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As we close out March, the month that includes International Women’s Day, let me point you toward a feature on Fletcher’s Facebook page.  Clicking on the photo below will take you to the site, and then you can click each individual photo to read the women’s stories.

 

Just yesterday, I posted a link to a profile of Rizwan, a PhD candidate.  And then today, he sent along this fun photo with the explanation below.  This strikes me as a great example of an area (nuclear policy) where there’s no specific Field of Study, but nonetheless, there’s a cluster of expertise that enables students to pursue their objectives — true for so many different focus areas.  (Plus there’s that special Fletcher family aspect, too.)

Rizwan’s note to me and a few others:

Please find attached a photo of nuclear policy-focused Fletcher students and alumni from across the last 30 years!  We are currently gathered in DC for the biannual Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference. From left to right:

Emma Belcher (F04, PhD F10), Director for International Peace and Security at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Chen Kane (PhD F04), Director of the Middle East Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Steve Miller (PhD F88), Director of the International Security Program at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School
Mathew Cravens (F18)
Clark Frye (F17)
Rizwan Ladha (F12, PhD F17), Research Fellow at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School
Wendin Smith (PhD F01), former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, U.S. Department of Defense
Lami Kim (F13, PhD F18), Research Fellow at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School
Travis Wheeler (F15), Research Associate in the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center
Amanda Moodie (F11), Assistant Research Fellow in the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University

Not pictured, but also attending the conference: Janne Nolan (PhD F83), Research Professor and Chair of the Nuclear Security Working Group at the Elliott School, George Washington University

 

The subject of science and diplomacy has been growing quickly as a focus at Fletcher in the last few years.  First, we have been fortunate to add a faculty member, Professor Paul Berkman, who is teaching Science Diplomacy: Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean.  Not unrelated, the School has participated several times in the annual Arctic Circle Assembly and, in February, Fletcher hosted a student-led conference on the Arctic.  But that’s not all!  The Fletcher Science Diplomacy Club (SciDip) has organized participation in a semester’s worth of activities.  Here are a few of the highlights.

The Science Diplomacy Club hosted several talks on relevant topics, including:

⇒  Dr. Frances A. Colón, the Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, spoke at the “Fletcher Disrupts: Dusting Off Diplomacy” conference and the club hosted at a lunch-talk for group members.
⇒  Dr. Roman Macaya, Ambassador of Costa-Rica to the U.S., a science diplomacy practitioner and enthusiast, will speak this month about his work and experience.

The SciDip students were fortunate this year to be able to participate in several sessions when the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) held its annual meeting in Boston in February.  The meeting’s theme was “Serving Society Through Science Policy.”  The group arranged free admission for panels including “Networks of Diasporas in Engineering and Science Forum” and “How do Science, Technology and Engineering Diasporas Contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals?”  Students also participated in “The Science Diplomacy Education Network” event, hosted by AAAS, designed to “highlight institutional and student-driven approaches to science diplomacy education.”

The final AAAS-related event was a panel dialogue at Fletcher among Science & Technology Advisors to Foreign Ministers.  (So interesting!)  Here’s a story about a busy weekend that included both this event and the Arctic Conference.

Those are just a few of the SciDip events that have already taken place or are coming up this semester.  More broadly, in the Boston area, there is a critical mass of graduate schools and universities that focus on science, diplomacy, policy, or science and diplomacy policy.  I expect that this is an area that will continue to grow at Fletcher.

 

Every now and then I like to comb through my folder of blog ideas and gather a collection of news items that I wasn’t able to turn into a post of their own.  In my recent news, we have:

♦  In January, Fletcher welcomed the 18th class of Tavitian Scholars to The Fletcher School.  Each year, Fletcher hosts a six-month training program in Public Policy and Administration for fifteen Armenian civil servants from various government agencies, ministries, and legal institutions.

♦  A Fletcher PhD student, Rebecca Tapscott recently received the International Studies Association’s Carl Beck Award for best paper written by a graduate student.  Her article, “Where the Wild Things Are Not: Crime Preventers and the 2016 Ugandan Elections,” written for the Journal of Eastern African Studies, is now available online.

♦  Fletcher now hosts a prayer room that officially opened this semester.  Here’s the Tufts Daily story.  Note that the photo includes our own Student Stories blogger, Mariya!

♦  Dean Stavridis recently sat down with Professor Eileen Babbitt to discuss “Bridging the Gap,” a grant to Fletcher from the Carnegie Corporation, aimed at considering how academic knowledge can inform and help create policy.

On a related note, Professor Michael Klein has rallied a large group of his fellow economists to create EconoFact, a web-based series of articles “to bring key facts and incisive analysis to the national debate on economic and social policies.”  There’s already some very interesting analysis on the site.

♦  The University recently launched a Tufts Crowdfunding site, where University projects can seek outside funding directly from donors.  A limited number of projects will be highlighted each month, after being reviewed.

♦  And here’s an interesting article from Tufts Now, by Brian Kitching, F15, who describes his battle with and perspective on PTSD.

♦  Finally, the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) held its January residency in Malta, and produced this video to describe the experience.  Note that GMAP is conducted primarily through distance learning, but once they graduate, GMAP alumni have been great members of the Fletcher community.

 

Back in the fall, the World Peace Foundation announced its 2016-2017 WPF Student Seminar Competition.  It invited Fletcher students to submit proposals for a two-day seminar that would be held on campus in the spring semester.  WPF said “the student competition enables Fletcher School students to frame an issue and interact with leading global experts on the topic of their choosing.”

And the event is finally here!  The student-led seminar on “Theorizing (Dis)Order: Governing in an Uncertain World” will take place tomorrow and Friday.  The students who submitted the winning proposal are MALD students Akua Agyen (first-year) and Protiti Roy (second-year), and PhD students Benjamin Spatz, Juan Taborda, and Rebecca Tapscott.

Here’s the description:

The seminar brings together a diverse group of scholars who study how unpredictability, disorder, and turbulence are produced, performed, invoked, and allocated as a means of shaping—or even constituting—strategies of governance worldwide. These scholars, of varying disciplinary backgrounds, will engage each other to enrich existing theoretical frameworks for understanding the connections between disorder and governance. Drawing on cases from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, scholars will explore the question of disorder in a number of contexts, including in relation to the formal and informal security sector, financial markets, decentralization, governing borderlands, and elite pacts.

I’ll be watching for the Twitter chatter during the conference and I’ll edit today’s post to add a link so you can follow along.

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Coming up next week: A full schedule of discussions of super timely topics.  For this fourth annual Innovate Tufts Week, the Fletcher student organizers invite all to join a week of “mindful disruption, as we deconstruct the world’s most pressing challenges, work through tangible solutions, and ultimately arrive at actionable outcomes—innovation in practice.”

Here’s the rundown of the Innovate Tufts: Fletcher Disrupts events, which I have taken directly from the email invitation I received this week.  Visitors are welcome and the descriptions include the option to sign up.  Note that the venues are close to Fletcher on the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus.

Fletcher Disrupts: The Refugee Crisis
Sunday, February 12, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Cheryl A. Chase Center, Tufts University

This human-centered design workshop, led by Continuum Innovation, will address the state of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people in 2017. Following overviews by guest speakers from six Boston-based refugee organizations, participants will work together in groups to develop creative approaches to tackle varying refugee challenges, receiving feedback from practitioners and refugees as they map out solutions. Sign up here early to ensure your spot in the workshop!

Fletcher Disrupts: Dusting Off Diplomacy
Monday, February 13, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Breed Memorial Hall, 51 Winthrop Street

This session will highlight innovative approaches to diplomacy, including climate diplomacy, culinary diplomacy, start-up diplomacy, and science diplomacy! Experts from each area will outline the idea behind their disruptive approach and discuss how it succeeds in “dusting off diplomacy.” A pitch idea exchange will follow (sign up here if you’d like to pitch your idea!), enabling demo participants active in the innovation community a chance to present their novel approaches and get on-the-spot expert feedback. Register here to attend.

Fletcher Disrupts: Colombia’s Struggle for Peace (A Case Study)
Wednesday, February 15, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Cheryl A. Chase Center, Tufts University

Using recent events in Colombia as a case study, this session will highlight innovative techniques being utilized in Colombia’s peacebuilding process. With expert facilitators, participants will delve into the four-steps of peacebuilding — conflict prevention, management, aftermath, and rebuilding — and learn about innovative peacebuilding techniques Colombia has employed in each stage and where it can move from here. Register here to attend.

Fletcher Disrupts: Networking
Thursday, February 16, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Cabot 7th Floor, Tufts University

Join us for networking disrupted—an opportunity to network with speakers and guests from throughout the week, as well as professionals from various sectors working on innovation in their fields. This “world cafe” style event will feature a roundtable setup, with each table covered in butcher paper and supplies in order to facilitate the exchange of ideas and visual tying-together of sessions from throughout the week. Register here to attend.

Questions?  You can email the Innovate Tufts organizers.  And you can follow the discussions on Twitter.

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The Admissions Blog may be the Fletcher platform that generates the most posts, but it’s not the only one out there.  Take a look at these sites that update content relatively frequently.

The Fares Center

Fletcher Gender

Fletcher’s LLM program

And, of course, the personal blog of Dean James Stavridis.

Last, though this isn’t a blog, you can keep up with op-eds and other recent publications by members of the Fletcher community on the News & Media website.

Happy reading!

 

Somehow I find myself more than halfway through the academic year with barely a mention of Fletcher’s three new study options.  I did write earlier in the fall about one of the programs, then called the MTA — which was in the process of development even as we launched it in September — but it has taken me longer to catch up with the other new programs.  Here, then, is an update.

The Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs (now called the MATA) will be offered, starting in September 2017, jointly with the College of Europe in Belgium.  It will enable students to pursue a degree by splitting their time between the two campuses, and there is an internship component.  You might have questions.  So did we!  And here they are, with answers.  I’ve so far read a total of one MATA application, but more are in store for me.

Next up is a PhD in Economics and Public Policy, offered cooperatively by Fletcher and the Tufts University Department of Economics.  The goal is for five students to enter the program each year, with the first students starting their studies in September 2017.  Applications will be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which will award the ultimate degrees.

And last, a new LLM dual-degree program with the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland will give students the opportunity to earn both a Master of Laws in International Law (LLM) from Fletcher and a Master in International Law from St. Gallen after 18 months to two years of study.

All three of the programs are profiled in this Tufts Now article.

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The University communications team has shared several of the year’s best photographs of the Medford/Somerville, Boston, and Grafton campuses.  The one that Fletcher calls home (Medford/Somerville) is reasonably compact and picturesque, though no campus shot is going to rival an eagle in a red and blue towel.  This year’s selection doesn’t include any pix of the Fletcher buildings, but you’ll find one of last spring’s speakers, Anderson Cooper of CNN, who posed with the Tufts mascot, Jumbo.

04/11/2016 - Medford/Somerville, Mass. - Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°,” poses for a photo ith Jumbo on the Academic Quad at Tufts University on April 11, 2016. (Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)

(Photo credit: Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)

 

 

Fletcher’s Maritime Studies Program has experienced a burst of adrenaline in the last year or so and is offering students extra opportunities for experiential learning.  The program kicked off its offerings in September with a short road trip to New Bedford and Fall River, MA — two towns south of campus with rich maritime histories.  The group visited the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Fall River’s Battleship Cove, home port for the several U.S. Navy vessels, and professors on the trip offered their perspective during pre- and post-lunch talks.

The director of the Maritime Studies Program, Professor Weitz, pointed out that:

The field trip’s relevance is obvious for Fletcher students focused on security studies, environmental policy, clean energy, technology, international law, and global maritime affairs.  New Bedford is America’s #1 fishing port by value and currently investing in infrastructure to become America’s #1 port servicing the offshore wind energy industry.  Counter-intuitively, the venture capital business model was invented in New Bedford in the 19th century to finance the hugely profitable but highly risky whaling industry.  This business model spread worldwide and remains relevant for today’s entrepreneurs, including social entrepreneurs, and impact investors.

Venturing a little further than a road trip would take them, the program is planning a January research trip to Oahu, Hawaii, focusing on global maritime security challenges, ranging from traditional naval diplomacy and maritime boundary disputes in the South China Sea, to environmental security challenges facing the Pacific Ocean.

MALD graduate Sea Sovereign Thomas, F02, is stationed in Oahu at the U.S. Marine Corps base, and is helping to arrange meetings at Pacific Command, the Asia Pacific Center for Maritime Security, and the Daniel Inouye National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research center.

And then, during spring break, the program will head to Panama & Colombia.  This research trip is still in the planning stages.

In addition to the trips, the news for this year is that the program has staffed up.  Matthew Merighi, F16, and Caroline Troein F14, have joined Professor Weitz as new assistant directors of the program.  In addition, the program has created an advisory board to offer additional guidance.

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