritime Low Down:
Bunkers Burning; Climate Change
Shipping Ain’t Ship-Shape.

Sara Van Wie
Child Victims of Grave Crimes and Violations and Their Experiences of Remedy and Reparation in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Reparation for children
Access?  Not so much.

Cheney Wells
The role of remittances in Cuba’s private sector expansion: A shift in Cuba’s remittance landscape from traditional consumption purposes to productive investment use

A fresh pair of sneaks
Got Family in Miami
Show me the money!

Colin Wood
Mozambique and the Perils of Megaproject-Led Economic Development
Aluminum plant
World Bank Mozambique scheming
But where are the jobs?

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If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and you’re planning to attend graduate school at Fletcher or anywhere else, you know as well as I do that you’ll need a U.S. visa.  Today, I’m going to outline the process but, since the outline is similar to information Fletcher has already sent you, my real goal is to encourage you to prepare:  understand the entire process and get your documents ready so that everything will go smoothly, although the final steps of the process are still months away!

So here are the key points.  Nearly all Fletcher students will have an F-1 visa for the period of their studies.  Before you can go to a consulate and have the visa marked in your passport, Fletcher will need to issue an I-20.  Before we can issue the I-20, you need to make your enrollment decision (and send in the relevant paperwork), and then complete a Certification of Funds (which, as an admitted student, you’ve already received).

All Fletcher international students applying for an F-1 will need to certify the same amount for their first year of studies.  Even if you know that you will save money by living, eating, and socializing simply, you still need to certify that amount.  Along with the Certification form, you should send Fletcher a photocopy of your passport showing your photograph, biographical information, and the passport expiration date.

Once our International Student Advisor has received this information, she’ll enter it in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.  (SEVIS is the U.S. Government’s internet-based system to track schools and their students, along with the students’ dependents.)  When that’s done, your I-20 form will go out to you by mail.

Though Fletcher has its own rules and procedures for many things, the visa process, as you can imagine, is driven by government regulation.  The next few steps should be identical, regardless of which graduate school you attend.

Once your I-20 has been issued, you’ll need to pay a $200 fee through SEVIS.  The fee must be paid before your visa appointment, and you’re required to bring a receipt (showing you paid the fee) with you to the consulate.  Now would be a good time to be sure you have the info you need on the fee.

When all that’s done, you can schedule an appointment with the nearest consulate office.  Each embassy or consulate has its own process and wait time for scheduling visa interviews.  Regardless of estimated wait time, please do not leave this to the last minute!  When you go for your interview, you’ll need to bring certain required documentation.

Some time after your interview, you’ll be able to pick up your visa.  You need to collect it in person.  One other note:  your visa will allow you to enter the U.S. not more than 30 days before the start of classes (or about three weeks before the start of Orientation).  Please don’t make any plans that start earlier in the summer.  (The only exception is for students required to pursue language or other training, in which case the visa will be dated for the start of that program.)

The good news on all of this is that most incoming students have no real difficulty (aside from the paperwork and inconvenience) obtaining their visas.  Occasionally, there’s a little more worry involved.  Preparing for the process, and handling all requirements in a timely way, will help relieve (or even prevent) the worry.


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