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There are two things I happen to like: author talks and community reading projects. The two come together twice each year at Fletcher when we’re invited to pick up a copy of a book, read it, and then join other members of the community for a session with the author.
The book for the spring semester was a novel: Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter. During the talk, moderated by Professor Dyan Mazurana, Ms. Carpenter described the origins of the book and how she conducted her research on Navy SEAL teams. The discussion was attended by a mix of U.S. and international students, and included many current or former members of the U.S. military.
I expected that, with a diverse audience, there would be numerous different ways of engaging with the book. I was sure that many people would have been especially drawn to the book’s topics of training and missions, while I connected much more with the story of a mother and her son. And that’s just how it played out last night. It was so interesting to hear the questions from the military folk, who were able to relate the plot to their own experience.
But the questions didn’t start and end with the novel’s military theme. Some questions related directly to the writing process, and there were also a few gender-related questions around the meaning of being a “woman writer” and particularly a woman writing about the military experience, a subject generally tackled by men.
All in all, it was a totally satisfying way to experience the Fletcher community and, as our students often say about their classroom experiences, I learned as much from the audience questions as I did from the author’s answers. There’s a lot of knowledge resident in the student community and an event like this one puts it on display.
The first student-run conference of the spring semester is taking place today. Over the past few months, The Fletcher Africana Club has organized the 3rd Annual Fletcher Africana Conference, with the theme From Rhetoric to Action: Getting Things Done in Modern Day Africa. The organizers describe the conference this way:
Join the Africana Club and students and professionals from around the Boston area as we engage in inter-disciplinary discussions around topics such as Illicit Trade, Cross Sector Partnerships for Development, and Social and Political Inclusion. We also have a fantastic line-up of keynote speakers, including Rosa Whitaker, one of the world’s foremost experts on African trade, investment and business, and our own Kingsley Moghalu, Professor of Practice here at Fletcher and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
For more information on the terrific conference line-up, check out the agenda and the list of speakers on the conference website. I’d also encourage readers to take a look at the introductions to the student organizing team, which includes students from African countries, as well as many others who have worked in or studied the region.
Tagged with: Conferences
A winter week is the perfect time to create a celebratory event, which is what Innovate Tufts has done. Innovation Week, a multi-event conference dedicated to celebrating innovation and cultivating entrepreneurship within our community, started last Friday and continues through this week. Here’s the lineup:
Friday, January 29: DESIGN THINKING WORKSHOP — Led by Frog Design, a leading strategic design firm. Learn Human Centered Design. Understand user needs, identify relevant stakeholders, and fill our walls with post-it notes of your observations, as we ideate with creative solutions to local problems.
Monday, February 1-Thursday, February 3: PANELS — Distinguished speakers and innovators engaging you on:
Thursday, February 4: DEMO NIGHT — Tufts and Fletcher entrepreneurs pitch their startups and business ideas, followed by a networking event to celebrate the week.
You can learn more about the week at the Innovate Tufts website.
I’ve got to admit that I completely lost control of the news flow at the end of the fall semester. I had planned so many posts that I never managed to write. But is the winter break an uncrossable boundary that makes fall semester events off limit in the spring? I think not, so I’ll just take this minute to highlight a Tufts Now article on the Fletcher talk given by Stephen Hadley, former national security advisor. The Dr. Maurice S. Segal Lecture Series draws prominent individuals to campus.
Though many others at Fletcher have offered their thoughts, I haven’t posted anything yet on the passing earlier this month of Stephen Bosworth, the dean of Fletcher from 2001 to 2013. Readers who want to know more about him could read the University’s report, or this obituary from The Boston Globe, or perhaps this blog post from Fletcher Professor Daniel Drezner.
Although Fletcher grew significantly and there was a great deal of change during his term as dean, I would still describe Dean Bosworth as a quiet and thoughtful presence around the School. In that light, it’s particularly interesting to note the scope of people who commented on his death, from Secretary of State John Kerry, to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, to the Ambassador to North Korea’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Dean Bosworth served under two Tufts University presidents, Larry Bacow and Tony Monaco, and was ambassador under three U.S. presidents (Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton), in addition to serving as special representative to North Korea for President Obama.
A new portrait of Dean Bosworth was added to the Ginn Library reading room in October and the gathering was an opportunity for many to share kind words about him. There will also be a memorial service for Dean Bosworth in February. His many accomplishments, in so many different settings, will be recognized, I’m sure.
Tagged with: Ginn Library
The Admissions Committee just concluded its first winter meeting of the year. We’ll meet weekly from now through the beginning of March, with meetings running progressively longer and covering more applications. For today, a relatively short discussion, fueled by coffee and pastries.
After the meeting we sent our student readers out for an exciting weekend of skiing at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine (or, perhaps, a quiet weekend in town with most classmates away in Maine). The ski trip is a monumental undertaking, involving hundreds of students, spouses, and even children. Many of the skiers (or snowboarders) will never have hit the slopes before. Some of them will never have been in such a cold and snowy place before. The lead-up to the trip involves several organizational meetings, featuring PowerPoint presentations that emphasize the cold and suggest wearing “hat, goggles, neck-warmer (or scarf), long-underwear (layers!), mittens, another warm layer (fleece jacket/wool sweater, etc), warm socks (NOT COTTON), water-proof/wind-resistant outer layer jacket and pants.”
Cold or not, everyone always reports having a great time. The organizers of the first trip, not even ten years ago, could hardly have imagined what a community-building institution in would become.
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);
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.
Tagged with: Paying for Grad School
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.
Finally, you can read about fall semester events organized by the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.
Tagged with: CIERP
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.)
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