Category Archives: IPED Fellowships

Summer Series: Jackie Yap ’18 and the Diplomatic Fellowship at the Holy See Mission to the UN

By: Jackie Yap

Photo credits: Anna Fata, Holy See Mission to the UN

After finishing my IPED courses last December 2016, I began my full-time, six-month fellowship at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN (Holy See Mission) on January of 2017. The Holy See Mission is the diplomatic section representing the Vatican at the UN.

As a diplomatic fellow, my day comprised mainly of attending meetings and conferences at the UN headquarters. Occasionally, I would stay at the Mission office to attend briefings, discuss my insights with my supervisor, and write my reports. At the meetings, I listened to ambassadors, heads of states, and experts give statements on economic, social, and political issues. Since it is a small group, I was privileged to shadow negotiators and get a preview of what their day-to-day was like, especially during negotiations.

 

Given my training in Political Economy and Development, I was assigned to follow the various commissions and political negotiations in Economic and Social Committees (2nd and 3rd committee, respectively). In these commissions, I gained a better and multi-disciplinary understanding of the global discourse on various socio-economic issues surrounding Women Empowerment and Gender Equality, Indigenous people’s issues, Ocean Conservation and Preservation, Science and Technology, and Human Rights. I was assigned to manage and coordinate the staff reports during the 2-week long Commission on Status of Women week March 2017. It was a hectic yet unforgettable experience.

I looked forward to each week because it was different from one to the next. The variety gave me plenty of opportunity to learn about different issues around the globe. It was challenging to digest a lot of information but the training I received from Economic and Political Science courses taught me to write comprehensively and concisely. The summary reports that I have written and organized were eventually submitted to the head office in Rome, Italy.

It is also worth noting the collegiate and familial atmosphere at the Mission. We began with a morning meeting and since lunch was served, everyone had to sit in one large table and talk to each other. The attachés, including the ambassador, His Excellency Archbishop Bernardito Auza, were my mentors and they were generous in sharing their knowledge with the interns.

I landed this fellowship through IPED’s program partnership with the Holy See Mission. While I had to undergo the internship application process, Dr. Schwalbenberg, the program director, had been very supportive and generous, providing me the funding in order to make the experience possible.

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Fordham Students supported the UNDP Equator Prize 2017

By: Sarah Garwood

The Equator Prize winners and UNDP team celebrate before the pre-ceremony reception at Bryant Park Grill. Photo credit UNDP-Arnaldo Vargas

This September, the UNDP Equator Initiative hosted the 2017 Equator Prize in New York City, New York to honor 31 local and indigenous people working on notable climate justice projects in their communities around the globe. The winners spent a week in New York City participating in community dialogues, capacity building workshops, and interacting with media representatives as the 2017 UN General Assembly began. Several Fordham IPED students were involved in building case studies with the winners and connecting their work with the Sustainable Development Goals.

IPED student and UNDP intern, Vikktoria Brezheniuk, speaks with one of our winners at a workshop. Photo credit Mike Arrison for UNDP-Equator Initiative

Equator Prize winner, Ghulam, from Pakistan works with IPED student and UNDP intern, Owen Fitzgerald, to build a case study on the Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization. Photo credit Mike Arrison for UNDP-Equator Initiative

Winners’ projects ranged across oceans, forests, and drylands. In Kenya, the Mikoko Pamoja group created a carbon credit-based payment for ecosystem services in order to improve mangrove restoration. In Ecuador, Alianza Internacional de Reforestación (AIRES) is an organization led by indigenous Maya women that works toward food security and disaster risk reduction through reforestation and agroforestry. Each community project supports several of the Sustainable Development Goals from poverty reduction to climate action to gender equality. Check out all the winners and their projects featured on the Equator Initiative website.

The female winners and UNDP team members, including Fordham UNDP interns Tess Hart and Victoria Brezheniuk, celebrate their work and the Sustainable Development Goals. Photo credit Larissa Nowak-Equator Initiative

On Sunday, September 17th, preceeding the Prize Ceremony, there was a reception held at Bryant Park Grill. Winners, government officials, donors, and other special guests gathered to network and celebrate together.

Winners from the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group in Belize, Dorla and Conway, with IPED student and UNDP intern, Sarah Garwood, at the Bryant Park Grill reception.

Sunday, September 17th marked the Equator Prize Ceremony held at Town Hall Theatre in New York City. Many people came to speak and celebrate with the winners including Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society. Fordham IPED students were invited to volunteer at the ceremony. Fordham IPED interns worked on stage management, social media coverage, and interpretation resources.

 

IPED student, Stephanie Swinehart, volunteered at the Equator Prize ceremony. Photo credit Wahanga for UNDP-Equator Initiative

IPED student and UNDP Intern, Greg Fischer (left), translated for Brazilian Prize winner and speaker, Benki, at the Equator Prize Ceremony. Photo Credit UNDP-Arnaldo Vargas

To see more photos and coverage of the Equator Prize and other events from the week, check out the Equator Initiative on Facebook and Twitter!

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Coverdell Fellows at Fordham IPED

Michael Johnson at the Fordham BID

Michael Johnson during his duties at the Fordham BID

Each year the IPED program, in conjunction with the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, offers several Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) an academic fellowship to attend Fordham IPED. Recipients of the fellowship are partnered to work with a local community development organization. Last year, IPED offered five fellowships to incoming graduate students for the class of 2018. Each of the fellows has an internship with a Bronx community partner to gain experience in urban development in the United States.

Erika Cox, Class of 2018

Erika Cox with a community art piece for the Fordham BID

 

Michael Johnson and Erika Cox are both partnered with the Fordham Road Business Improvement District (BID), an organization comprised of local retailers who promote business development and improve the quality of life along Fordham Road, a major retail street serving various immigrant and low-income communities in the Bronx. Michael works in a role as Business Outreach Coordinator and managing the team of Fordham undergraduate interns. Erika spends her time coordinating public affairs campaigns, planning art beautification projects, and as the organization partner liaison.

Kelsey Garcia, Class of 2018

Kelsey Garcia during filming of a promotional video for the Belmont Community

Kelsey Garcia is partnered with the Belmont BID, to promote the economic wellbeing of the business community by promotion of the “Little Italy in the Bronx” brand and its strong ethnic heritage and leadership in the community. The BID’s focus areas are sanitation, security, marketing and promotion, cultural programming, and streetscape improvements. Kelsey is a community relations intern and was recently featured in a promotional commercial for the community.

Jessica Way, Class of 2018, at UNHP

Jessica Way at the UNHP 2016 Fundraiser

Jessica Way is a research intern at University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP), a north-west Bronx non-profit dedicated to improving affordable housing attainment in the community. UNHP achieves its mission by issuing low interest loans and providing technical assistance to community leaders and affordable housing managers through the Northwest Bronx Resource Center. UNHP has a blog with more information.

Cody Harder, Class of 2018

Cody Harder works with the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) as a Project Development Intern. The Project Development Department is responsible for construction projects from beginning to the completion and closing.

All Coverdell Fellows are full-time students pursing their internships on a part time (12 hours per week) basis.

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Prestigious Awards: Robyn J Emory-Murray on the Critical Language Scholarship in Xi’an

Robyn Emory-Murray IPED ’18

Robyn Emory-Murray (IPED ’18) is a recipient of the 2017 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for Mandarin in Xi’an, China. CLS is an eight-week intensive language and cultural immersion program targeted toward students of critical languages as defined by the U.S. Department of State. This fully-funded government program offers students the opportunity to live among the cultures whose languages they are studying while fully integrating themselves into the language itself.

Datong Furong Park lights at night

Robyn with the Terracotta Warriors 兵马俑

Robyn received the award with the help of the Office of Prestigious Fellowships, who assisted her with the lengthy application process. When asked about the application process, she said, “The Office of Prestigious Fellows was invaluable. They helped me frame my thoughts, answers, and attributes in a way that really spoke to the program and its goals.” The application was due in the Fall, and awards were announced in March of the next year.

Robyn at the Kongtong Shan (崆峒山) Bridge to Heaven

Robyn’s goals are to continue to pursue Mandarin in the hopes of using it as she pursues a career in economic and international security studies, specifically centered on the Sino-American relationship.

The reward for the night hike, sunrise from East Peak of Hua Shan

Robyn had the following advice for those interested in the program: “Go all in. There is a pretty intense language pledge and those that stick to it really see amazing results. At the same time, though, don’t stress yourself out. You will have a lot more success if you take care of yourself and remember that learning a new language should also be fun!”

The lights during the Hua Shan (华山) night hike

Robyn on the famous Hua Shan Plank Walk

Robyn is a full-time student in the IPED program and a recipient of the Public Service Assistantship.

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2017 IPED Alumni Networking Night

On March 23rd, many members of the IPED family got together to meet, catch up, and chat for the IPED Alumni night. IPED alumni were asked to speak about their experiences working in the non-profit, government, and private sectors and gave advice for current and recent IPEDers starting their careers. Following the alumnae panel, current students were presented with their study and internship awards. Congratulations to all of you!

IPED career panel comprised of IPED alumae.

The 2017 Language and Immersion Study Award (LISA) recipients with Dr. Crystal. They will be studying French, Spanish, and Arabic around the world this summer.

This year’s Public Service Fellows awardees. Luther Flagstad (right) will be going to Kazakhstan to work at the US Embassy and Robyn Emory (left) will be going to Xi’an, China to pursue language study in Mandarin Chinese.

This year’s Arrupe Fellows with Dr. Crystal. Owen Fitzgerald (left) will be going to France for language immersion and pursuing work with the UNDP. Tess Hart (right) will also be pursuing French immersion and going to Micronesia to perform research.

The audience listening to the panel.

Current IPEDers, (left to right) Carlos Baeta, Liya Khalikova, Samantha Kinney, and Maggie Hutchison

IPED alumnae

IPED class of 2017 (the most recent group of alumni)

Dr. Schwalbenberg with some of his former students

IPEDers, current and past

The IPED family laughing with Dr. Crystal as he gives the closing comments.

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