Currently viewing the tag: "GMAP"

As I’ve often written before, work at Fletcher in the summer has its own rhythms.  The School remains quiet from late May to early August, but we’re not “un-busy.”  We all have a variety of projects going and that’s before we start the serious prepping that precedes the fall semester.  Meanwhile, because admissions folk tend not to take much vacation time from September to May, we’re all in and out of the office.  I’ve been taking Mondays off, which has made a mess of my usual blog patterns.

When I reported back to work yesterday, I heard the quiet hum of voices around the Hall of Flags and near some of the lecture rooms.  While I was enjoying a long weekend, students in the Global Master of Arts Program had arrived!  These GMAPers will be on campus for two weeks completing their yearlong program, including submitting their Capstone Projects.  Then, on July 31, a new GMAP class will arrive for their first two-week residency.

(For those unfamiliar with the GMAP format, students (who are mid-to-senior-level professionals) bracket their program year with two two-week sessions at Fletcher.  In between the sessions, their fall and spring semesters are delivered via internet-mediated instruction, punctuated by an additional two-week residency out in the world.  The photo to the right shows the program in Abu Dhabi in 2014.)

The truth is, GMAP students have little contact with students in Fletcher’s traditional residential programs.  But after they graduate, GMAP alumni forge the relationships with the larger community that characterize the Fletcher family experience.  They join alumni clubs, attend reunions, and have proven to be strong supporters of MALDs, MIBs, etc., creating the connection that didn’t exist as they pursued their degrees on different academic calendars.

For now, it’s nice to have some company in the building, and we’re happy to welcome GMAP!

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We’re more than halfway through the summer stretch between Commencement and Orientation and this week has been noteworthy for a sudden flurry of semester-like activity!  Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but there are two groups of students passing this way and that through the Hall of Flags.  The first is the GMAP class of July 2016, which is midway through its final residency and will graduate this Saturday, July 23.  But first, the group of 37 students needs to complete coursework and defend theses.

Also on campus now are 30 officials from the Greek Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs who are participating in the Leadership Program in Advanced Diplomacy and Defense, offered in partnership with with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.  The participants arrived last week and will be here for four weeks in all.  The focus of the program is to provide strategic level thinking on major global shifts, as well as an opportunity to strengthen essential skills for diplomacy. They will be at Fletcher through August 5.

And spending their days at Tufts, but not in Fletcher, are incoming MALD, MIB, and LLM students who are polishing up their academic English skills.  They do meet weekly for a conversation and orientation class at Fletcher, but the majority of their time is spent in classrooms elsewhere on campus.

There’s one last group who will be at Fletcher this summer, and that’s the new GMAP class that will start their program on August 1 and continue until their own graduation in July 2017.  In addition to the distance learning they will do throughout the year, they will also meet in Malta in January.

Finally, my Social List “digest” today consisted of two messages containing 30 community emails.  That’s about four times as many emails as have been turning up in the digests lately.  What woke everyone up?  First was a spirited discussion of the U.S. presidential election.  And second was a student’s sharing of an article that says the lawyer representing the Philippines in a recent maritime law case against China was a Tufts graduate.  Much informative discussion of the nature of courts, as well as of trying cases where only one side is represented, ensued.

All together, the increase in activity makes us less lonely, but also makes me think it will be nice to have the students back next month.

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I love hearing from alumni, and not only when they send me news for the blog.  But if they happen to send something newsworthy, well, I’m certainly going to seize the opportunity to share.

On Monday, I was pleasantly surprised by an email from Atanas, a 2015 grad.  He recently started in a new position at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, working on climate resilience.  I’ll let him continue the story:

Last week I was lucky to be working at the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General on the organization of the Paris agreement signature ceremony, and on Friday, I witnessed first-hand this historic moment.  I met a few presidents, including Colombia’s President and Fletcher grad Juan Manuel Santos, and had a brief chat with Leo DiCaprio who is UN Messenger of Peace and delivered a speech during the ceremony.  It was certainly a day to remember.

But one of the most powerful experiences I had was listening to a Fletcher alumna who spoke on a panel in the afternoon of the same day — Rachel Kyte, who is the CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) and Special Representative of the Secretary General.  She talked only for five minutes but completely captivated the audience and, according to everyone working in this area, hers was one of the best speeches given in a long time.

I’ll plug in a few details about Rachel Kyte.  She’s a 2002 graduate of the GMAP program and, also, currently a Fletcher professor of practice of sustainable development, associated with the Center for International Environment and Research Policy.

The forum at which Atanas heard her speak was “Taking Climate Action to the Next Level: Realizing the Vision of the Paris Agreement.”  Click the photo below to hear her comments following a question at about 1:47:00.

Professor Rachel Kyte, F02, speaking before a UN panel on climate change.

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Despite Fletcher’s underpopulated summer feel, there are several groups in regular attendance in the building:

Staff, of course.  Unless we’re taking vacation days, nearly all of us work through the summer.

Faculty, in small numbers.  Many professors like to use their offices for their summer research or course preparation, and they can be found crossing the Hall of Flags in their casual summer attire.

Workers, many in hardhats.  Each summer, there’s sure to be some maintenance or construction activity that is best done when the building is quiet.  This year, the fire alarm system is being upgraded — an important improvement that, like most infrastructure projects, is unlikely to draw much attention from students.

And, finally:

GMAP students!  With a one-week gap, GMAP hosted the final two-week residency for one class group and, today, welcomes a new group.  They’ll be on campus for the next two weeks and then again to graduate in July 2016.  In January, the class will meet in a special international location.  I haven’t heard yet where that will be, but I know that the group that started its year of studies in March will be gathering in Brussels next month for their midterm residency.

The GMAP residency is fairly intensive and GMAP students, who are generally well-along in their careers, aren’t often found hanging around in the Hall of Flags.  But their presence in the building is clear and it’s nice to add them to our summer mix.

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Tucked into one of Fletcher’s lecture rooms for the next two weeks are mid-career students in the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) class of 2013-2014.  They were welcomed back to campus with a dinner last night, and they’ll be in residence for two weeks, capping off a year of internet-mediated learning, punctuated by two prior residencies — here at Fletcher last summer, and in Abu Dhabi in January.  This class will graduate on Saturday, July 19.  A fresh group of students in the Class of 2014-2015 will arrive shortly thereafter.

The GMAP class is big enough to make a little noise when they’re on break, but the daily schedule is intense and we won’t see them often.  It’s still nice to know that there are students in the building.

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Still catching up with some news from the summer (however distant a memory summer might be), I’m happy to shine a light on all that GMAP has been up to.  Thanks to Adeline Wong (GMAP admissions manager) for writing up all the details of their busy summer.

Welcome to our newest Fletcher students, and a big welcome back to returning students, faculty, and staff!  For most of Fletcher, summer is a time of travel, research, and regrouping before the following academic year.  For the Global Master of Arts Program at Fletcher, it is a time of peak excitement and activity.

GMAP is a hybrid, mid-career master’s degree program that combines three two-week residencies with 33 weeks of online instruction.  New classes start each March and July and complete the program one year later.  Because students come together only three times a year, each of these residencies are intense experiences, with classroom sessions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, supplemented with invited speakers, social events, and of course, great meals and stimulating conversations.

Over the summer, there were three GMAP residencies.  The first was the closing residency for the July Class of 2012-2013.  This was GMAP’s 22nd Commencement exercise.  Traditionally, the program invites a GMAP alumnus to return as Commencement speaker, and this July, GMAP was delighted to welcome back Mark Mullinix (GMAP ’11), First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The class elected as their Class Speaker Khaled Mansour (GMAP13), an Egyptian journalist and novelist who was, until recently, Director of Communications at UNICEF.  Professor Peter Walker, a member of GMAP’s faculty, provided the farewell from the faculty.

July Class of 2012-13

As GMAP celebrated its newest alumni group, we were also delighted to welcome its newest students, the July Class of 2013-14, who began their first residency on July 29.  This new class of 38 students, representing some 20 different countries, came from the fields of energy, diplomacy, military, non-government organizations, business, finance, and law.  Amidst orientation, classes, meals and speakers, the class also indulged in a long Tufts tradition – cannon painting!  They also met Dean Jim Stavridis during his first few weeks as dean, when he shared his thoughts on returning to Fletcher after his years in the Navy.

July Class of 2013-14

GMAP then had its third residency, this time with our March Class of 2013-14 at their midyear international residency in Berlin, Germany.  Each GMAP class travels to an international location for one of the three residencies, where they immerse themselves in the political, economic and social concerns of the country, especially as it relates to their studies.  In Berlin, GMAPers found themselves in the front row viewing conversations on Germany’s economic and political reality in the European Union.  Staying at a hotel just minutes from the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, the Bundestag, and Checkpoint Charlie, the GMAP students, faculty, and staff also gained a deep appreciation for Germany and Europe’s history.

One of the highlights of the Berlin residency was the interaction that the GMAP Class had with Ambassador Klaus Scharioth — a distinguished Fletcher alumnus who was the former State Secretary of the German Foreign Office and the former German Ambassador to the United States (2006-2011) — and with Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, also an alum and former German Ambassador to the United States (2001-2006).  Ambassador Ischinger invited the GMAP students and Fletcher alumni to an incredible evening at the Allianz Forum, located in the shadows of the Brandenburg Gate.  He also hosted a dinner followed by a discussion with distinguished thinkers: Ambassador Scharioth, Dr. Helmut Anheier, Dean of the Hertie School of Governance, and Dr. Jörg Rocholl, President of the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT).  The conversation delved into Germany’s identity, the European crisis, and transatlantic relations.  You may have seen Dean Deborah Nutter’s interview with the two ambassadors in front of the Brandenburg gate on Dean Stavridis’ blog.

In addition, some 20 GMAP alumni met in Berlin for an Alumni Weekend consisting of continuing education classes, as well as social events which built new networks among the alumni and the students.

The GMAP March Class of 2013-14, in front of the Bundestag

It was a wonderful summer for GMAP, filled with warm welcomes to new students, jubilant congratulations to new alumni, and a renewal of friendships among continuing students.  We could not ask for a better way to start the new academic year!

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Among the many Fletcher activities and programs that I don’t write enough about is GMAP.  The Global Master of Arts Program has been around for more than a decade and now has a strong alumni community of its own.  Because relatively few applicants are interested in both GMAP and Fletcher’s other master’s programs, I confess that I don’t always have the program in mind.  This week, though, there are GMAPers around and about — the only students in the building — so it’s a good moment to shine a little light their way.

GMAP is designed for mid- to senior-level professionals who aren’t able to take a year away from their positions to pursue graduate studies.  The program draws students together for three two-week residencies in a 12-month period, and continues their learning between residencies through on-line mediated instruction.  In some ways (language proficiency exam, capstone project), GMAP resembles Fletcher’s other master’s programs.  But the content is structured in a unique way and GMAP students all pursue the same core of eight courses.

At any moment in time, there are two distinct groups of GMAP students, one that started studies in March, and one that started in July.  This week and next, members of the July 2012-2013 class (who started their studies in July 2012) are completing their degrees, and their graduation ceremony will take place on July 20.  On Monday, July 29, the new July class (for 2013-2014) will be here for two weeks to kick off their studies.  And in August, the GMAP staff and students will be in Berlin for the second residency (which always takes place away from Fletcher) of the March 2013-2014 class.

I’ll try not to so thoroughly neglect GMAP in the future, but even if I do, GMAPers are often in the news, and you can keep up with the program via Facebook or Twitter.

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