If you ask second-year MALD/MIB students, or those in the one-year MA or LLM programs, about their Capstone Projects this week, you’ll find them in every stage of the process:  research, writing, editing, DONE!  The capstones take a variety of forms — from group work on a business plan to a traditional thesis — and the form might play a role in determining the process.

The Ginn Library invites students to share their capstones each year via the Tufts Digital Library, and some do.  While we wait for the 2016 graduates to complete their projects, you can consult the archives to read the works of the Class of 2015.

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It may be busy around here, but I hate to let the blog languish for too many days, so here are three little stories, however quick, about a current student, one of our graduates, and a new Fletcher initiative.

First, the student.  Second-year MALD student Miranda Bogen let us know that she was a guest on a podcast in January about Internet law.  During the “This Week in Law” episode Miranda discussed extraterritoriality, dual-use technology/export controls, jurisdiction, discovery, and many other legal topics.  (Please note: Miranda is not a lawyer, but she has taken law classes here at Fletcher.)

Next, the alum.  Kafia Haile, F05, has followed up her DC career by pursuing her film-making interests, and she is receiving recognition for one of her screenplays.  Not many of our alumni have gone from Fletcher to the Pentagon to film school, but many of our alumni have pursued atypical careers.

Finally, this semester, Fletcher is partnering with the Digital Frontiers Institute to offer the first university certificate course in Digital Money, and Fletcher’s first-ever completely online course.  The course began last month and will cover all aspects of the digital payments and digital financial services ecosystem and value chain. We’re able to offer a limited number of scholarships for Fletcher students!  Interested?  Read more in the program brochure!

 

The last few weeks have been busy around the school.  Students are seriously engaged in classes/exams/capstones as well as internships/jobs and lectures/conferences.  And then…

…everything shifts as students pack their bags and head south to Washington, DC for the annual Career Trip.  While they are in DC, students can attend information sessions, panels, receptions, networking events, informational interviews, and lunches.  There’s a schedule that requires careful planning for the attendees, lest they create an impossibly manic two-day agenda for themselves.  So they pick and choose, based on their sector and organization interests.  Then most of them will come together for a reception with alumni.

For a taste of one of the Career Trip activities, you can join current PhD students and alumni of the program for a panel discussion at the United States Institute of Peace.  “From Civil Resistance to Peaceful Revolution” will be aired live from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST.  (I will try to update this post with the video of the panel.)

Post-panel update:  Here’s the video of the event.

Meanwhile, as the total list of organizations with which students will connect is way too long to include here, I’ll just provide this partial list of companies, offices, and agencies that will be represented by Fletcher alumni:

Abt Associates, Inc.
Accenture
ACDI/VOCA
Albright Stonebridge Group
American Friends Service Committee
American Petroleum Institute
American Red Cross
American University
AppTek LLC
Association of Climate Change Officers
Atlantic Council
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Blackdragon
Blue Compass, LLC
BluePath Labs
Bogota Employment Project
Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
Boston Consulting Group
Capgemini Government Solutions
Center for Complex Operations, NDU
Chemonics
Clifford Chance US LLP
Coalition for Justice
Comverge
Congressional Research Service
Council on Foreign Relations
Counterpart International
Covington & Burling, LLP
Creative Associates International
Cypress International, Inc.
Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board
Deloitte Consulting, LLP
Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Financial Integrity Network
FinCEN
FIVS-Abridge
Foreign Policy Magazine
German Marshall Fund
Global Communities
Global Professional Search
Glover Park Group
Goodwin Procter, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Hudson Institute
Human Rights Campaign
Humanity United
I.D. Inspiring Development GmbH
IMG Rebel
Intellaine LLP
Inter-American Development Bank
International Finance Corporation
IREX
IWANA Energy
JINSA
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Baltimore
Koltai and Company, LLC
Latin America Working Group
Let’s Split
McLarty Associates
Mercy Corps
Metis Strategy LLC
Mexican Embassy
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Miracle Systema
MSI, Tetra Tech Company
National Defense University
National Democratic Institute
National Nuclear Security Administration
NAVAIR
Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
Office of Management and Budget
Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Open Government Partnership
Orange Tree, LLC
Organization of American States
Oxfam America
Partners for Development
Paul, Weiss LLP
PeacePlayers International
Population Services International
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Promundo-US
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Regulatory Strategies and Solutions Group
Rocket Media Group
Rudaw Media Company
Save the Children
Search for Common Ground
Seewald Consulting
SEGURA Consulting
Sidar Global Advisors
Social Impact, Inc.
SOS International
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Rec
SSG Advisors
Strategic Capacity Group
Strategy&
Teach For All
Team Red, White and Blue
The Aspen Institute
The Buffalo Group
The Cohen Group
The Hudson Institute
The New York Times
The Scowcroft Group
The Stimson Center
The White House
The World Bank
Thompson Hine LLP
U.S. African Development Foundation
U.S. Codex Office
U.S. Congress
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of the Treasury
U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Navy
U.S. Senate
U.S.-Indonesia Joint Council
Under Armour Inc.
United Nations Foundation
United States Export-Import Bank
United States Institute of Peace
USAID
Valuing Voices at Cekan Consulting, LLC
Viper Analytics, LLC
Washington Metro
Westat
Winrock International
World Environment Center
World Vision International

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Through various channels, I’m hearing that applicants are getting a little bit nervous while they wait for admissions decisions.  Must be time for a quick update!

We are motoring along through the process.  Motoring!  Our student readers have been terrific, needing only occasional reminders to READ MORE!  The staff readers are keeping up and will finish off nearly all of the reading this week.  Committees for each of the degree programs have been meeting, working through lists of applications and, at the same time, establishing the standards and priorities for the year.

But friends, it’s still only the last week of February, and we are not ready to release decisions.  As you know, we don’t have rolling admissions, and we don’t trickle out the decisions.  They all come out in a March flood.  So far as awaiting your Fletcher decision is concerned, you still have plenty of time to relax.  Focus on other things.  Enjoy yourself.  Or, alternatively, use the coming weeks to do a little advance research on the graduate programs you’re waiting for.  (The period from receiving decisions until the deadline for making your enrollment choice goes quickly.)  In any event, you can trust that we’re working hard to wrap up this process, but we still have several weeks to go.

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Today marks eight months since the Class of 2015 graduation last May 22, and it’s time to start checking in with our newest graduates.  While I continue lining up First-Year Alumni updates, let’s hear from one of the student bloggers who completed the MALD last spring.  Unlike many of his classmates who are still settling into their new jobs,  Liam is in the U.S. Army, and his plans for this year were in place well before he graduated.

With everything going on in my life, it’s hard to believe that only a year ago I was in my last Fletcher semester, deep into my capstone.  Since then, I’ve spent the past eight months as a student at the Command and General Staff College (CGSS), the U.S. Army’s professional education program for mid-career officers.  Yet, despite being in the middle of Kansas, thousands of miles away from Medford, my Fletcher experience continues to shape my life daily.

First, the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute recently published my Fletcher capstone.  Focused on how the Army can improve at advising and assisting other nation’s militaries, the monograph was the culmination of work I did in Professor Shultz’s Internal Conflicts and War class and in an independent study I did with him.  Although I’m thrilled the paper was published, what I’m more excited about is that it’s making its rounds through the Security Force Assistance community.  I recently met with the Director of the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance to discuss the paper, and am in the process of consulting with the team that is re-writing Army doctrine on the topic.  For me, it’s a great reward, after putting so much work into my capstone at Fletcher, to have it be read by a wider audience, and I’d encourage current and prospective students to attempt to do the same.

Second, what I learned at Fletcher has a direct impact on my studies here at CGSS.  From the basis of national security strategy I gained in Professor Shultz’s classes to the ability think critically through history learned from Professor Khan, I find myself often going back over my Fletcher class notes and readings to gain a better understanding of topics we cover in class.  My ability to address complex issues, from humanitarian relief operations to the roots of instability in Europe and everything in between, has been greatly enhanced by the breadth and depth of my Fletcher education.  Additionally, last fall we had the pleasure of having Dean Stavridis come talk to all 1,300 officers in our CGSS class about how he sees the 21st century security environment, and it made me incredibly proud to be part of the Fletcher community when my classmates said they thought the Dean gave the best guest lecture we’ve heard.  And Fletcher alumni gained a very visible face when General Joe Dunford was named the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last fall.

Liam and ChristineLast, and most importantly, I got married in December.  My wife Christine is an Air Force pilot and we currently live apart while she’s in Colorado and I’m here, but the wedding gave us an opportunity to catch up with several classmates.  Shockingly, Kansas is hardly the center of the Fletcher-sphere, so seeing friends after almost a year was great.

My Fletcher experience, from the education to the friendships made over my two years in Medford, sticks with me everyday.  As my classmates make their way out into the world and start in their careers, I feel secure knowing that some of the most intelligent, caring, compassionate, and capable people the world has to offer are tackling the tough issues at hand.  Also, as the Class Fund Agent for the class of 2015, it’s great to see donations back to the Fletcher Fund already coming from my peers and friends, helping the next generation of students succeed in their pursuit of making the world a better place.  Looking back, I have to say that being a student at Fletcher was truly the most incredible experience of my Army career to date.

 

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Speaking of new activities and energy in the gender field at Fletcher, as I did earlier this week, a conference is taking place this week on “Transforming Violent Masculinities.”  The conference kicked off last night with a panel discussion open to all in the community.  The sessions today and tomorrow were designed for practitioners, with students eligible to request a spot earlier this month.  Sponsored and hosted by the World Peace Foundation, the conference was the winning submission in WPF’s student seminar competition.

Sessions being held today and tomorrow (under Chatham House rules) include:

Transitions to Manhood
Youth in Armed Conflict
Gang Violence in the Americas
Positive Deviance
Identity and Violence in the US
Violent Extremism

You can follow the conference on Twitter.  There is also a Storify wrap-up of the session last night.

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Tucked in the heart of the regular academic year is a six-month diplomatic training program for a group of fifteen Armenian mid-career professionals who arrived in January.  This is the 16th class of Armenian scholars that Fletcher has welcomed to the School, in collaboration with the Tavitian Foundation.  The participants represent government agencies, ministries, legal institutions, as well as the Central Bank of Armenia, and the program is designed to build their skills for future careers in public policy and administration.  A Tufts Now article from a year ago provides details on the Tavitian program.

Tavitian program

 

The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in Fletcher’s offerings related to gender issues, and in student interest in learning about them.  It has been an interesting process, with the growth fueled both from below (students organizing lectures, conferences, and activities related to the topic) and above (with a newly hired professor and classes added to the curriculum, leading to a new Field of Study).  Recently, we received this information from Dean Stavridis about another new initiative:

I am happy to announce the launch of a dedicated website for Gender Analysis and Women’s Leadership.  The website provides information on coursework, opportunities for extra-curricular learning, recent events, student groups, and also includes profiles of students, alumni, and faculty who have embraced gender analysis in their work or research.  Under the Features tab, the site also showcases student, faculty, and alumni research, public events, and initiatives related to gender.

A great deal of thought went into the website.  In addition to Professor Mazurana, one of the forces behind the development of these resources is the Blog’s good friend, Roxanne.   There are a lot of applicants for September enrollment who have indicated an interest in gender  issues.  I hope you’ll find the website helpful as you think about whether Fletcher is a good match for you.

 

Here’s something a little different.  Emeritus Professor William Moomaw participated last month in a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) session about the COP21 climate talks.  As Professor Moomaw explains in his AMA intro, in addition to his usual responsibilities during his long Fletcher career, he was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Within the general framework of climate-related topics, the AMA discussion ranged widely, from water issues to nuclear energy to the “clathrate gun” hypothesis.  There’s even at least one question from a Fletcher alum.  Check it out!

 

I’ve unintentionally neglected the applicants who applied by our Early Notification deadline but who didn’t receive a final decision from us in December.  Part of the application review process this month is to return to those applications.  Though I don’t have much to add to the suggestions I made in December regarding any supplemental materials that you might want to submit, I’d like to attach a deadline for you.  Thus…if you want to send us updated transcripts, test scores, résumés, or whatever, please plan to submit them by Friday, February 19, roughly a week from now.

Of course, if you don’t take the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL until after the 19th, you should submit the scores whenever you can.  For everything else, though, there’s no need to wait any longer.  Send us what you’ve got, so that we can take a look.

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