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Some eagle-eyed Jeopardy fans in the Fletcher community spotted this question as they watched the show recently.  The answer (in the form of a question), of course, is “What is Tufts University?”

 
I was walking outside the building at about 4:00 yesterday and saw a cluster of students huddled around suitcases.  They were in the first stages of their trip to Iceland for this year’s Arctic Circle Assembly, the world’s largest gathering of Arctic-oriented policy makers, business people, and other stakeholders.  The Fletcher contingent, including students, faculty, alumni, and staff members, is organized by Fletcher’s Maritime Studies Program, in collaboration with Fletcher’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, Science Diplomacy CenterInternational Security Studies Program, LLM Program, Institute for Human Security, and Institute for Business in the Global Context, as well as Pan-Arctic Options and the Institute for Global Maritime Studies.  Having so many different organizations on board means that students were able to have their participation subsidized with a travel stipend, in hopes (expectation!) that Fletcher would (for the third year in a row) bring the largest non-Icelandic academic delegation to the Arctic Circle Assembly.

A key link between Fletcher and the Arctic Circle Assembly is Fletcher alumna Halla Hrund Logadóttir, F11, who is organizing the Arctic Innovation Lab component of the Assembly.  According to the Fletcher trip organizers, the Arctic Innovation Lab is a platform to bring young and entrepreneurial thinkers into the Arctic debate to help solve its myriad social, economic, and political challenges.  Each participant gets two minutes to pitch an idea, which can be related to anything, but the focus is on sustainable solutions, and then students participate in round-table discussions with experts on their idea.  The top three ideas will be selected as winners by the event organizers.I always feel an ongoing connection to students whom I meet before they apply.  Way back in (probably) 2008, I interviewed Halla before she applied to Fletcher.  It’s very satisfying for me to see the relationship she has built with current students and staff.And Fletcher’s connection to the Arctic won’t end with the Arctic Circle Assembly.  In February, students will organize the seventh annual Fletcher Arctic Conference.

Here is a short video that shows images from last year’s Arctic Circle Assembly and Arctic Innovation Lab and an article on the ideas presented at the Arctic Innovation Lab.  Of course I don’t yet have photos from this year’s Arctic Circle Assembly, but you can follow along on Twitter as Fletcher participants post their observations and the organizers tweet about each day’s panels and events.

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Today is a University holiday, but we’ll be back in the office tomorrow to answer any last-minute questions before the October 15 deadline.

Meanwhile, folks in the local area will want to know that Fletcher will be well represented at HUBweek, a festival of art, science, technology, and big thinking in Boston and surrounding towns.   There are so many great discussions on the agenda that it’s hard to know what to choose.  Start with the Fletcher-connected events and you can’t go wrong!

 

At the Idealist fair on Monday, I had a nice long chat with a prospective student who is in the process of starting a business.  I was glad to be able to tell him how much great stuff is happening here in the entrepreneurial orbit.  Or, as the folks from the Institute for Business in the Global Context put it in a recent message:

Grad school is one of the safest spaces to test out your entrepreneurial skills in highly supportive and nurturing environment.  The Fletcher/Tufts ecosystem is filled with unique opportunities to stretch and learn, especially when it comes to venturing in the emerging markets and having social impact.

Some of the opportunities here for students are:

There are coaching opportunities available in the lead-up to the competitions.  And entrepreneurs aren’t limited to creating ventures!  They like to hang out, too, which they did last week at a “Venturing Social Evening” at a local café.

For more information about all the options for Fletcher entrepreneurs, follow the news on the IBGC Entrepreneurship page.

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Fletcher has launched a new research hub this year — the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS).  We’ve only just begun the fourth week of the semester, but CSS is already making news.  First, there was an announcement of Postdoctoral Fellows and a visiting professorship, in addition to previously named PhD research fellows.  (All the team bios can be found here.)  And these folks will be joining Professor Monica Toft, who developed the center at Fletcher.

Last week, Professor Toft jump-started Center-based discussion with a talk at the CSS Open House.  And today, we received information on the CSS Capstone Incubator Project.

With so much happening already, I’m sure I’ll have more to share about the Center for Strategic Studies as the year goes on.  For now, I’ll leave you with this conversation between Dean Stavridis and Professor Toft.

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It’s just before 10:00 as I write and I can say that our evaluative interview program is now in full swing.  All that was required was four members of the Admissions team huddled around the front desk to remind ourselves of the parts of the process that are hard to recall until they’re actually needed.  But I think we’ve got it now — high fives all around.  And the day’s first interview seems to have gone swimmingly.  Interviewer and interviewee emerged smiling.

I’ve already written a few posts to encourage all you applicants out there to schedule an interview.  We’re nearly fully booked this week, but there are plenty of appointments available for the coming weeks.  Whether you prefer to visit us on campus or participate in a Skype interview, sign up now to grab a convenient day and time.  (And if you visit campus for your interview, you can build an information session, class visit, or coffee with a student into your day.)

This afternoon, I’ll be zipping over to Boston University for an Idealist Graduate School Fair.  If you’re there, be sure to say hello.

With interviews and the fair this afternoon occupying my time, I don’t have much brain power left for blog creativity.  I’ll leave it to a professor/PhD-candidate duo to share their creative ideas with you.  The screen below will take you to an online discussion of their research.

 

I struggle every year to capture much of what’s going on at Fletcher.  My primary mission is to focus on admissions updates, and there are other sources for Fletcher in the news, but realistically, how much time can any of us spend chasing down current information?  So I try to give blog readers a sense of what’s happening with occasional updates.

In that context, I was happy to find the 2016-2017 annual report from the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy in my inbox.  In addition to the basics, the annual report provides a great snapshot of an active center and opportunities for students.  From conducting research to attending international climate talks, students from all degree programs who focus on environment issues have great options to broaden their learning, and gain skills and experience that goes beyond the classroom.

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Welcome back to the Admissions Blog everyone!  It’s exciting to start a new academic year, though also a bit daunting as the pace of life has picked up dramatically since the sleepy August days of last week.  Already we’re turning our attention to travel and on-campus visitor activities.  Students, new and returning, are meandering through the building, pursuing a special Shopping Day schedule, before the official start of classes tomorrow.  It’s all happening!

An important marker of the start of the new academic year is Convocation, which will take place on Friday.  Those who can’t attend can still participate virtually through the live broadcast on the Fletcher Facebook page.  Tune in Friday at 2:00 p.m. EDT (UTC -4) to hear remarks from Dean Stavridis and Reeta Roy, F89, president and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation, an organization that has partnered with Fletcher in the past.

Between now and Friday, students will nail down their course selections for the semester and enjoy a few days when they are completely caught up with assignments.  We in Admissions will continue booking flights and hotels and contacting alumni to help out during our visits.  On my own to-do list for today is to ship materials for the New York APSIA fair on Tuesday.  If you’re planning to be there, be sure to say hi!

The new year is underway and we look forward to meeting you here at Fletcher or on the road!

 

I had the honor and pleasure yesterday to attend the dissertation defense of one of our PhD students.  I can’t always make it to these milestone events, but when I can, I do.  Even when the subject matter is completely outside of anything I’ve ever known, it’s inspiring to celebrate the result of so many years of intense research and study.

On another note, new videos have been added to a collection answering the question “Why Fletcher?”  Here’s one, from an alumna at the World Bank (where, I hear, you can bump into a Fletcher grad around any corner).

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The icing on the top of this year’s admissions process cake is Orientation.  It’s our first opportunity to see all the new members of the Fletcher community at once and it’s their chance to come together as a family — ready to study together and support each other in so many other ways.

As a practical matter, it’s also the point when nearly all former-applicant/now-student concerns shift from Admissions to other Fletcher offices.  Until scholarships are renewed next spring, nearly all questions are best answered by other offices, though we’re always a resource for helping students find their answers.

Today the newbies will be attending several sessions at which general information will be shared with them.  Tomorrow we’ll help promote community building.  I’ll be among the staff members who are leading ice-breaker sessions.  (Since I’m a little shy myself, I’ll be running introvert-friendly activities that I hope will work well for all.)  The rest of the week continues with a similar mix of information sharing and community building.

And with that, another academic year begins!

 

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