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Tufts produces an online newsletter roughly weekly, and I often comb through the People Notes to see if there’s any interesting news on Fletcher folk.  Here are recent notes about two members of the Fletcher faculty:

William Moomaw, professor emeritus of international environmental policy at The Fletcher School and former director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, recently returned from a board meeting of the Climate Group in London.  Moomaw is president of the North American board of directors of the Climate Group, which met to celebrate the organization’s 10th anniversary and to develop a strategic plan on joint emissions reduction for the next two to three years.  Moomaw co-chaired Fletcher’s third Arctic inquiry, “Warming Arctic: Development, Stewardship and Science,” on March 3–4.  Additionally, he chaired the closing panel of the Tufts Energy Conference, “The Great Debate: Renewables vs. Fossil Fuels vs. Development.”  The Fletcher Forum launched the 2014 Global Risk Forum on climate change with his article “From Failure to Success: Reframing the Climate Treaty.”  Moomaw also headed an advisory team that evaluated the environmental studies program at Bowdoin College.

Joel Trachtman, professor of international law at The Fletcher School, was awarded the International Studies Association’s 2014 award for best book on international law for The Future of International Law: Global Government, published last year by Cambridge University Press.  The International Law Book Award recognizes a work that excels in originality, significance, and rigor and represents outstanding contributions to the field of international law.

 

Some students had the great idea to create a map indicating where they’ll be for the summer.  That way, if other students happen to be visiting Rome (for example), they can see who’s there for an internship.  Here’s the map:

Internship map

The list includes some interesting summer work, such as “reporting on the crisis in Syria for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser,” and “Brand Ambassador for Fireball Whiskey Sales & Distribution, Sazerac Company.”

And students will be in A LOT of interesting and distant locations, including:

Abuja, Nigeria
Mercy Corps
TY Danjuma Foundation

Amman, Jordan
UNRWA
Wamda Research Lab
Migrate MENA

Monrovia, Liberia
USAID
Mercy Corps

Valletta, Malta
Political Section at the U.S. Embassy

Yangon, Myanmar
FIDP (Frontier Investment and Development Partners)
UNOPS

But the biggest Fletcher crowds this summer will be found in New York at (among other organizations):
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Frog Design
International Rescue Committee
Center for Human Rights and Global Justice
United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations
Federal Reserve Bank of NY
NYC Department of Education
Olam International

and Washington, DC:
U.S. Dept of State (many!)
Hudson Institute
House Committee on Ways and Means
Humanity in Action Fellowship
Albright Stonebridge Group
U.S. Dept of Treasury
The Cohen Group

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Here’s a nice bit of Fletcher news.  Two faculty projects are among the nine selected for special attention and funding from the University provost through the “Tufts Innovates!” program, designed to find new ways to enhance learning and teaching across the university.  These descriptions reached us this week:

Charting Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Lessons from Theory and Practice.  Students at the Fletcher School will learn to apply negotiation and conflict resolution theories, with emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Presentations by senior-level practitioners and policymakers will be available campus-wide, providing an opportunity for community learning.  The principal investigator is Nadim N. Rouhana, professor of international negotiation and conflict studies.  Also on the team developing the course is Michael Baskin, Fletcher PhD candidate.

Human Security Core Course Development.  Human security is about the well-being of people rather than of the state, as encompassing as the economy, environment and food.  Eileen Babbitt, professor of international conflict resolution practice at the Fletcher School, will lead the development of a multidisciplinary course that explores the theories and applications of human security, focused on one country undergoing conflict or transition.  The goal is to offer the course in the spring 2015 semester.  Also on the team developing the course is Professor Alex de Waal.

Check out the full article for more details on “Tufts Innovates!”

 

The Spring 2014 issue of the Fletcher Security Review can now be found online.  This is the first full issue for the publication, which was launched only last fall and has been building content ever since.  Here’s the introduction that the editor, Haider Mullick, a Fletcher PhD candidate, shared with the community:

FSWWe are delighted to introduce our Spring 2014 issue!

Managed and edited by students at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the Fletcher Security Review builds on the School’s strong traditions of combining scholarship with practice, fostering close interdisciplinary collaboration, and acting as a vehicle for groundbreaking discussion of international security.  We believe that by leveraging these strengths – seeking input from established and up-and-coming scholars, practitioners, and analysts from around the world on topics deserving greater attention – we can promote genuinely unique ways of looking at the future of security.

Each issue of FSR is centered around a broad theme.  In this issue, we chose to revisit the rich topic of “Proxy War.”  This volume explores the wide variety of ways in which international relations scholars and practitioners define, and understand the role of, proxies.  Our contributors consider “traditional” great power conflicts as well as examine the murky and misunderstood impact of sub-national actors such as Mexico’s cartels, Africa’s failing state watchmen and/or predators, and transnational jihadist groups.  They encourage us to learn from the proxy conflicts of the past, and they explore the future in their examination of the laws of war and their relevance to cyber clashes.

Also looking to the future of security are two renowned leaders in the field of security praxis.  David H. Petraeus discusses the importance of North American cooperation to minimize the impact of global insecurity, and Frances Townsend highlights, in her eyes, the reasons for America’s decline.

To learn more about Fletcher Security Review, you can contact the editors, or see what they and others are saying via FSR’s Twitter feed.

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One positive by-product of our cool spring (others call it a long winter) is the flowering trees that in other years would have been at their peak in April, but are still in full bloom this week.  The campus is always lovely for Commencement weekend, but it seems particularly beautiful this year.  No matter where graduates and family find themselves, they will be able to enjoy flowering trees, along with Commencement tents.

The lawn beside the President’s House:

President's Lawn

The courtyard in front of Blakeley Hall (the Fletcher dormitory), where graduating students will gather before starting their Commencement procession:

Blakeley tent

And Fletcher Field (behind the tennis courts), where graduates will receive their diplomas, after listening to speeches by Dean Stavridis and two of their peers, Amy Tan and Bob Lynch:

Fletcher field

I took the photos this morning, before the skies had cleared and the sun came out.  Whether nature brings us sun or clouds, we can count on Commencement being a beautiful day.

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On Monday, Fletcher was its usual busy self — students coming and going to classes and generally still doing what they do.  Even Tuesday, the Hall of Flags looked pretty normal, granted without the ebb and flow of students heading to and returning from classes.  By Wednesday — quiet!  Very few students about, or at least they’re closed in exam rooms and study spaces.

Given that it’s exam week, more surprising than the quiet is the amount that is still happening.  Yesterday and today, Fletcher is hosting the Inclusive Cities Forum and Solutions Symposium.  A cast of scholars and luminaries, including former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, generated lively conversation at yesterday’s sessions.

The Inclusive Cities Forum wasn’t even the only conference this week.  On Tuesday, Fletcher hosted the Ideas Industry Conference, which provoked plenty of conversation, too.

On Wednesday, students kept their exam-week spirits up with the traditional Fletcher Follies.  (Whatever happens at Follies, stays at Follies.  Not much more for me to say.)

And last night, the fourth semesterly Fletcher Recital took place.  A long-standing Thursday night commitment has kept me from attending any of the previous recitals, which I regretted even before I experienced last night’s fantastic event!  So much talent among these students (and a couple of professors, and one daughter of a student)!  Most surprising piece, without a doubt, was Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android,” arranged by Prof. Katrina Burgess and played by her and three students in a string quartet.  (Our own Admissions intern, Ayako, was the cellist.  Go Ayako!)

These are the last events for the 2013-2014 academic year.  For first-year students, only exams stand between them and their summer activities.  Graduating students will soon be looking toward Commencement.  That gives those of us who work in the summer another two weeks with students in the building, before we start our own quiet summer.

 

I often say that I would feel a lot more intelligent if I didn’t work at Fletcher, where everyone else is so smart!  But as brainy as our students are, the fact is that everyone can use a little help sometimes.  In addition to a generally supportive environment, there are several options that students can draw upon to maximize their academic success.

For many years now, Fletcher has offered a writing program, through which students can schedule appointments with peer tutors.  The program invites students to “Make the semester less stressful by meeting with the writing tutors.  Use tutoring appointments to make big papers more manageable — set personal interim deadlines with the tutors to discuss your outline, partial drafts, structure, argumentation, etc.”  The program director also provides helpful worksheets on peer editing (“Swapping papers with a friend is a smart strategy because everyone’s work benefits from an editor!  Plus, editing others’ papers will make you a better writer.”) and reverse outlining (“Because drafted papers often need to be restructured to be more persuasive and logical.  Reverse outlining helps you take the content you’ve already created and organize it more effectively.”).

A newer support offering is Presentation Tutors.  Inviting students to sign up, our Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Mary, notes, “Developing strong public speaking and presentation skills is an essential part of your Fletcher education. Whether you are preparing for a class presentation, a panel discussion, or a guest lecture, your ability to express yourself clearly and articulately will be vital to your success.”  The Presentation Tutors program provides one-to-one support for students who would like to:

  • Create, practice or polish an oral presentation
  • Learn techniques to strengthen their personal speaking style (body and voice)
  • Learn how to use PowerPoint effectively in presentations
  • Overcome fears, gain personal confidence, and develop a smooth, polished speaking style

Ultimately, success at Fletcher depends on good preparation and command of course material, but the opportunity to find help when needed in writing or presentations is of great value for our diverse community of students.

 

Well, we finished off yesterday’s Open House in fine style, waving off a few of the last visitors (and their luggage) at about 6:00.  Each of us Admissions folk agreed that the sessions we attended went very well.  Adding it all up, we consider the day to have been a success.

Poking around the blog last week, I found a few posts that I had forgotten about, and that might be helpful for admitted students (and future admitted students) who didn’t attend the careers sessions at the Open House.  In 2010, I asked the Office of Career Services staff to describe their work.  Each member of the OCS staff focuses on a sector that is a typical objective for Fletcher students.  Though there are new names attached to some of the sectors, Phillip, the OCS director (and a participant in Admissions Committee meetings) confirms that the structure of responsibilities is the same.  So, below, please find links to past blog posts on OCS’s approach to sector coaching.

Of course, 2010 employment statistics aren’t very relevant now.  To round out the picture, you’ll want to check more recent career reports.

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Whether on paper or online, reading the newspaper is nothing new to Fletcher, but the MIB program has recently given new meaning to the phrase.  Kristen tells us more.

This academic year, the MIB program has launched a new lecture series called Fletcher Reads the Newspaper.  The series gathers Fletcher faculty and guests to debate, from an interdisciplinary perspective, several sides of a recent business-connected news item. Topics this year ranged from the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh to Edward Snowden’s impact on Google.

The goal of Fletcher Reads the Newspaper is to bring the faculty’s multiple viewpoints together for students in a way that doesn’t always happen in a classroom setting.  Once the professors have established the context for the problem, Dean Chakravorti runs a case-style discussion through which student attendees solve a problem related to the challenge.  These sessions give students the opportunity to be analytical and thoughtful about the headlines we see every day.

You can read more about recent sessions, including full event reports, on our website.

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When I put out my call for students to tell me about the cool stuff they’re doing, I learned about several new or fledgling student organizations.  Today, Katherine tells us about Fletcher Cares.

Taking it to the Streets: Fletcher’s Newest Student Organization Redefines the Call to Serve

Fletcher students are well known for their commitment to making the world a better place, and many enter their first year with impressive international experiences in public service.  Some have served in the Peace Corps or as Fulbright English Teaching Assistants, while others have volunteered or worked for the United Nations, Amnesty International, MercyCorps, Médecins Sans Frontières, or other NGOs in the public service sector.  While service at the international level is certainly nothing new for the Fletcher community, this spring the School welcomed its first official public service student organization, Fletcher Cares.  Created by a motley crew of first-year MALDs, Fletcher Cares aims to connect the Fletcher community to service opportunities in its own backyard, including Somerville, Medford, and the greater Boston area.

Fletcher carees 3Fletcher Cares began last fall as an informal effort by students who sought to galvanize collective action and awareness around the death, displacement, and destruction wrought by Typhoon Haiyan.  Known then as “Fletcher for the Philippines,” this small group of concerned students collaborated with established campus organizations and partnered with local businesses to fundraise for the World Food Programme, which worked with the Philippine government to launch a massive typhoon relief operation.  In a matter of days, Fletcher Cares successfully obtained donation commitments from two restaurants in Somerville: Diva Indian Bistro and Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant and Music Club.  These donations, in addition to funds raised on campus, helped ensure that families and children in the Philippines received nutritious food during this tragic emergency.

Fletcher Cares has since received official club status and has plans for service opportunities that will engage the larger student body. In addition to its Fall fundraising efforts, Fletcher Cares has participated in various service projects, including a Somerville music festival dedicated to raising funds for the Philippines, and a holiday clothing drive benefiting homeless veterans in the Boston area.   For the remainder of the academic year, Fletcher Cares plans to support runners at the Boston Marathon and to lead literacy, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), and citizenship classes for the Haitian Coalition of Somerville.

Fletcher caresIn hopes of creating a sustainable and long-lasting public service model, Fletcher Cares board members reached out to their counterparts at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Student Public Service Collaborative.  The SPSC leaders graciously offered their insights to the Fletcher Cares team, emphasizing the need to coordinate local, achievable projects that make service a regular part of the graduate student experience.  After a fruitful discussion, the two groups laid the groundwork for future collaboration on service projects in Cambridge and Boston.  Fletcher Cares has also adopted a mission statement: Fletcher Cares provides The Fletcher School with opportunities to connect their academic experiences with volunteerism that promotes a just and sustainable world through service, scholarship, and community partnerships.

As a budding organization, Fletcher Cares has much growing and learning to do.  But the exciting first step has been taken, paving the way for The Fletcher School to be known for the good works its students, faculty, and staff do on the local level, in addition to on the international level.

For more information about Fletcher Cares, please contact us.

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