Currently viewing the tag: "Outside the classroom"
The first post of Annual Reports from student organizations helped me draw a few more. I always divide student organizations broadly between those that have a curricular link and those that have their focus squarely on relaxation. I’m sure you’ll figure out where the following three groups fall.
Fletcher Social Investment Group
The Fletcher Social Investment Group (FSIG) will soon wrap up its second year on Fletcher campus. FSIG is a student-run group dedicated to the study and practice of impact investing and the development of the next generation of social investment leaders. To accomplish this goal, FSIG focuses on three core competencies: advisory services to social enterprises, investment analysis and due diligence for angel investors, and research and education on impact investing.
Over the past academic year, FSIG has provided advisory services to 10 clients, including assisting with a market entry strategy for a renewable energy analytics firm and a business development strategy for a mobile provider of produce in food deserts. FSIG has also partnered with two angel investor collaboratives to provide support in the due diligence process. These engagements have allowed students to develop their skill sets while addressing business and investor challenges, providing them with hands-on experience with investment cycles and consulting approaches.
FSIG has also taken a lead in providing impact investing education here at Fletcher. FSIG led groups through a series of Acumen courses on business and financial skills for the social sector, as well as organized a set of trainings featuring faculty experts. FSIG also co-hosted the Impact Investing and Community Finance Conference, featuring speakers from Goldman Sachs, Acumen, and Third Sector Capital Partners. A group of FSIG members participated in the MBA Impact Investing Network and Training (MIINT) competition held at the Wharton School, with students sourcing and conducting due diligence on early stage impact investment opportunities to present to an investment committee of judges. Finally, FSIG produces the Investing in Impact podcast, which can be found on iTunes or on the FSIG website.
As it prepares for next year, FSIG is eager to strengthen relationships with the Tufts community and with other local partners. To help develop a pipeline of prospective clients and projects, FSIG will have an intern working closely with Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context this summer. To partner with FSIG moving forward or keep up with its work, please visit FSIG.org.
Fletcher’s Net Impact Club
Ben Costigan and Harper Gay
Fletcher’s Net Impact Club aims to inspire, educate, and equip members to use the power of business to create a socially and environmentally sustainable world. We strive to create an environment and community that ensures all Fletcher students graduate thinking about their social impact, whatever career path they chose.
Net Impact is a network of 95,000+ students and professionals from over 300 chapters worldwide who are collectively committed to thinking about four key issues and their relation to the business world: (1) sustainable food and agriculture; (2) social justice; (3) transportation and mobility; and (4) energy and the environment. Fletcher Net Impact is one of the 69 graduate chapters to receive “gold status,” demonstrating that we are leading the way for Net Impact’s global network.
Our chapter actively collaborates with other Boston-area student and professional Net Impact chapters to provide access to events and speakers; internship and job opportunities; technical trainings and certification programs; and a like-minded community to empower students dedicated to achieving positive social and environmental impact through their lives and careers.
Some highlights from the past year include: a site visit to BJ’s Wholesale Club to learn about quality assurance and supply chain sustainability; a networking Happy Hour with local chapters; a roundtable with leading female entrepreneurs from the Boston area; a Global Reporting Initiative Certification Workshop; and a Career Summit panel on ESG Investing.
Jesse Simmons and Liam Connolly
On Friday evenings every fall, Fletcher students close their books and start the weekend by hollering themselves hoarse in support of the Fletcher Fútbol team. Playing in front of the beloved “Fletcher Hooligans,” Fletcher Fútbol is a co-ed all-inclusive club that plays competitively against other graduate schools in the Boston Graduate Soccer League, including MIT Sloan, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Business School.
For 90 blissful minutes each week, Fletcher Fútbol offers students of all walks, commitments, beliefs, and dispositions the opportunity to escape from their daily travails through the therapy of long balls, short passes, cutting runs, and collective exaltation. Fletcher Fútbol is the Fletcher School’s foremost Sports Diplomacy practitioners club. We believe in using the world’s most common language — soccer — to connect students from around the world through a common love of the beautiful game.
Fletcher Fútbol is a cultural, athletic, and therapeutic cornerstone of the Fletcher community. Fletcher’s 2016 team cheer — “I don’t have friends because all I’ve got is family” — highlights the unity, community, and passion with which their players wear the orange and white.
I’m a member of a city commission and we recently worked on our annual report for 2015. Click! — a light bulb lit up over my head. Why not have Fletcher’s student organizations write brief annual reports for the blog? I reached out to several groups and am happy to share the summaries of their activities for the 2015-16 academic year.
Fletcher Cares is a public service organization that provides opportunities for volunteerism to build a stronger, more efficient, and more sustainable community network within Fletcher. Our goal is to build collaboration wherever possible with other Fletcher and Tufts organizations and to promote public service careers. This year Fletcher Cares participated in a winter coat drive and ran a community event “Fit for Finals” to promote health and well-being during finals. This spring, Fletcher Cares will once again be volunteering for the Boston Marathon, hosting our annual charity dinner and auction, working with a U.S. prison reform organization, and will close out the year with a spring “Fit for Finals” event.
Fletcher Finance Club
The Fletcher Finance Club’s mission is to be a platform of learning in the areas of finance and related public policy by offering extracurricular skills- and knowledge-building initiatives; and to provide a complementary channel through which members may successfully pursue a professional career in the broad financial services and banking industry.
A few events we have hosted were seminars to help students with the process of interviewing with financial firms. This past fall we hosted an alumnus guest speaker who worked at Citibank’s infrastructure and project finance team, and members had an intimate off-the-record session on how to secure jobs on Wall Street or in energy finance. Also related to energy finance, we hosted guest speakers from Global Focus Capital LLC and Spinnaker Oil and they laid out fundamental analysis of the current state of energy prices and what companies are doing to hedge.
In addition to guest speakers, Fletcher Finance hosts sessions about internship and job opportunities with firms in global finance. In one such job panel with Chatham Financial, an alumna explained the need for advanced hedging instruments to operate globally.
We also work closely with the greater Tufts community. This spring, along with the Tisch College, we co-hosted a ceremony to honor Robert Manning, current CEO of MFS Investment Management, with the Tisch College Corporate Citizen Fellow Award. Following this event, the Fletcher Finance team toured MFS global headquarters in downtown Boston and had sit-downs with the head of Global Equity, Fixed Income, and Research for the leading investment manager.
Fletcher Finance also provides additional skills building opportunities for our club members through our technical seminars. We’ve partnered with Tufts Finance Network to bring more finance-related events to Fletcher with a coveted financial modeling program, Wall Street Prep.
Our group members come from diverse backgrounds and we welcome those who may not have any financial background but want to learn more. Current club co-president Michael Duh spent eight years as an auditor at a Big Four public accounting firm and will be heading to work for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York after graduation in their financial institution supervision group. Co-president Athul Ravunniarath has made a name for himself in the impact investing space, having now consulted and worked for MasterCard, I-DEV, and Acumen Fund — leading investors in fin-tech and renewable energy — to which Athul brought to the table modeling, due diligence, and deal scoping skills, which he has honed with the help of the Fletcher education and Finance Club. What Fletcher Finance allows members to do is elevate their understanding of finance not only for analysis, research, and number crunching, but also to gain the global contextual understanding that is needed to asses any financial deal.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact our elist. The Fletcher Finance Club is honored to share more about our work and encourages future Fletcher students to carry the torch in the years to come.
Fletcher LGBTQA aims to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues in the fields of foreign policy and international relations, as well as to create a safe and inclusive community for lesbian, gay, transgender, and/or queer students and their allies.
This academic year, Fletcher LGBTQA has sponsored two lecture events on LGBTQ issues relevant to foreign policy and international relations. In October, Professor Timothy McCarthy of Harvard University spoke about the Lavender Scare, the U.S. government’s campaign during the 1950s to persecute LGBTQ federal employees. He described how 5,000 LGBTQ federal employees were fired, under the guise of maintaining national security, and how the events of the Lavender Scare remain relevant today because of the widespread absence of state and federal laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In November, Maria Beatriz Bonna Nogueira, fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University, spoke about the drive to include LGBTQ issues in international conversations on human rights. As former Head of International Affairs at Brazil’s Ministry for Human Rights, she outlined Brazil’s successful efforts to advocate for LGBTQ rights in the context of international organizations.
Just this week, Fletcher LGBTQA, in partnership with Fletcher Christian Fellowship and the Religion, Law, and Diplomacy Group, offered a panel event on Global Faiths and Transnational LGBTQ Activism. At the event, presenters from diverse traditions shared their experiences on how faith can be used as a catalyst for social justice to build transnational community and advocacy. Speakers included Reverend Irene Monroe, a public theologian, and Kaamila Mohamed, the founder of Queer Muslims of Boston. Tufts University Chaplain Reverend Greg McGonigle moderated.
As issues related to gender and sexuality are gaining more and more attention in foreign policy and international relations, Fletcher LGTQA, at the oldest graduate school of international affairs in the U.S., hopes to be a leader in the conversation.
Asia Club provides a space for students interested in all aspects of the continent to share experiences and knowledge with one another, and to develop a diverse network of students and professionals with similar interests. The club also works to highlight Asian culture in day-to-day student life through exhibitions and events, often in collaboration with other student clubs that also focus on the region. Over the past year, Asia Club has organized Asia Night, one of Fletcher’s five “culture nights,” which showcased 12 cultural performances from across Asia, including martial arts, Chinese rock opera, Thai dancing, and music from various countries. Before the end of the semester, Asia Club plans to host talks by government officials. Along with the South Asia Club, Asia Club plans to bring Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Consul General of India, New York, to speak. Asia Club has also been working to host Mr. Scott Lai, Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston, for an intimate discussion.
Fletcher’s Energy and Environment Club or “FLEEC” serves several functions for the Fletcher community. First and foremost, it is Fletcher’s internal network for all things related to the environment and energy. It is your most accessible resource for finding students with experience or interest in those fields. The club facilitates lectures, field trips, networking events, and panels for students interested in the International Environment and Resource Policy Field of Study.
Highlights from FLEEC this year include “The Great Debate” with Professors Bill Moomaw and Bruce Everett. Two of Fletcher’s most well-respected professors debated the possible outcomes of the climate talks in Paris and the economics of climate change moving forward.
FLEEC leadership also worked with Harvard Kennedy School in November to organize a mixer for students interested in energy. Students from both schools gathered at a bar in Harvard Square for a fantastic networking opportunity.
FLEEC successfully in organized a field trip to a local recycling plant. FLEEC aims for a few technical field trips like this per year. We believe a solid understanding of the technology helps inform the business plans and policy ideas we create here at Fletcher.
The close of the year will bring still more events, including an annual alumni networking event the weekend of graduation. FLEEC leadership encourages input from current and incoming students on how best to tailor events to their interests. We are always grateful for the suggestions.
Much as I might try, it’s hard to capture the vibrancy of the Fletcher community. One way I’ve attempted to do so is simply by listing all the official activities taking place in a month. Naturally, everything I’ve listed below was in addition to classes, study groups, student activity meetings, etc., etc. In addition, as you’ll see, students were away for a week in March, shortening the list by 25% or so. With no further ado, I hope you’ll enjoy seeing what’s been going on here this month. (I started the list on Monday, February 29. Leap Days are a rare enough event that including the 29th seemed reasonable. And I included links to details when I could.)
Monday, February 29:
“Will Business Help or Hinder the Paris Climate Agreement?” A Fletcher Reads the Newspaper event, sponsored by the Center for International Business in the Global Context.
“Military 101: The U.S. Navy,” Captain James Raimondo, U.S. Navy Military Fellow, sponsored by Fletcher Students in Security — one of many events each semester that draws upon the expertise resident in the community.
Tuesday, March 1:
“The Algerian Paradigm,” a lecture by Hamou Amirouche, author and former member of the Algerian National Liberation Army, sponsored by the Fares Center.
“Understanding the Global Terrorism Landscape,” Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, a private off-the-record event, sponsored by the International Security Studies Program.
“Diplomacy as a Reassurance Measure: A View from a Defense Attaché,” Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Wright, U.S. Army War College Military Fellow, Diplomatic Studies Roundtable.
Seminar on the Global Hunger Index, Professor Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation.
“Seven Days in Syria” Film Screening and Discussion, Janine di Giovanni (GMAP ’16), Newsweek Middle East Director, and Scott Rosenfelt, producer, sponsored by the Fares Center.
Wednesday, March 2:
“The Changing Shape of Power in National Security,” a luncheon lecture by Juan C. Zarate, chairman and co-founder of the Financial Integrity Network.
Thursday, March 3:
“Greece Pivoting on the Axis of Europe,” a lecture by Efthymios Margaritis, Captain, Hellenic Ministry of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers (and a current Fletcher MA student), sponsored by the Fares Center.
“The Inanity of Infinity,” with Abhishek Maity, MALD ’16, second in this semester’s “The Beauty of Mathematics” series. Abhishek offered his math series last semester, too. Who would have guessed that advanced mathematical concepts are what was missing from students’ lives?
“National Security, Double Government and the 2016 Election,” a lecture by Fletcher Professor Michael Glennon.
Social Hour — a weekly event to which all community members are invited to eat, chat, and relax. Each week’s Social Hour has a different sponsor. This week’s Social Hour is hosted by the Fletcher Political Risk Group.
Friday, March 4:
The Migration Policy Forum, “Perilous Journeys: Human and Policy Challenges of Transit Migration through Mexico,” panel discussion with Rafael Fernandez de Castro of Syracuse University and the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, Noelle Bridgen of Marquette University, and Diana Essex-Lettieri of Asylum Access, sponsored by the Institute for Human Security.
Brown Bag Lunch: “Intelligence Security and Technology Reform in the Post-Snowden Era,” Sina Beaghley, senior policy analyst at the Rand Corporation, sponsored by the Fletcher Security Review.
Saturday, March 5:
The Fletcher Conference on Managing Political Risk. One of two weekend conferences.
Sunday, March 6:
11th Annual Tufts Energy Conference , The Geopolitics of Energy: International Politics in a Shifting Energy Landscape. The second of the weekend’s conferences.
Monday, March 7:
“Impact or Investing: Is there a choice to make?” A lecture by Greg Neichin, director of Ceniarth.
“Tel Aviv Nightclubs and West Bank Checkpoints: The Politics of Being Fabulous in the Holy Land,” a conversation and Q&A with Sa’ed Adel Atshan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College, sponsored by the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Fletcher LGBTQA, the Gender Initiative, and Fletcher Global Women.
Pizza and a movie. The Fletcher Africana Club and Educators in International Affairs will screen the film, “The First Grader,” and will be joined by Carol Yu, Associate Director of Teacher Evaluation and Selection at Bridge International Academies, which works in Africa to deliver high quality, low cost education. A perfect evening activity.
Tuesday, March 8:
Workshop on User Experience, with Dan Maccarone of Charming Robot, sponsored by the Murrow Center.
“How Neoliberalism Infiltrated Global Health,” Dr. Salmaan Keshavjee, Director of the Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change at Harvard Medical School, sponsored by the Fletcher Society for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies.
“Obama’s Legacy in the Middle East for the Next President,” a lecture by William B. Quandt, Edward R. Stettinius Chair (Emeritus), Department of Politics, University of Virginia, sponsored by the Fletcher Seminar on International Conflict.
Join Ginn Library in celebrating the re-opening of the Fletcher Perspectives Gallery with a new exhibit of selected photography from the Fletcher student community. The current exhibit, co-curated with David Gilmore (MALD ’16), features 14 thematic images from six photographers, highlighting architecture and skylines from Montreal to Morocco.
Wednesday, March 9:
East Asian Security: Challenges for U.S. Policy and the Region, an evening conference.
Charles Francis Adams Lecture Series presents Mark Pomar, President and CEO of U.S.-Russia Foundation. The CFA lecture series is Fletcher’s oldest prestigious lecture sponsor.
Thursday, March 10:
“Civil Disobedience Across the Americas: From Selma to Buenos Aires and Beyond,” a panel discussion with artists Marcelo Brodsky, Jorge Tacla, and Fernando Rosenberg. Moderated by Tufts Professor of History, Peter Winn. Not actually a Fletcher event, this one takes place at the Aidekman Arts Center. Fletcher students welcome!
“What Are Numbers? Order and Chaos,” third in this semester’s “The Beauty of Mathematics” series, with Abhishek Maity, MALD ’16.
“Development and Equity,” 2016 Leontief Prize and Lectures, with honorees Dr. Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Dr. Diane Elson, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex.
“Discussion on Leadership,” Francesco Tortora, brand director for Procter & Gamble, sponsored by the International Business Club.
“Water: Security, Productivity, Management, Linking Global Water Resources to Health and Security,” a lecture by Dr. Kate Brauman, Lead Scientist, Global Water Initiative, Institute of the Environment, University of Minnesota, sponsored by the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.
Social Hour — a weekly event to which all community members are invited to eat, chat, and relax. Each week’s Social Hour has a different sponsor. This week, the sponsor is the Arctic Conference.
“3/11 Five Years After: Recovery and Resilience,” an interdisciplinary panel sponsored by Fletcher’s Japan Club, with opening remarks from Fumi Tataki MIB ’16, Professor Shinsuke Tanaka, and panelists Professor Michael Golay (MIT), Professor Keiko Hirao (Harvard University/Sophia University), and General Yoshikazu Watanabe (Eastern Army Commanding General, Ret.).
Conference on Impact Investing and Community Finance, presented by the Fletcher Social Investment Group, Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts Gordon Institute Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies Program, and Tufts University Department of Economics.
Saturday, March 12:
The Fifth Annual Fletcher Opening Arctic Conference.
Monday, March 14:
“Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Mixed and Integrated Farming Systems as an Adaptation Strategy in Mozambique,” a research seminar led by Dr. John Duncan, Fletcher Postdoctoral Scholar of Agriculture, Forests and Biodiversity, sponsored by the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy. Lunch will be served.
“Pascali’s Island,” film screening and discussion with Fares Center Director Nadim Shehadi and Professor Elizabeth Prodromou, sponsored by The Fares Center.
“Water and Conflict: From Academic Debates to Urban Wars,” Dr. Mark Zeitoun, School of International Development, University of East Anglia.
“Transnational Organized Crime Threats to the U.S. and Latin America: A USAF Perspective,” a lecture (including lunch) with Lieutenant General Mark C. Nowland, Commander, 12th Air Force and Air Combat Command. Sponsored by the International Security Studies Program.
“Apple v. the FBI,” the semester’s second Fletcher Reads the Newspaper event, at which a panel will discuss the legal debate around Apple and the line between security and privacy.
“Extreme Inclusion: A Poverty Graduation Approach in the Arid Lands of Africa,” a discussion of poverty graduation programs in Northern Kenya by Professors Kim Wilson and Jenny Aker, and Kathleen Colson, founder and CEO of the BOMA Project.
Discussion of the current situation in Yemen with Bettina Muscheidt GMAP ’01, Ambassador and Head of Delegation for the European Union to Yemen, sponsored by the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP), the Institute For Human Security, and the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies.
Tuesday, March 15:
“International Water Law and China’s Management of its International Rivers,” a lecture by Fletcher Professor James Fry.
“Understanding the Impact of War and Displacement in Cities: an Information Approach for Urban Settings,” a lecture in the Myron Weiner Series on International Migration at MIT by Fletcher Professor Karen Jacobsen, Acting Director of the Tufts Feinstein International Center. (For those who can’t get enough of the Fletcher faculty and want to travel to hear them speak.)
Wednesday, March 16:
Board Service: The Why, How, and What It Is Like, of Serving on Boards as Part of a Post-Fletcher Career, sponsored by Fletcher’s International Business Club, the Institute for Business in the Global Context, and the Fletcher Alumni Club of Boston.
“Turmoil in Yemen: Uprising, Civil War and Saudi-Led Intervention,” a conversation and Q&A with Rashed Al Dhaheri, Doctoral Fellow at the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies. (Rashed has since defended his dissertation and can now be called Dr. Al Dhaheri!)
Thursday, March 17:
Charles Francis Adams Lecture Series presents Carrie Hessler-Radelet, director of the United States Peace Corps. (Lunch will be served.)
“Israel in Pursuit of Peace: The Role of Religion,” Dr. Tal Becker, fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, sponsored by the Fares Center.
Social Hour — a weekly event to which all community members are invited to eat, chat, and relax. This week, the sponsor is the Fletcher China Studies Society.
Friday, March 18:
Spring break begins at the end of classes
Friday, March 18-Sunday, March 27:
Fletcher treks! Groups of students will travel to Cuba and to Israel/West Bank. The trips are subsidized, but the groups are limited in size and students must apply to join these educational trips.
Monday, March 28:
“The Nuclear Hedging Phenomenon and the Iranian Nuclear Deal (JCPOA),” a luncheon lecture by Ariel (Eli) Levite, Nonresident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment’s Nuclear Policy Program, sponsored by the International Security Studies Program.
“Technology Transfer and Adoption for Climate Resilience,” a research seminar (over lunch) with Laura Kuhl, doctoral candidate at the Fletcher School, sponsored by the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.
“Governing Adaption: Bridging Scales for Water Security,” Dr. Anita Milman, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
“Lean Production, Sustainable Consumption: Lessons from the Global Seafood Supply Chain,” a lecture by Roger Berkowitz, President & CEO of Legal Seafoods, sponsored by the Institute for Business in the Global Context.
“21st Century: Security vs. Privacy,” a panel discussion moderated by Dean James Stavridis with Dan Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal and Eli Sugarman, Program Officer, Cyber Initiative, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Tuesday, March 29:
“The Future of FinTech 2.0,” a round table discussion with Arthur Sculley, senior fellow with Fletcher’s Center for Emerging Market Enterprises, sponsored by the Institute for Business in the Global Context.
“Faces Of Our Community,” a TED-style event featuring Fletcher students and other members of the community.
“The Palestinians: New Challenges, Uncertain Horizons,” a lecture by Ahmad Khalidi, Senior Associate Member, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. Sponsored by the Fletcher Seminar on International Conflict.
Wednesday, March 30:
“The Hazards in Attempting Rapid Attribution of Cyber Attacks,” a luncheon lecture with Eric Greenwald, General Counsel for the Cybersecurity Company Redacted and former Senior Director for Cybersecurity on the National Security Council Staff, sponsored by the International Security Studies program.
Andrea Glorioso, Counselor for ICT and the digital economy at the Delegation of the European Union to the U.S. will speak on future prospects for digital markets and transatlantic relations in a digital context, as well as ongoing discussions on privacy issues in the EU. Sponsored by Fletcher’s Cyber Working Group, the Hitachi Center, and the Murrow Center.
“Palestine and Syria: Transition and Upheaval in the Middle East,” lunch discussion with Mouin Rabbani, analyst, commentator and researcher. Sponsored by the Fares Center.
“U.S. Economic Engagement in Asia,” Ziad Haider, U.S. Department of State Senior Adviser on the Policy Planning Staff, sponsored by the Fletcher China Studies Society and the Fletcher Society for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies.
Military 101: U.S. Marines, Major John Bidwell, F’16, sponsored by Fletcher Students in Security.
Thursday, March 31:
“Technologies to Bend the Arc of the Future,” a luncheon lecture with Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), sponsored by IBGC Speaker Series and the Tufts Institute for Innovation.
“Opportunities and Challenges for Peace and Democracy in the African Great Lakes Region,” Thomas Perriello, U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, sponsored by the Institute for Human Security.
“The Ancients: From the Vedas to Al-jabr,” final session of this semester’s “The Beauty of Mathematics” series, this session sponsored by the Religion, Law, and Diplomacy Club.
Social Hour — a weekly event to which all community members are invited to eat, chat, and relax. Hosted this week by Fletcher Veterans.
Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1:
The Fusion of Religion and Nationalism in Comparative Perspective: Implications for Conflict Dynamics, with keynote speaker Michael Sells, John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. What better way to close out a crazy busy month than with a two day conference?
“Climate Change: The Role of the University,” a two-day symposium on the role that universities will play as the world moves to implementing the Paris Agreement, sponsored by the Provost’s Office and the Tufts Institute for the Environment in collaboration with Tufts Climate Action.
And that sums it up. I wish I could say that I managed to capture every single event during the month, but I know that I didn’t. Still, even this 90% complete list gives you a sense of how much is happening every day, how diverse the different options are, and how regularly students can score a lunch, for the low price of enjoying a lecture that interested them anyway.
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 – The House I Live In, Wednesday, March 4
o The House I Live In explores the global “war on drugs” 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 “war on drugs,” 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 – 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 and 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.
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’s Bureau of Populations, Refugees and Migration, Political Reporting Diplomatic Tradecraft – 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: “Markers of Country Fragility” with Professor Nassim Taleb, distinguished professor of Risk Engineering at NYU’s School of Engineering
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.
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’s Turn? A Day in the Life of a Democracy Activist turned Entrepreneur. An off-the-record discussion with Wael Ghonim, Internet Activist & Author of “Revolution 2.0.”
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’ll 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: “Fletcher Reads” 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 be donated to Doctors Without Borders to aid their Ebola relief effort in West Africa. Additional donations will be accepted at the door.
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 “Breaking Barriers to a Clean Energy Future,” a solutions-oriented look at how to tackle the world’s 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: 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.
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.
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.
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 Fútbol team. Men and women with soccer/fútbol 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 Fútbol 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 Fútbol 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 Fútbol 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/fútbol crosses international boundaries. More than many Fletcher student activities, Fletcher Fútbol 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.
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’s flexible curriculum is ideal for “Tech MALDs” — 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’re 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’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen to discuss “The New Digital Age” 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 “Foreign Policy in the Digital Age.”
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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