Currently viewing the tag: "Outside the classroom"

Recently, Paula Armstrong (a second-year MALD student) wrote to tell me about her recent involvement in community diversity-related issues.¬† She said,”I’m part of a group of students who wrote a memo to Dean Stavridis last December about fostering diversity and inclusion at Fletcher.¬† Since then, we have been planning a number of events to increase discussion of these issues, as well as of social justice more broadly.”¬† Today, she’ll describe some of these events, which are open for prospective students who may be visiting the area.

Students come to Fletcher from a wide range of backgrounds and go off to work in all corners of the world after graduating.  As a student body, it’s therefore important for us to think critically about diversity and inclusion.  These topics shape both who we are and the environments we will find ourselves working in.  Three student-planned events in March and April highlight these issues:

Film Screening ‚Äď The House I Live In, Wednesday, March 4

o¬†¬† The House I Live In explores the global ‚Äúwar on drugs‚ÄĚ and its destructive impact on black Americans.¬† Approximately 20 Fletcher students attended the screening and participated in the discussion that followed. Facilitated by Seth Lippincott, second-year MALD, this discussion focused on the domestic implications and global impact of the ‚Äúwar on drugs,‚ÄĚ as well as on how to engage in a dialogue with other students and professors to connect the issues of race and inequality in the United States to the Fletcher curriculum.¬† Students also weighed in about the importance of discussing the negative consequences of certain U.S. public policies and linking this discussion back to international work post-Fletcher.

Panel Discussion ‚Äď Navigating Social Identities in the Workplace, Wednesday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., Mugar 200

o   Hosted by the Ralph Bunche Society for Diversity in International Affairs, Global Women, Fletcher LGBTQA, and the Office of Career Services

o¬†¬† At Fletcher, we know that who you are and where you come from do not affect your intellectual capabilities.¬† We also understand, however, that conscious and unconscious biases, based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and other aspects of our social identity, in the U.S. and abroad, can have a profound impact on how we are viewed an‚Äčd treated.¬† This presents both the challenge to manage the negative implications of these biases in our own careers, and the opportunity to be allies in the workforce for colleagues and clients who are targeted or marginalized.¬† The goal of this panel is to offer a space for Fletcher students to have a dialogue about the opportunities and challenges that they have faced in their work environments, domestically and abroad, associated with their social identities.¬† Come hear from other Fletcher students who have tackled issues regarding their social identity in the U.S. and abroad.¬† Also learn more about two Fletcher alumni associations, Global Women and the Fletcher Alumni of Color Association, that offer support navigating your career upon graduation.

Workshop — The Art of Inclusive Leadership, Saturday, April 11,¬†10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cabot 7th Floor

o   Facilitated by Diane Goodman, Ed.D, Diversity and Social Justice Trainer and Consultant

o   Join your fellow Fletcher students in a dynamic, interactive workshop to develop concrete communication, interpersonal, and cultural competence skills to be an inclusive leader.  Students will have the opportunity to explore their leadership attributes, share their experiences, apply concepts to real world scenarios, and gain the skills and knowledge to lead diverse and inclusive programs in domestic and international contexts. Lunch will be provided.

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Pulling Fletcher events into a list in February inspired us to do the same for the post-Spring Break weeks of March.¬† Here’s the jam-packed calendar that Christine put together for us, noting that she hoped students returned well enough rested to take advantage of everything going on.

March 23: Charles Francis Adams Lecture by General Knud Bartels, Chairman, NATO Military Committee, NATO: Current and Future Challenges

March 23: 2015 Leontief Prize: Macroeconomics in the Age of Climate Change, to be awarded to Duncan Foley and Lance Taylor for improving our understanding of the relationships between environmental quality and the macroeconomy

March 25: Diplomatic Tradecraft U.S. Department of State Speaker Series featuring Fred M. Boll, deputy director of the Office of International Migration in the Department of State‚Äôs Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migration, Political Reporting Diplomatic Tradecraft ‚Äď Researching, Analyzing, and Reporting on International Political Events and Trends

March 25: The Future of American Superpower: Implications for Security, Politics, and Markets with Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group, and James Stavridis, Dean of The Fletcher School

March 26: Supply Chains for Relief and Development Converge: Case Study of the Ebola Response in Liberia, with Jarrod Goentzel

March 26: ‚ÄúMarkers of Country Fragility‚ÄĚ with Professor Nassim Taleb, distinguished professor of Risk Engineering at NYU‚Äôs School of Engineering

March 27: Celebrating Bill Martel, a celebration of the life of beloved Fletcher professor

March 30: A conversation with Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America, moderated by James Stavridis, Dean of The Fletcher School

March 31: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis and the International Security Studies Program present: Symposium on New Dynamics in Japanese Security Policy

March 31: The Military at Home and Out Front: Personal Perspectives from the American military featuring active-duty and reserve Fletcher students and Veterans

March 31: Digital Humanitarians: This talk charts the rise of Digital Humanitarians and describes how their humanity coupled with innovative solutions to Big Data is changing humanitarian response forever.

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From the number of notices that pop into my inbox every day, you’d never guess that February is the shortest month of the year.¬† I can barely keep up, and I know that students do some serious prioritizing when it comes to deciding which events they’ll attend.¬† For the past few weeks, I’ve been storing the notices in a folder, and I thought I’d just list the various events.¬† Of course, you can find this information on the Fletcher calendar, but it still seemed blog-worthy to create a master list, including a few that aren’t listed in the calendar.¬† Despite the length of the list, I know I’ve missed some, but I think you’ll get the idea — there’s a lot happening here every weekday, and some weekends, too!

February 3: Egypt‚Äôs Turn? A Day in the Life of a Democracy Activist turned Entrepreneur.¬† An off-the-record discussion with Wael Ghonim, Internet Activist & Author of ‚ÄúRevolution 2.0.‚ÄĚ

February 4: Africa’s Peacemakers: Nobel Laureates of African Descent.¬† Book Discussion with Dr. Adekeye Adebajo, Professor Pearl Robinson and Lee Daniels

February 6: Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide (IMAGe) at Tufts will feature a panel on Mass Atrocities and the Response to their Public Health Consequences.  This panel will be comprised of four Tufts faculty members from across schools and disciplines.

February 9:  International Security Studies presents The Middle East in Transition: 2011-2015, Brigadier General Itai Brun.  Brigadier General Brun will present an off-the-record lecture to a Fletcher audience of faculty, staff, and students.

February 10-11:¬† A Taste of Ginn Library.¬† Come enjoy some refreshments and morsels of information on JumboSearch, citation tools, WebEx, and more. Drop-in or stay — we‚Äôll rotate through topics every 10 minutes.

February 11: Charles Francis Adams Lecture, featuring Sarah Chayes: Corruption: The Unrecognized Global Security Threat.

February 12: Human Security Speaker Series, A Brown Bag Lunch with Professor Karen Jacobsen: How Many IDPs? Where are They? Information Challenges in Urban Displacement Settings.

February 12: ‚ÄúFletcher Reads‚ÄĚ Community Book Discussion, featuring Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan.

February 12: International Security Studies presents Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster: Future Challenges.

February 12:  Charles Francis Adams Lecture:  Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, 2009-14; Prime Minister of Denmark, 2001-09: NATO: The Indispensable Transatlantic Alliance.

February 17: Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide (IMAGe) talk and book signing by Thomas de Waal — Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, expert on the South Caucasus region, and brother of Fletcher Professor Alex de Waal — on his new book:¬†Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide.

February 17:  The 31st Diplomatic Studies Roundtable: The Energetic Ambassador: U.S. Diplomacy in the 21st Century. Remarks by and conversation with Alan Solomont, United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, (2009-2013), currently the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University.

February 17: Mexico’s Energy Reform: Regulatory Policy, its Execution and International Perspective.  The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) and FLEEC are inviting you to a luncheon and conversation with a distinguished panel.

February 18: CPT (Curricular Practical Training) and OPT (Optional Practical Training) workshop for international students.

February 18: Optimizing Emerging Market Strategies: How to Manage Financial Risks & Rewards, with Dan Brennan, EVP & CFO, Boston Scientific.

February 19: The Inaugural lecture of the Shelby Cullom Davis Professorship in International Business: Visible Hands: Government Regulation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Global Business, by Jette Steen Knudsen, Associate Professor of International Business and The Shelby Cullom Davis Chair in International Business.

February 19:  H.E. Mr. Nikolay Mladenov,  UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and newly appointed Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority, Iraq:  The Way Forward.

February 19: The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies presents: Sectarian Dynamics and National Reconciliation in the Middle East, a seminar discussion with  Mr. Miroslav Zafirov, Bulgarian Diplomat; Political Advisor to the United Nations Assistance MIssion in Iraq (UNAMI), Associate Professor and Member of the Advisory Board, Centre for Middle Eastern and Gulf Studies, New Bulgarian University and Director, Middle Eastern Program, Sofia Security Forum

February 19: Ebola fundraiser &¬†positive¬†vibrations¬†party¬†at¬†Johnny D’s.¬† Headlining will be¬†SIERRA LEONE’S REFUGEE ALL STARS, a world renowned roots¬†reggae-inspired band out of West Africa. Opening things up will be¬†Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate¬†(Kouyate is a¬†kora¬†virtuoso)¬†and DJ Afro-Marc spinning¬†on the one’s and two’s before, after, and in¬†between sets.¬† 100% of¬†ticket sales proceeds will b‚Äče donated¬†to¬†Doctors Without Borders¬†to aid their Ebola relief effort in West Africa. Additional donations will¬†be accepted at the door.

February 20:  Coffee and chat with MALD student Chris Maroshegyi.

February 20: In the Library Office — drop-in anytime between 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. to hear about quick-start tools for researching your Capstone topic.

February 21: The 10th Annual Tufts Energy Conference, to be held at the Fletcher School.¬† The theme this year is ‚ÄúBreaking Barriers to a Clean Energy Future,‚ÄĚ a solutions-oriented look at how to tackle the world‚Äôs most pressing energy challenges as we move toward a greener future.

February 23: The North Korea Strategy Center & North Korea Working Group at Fletcher presents: NK Information Highway: Driving Change in North Korea.

February 23: The Institute for Business in the Global Context Speaker Series presents: Evolving Role of The World Bank: The Next Decade, with Michael Goldberg Senior Financial Specialist, World Bank.

February 24:  Book Talk: Green on Blue, Elliot Ackerman F’03, Fletcher Writer-in-Residence

February 24:  BRICS as a Global Legal Actor: From Regulatory Innovation to BRICS Law? with Prof. Mihaela Papa

February 25: Human Security Speaker Series, a brown bag lunch with Oliver Bakewell, Co-Director of the International Migration Institute, Associate Professor, Department of International Development, University of Oxford: Looking Beyond Conflict as a Determinant of Mobility in the African Great Lakes.

February 25: Award winning author, Harvard Professor of History, and Tufts alumna Jill Lepore, will deliver a guest lecture on her New York Times bestselling book The Secret History of Wonder Woman. This exciting lecture is open to the entire Tufts community and is sponsored by the Office of the Provost.

February 25: Lost in Translation: Effective communication workshop for international students, sponsored by the Tufts Counseling Center and International Center.

February 25:  Tufts University Forum on Race, Inequality, and Action, sponsored by the Office of the Provost.

February 25-March 1:  Russia in the 21st Century, sponsored by Tufts University Institute for Global Leadership

February 26-27:  Office of Career Services trip to Washington, DC.

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A couple of weeks ago, I noticed the second in a series of event announcements, each of which invited students to come and chat, over coffee, with a professor or fellow student.  Great idea!  So I contacted the organizer, Ameya, for details.  Ameya told me:

The idea for these chats came about from a conversation early last year between some of us who had Prof. Chayes as our faculty adviser.  She has, as you know, a wealth of experience; we were all interested in learning more about her career and interests, but it was hard to do this in ten-to-fifteen minute office hour conversations, plus it was repetitive for Prof. Chayes, as well.  So we set up a combined chat for an hour or so, which all her advisees attended, and it was a tremendously valuable and informative experience.

Based off that, I started setting up similar chats — maybe once a month — with other professors.¬† At some point, it also became clear there were students and alumni with valuable experience in specific areas, so this year I’ve started alternating between faculty and student/alumni speakers.¬† I’ve consistently found the sessions both valuable, as well as reassuring, in that everyone has had a roundabout path to where they currently are in their careers.

Sessions last year were with Professors Babbitt, Wilkinson, and Johnstone, and one alumnus.¬† This semester, we’ve met with two current students and Prof. Moomaw.

I really love this idea, especially the conversations with students, which formalizes the commonly stated opinion that there’s much to be learned from one’s peers here.¬† Plus, it’s an example of how a student can create a new Fletcher tradition, and I hope that Ameya’s idea will be carried forward even after he has graduated.

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So here’s what I love about Fletcher students.¬† They are very committed to their studies and careers.¬† They offer support to undergraduates and they burst into the community and instantly create an organization and resource for students interested in technology.¬† But they are also really fun people, and a frequent autumn rallying point is the Fletcher F√ļtbol team.¬† Men and women with soccer/f√ļtbol experience jump into their cleats and unite to compete with the teams from other area graduate schools.

When the team is successful, somehow the news even works its way to the staff.¬† Or sometimes it isn’t a mystery how we know.¬† Earlier this week, Colin, a first-year student, put his inner tabloid sportswriter to work with this Social List report on a match against Harvard Law School.

Chemistry may not be a course offered at Fletcher, but the members of Fletcher F√ļtbol clearly know a little something about it.¬† Coming off a disappointing loss in front of a home crowd to the business suits of Babson College last week, it would have been understandable for Fletcher¬†F√ļtbol to be plagued with fears about their ability win a game, let alone score more than one goal in a contest.¬† However, buoyed by the enthusiasm that only a graduate school¬†sports rivalry can create, and the camaraderie that can only be developed through shared struggle, they threw off the yoke of their previous shortcomings and played with a level of intensity that will surely leave the soccer gods pleased for weeks to come.

Upon arriving at the field, Fletcher¬†F√ļtbol found the parking lot packed to capacity (somehow¬†the stands were suspiciously empty though?) and intuitively sensed the magnitude of the game about to be played.¬† The chance had finally come to avenge the memories of broken noses that had haunted them since the 2013 season.¬† Only limited revenge would be possible though; certain members of the HLS team were supposedly unable to secure a legal injunction to protect themselves from the diplomatic wrath of Fletcher and thus they were only able to field 10 players for the game.

With the autumn air crisp and the stadium lights bright in the black night, it felt like all of Boston was watching as the game kicked off a little after 7pm.  From the start, Fletcher controlled the play in all areas of the field, moving the ball around at will.  But the team didn’t close on any of the opportunities they were able to create until Kiely unleashed a vicious volley from inside the eighteen that found the back of the net like a fish actively trying to be caught.  Unlike previous games though, this is not where the scoring would stop for Fletcher.  Albert and David would both score before the halftime whistle would blow.

In an attempt to reverse their fortune, HLS hoped to effectively counter Fletcher’s multi-pronged attack with a goaltending switch coming out of halftime.  It was all for naught though.  Minutes into the second half, Liam made a ballerina-esque run into the box and scored a goal, emphatically sending the message that the onslaught was not over yet.  Two additional goals followed.

At the end of the night, the imaginary scoreboard read 6-0 in favor of the diplomats from Fletcher.

And there you have it.¬† Sports is a natural focus for community building, and soccer/f√ļtbol crosses international boundaries.¬† More than many Fletcher student activities, Fletcher¬†F√ļtbol pulls the community together, whether on the field or on the sidelines.

Although Fletcher is its own unit of Tufts University, it can also be seen as the graduate program for the University’s International Relations department.¬† IR is one of the most commonly chosen majors for Tufts undergraduates and, because the major involves a relatively large number of requirements, the undergrad IR folks are pretty serious people.

Despite the occasional (o.k., annual) griping over undergraduates in Ginn Library, Fletcher students are genuinely supportive of their younger peers.  Here are two examples.

Last night, the Ralph Bunche Society (RBS) at Fletcher invited undergrads to learn about their experiences in the IR field.  RBS seeks to shine a light on the contributions that minorities and people of color have made in the field of international relations, and also to encourage students of color to consider educational and career opportunities in international affairs, which means this event was tied directly tied to the RBS mission.  The RBS Facebook page provides some nice descriptions of the presenters, who sought through their comments to pave the way for the undergraduates to follow in their footsteps.

On an ongoing basis, Fletcher students also guide undergraduates via the “Fletcher Mentors” program.¬† The program matches IR majors with Fletcher students who share similar academic or career objectives, in order to help the undergraduates develop their interests.¬† They might have one-on-one meetings, or attend group networking events, and there is an online discussion group.

Of course, having a robust undergraduate IR program also opens opportunities for Fletcher students to work as teaching or research assistants, and to attend relevant events sponsored by other units of the University.

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Recently two new (first-year) MALD students, Aditi Patel and Miranda Bogen, contacted me to ask if they might write about their interest in technology fields and their decision to attend Fletcher.¬† Today I’m sharing their great introduction to the field at Fletcher.¬† I should note briefly that while Aditi and Miranda are writing about their experience as MALD students, the opportunity to build in technology content is available to all students, especially those in the MIB and PhD programs.

We came to Fletcher because it is one of the leading schools of international affairs — but we also chose Fletcher because of its forward-thinking attitude toward technology, and its willingness to adapt its curriculum and resources to a changing world.

For us, it was critical to find a school that recognized the importance of technology in international affairs; from policy decision making, to crisis mapping, to the facilitation of international business.  It is almost certain that at some point in our careers, we will need the skills and vocabulary to communicate with both engineers and clients to ensure that technology is deployed correctly, regardless of whether these clients are governments, non-profits, or businesses.

Fletcher has ample opportunities for students interested in technology in international affairs.  Having recently created Tech @ Fletcher, the student club of the Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs, we decided to help students uncover those opportunities by gathering together some of the tech-related resources that we’ve discovered in our own application process and in our first few months on campus.

Fletcher‚Äôs flexible curriculum is ideal for ‚ÄúTech MALDs‚ÄĚ — students who are interested in focusing on technology.¬† Students can choose to complete one or both Fields of Study in a related discipline (International Information & Communications is a good place to start), you can focus on a different primary Field of Study with a technology angle by petitioning for tech-related coursework to count for your Fields (or using them as electives), or you can petition to create your own field of study.

Courses that have a significant technology component include International Communication (which includes a heavy dose of internet infrastructure and governance, digital media, and intellectual property), Social Networks in Organizations (this is hard-core social network analysis, not Facebook 101), GIS for International Applications (mapping technology), Foundations of International Cybersecurity, Innovation for Sustainable Prosperity, Financial Inclusion – A Method for Development, and others that are added from semester to semester depending on visiting faculty.

Fletcher students can also cross-register for courses at Harvard Business School like Launching Technology Ventures, Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovations in Education, and Strategy and Technology, or take advantage of the proximity to MIT with courses such as Corporate Entrepreneurship: Strategies for Technology-Based New Business Development or Fundamentals of Digital Business Strategy.

At Fletcher, we‚Äôre lucky to have the Hitachi Center for Technology in International Affairs, which acts as a hub for tech-related events and resources.¬† The center is very responsive to student involvement and will happily support student-proposed events that have something to do with technology.¬† The Hitachi Center hosts lectures, film screenings and even brought Google‚Äôs Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen to discuss ‚ÄúThe New Digital Age‚ÄĚ last spring.¬† The Hitachi Center also offers summer funding for students and faculty researching topics related to technology, which is a great resource for students looking to write their capstone on a topic in the field.

We were overwhelmed by the support we received from our professors and the administration to think about technology in the field of international affairs.¬† Professor Carolyn Gideon, who teaches International Communications and manages the Hitachi Center, focuses on information and telecommunications policy; Professor Jenny Aker is the deputy director of the Hitachi Center and studies the impact of information/information technology on development outcomes; and Dean Stavridis even moderated a panel of Fletcher alumni at the South by Southwest conference on ‚ÄúForeign Policy in the Digital Age.‚ÄĚ

All of our fellow students we’ve met have slightly different interests (technology and governance, cybersecurity, ICT4D) and we are excited to be bringing these quickly-evolving issues into the wider Fletcher community.  Over the rest of the year, we plan to use Tech @ Fletcher as a platform to create a curriculum guide for students hoping to create their own field or simply to build a solid foundation in tech as a part of other fields, work with the Office of Career Services to create more resources for students interested in a career involving technology, provide workshops and discussions on the tools we will need to manage technology-related issues in our future jobs, and communicate with our classmates and professors about the importance of technology, no matter what their main fields of study.

We both came to graduate school because we were convinced that we needed to better understand the implications of technology in our areas of study.  With all the support and encouragement we have received from Fletcher, we know we made a great choice in picking a school that meets these needs!

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It isn’t only the Admissions Office that is busy this time of year.¬† Even while students are feeling the midterm heat, the daily parade of speakers and meetings continues, and community members manage to squeeze out the time to attend.¬† Most recently, two conferences bracketed this week.¬† The first, on Tuesday, “Thinking About Think Tanks,” was put together by Prof. Daniel Drezner, and my sources tell me it was a great success.¬† The site includes the¬†Twitter conversation, which will give you a sense of the atmosphere.

Closing out the week is today’s PhD conference.¬† Organized by PhD program students, who also present papers or act as panel discussants, the annual event is this year entitled “Critical Perspectives: Contemporary Issues in International Relations.”¬† More details can be found on the day’s schedule.¬† This is the eighth PhD conference, and proceedings from previous events can be found on the conference website.

It isn’t like this is the one week of the semester offering a discussion-oriented event to enhance in-class learning.¬† Next Friday, the community is invited to the inaugural presentation of the¬†Initiative on Mass Atrocities and Genocide (IMAGe), a new collaborative effort between Fletcher and the broader Tufts community.¬† This first event will feature four professors, each bringing a different lens to the topic of how we manage memories of violence.¬† Details can be found here.

And while I’m linking to the calendar, I should point you to this newly useful resource.¬† While we may, in the past, have been (ahem) relaxed about ensuring that every event was listed, you’ll now be able to learn about nearly everything happening outside the classroom every day.

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I was chatting with a student last week, and she said something about her “180” meeting.¬† I had the vaguest sense that I had heard of this 180 thing before, but I needed to dig through my email to find information.

Having done the digging, I can report that Tufts is one of a small number of U.S. universities hosting 180 Degrees Consulting.¬† Students from throughout the University were invited to apply to join as student consultants and team leaders.¬† 180 Degrees Consulting emphasizes social impact, making the program a great fit for the Tufts group, which was especially interested in Fletcher students to serve as team leaders. ¬† Here’s some additional information from the group’s email to students:

What is 180 Degrees Consulting?

180 Degrees Consulting is the world’s largest pro-bono student consultancy.  180 Degrees Consultants work with nonprofit organizations and social venture to maximize their social impact.  Groups of University students identify and overcome organizations specific challenges, developing innovative, practical and sustainable solutions.

Across the world 180 Degrees Consulting has worked with over 2,000 highly achieving youth consultants working in teams to overcome hundreds or challenges facing real organizations each year.  180 offers a broad range of consultant services, including strategic planning, financial management, communications and social impact analysis.

Rationale

180 Degrees recognizes that while raising revenue is crucial for not-for-profits, developing strategies to utilize existing resources most efficiently is equally important.  This is why students at 180 Degrees apply management consulting principles to the not-for-profit industry and develop business solutions to social problems.  Many organizations, constrained by a lack of resources, are unable to utilize for-profit consulting services.  At the same time, many high caliber university students are willing and able to develop solutions to challenges many organizations’ face.  180 Degrees Consulting strives to connect this source of untapped potential to the organizations that need it most.

How it works

At 180 Degrees, the mission is to create value for both the organizations and students consultants. ¬†180 Degrees selects the most talented and socially conscious university students across each of our branches.¬† Students are given specialized training from a leading international management consultancy before being assigned to a project aligned with their knowledge and expertise. ¬†Teams of five — plus a team leader — work closely with key stakeholders in the organization to define the deliverables, understand the organization‚Äôs specific challenges and create final recommendations over the course of a semester.

At Tufts, 180 Degree Consulting’s mission is to strengthen the ability of nonprofit organizations in the Greater Boston Area to achieve high impact social outcomes through the development of innovative, practical and sustainable solutions.  We hope to provide a transformational experience for Tufts University students as you gain invaluable real world consulting experience by delivering free consulting services to worthwhile organizations.

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StrengthI’ve been out of the office for half of each of the last two weeks.¬† Then Monday, Christine and I were at the Boston Idealist Grad School Fair together.¬† By the time I left the office yesterday for a panel discussion at Harvard, I was behind on everything — including responding to email, leading to a few complaints from people who hadn’t heard from me.¬† (Another day of patience should do it!)

Monday and Tuesday’s frenzy made it particularly pleasant to head back to Fletcher after the panel for a 5:30 book talk by the author and subject of Strength in What Remains.¬† This was the second occasion of a new tradition, “Fletcher Reads,” for which all members of the community are invited to read a book and then come together for a conversation about it.

Listening to Deo, the Burundian refugee profiled in Tracy Kidder’s biography, was like reading the second volume of the story, one in which the community health center Deo established in Burundi, Village Health Works,¬† is a thriving success.¬† The event was designed to be “off the record,” so I won’t quote anything that Tracy Kidder or Deo said, but there were many mentions of dignity for the patients who visit the center.

Earlier yesterday, I had been hearing from students that the easy first weeks of the semester were over, and they were starting to feel more pressure.  Given their time crunch, it was gratifying to see how many of them (along with faculty and staff members) attended the session, which was supposed to be preceded by reading the book.  Somehow students always manage to stretch that last little bit to learn outside the classroom, as well as inside it.

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