Posts by: Jessica Daniels

As I walked through the Hall of Flags this morning, I saw that the balcony had been fitted with temporary walls.  On the other side of the walls is a beautiful exhibit of photographs by Jean Mohr.  If you’ll be visiting Fletcher during the next three weeks, I encourage you to reserve a few minutes to view the exhibit.  I know that I’ll be encouraging a visit by the attendees at the midday Information Session that I’m leading today.

The exhibit marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Photo exhibit, September 2014

 

While Fletcher offers admissions Information Sessions every week, we occasionally add in a little extra programming.  This year, we’ll welcome applicants to all programs for a General Visit Day on Monday, October 6 and Monday, November 17.  On these days, in addition to a one-hour info session, we’ll arrange a student panel and a lunch.  You can also schedule yourself for an interview.

For MIB applicants, we’ll offer a special MIB Visit Day on Monday, October 27.  The Information Session will be focused on the MIB program, and you’ll have extra opportunities to interact with current MIB students.  Once you sign up to attend the MIB Visit Day, we’ll contact you to arrange an interview.

Same for the PhD applicants’ Visit Day on Monday, October 20 — a focused Information Session and extra opportunities to meet current PhD students.  Once you indicate that you’d like to schedule an evaluative interview, we’ll contact you with an appointment time.

Regardless of the program you’re interested in, you’re always welcome to visit!  But we also encourage you to take advantage of these extra activities, designed to help you prepare for your application to Fletcher.

Tagged with:
 

Remember how just last week I noted that I’m often visited (via NPR) by the voices of Fletcher community members?  Well, here are two more examples.  First, Dean Stavridis kept me informed when his interview was broadcast while I cooked dinner.

Somewhat more surprising, I heard a report from a correspondent with a name unique enough that I thought it had to be a Fletcher alum.  Karoun Demirjian graduated from Fletcher in 2006 and is a correspondent in Moscow for The Washington Post.  She also occasionally files a report for NPR, and writes for the NPR website.  I happened to hear one of her reports, but it was only while writing this post that I learned that her main gig is with The Post.

Tagged with:
 

In the next few weeks, in response to requests from readers, I hope to be able to gather a few posts in which students sum up their internship experiences.  I thought I’d start by pointing you back toward the blog’s July post that collected links to several students’ own blogs.  Not all of the students whose blogs were included wrote a summary post, but a few did, so check them out:

Owen wrapped up his experience in Kenya.

Katerina wrote about her final week in Nepal.

Leon wrote about the people he met during a summer at the Army War College.

And Braden summed up his experience in South Africa.

I’m working on gathering more stories from the summer.  Stay tuned!

P.S. (Quick late afternoon addition): Check out the Fletcher Admissions Facebook page for photos of their internships that students have shared!

Tagged with:
 

It seems like forever since I last wrote a post about general admissions news, but the new semester has begun and we already feel like we’re deep in the new admissions cycle.  Travel starts next week for several of us (spreading us from DC to Michigan to Toronto and Mexico City) and less than six weeks separates us from our first application deadline (for January admission).  Today I’m meeting with about 20 students who have volunteered to conduct interviews for us.  It will be terrific to have them trained and ready for the start of on-campus interviews on Monday, September 22.  I’d better turn my attention right now to preparing for the training session!

 

While Shopping Day can be said to kick off the semester, Fletcher Convocation is the formal start to the academic year.  It’s a bookend event to Commencement, with professors in their academic finery.  The Convocation Address will be delivered this afternoon by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, F83, who has served from Zambia to North Korea to the UK and is considered one of China’s foremost experts on the U.S.  But before Ambassador Liu received the special award that preceded his address, there were also presentations from second-year student Pauline Yang and from Prof. Jenny Aker,

Prof. Aker at Convocation
as well as two songs from the Ambassachords.

Ambassachords at Convocation
All in all, an informative and festive event!

 

When she was already in Ghana for her summer internship, Diane sent me this final blog post of 2013-2014.  I held it, thinking that September would be optimal timing.  Current students may want to know about Diane’s search for external scholarships, while applicants may want to know that such a thing is possible.  New posts from continuing student bloggers Diane, Liam, and Mark should return soon, and I’ll be adding new voices from among the first-year students.

For prospective students applying to graduate programs, the question of how to pay for a master’s degree is often a huge part of the decision-making process.

While Fletcher was my number one choice in programs going into the application process, the scholarship aid I received from Fletcher also made my enrollment decision very easy.  Nonetheless, Fletcher scholarships don’t generally cover the full cost of tuition, and certainly don’t include living costs, leaving me to figure out how to cover the rest.

Like many students who worked for a number of years prior to Fletcher, I had some savings, and I knew I would also need to take a loan.  As I did my financial planning, I realized that my savings would be gone by the end of the first year, and I would have to try to find ways to minimize the amount of debt I would be taking on.  This led me to the search for external scholarships.

As I reviewed scholarship opportunities, I found myself in the unfortunate position of being an international student from a developed country, but a country that itself offers very few scholarships for international study.  This left me searching for scholarships that I often couldn’t apply for.  I wasn’t very successful with my applications before starting at Fletcher, and I planned to submit more applications for my second year of study.

Once I was at Fletcher, I found my greatest resource to be my fellow students.  I took the opportunity to chat with other international students about scholarships they knew of, and shared information.  I also utilized the resources around me — in particular, I took advantage of the writing tutor program, to get feedback on my application essays before I sent them in.

This turned out to be a positive process!  I applied for two external scholarships for my second year, and was successful in receiving one of them.  Two of my Fletcher friends who had shared with me the process of applying for external scholarships were also successful.  This highlights one of my favorite things about Fletcher: the spirit of collaboration, and how this often leads to shared success.

Tagged with:
 

Like many Americans, I’m a morning NPR listener, which means that I’ll often be joined over breakfast or during my commute by the voice of a member of the Fletcher community.  A week or so back, it was MALD (class of 2002) and PhD (class of 2005) graduate Maria Stephan.  With her research colleague, Erika Chenoweth, Maria spoke about civil resistance movements.  Take a minute (or 7, to be more precise) to listen to the interview.

The recent interview followed an article they wrote for Foreign Affairs on the same topic.

 

Today is Shopping Day, the kick-off for the semester.  Students (including newly returned continuing students) can gather information on class options from professors who give short presentations about them.  The focus is on new classes, but any professor can do a presentation on Shopping Day.

One of the new class options this semester is a special offering.  Here’s the description:

This fall, Fletcher students are invited to participate in a class that will be taught simultaneously and in real time to Fletcher students and graduate students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Russia’s oldest and largest professional training program in international affairs.  The course, Strategic Rivalry or Strategic Responsibility: The United States and Russia in the Key Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific Regions, will be taught by Robert Legvold, the Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, who will be visiting Fletcher.  The course will cover the large challenges facing the United States and Russia in the two major strategic arenas where both have vital roles to play: the historic Euro-Atlantic region and the rising Asia-Pacific region.

Students of the two countries will have an opportunity to interact and collaborate directly with one another in assessing the current state of affairs in U.S.-Russian relations, then moving to a consideration of the key issues that both countries face in these two critical regions, how their policy in one region will or should affect policy in the other region, and what the impact is likely to be on the interests and behavior of the other country.  Energy relations, new and old security threats, the risks from regional conflicts, and the task of building or modifying regional institutions in the Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions will all be examined.  Students will be expected to develop policy perspectives on all of these dimensions for both the U.S. and Russian cases.

The first portion of the course will be taught from MGIMO, with Fletcher students participating in class discussion by video-conference.  In the second portion of the semester, the process will be reversed and Professor Legvold will teach the seminar from Fletcher with MGIMO students joining by video-conference.  Regardless of Professor Legvold’s location, all students will be treated as present in the live classroom and expected to participate fully.  In the final weeks of the semester, the emphasis will shift to students’ research papers, and the full-class video conference sessions will be devoted to the research challenges the students are facing.  During these weeks Professor Legvold will spend time at both schools, working with students individually.

In addition to lectures, reading, class discussion, and a research paper, assignments will include student collaboration in small clusters, which will consist of a mix of Fletcher and MGIMO students. Within these clusters students will work together using course forums or social media to prepare a memorandum on a topic relevant to one of the different weeks’ themes.

Tagged with:
 

Since Christine has been my partner in the summer blog series, it seemed only fitting to close off the intros together.

Christine Richardson, Admissions Coordinator
Christine moved up from the Staff Assistant position less than a year ago, and she makes sure everything is working perfectly behind the scenes of the application.

Where did you grow up?  Andover, MA (just north of the city and home to the famed Phillips Academy)

What is your favorite place you have traveled to?  My favorite place is a tie between London and Mykonos.  I spent six months living in London during college and it became a second home for me.  But nothing compared to the sunny, relaxed lifestyle on the Greek island of Mykonos!

What is the number one spot on your travel wish list?  East Africa!  I am a lion fanatic and it is my dream to see lions in their natural habitat.

What is your favorite food?  Chocolate Chip Cookies

What book are you currently reading?  The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

What is the number one place (Boston-area or on campus) you most hope Fletcher students will visit during their short time here?  Fenway Park!  I am a huge Red Sox fan and I think Fenway is one of the most historic, exciting spots in the area. There is nothing like the smell of Fenway Franks on game day!  The best part is you can take tours year round and learn all of the great history and mystery surrounding the park.  Go Red Sox!

Jessica Daniels, Senior Associate Director of Admissions
I’m the office liaison to the PhD program, and I write/edit the blog.  (But you knew that already.)

Where did you grow up?  I grew up in the town of Merrick, on Long Island, New York.  After 25 years in the Boston area, just about the only thing I still miss are the vast white-sand Long Island beaches.

What is your favorite place you have traveled to?  There are so many ways to answer this question.  What’s my favorite place that I have traveled to and lived in?  (Beijing, China) …my favorite place to travel to and see family?  (London, UK)  …my favorite nearby place to spend a summer week?  (Eastham, MA).  But I think the answer to the question as it’s actually worded is Iceland.  I had a wonderful trip there with my family a few years ago.  The scenery is beautiful, the people are nice, the culture is special.  What more could you ask?

What is the number one spot on your travel wish list?  Again, I could name a bunch of places.  We had wanted to go to the Azores this summer.  There’s a direct flight from Boston and it’s super easy, but it didn’t work out this time.  More of a “wish” on my wish list is Cuba.  I’d like to visit before it becomes a typical tourist destination for Americans.

What is your favorite food?  Should I say roasted vegetables, and act all healthy?  Or should I just say ice cream?  Hmmm.  Let’s go with ice cream.

What book are you currently reading?  I’m currently reading The Guts, by Roddy Doyle.  I start off slow reading Doyle’s dialect (I need to hear the Irish in my head), but I’ll quickly pick up the pace.

What is the number one place (Boston-area or on campus) you most hope Fletcher students will visit during their short time here?  The Boston area was the home for several U.S. presidents, and a short trip to Quincy (looks like “quin-see,” but often pronounced “quin-zee” by the locals) lands you at two of them.  John Adams (2nd U.S. president) and his son, John Quincy Adams (6th president), both had their roots in a remarkably small corner of the town.  It’s now a National Historical Park and well worth the trip.

And that wraps up the introduction of the members of the Admissions team.  We’ll close with a photo of the team.

IMG_0414[1]

From left to right: Laurie, Christine, Jessica, Dan, Theresa, Kristen, and Liz.

Next time you call, be sure to ask us about our favorite food or travel location!

 

Spam prevention powered by Akismet