The Fletcher School

Commencement 2012 Online

You may be on campus this Sunday for commencement or you may be cheering on your friends and family from afar. Either way, you can get an inside look at the day by following Tufts Commencement 2012 online. We’d love to have you join the conversation, so check out how you can take part:

  • Twitter: We’ll be live tweeting from @TuftsLive, so follow along from early morning preparation to the procession, the awarding of honorary degrees, and the commencement address. Use the hashtag #Tufts2012 to let us know what you’re up to.
  •  Web: Watch the live streamed ceremony at commencement.tufts.edu, where you will also find the @TuftsLive and #Tufts2012 feeds, so you’ll be sure to not miss a thing.
  • Instagram: We love photos! If you’re on campus, snap some pictures and tag them #Tufts or #Tufts2012. We’ll be capturing some shots too, so be sure to check them out (username: TuftsUniversity)
  • Facebook: We’ve been getting ready for commencement, and will have tons more photos to share just after the ceremony ends.
  • Foursquare: Check into Tufts University Commencement 2012 on Foursquare, include a shout out about graduation, and you’ll earn the Hats Off Badge.

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Dean Uvin’s Top Ten

Last month, The Fletcher School’s Academic Dean Peter Uvin, shared his top ten albums of the year with the Fletcher student community. Featured artists include Radiohead, Bon Iver and AA Bondy.

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My (Subversive) Garden Plot

Roger Doiron, F93, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, gave a talk at TEDxDirigo in September 2011 entitled “My (subversive) garden plot,” explaining “how gardens can re-localize our food and feed our growing population.”

Doiron spoke at the Friedman School on Oct 21, 2009. Watch the video.

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A Life-Changing Visit

Fletcher School masters candidate Kristen Wallerstedt recently visited India and left with “a new perspective on life, society, history, and humanity.” As a student of international economics and politics, her first time in South Asia was life changing. She wrote a note about her experiences which was featured in the blog “Critical Twenties,” a blog ran by twenty-something Indians who wish to create a forum for discussions about India and its place in the world. In it, she contrasts India with the Western world and discusses culture, politics, the economy, the media, social movements, and the general life lessons she learned on her trip:

Sadh, one of the many Indian gurus, says that in your life, if you don’t do what you can’t do, there is no problem but if you don’t do what you can do, that is a tragedy. Spiritual leadership is prominent here; even the most modern and logical have a guru that they follow. From India, for now, what I learn that I can do is to place a higher value on spirituality, tradition and history, and to continue to develop intellectually and find peace amidst the craziness of the world. India made me realize that in contrast to the pressures I feel in America, for now, I don’t want to seek to have an impact on the world, as we are often urged in our American education. Instead, I have realized that I still need the world to have an impact on me.

Be sure to check out the rest of Kristen’s musings here.

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Meet the Interns

The Fletcher School and Tufts’s own LGBT Center have Jumbo love for their interns this fall!

In a series of blog posts, Fletcher School admissions highlights their three interns and welcomes them to the office. One of their Interns, Katie, is a Lebanese Egyptian from Cairo interested in Human Security and NGO & Public Management. She’s extremely excited to be here and said,

Despite being far from Egypt, I felt at home at Fletcher right away. Between the exciting stories my fellow Fletcherians tell, and the numerous courses to choose from, I feel like a kid in a candy shop!

The LGBT Center chose to show their love through a video introducing seven undergraduate and graduate interns as well as two graduate staff assistants and the center director, Tom Bourdon. In the video, the entire staff return the love to their home away from home:

Video filmed, edited, and produced by George Murphy, A14.

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Two Tufts Teams are Up to the MassChallenge

The 125 teams in the MassChallenge startup competition have been winnowed to 26, and two teams with Tufts ties are among the finalists vying for $1 million in funding.

  • Sanergy – winners of the social entrepreneurship competition at this year’s $100K Business Plan Competition. Team includes: Gaurav Tiwari, F12, along with Lindsay Stradley, David Auerbach and Ani Vallabhaneni. Sanergy aims to manufacture low-cost, high-quality, water-free toilets to reduce sanitation-related diseases in Kenya’s slums. The waste will be collected and converted into biogas and organic fertilizer. Sanergy has already launched the pilot phase of their enterprise.
  • Pintley – Founded by Tim Noetzel, A08. Gives personalized beer recommendations.

MassChallenge is part of the White House’s Startup America Partnership, a government initiative to promote innovation entrepreneurship. Judges will name between 10 and 20 winners at a ceremony on Oct. 24.

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Summer Coffee Hours

At the beginning of the summer Fletcher Admissions decided to embark on a project setting up coffee meetings between prospective Fletcher students and Alumni of the program. They announced the project on their blog by saying:

Fletcher Admissions likes to experiment, and a new initiative this year is Summer Coffee Hours. (…) If you’re in Dar es Salaam, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Ho Chi Minh City, Jerusalem, Montreal, Cairo, Houston, Geneva, or Bangkok, plan to join a student for coffee.

Now, as the summer is coming to a close, they are posting responses from participants. One alumni said:

Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet in Montreal with a small group of potential students from different parts of Canada.  We met at Caffè Art Java on Mont-Royal, a hospitable and open place that allowed us to enjoy the beautiful evening weather.  Not three years ago, I remember being in their shoes and going through the painful, yet rewarding, process of graduate school applications.

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The Andean Collection

Amanda Judge, F09, recently launched a jewelry line called The Andean Collection with a good cause to boot. The company website reads

We create to encourage change. Andean Collection was founded to bring sustainable change to impoverished communities in South America. We offer artisans the opportunity to participate in the global market while inspiring our customers with access to the elusive world of the rural Andes.

The project has garnered significant media attention, having been featured on CNN and The Today Show and featured in magazines such as Marie Claire and Good Housekeeping. Their website includes products, videos and a blog about their efforts. They recently gave a sneak preview into their newest line via their blog, saying:

There is great energy here at Andean Collection this morning and we want to share the love. We just got our new lookbook back from the printer and we are stoked about the results! If you have been following us you know that there are a LOT of new items coming out in this next collection, including Lola Hats, Infinity Scarves, geometric shaped necklaces, and some fabulous new tagua bracelets! (Plus a new logo to really round out this change!)

Take a look at all the beautiful jewelry, watch their videos and learn more about the cause at The Andean Collection’s website

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Professor Bhide on Bank Regulation

Professor Amar Bhide of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy recently wrote a blog post about bank regulation and the failures of the American banking reforms for Project Syndicate. Project Syndicate is a source for op-ed commentaries from world leaders in every different field.

In the op-ed Professor Bhide writes:

Reversing the robotic gigantism of banking ought to be the top priority for reform. Bankers were once supposed to know every borrower, and to make case-by-case lending decisions. Now, however, banks use models conjured up by faraway financial wizards to mass-produce credit and a range of derivative products.

This is a familiar topic for Bhide. In 2010 he published A Call For Judgment: Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Recovery.

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Islam and Finance

Professor Ibrahim Warde, an adjunct professor of International Business at the Fletcher School, was interviewed by Lisa Murphy of Bloomberg Television last month. Professor Warde, who is the author of the forthcoming book Islam and Economics, discusses Islamic finance and banking principles in the following video clip:

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