Winter is coming…but not before autumn

The northeastern United States sometimes takes a lot of guff for its less than enviable weather. DC is a sweaty mess for 4-5 months in the warmer months, and NYC and Boston (perhaps the latter in particular) are known for their intense winters. We’ll occasionally encounter a prospective student who’s never been to this part of the country (or the world) before clearly laboring under the presumption that spending a year or two in these parts is akin to taking the black with the Night’s Watch. It’s true that the cold months can feel like a slog, but too much winter-related agita can obscure the pleasures of experiencing four distinct seasons, and for my money none rivals autumn.

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SIMULEX 2018

One of the highlights of the academic year is taking place this weekend at Fletcher. SIMULEX, the annual crisis management exercise hosted by the International Security Studies Program (ISSP), will take over the building on Friday and Saturday. While my mental image of SIMULEX sometimes resembles a game of Nukem!, or involves tense standoffs and commands of “turn your key, sir,” in reality it’s a major learning and professional networking opportunity for the Fletcher community, and not limited only to students formally focusing on security studies.

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Decolonizing International Relations

It’s been a busy week at Fletcher, which means a busy week for this blog, as well. There are so many events that take place throughout the year here that it’s impossible to highlight them all on this platform, but one happening today particularly caught my attention. The inaugural “Decolonizing International Relations” conference is currently in progress, and it’s an impressive event. Organized by the student-run Fletcher Students of Color and Allies (FSCA), the conference will apply critical theory to a variety of subject areas, highlight non-Western contributions and perspectives in academia and the field, and explore the role of power and access in the study and practice of international relations.

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Happy National Coming Out Day from Pride at Fletcher!

In celebration of National Coming Out Day, Pride at Fletcher, a student organization for those who identify as LGBTQIA+ as well as allies, is offering cookies and support to passers-by in the Hall of Flags. I was lucky enough to happen upon the display when it was still relatively full, which I don’t expect will last (to my friends at Pride, you make great cookies!).

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Kaitlyn’s Parisian summer with the Department of State

Have I mentioned how nice it is to have students back on campus? Among the many pleasures of a fully-populated Fletcher is the return of our Student Stories bloggers. In the coming months you’ll be introduced to our group of new first-year blog contributors; in the meantime, it’s nice to catch up with what our continuing student writers have been up to over the summer. First up is Kaitlyn, whose summer in Paris with the Department of State is enough to cause a pang of jealousy in even the most stoic reader.

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Experiential learning at Fletcher

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: graduate school is about much more than taking a handful of classes over a couple years. Fletcher students are of course deep thinkers, but they’re also active doers. It’s been gratifying, then, to see an uptick over the past few years in programming and available funding to help support the various professional and scholarly pursuits of our students.

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A busy summer, and fall, for Amanda and Caroline

While it may seem paradoxical at first glance, it’s quite common to find Fletcher students with deep interests in local and domestic public policy. Perhaps it’s all those “Think Globally, Act Locally” bumper stickers yielding dividends. I tend to think it’s more the result of the interdisciplinary mindset of our students, with which they can see the international dimensions of local policy, and vice versa (contextual intelligence, as Fletcher’s Institute for Business in the Global Context would characterize it).

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Januarians, assemble!

The arrival of late September in the Admissions Office can only mean one thing: it’s time to think about January! Admissions is a deadline-driven business, and we have an important one approaching. October 15 is the date by which applicants for January 2019 enrollment need to submit application materials. This one has a tendency to sneak up on everyone. Relative to the fall enrolling class, our annual group of “Januarians” is small (usually a few dozen students), and as such the application and enrollment period for them is quite compressed. With a mid-October application deadline, we expect to release admissions decisions for these candidates in early November, and to receive enrollment decisions from them by the end of that month. There’s a lot that needs to happen in just a handful of weeks.

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