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.
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.
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.
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!