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Applicants who have submitted all their graduate school applications in recent weeks may be thinking that the next two months are free to relax and get on with life.  That’s true.  Or a little bit true.  Or maybe not so true.  In fact, I would encourage you to keep thinking about how your graduate school options are going to come together.  Specifically, do you have all the financial resources you need for your studies?

Yes, it’s true that some students will receive a full tuition scholarship from the graduate school of their choice.  But we also know that both our own students and those of other graduate schools of international affairs are usually drawing from a combination of different financial resources.

One potential resource is income for work during the semester.  For most Fletcher students, that means campus work.  (Most international students, especially, have few options for work off-campus, given visa regulations.)  Last semester, whenever I saw a job posting, I tucked it away in a folder, and I thought I would share a few so that you can get a sense of the range of campus work.  Please note that income from a campus job is likely to help you cover some expenses — maybe all of your food expenses — but is not likely to make a serious dent in your tuition.  With that in mind, here are a few of the different jobs offered in the fall.  Note that these positions are not open now or for fall 2016, but you can be sure that similar postings will appear in each semester.

Work in offices

The Office of Student Affairs is seeking a student to work approximately 10 hours per week starting as soon as possible and continuing to the end of the academic year.  The position entails management of the Fletcher Connect Calendar and other student affairs projects during the semester.  Duties include heavy administrative work, logistics, and event planning.  Interested students should have strong organizational and communication skills, a proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, and an interest in working closely with school administration.  A flexible and friendly attitude is also appreciated.

Tufts Telefund:  The Tufts Telefund position offers flexible work hours, great pay and a friendly work atmosphere with fellow students. You will forge strong relationships with alumni, parents and friends of the university to raise funds towards scholarships and many other meaningful causes while earning an hourly wage with the opportunity for incentive-based rewards.  Student fundraisers are persuasive, energetic and passionate about Tufts University.

Student, Talent Handler, TV Studio:  Dual Reporting to Ginn Library and Communications, Public Relations & Marketing (CPR&M).  Provides onsite staffing and support for live and pre-recorded television news interviews with faculty and experts of The Fletcher School in keeping with established protocols and processes. Arrives no later than half an hour before scheduled interview to prep and test studio equipment and establish connection with VideoLink; greets talent; assists talent with on-air preparation.  Flexibility is a must!  There are no set hours — you will work when there is a broadcast, and requests will come in oftentimes with little advance notice.  Assignments will be distributed among a pool of handlers to accommodate other commitments.

Fletcher’s Communications, Public Relations & Marketing (CPR&M) office is seeking talented student writers, videographers, photographers, and editors for paid assignments covering events on campus.  We will be taking applications for individual positions as well as combined (e.g., Student Photographer/Writer), with a preference for adaptable candidates who possess at least two skills sets and are able to work across different media.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.

Research Assistant Positions

Research Assistant for Humanitarian Technology:  Kings College/London, the Overseas Development Institute, and the Feinstein International Center are partnering on a new research initiative that looks at the current humanitarian system, its deficiencies and strengths and how it might be reformed to be more fit for purpose both in the short term and over a 10 to 15-year horizon. One significant component of this Planning from the Future Project (PFF) is a review of technological “game changers.”

Our research assistant will conduct a rapid literature search and review, highlighting these areas:

  • Cash (and support programs like Kache); Hawalas, mpesa or e-money transfer systems, etc;
  • ODK, KOBO and digital data collection, entry, and analysis platforms;
  • ICT/ comms;
  • Crisis-mapping and crowd sourcing information;
  • Dashboards and data amalgamation/analysis platforms;
  • Drones; satellite remote sensing, etc.
  • “Big data” ( and protecting personal ID and personal data);
  • Fieldwork.

The Research Assistant should have the following qualifications:

  • Strong research skills, including the ability to quickly search and summarize diverse literature
  • Writing ability (demonstrate previous lit reviews)
  • Knowledge of humanitarian technologies
  • Availability to begin work immediately, and to contribute 50 hours of effort by middle of November (15-20 hours/ week)

The Office of the Dean is looking to hire a current first year student as research assistant.  This position will take on occasional projects given by Dean Jim Stavridis.  Requirements include approximately 10-15 hour per week commitment, strong research skills, knowledge of Microsoft PowerPoint, attending occasional meetings with the Dean, and the ability to function as part of a two-person team with a second-year student.

A Fletcher professor and a Brandeis University professor are co-directors of a project on on “Leadership and Negotiation” sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.  They are looking for a second-year MALD or PhD student to help them with the project.  Candidates should have a strong interest and background in negotiation, leadership, conflict resolution.

Teaching Assistant positions

International law:  Every spring several of Fletcher’s International Law faculty teach an undergraduate course on International Law through the Tufts Political Science department.  Two Fletcher students are hired each year to help out as coordinating instructor and TA.  In addition to attending the weekly lecture, you would also hold office hours each week for an hour and help run three to four review sessions during the semester.  The TA position is a two-year commitment so you will need to be at Fletcher next year.  You would be the TA for the course this Spring. Next spring you would be the coordinating instructor with a new TA.  The TA would ideally have some background in international law.

The TA tasks include the following:

  • preparing discussion questions and leading weekly discussion groups;
  • helping to organize a moot court exercise;
  • running review sessions 3-4 times a semester;
  • assisting with general logistics of the course, including grading;
  • holding office hours once a week.

Other teaching positions

The Fletcher Graduate Writing Center is accepting applications for writing tutors. The job basics:

  • Work one-on-one tutoring fellow Fletcher students in writing skills
  • Plan, execute, and assist with periodic writing skill workshops
  • A time commitment of 3-6 hours per week – schedules to be arranged after hiring
  • The ideal applicant has experience with tutoring AND editing of various kinds with people from a wide array of backgrounds.

Winter Teaching Opportunity at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute: Lead a short study group for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts, an adult education program for retirees seeking intellectual stimulation in a convivial  atmosphere.  No tests.  No pressure.  No grades.  Just the thrill of learning for its own sake.  The Institute is currently soliciting proposals for 2- and 4-session study groups for its 4-week winter program, which will run in January and February.

You’ll receive a small honorarium, valuable classroom experience, an opportunity to develop a course in a subject you’re excited about, and the joy of knowing that everyone who signs up for your class has done so out of  genuine interest.  Study groups generally meet once per week, either on Mondays or Fridays on the Medford campus, or on Wednesdays at a “satellite campus” in Lexington.

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The semester ended last Friday and, with students tucked quietly into study nooks, I’m going to take some time today (and maybe on a couple of future days) to tie up loose blog ends.  Specifically, I have a zillion notes to myself to feature this event, or that bit of news, or something else that could be of interest, but that’s where things stopped — as notes, but not as blog posts.  There are so many ways to gather information about Fletcher, and I don’t assume that anyone relies solely on the blog, but some information is important enough to share, even if I know you may have read it elsewhere.  With that out of the way…

There’s this Tufts Now article about Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., F92, and his new role as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

And there’s this November interview that Professor Antonia Chayes gave to the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law about her new book Borderless Wars: Civil-Military Disorder and Legal Uncertainty.  The current Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Alexander Ely, is a Fletcher MALD graduate from the Class of 2013, and a former editor of The Fletcher Forum.

Another Tufts Now article highlighted research conducted by second-year MALD student (and U.S. Marine Lieutenant) Matthew Cancian and Professor Michael Klein about quality and preparedness of Marine officers.  A special melding of a security studies topic and economic analysis.

And yet another article quotes Matan Chorev, F07, about the impact that a member of the Tufts University faculty had on his career.  (Scroll down about midway through the article.)  I recall Matan as a young (direct from undergraduate) Fletcher student, but an especially well-prepared one.

Until this fall’s talk by Gerry Ford, F84, the founder and chairman of Caffè Nero, I knew he was a graduate of Tufts University, but I didn’t know he was a Fletcher graduate.  Now I do!  A new Caffè Nero was opened in downtown Boston this year.

Last (for today) a bit of history.  In 1990, Tufts President Jean Mayer convened a group of university presidents from around the world to sign the Talloires Declaration, a plan for incorporating sustainability into higher education.  The University’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Talloires Declaration (named for the Tufts European campus where the meeting occurred) included events related to climate change organized by many Tufts student groups, departments, and offices.  The events were detailed on this web page.

 

Is it too late to write about the Paris Climate Talks?  I thought not.  In fact, I’m not going to write much of my own, but Fletcher is well represented at the talks and in the study of environment issues, and I collected some links for you.

First, for general info on COP21, you could do worse than to check out the Tufts Sustainability Office’s page.  Note that members of the Fletcher community are tweeting about the event — Professor Kelly Sims Gallagher and PhD Candidate Rishikesh Bhandary, and there’s a Twitter feed for the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.

And some other stories:

Daniel Reifsnyder, a 2014 graduate of the Fletcher PhD program, is co-leading the climate negotiations that culminated in Paris.

Professor Rachel Kyte, F02, was named one of Vogue Magazine’s 13 “climate warriors.”  She is the special envoy to the talks from the World Bank, and she also shared her comments recently on NPR.

Cristiana Pasca Palmer a 2014 graduate of the PhD program, has been named Romania’s Environment MinisterYou can find her here among all the other Ministers of the Romanian Government.

And there’s recent commentary from Professor Gallagher and also from Professor Michael Glennon.

Finally, you can read about fall semester events organized by the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.

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Two years ago on approximately this day, I published the Admissions Blog’s one thousandth post.  Like the November morning when #1000 appeared, today is the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.  This post, however, is a rather uncelebratory number 1,394, a total that includes several odes to our national holiday.

Since last week, I have been using spare blocks of time to accomplish a little of the Thanksgiving prep.  On Friday, I shopped for food.  On Saturday, I made cranberry sauce.  On Sunday, I mixed the topping for a pie.  And so on, until I will bake as much as time allows today and then finish up tomorrow.

It seems that every year there are more and more Thanksgiving gatherings for students who are staying in town.  Last year there was a Blakeley Hall meal, and other feasts that students hosted at their apartments.  Thanksgiving is an especially nice time to reach out and include others who may not have a feast of their own.  Our family meal will also include my daughter’s roommate and my cousin’s Nepali neighbors.

Working at Fletcher, there’s a lot to be thankful for.  It’s an interesting place, loaded with inspiring people who are committed to a common goal of joining (or preparing) the next generation of international affairs professionals.  Within the Admissions Office, I am fortunate to work with a collection of characters who regularly go beyond what is expected and support each others’ work.  And they frequently make me laugh in the process.  That counts for a lot!  Not to mention all the amazing students who volunteer to help us in so many ways, from conducting interviews to writing blog posts to hosting admitted students.  We couldn’t get it all done without them!

Whether you’re in the U.S., celebrating in a remote location, or looking forward to learning more about this American holiday as a Fletcher student next year, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

(Note that the Admissions Office will be closed from this afternoon through Sunday.  We’ll be back on Monday.)

 

I was so wrapped up last week with responding to suggestions readers provided in my survey (additional suggestions will still be appreciated) that I neglected to make note of one of the biggest events at Fletcher each year: Simulex.  I realized my omission when I arrived at work this morning and was greeted with a sign, leftover from Saturday, saying that the entire School was booked for the day, leaving only Ginn Library for anyone not participating.

What is Simulex?  It’s a crisis management exercise, open to students with all curricular interests (that is, not limited to Security Studies).  The International Security Studies Program also invites alumni and others working in relevant fields to participate alongside students and to offer guidance and relevant information.  But before the event even starts, participants must prepare by reading the background scenario, which this year concerned a “Crisis in the Western Pacific/East Asia Region.”  Though the event has passed, I still recommend checking out the information and putting it into your mental calendar for the fall semester after you enroll.

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Since it moved to Fletcher a few years ago, the World Peace Foundation has become an ever more integral part of the community, creating opportunities for students to conduct research and participate in the organization of conferences, as well as creating awareness of important topics on the world scene.  Today I’m sharing a news-filled email that WPF sent us earlier this week.

The World Peace Foundation at The Fletcher School has some exciting updates this fall that we would like to share with you:

•  We hosted an annual student seminar competition, inviting Fletcher students to conceive of a two-day seminar on any topic related to peace, broadly understood.  WPF helps the winners organize the seminar, including bringing top experts to campus, and funds the entire event.  The winners this year are: Medha Basu, David Cronin, Héctor Portillo, and Sumaya Saluja (all second-year MALD students), and Bret McEvoy (PhD candidate) for the proposal, “Masculinity: Men, Violence, and Transformation.”

•  WPF is providing core funding to the Tufts Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide this academic year, a financial cushion for the initiative as multi-year fundraising efforts continue.

•  We have two new book-length publications: Alex de Waal’s The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and The Business of Power (Polity Press 2015); and Advocacy in Conflict: Critical Perspectives on Transnational Activism (Zed Books 2015), edited by Alex de Waal with recent Fletcher graduates, Jennifer Ambrose, Casey Hogle, Trisha Taneja, and Keren Yohannes.

•  Alex de Waal’s research on mass famine released in conjunction with the Global Hunger Index recently received strong media coverage, with articles in the Washington Post, NPR, and an AP story that was picked up by The New York Times, Huffington Post and U.S. News & World Report, among others.  He also had an article in The Lancet.

•  A WPF research team led by Senior Fellow Mulugeta Gebrehiwot is working on a report requested by the African Union (AU) evaluating how the AU conceives and implements its peace missions.  The report will be released in Spring 2016, and offer recommendations to the AU on how to improve its conflict mediation, peacekeeping deployments, and post-conflict stabilization efforts.

•  In addition to our core staff, Alex de Waal, Bridget Conley-Zilkic and Lisa Avery, WPF has two Senior Fellows, Mulugeta Gebrehiwot and Dyan Mazurana; short-term fellows Sarah Nouwen (September to December) and Kenneth Nwoko (November); and has employed more than ten students this fall alone in a range of roles to help support our research projects.

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Organizers of an upcoming conference asked me to share information with blog readers who are welcome to attend!

The first-ever Fletcher School Religion, Law, and Diplomacy Conference is just around the corner on Saturday, October 31, 2015.  The conference will bring together academics, practitioners, and religious leaders to demonstrate the role that religion plays across myriad issues, spanning security, conflict resolution, human rights, and civic engagement.  The three conference panels — Security and Conflict, Rights and the State, and Politics and Identity — will provide a forum to discuss how religion affects these spheres and how an understanding of religious influences improves policy-making.

For anyone interested in attending, registration is free.  Please visit the conference website to register in advance.  This is one of two new student-led conferences this fall, along with the upcoming forum on Gender and International Affairs.

 

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DA-SC-92-09515My career has been unusual in that, though I’m employed by neither the military nor the Foreign Service, I have worked for two past NATO Supreme Allied Commanders and one former ambassador.  The second of the former NATO leaders is our current dean, James Stavridis, who made the community aware of the recent passing of his predecessor in both posts, Jack Galvin.  In an email, Dean Stavridis noted:

As The Fletcher School’s forward-looking and innovative leader from 1995-2000, Jack and his legacy are woven into the fabric of the school: he prompted Fletcher’s expanded focus on global business; he established a joint master’s degree in humanitarian assistance between Fletcher and the Friedman School of Nutrition; he oversaw the development of the school’s signature internet-mediated degree program for mid career professionals (GMAP); and he inspired the Institute for Human Security.

As our former Board of Overseers chair, Peter Ackerman, noted back in 2002 at a ceremony for the unveiling of the portrait of Dean Galvin that now hangs in the Ginn Library, “Jack was determined to make Fletcher a better place.  He restructured the school for a post-Cold War environment.  He put a new stamp on Fletcher and was up for any idea that was different, that would make Fletcher fly.”

While the Fletcher community mourns the passing of a great Dean, the rest of the world of course will remember General Galvin for his lifetime of service to the U.S. and its allies, capping a 44-year career in the Army with a 5-year term as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO.  As noted in the Washington Post, General Galvin was known widely as a “prototypical warrior-intellectual,” for his love of literature, commitment to academic scholarship, and mentorship to future leaders.

Many major publications, including The New York Times have run obituaries, and I will leave it to readers to learn more about his interesting career.  Instead I wanted to share a personal observation of his kindness.

Back in about 1997, well before I worked in the Admissions Office, a student working with me, Anthony, became very ill.  For a short but intensely worrisome time, his illness was a mystery.  When it was finally diagnosed — a severe case of encephalitis, contracted during his winter break in California — the information was not at all reassuring.  Fortunately, following an extended hospital stay, Anthony recovered and went on to graduate.

Where does Dean Galvin come into all this?  At the time, he was living in a Tufts-owned house with a small attached apartment.  Dean Galvin and his wife, Ginny, offered the apartment to Anthony’s father, who came to the area and stayed for many weeks until Anthony went from hospital, to rehabilitation facility, to the apartment, and finally back home.  I spent some time with Anthony’s dad, and he was incredibly grateful for the kindness and support that Dean Galvin and Ginny Galvin showed to him.  I remember thinking at the time that the extent of the dean’s support went beyond the requirements of his position, and reflected the type of care that a general might provide to the officers and soldiers under his command.

Jack Galvin was a very special individual and an interesting dean for The Fletcher School.  The School, in its current form, owes much to his leadership.

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Angela StentWhile I’m at the Boston Idealist grad school fair tonight, I’ll be missing the fall’s Community Book Talk on The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century, by Angela Stent.  The event is open to all of us in the community, and copies of the book were provided.  I enjoy these common reading projects, and if last year’s two book talks were any indication, this will be an interesting evening.

Here’s the information we received about Dr. Stent and her book:

Angela Stent is a leading expert on U.S. and European relations with Russia and on Russian Foreign Policy.  She has served as an advisor under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and maintains close ties with key policymakers in both countries.

Dr. Stent is Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies and Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  She is also a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-chairs its Hewett Forum on Post-Soviet Affairs.

The Limits of Partnership, winner of the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Douglas Dillon prize for the best book on the practice of American Diplomacy, offers a riveting narrative on U.S.-Russian relations since the Soviet collapse and on the challenges ahead. It reflects the unique perspective of an insider recognized as a leading expert on this troubled relationship.  American presidents have repeatedly attempted to forge a strong and productive partnership only to be held hostage to the deep mistrust born of the Cold War.  For the United States, Russia remains a priority because of its nuclear weapons arsenal, its strategic location bordering Europe and Asia, and its ability to support — or thwart — American interests.  Why has it been so difficult to move the relationship forward?  What are the prospects for doing so in the future?  Is the effort doomed to fail again and again? Join us for answers to these questions and others.

 

Our interview program started up yesterday, with the result that a steady stream of applicants and volunteer student interviewers are in and out of the office.  It’s both really nice and also a big increase in the level of background energy, as we try to do our work.  While I’m writing, our very first Skype interview is taking place.  The student interviewer seemed comfortable being the pioneer in this new (but overdue) effort.

Classes have been in session for only three weeks, but I’m already hearing students talk about exams, review sessions, study groups, etc.  And this past Saturday, the first Foreign Language Reading Comprehension exams were offered.  Bright and early on a beautiful fall morning, hundreds of students filed into a nearby building for their exams in the language of their choice.  The options were Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (from 9:00 a.m. to noon); Bosnian, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, and Urdu (from 9:15 to 11:15); and French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili (from 9:30-11:00).  The time allowed for the exam corresponds (more or less) to language difficulty.  Arrangements can be made for those who wish to test in a different language.  Bi-lingual dictionaries are allowed, including traditional paper dictionaries, electronic dictionaries, and dictionary applications that have been downloaded onto a cell phone.  No internet.  You can find sample exams if you scroll down on this page.

Admissions travel continues!  While Liz tours New England colleges and universities with some of our APSIA peers, I’m doing my own mini-tour.  Kristen and I joined forces yesterday for an information session for Tufts undergraduates (ably assisted by two “Double Jumbos” — Fletcher students who graduated from the undergraduate program at Tufts).  This afternoon, I’m taking part in a panel on international development down the road at Harvard, and tomorrow I’ll be at the Idealist fair in Boston (with a 2015 Fletcher graduate, who will help extend the life of my voice in that noisy setting).

Next week will be the first week since August when I’ll simply be in the office with no travel, visits, holidays, vacation, or other special activities.  I’m looking forward to it!  If nothing else, I’ll have a little more time for the blog.  New posts from our students are coming!

 

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