2018 Summer Internship Series: Kyle Bawot in Brazil

By: Kyle Bawot ’19

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend the month of July studying Portuguese in the Brazilian port city of Santos. This opportunity was made possible thanks to IPED’s Summer Stipend, which provided the means to arrange my travel, accommodation, and Portuguese classes. Additionally, my company gave me permission to spend the month working remotely (as I work full time and study part time). Overall, this language immersion program was an excellent experience and, ultimately, will be crucial in helping me achieve my professional goals.

With my Portuguese teacher in front of Casa Branca language school in Santos, Brazil.

I work in the coffee industry and one of my major career goals is to create change along the coffee supply chain to improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers. My IPED coursework is helping me strengthen certain skills that will help me achieve this goal, but one required skill is best learned out of the classroom: the ability to speak Spanish and Portuguese (the coffee industry’s key languages). To create impact in the coffee industry, knowing Spanish and Portuguese is a great advantage for it allows one to engage directly with coffee farmers, cooperatives, brokers, and exporters throughout Latin America.

With four colleagues in front of the Coffee Museum in Santos, Brazil

I speak Spanish from having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, but my Portuguese was limited. For that reason, I applied to study Portuguese in Brazil and, specifically, in the city of Santos, the major coffee-exporting port in Brazil. During my month long stay, I took Portuguese lessons at a local language institute during the evenings and weekends. Then, during the day, I worked remotely from my company’s Brazil office, which provided the additional benefit of conversing in Portuguese with my Brazilian colleagues throughout the day. Thanks to this experience, my Portuguese improved markedly and I am now better equipped to work towards my professional goals in the coffee industry.

With IPED classmate Donovan Hotz in front of São Paulo See Metropolitan Cathedral in São Paulo, Brazil

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2018 Summer Internship Series: Tegshzaya Demid at the NGO Committee on Human Settlements

By: Tegshzaya Demid ’19

I did my internship at NGO Committee on Human Settlement at the United Nations in New York City from May 01 to June 29, 2018. The objective of the CHS is to monitor collectively, and through its respective organizations, the implementation of commitments set forth in the Habitat Agenda of the Conference on Human Settlements, and Agenda 21 of the Conference on the Environment and Development and relevant elements from plans of action or other United Nations conferences that promote the provision of adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world.

Tegshzaya at the UN Headquarters

During my internship period, I was in charge of conducting research on the implementation and monitoring of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goal 11 – “Make Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable”, and consulting relevant stakeholders in the field of human settlements on various issues, such as affordable housing, within the sustainable development framework. Moreover, I assisted in the preparation of the side events at the United Nations during the ECOSOC Integration Segment Forum from May 1st to May 3rd and the preparation for 2018 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) from July 9th to July 18th.

Taken by Tegshzaya during the side event at the United Nations 2018 Integration Segment of ECOSOC

It was a great experience from the field of human settlement through the sustainable development which is one of the biggest issues within the development.

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2018 Bronx Community Day Trip

By: Patrick Fernandez ’20

There is a deep connection between Fordham and the Bronx ever since the school’s foundation in 1841. Thus, last September 7, IPED students met with Gregory Jost of the Design the WE studio at the Andrew Freedman House to learn more about the history of the Bronx.

IPED students with Greg Jost outside the Andrew Freedman House

Gregory toured the students around the first floor of the house which featured two ballrooms which are now transformed into art galleries.

IPED students touring the art gallery in the Andrew Freedman House

The second floor of the house featured the Undesign the Redline exhibit. It was through this exhibit that Greg presented the history of the Bronx. The exhibit included government documents, historical maps, photos, and timelines that explained the systematic racism in New York especially in the Bronx in the 30s and 40s.

Greg presenting the Undesign the Redline exhibit

Greg’s presentation explained how the “redlining” of areas – or the systematic marking of areas with immigrant and black population – resulted to the deterioration of these neighborhoods as they were marked to show high risk for federal and banking investment. These had many repercussions through the decades and many of them are still felt to the present day. Thus, the exhibit encourages people to take action and “undesign the redline” which has seeped through American policies.

Greg explaining the Redlining policy

After touring the house, the group then went to the Joyce Kilmer Park to have some lunch and some informal conversation.

IPED students walking around the Bronx

Informal conversations at Joyce Kilmer Park

Picture of the group at Joyce Kilmer Park

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Stephanie Swinehart attends the 2018 Borlaug Food Security Summer Institute

Written by Guestblogger:  Stephanie Swinehart, IPED 2019

2018 Borlaug Food Security Summer Institute participants. Stephanie is on the 2nd row (standing row), 8th from the left.

I recently represented Fordham at the 2018 Borlaug Food Security Summer Institute at Purdue University from June 3-16 in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Institute, now in its seventh year, is an annual two-week program for graduate students interested in developing a holistic understanding of the conceptual challenges around global food security. Discussion topics ranged from genetics & plant breeding, ecology, and funding agricultural research to climate change, pastoralism, and the global challenge of meeting future energy demands. The two-week summit featured presentations from a team of experts in the academic and private sectors including Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, 2009 World Food Prize winner; Shenggen Fan, Secretary General of the International Food Policy Research Institute; and Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of Norman Borlaug, the Institute’s namesake and recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize.

Stephanie with Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, 2009 World Food Prize winner

Stephanie presenting on her research at Fordham and on her work with UNDP


While there, I presented research that I have been conducting with a team at Fordham on pastoralism in East Africa and on my work as a program assistant at the United Nations Development Program in New York City. This opportunity not only allowed students to increase knowledge in new areas, but facilitated unexpected opportunities for collaboration between the social and agricultural sciences. While the challenges to global food security are great and often feel discouraging, the goal of the institute was to empower students with the multidisciplinary tools to be the next generation of changemakers in the field of food security and climate change.

Stephanie with other Institute participants

Millet variety test fields at Purdue University’s research farm


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9th Cohort of Emerging Markets South African Exchange Program Welcomed in New York

Written by guest blogger Carlos Baeta

For the 9th summer in a row, the IPED commons had witnessed a cacophony of activity that directly corresponded with the arrival of 22 African students to our picturesque Rose Hill campus. The students above, have been selected to attend IPED’s flagship advanced certificate in Emerging Markets and Country Risk Analysis program.  This year’s cohort consisted of twenty South African students that included eight top-performing economics students from the University of Pretoria as well as twelve middle management employees from the National Treasury, The South African Reserve Bank, Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), amongst others. What separates this years program, however, is that it has been extended to include two students who are Economics and Finance lecturers at the Catholic University of Ghana in West Africa.


Throughout their six weeks in New York, the 22 students  took two rigorous courses in Strategic Financial Management and Political Risk Analysis. These courses were completed alongside local IPED and Economics graduate students and taught by Professor Rengifo and Entelis respectively. Beyond interacting with Fordham faculty members, the students had the opportunity to engage and network with real business leaders and policymakers through several organized site visits in New York and Washington D.C respectively. These included meetings with large international institutions at the World Bank, the Council on Foreign Relations and at multinational corporations such as IBM, Bank of America, Merill Lynch and Credit Suisse.

After returning to South Africa,  the students will by joined  by Fordham IPED and Economics graduate students at the beginning of August to complete the third and final Emerging Markets course at the University of Pretoria in South Africa’s capital city.

2018 represents the 9th year in which students from South Africa participated in this dynamic academic and cultural exchange program. The impact of the program is seen from the successes of its alumni. Many have gone on to represent leadership positions in both the public and private sector across Africa and the world soon after receiving their qualification from IPED. They continue to reference their experience in New York as an important experience in  their career development and education.

Carlos Baeta was among the participants of the Emerging Markets South African Exchange Program in 2015.  He later returned to Fordham to complete the  MA IPED (2017) and MA Economics (2018) programs. 

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