Category Archives: Trips

United Nations Trip 2018

by: Patrick Fernandez ’20

Last October 26, first-year IPED students had a full day of meetings and tour at the United Nations complex in Manhattan, New York. The day started with a meeting with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Nature for Development Team with a presentation by Nicole DeSantis, Programme Specialist for the New York Declaration on Forests. She was also joined by the other members of the team: Martin Sommerschuh, Programme Analyst for the Equator Initiative; Maddie Craig, Programme Specialist for the New York Declaration on Forests; and Meghna Ravishankar, Programme Consultant for the New York Declaration on Forests. They talked about the different projects that their team in UNDP is doing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which includes the Equator Prize, UN Biodiversity Lab, and Policy Support for governments among many others. The students had questions on the role of private firms, impact assessment, political limitations, and nature-based solutions for indigenous peoples.

Nicole DeSantis explaining the work they do in UNDP

IPED students during the meeting with UNDP

Discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals

IPED students together with the UNDP Nature for Development Team

The students then headed to UNICEF to have a meeting with Tyler Porth, Statistics Specialist at UNICEF. Mr. Porth presented the importance and impact of data and statistics in their work at UNICEF. He also highlighted their effort on making their programs easy-to-use for the people on the ground so that more informed decisions backed up by data can be made. Mr. Porth also shared his experiences of going into the communities in different countries and actually seeing the impact of the data and statistics they are analyzing. The students asked him for tips on studying statistics tools, his favorite part of the job, and the effects of technology on developing countries.

IPED students at UNICEF

Meeting with Mr. Tyler Porth from UNICEF

IPED students together with Mr. Tyler Porth

The group then had lunch at the UN Delegates Dining Room together with some second year IPED students and Mr. Bruno Brant, IPED alumnus ’01.

Lunch at the UN Delegates Dining Room

Dr. Schwalbenberg together with IPED alumnus, Bruno Brant ’01

In the afternoon, the group proceeded to the US Mission for a meeting with Millie Meyers, Director of Special projects, Jason Lawrence, Adviser for Economic and Social Affairs (Foreign Service Officer), and James Duke (IPED ’19), who currently interns at the US mission. James shared his experience of working for the US mission and the process he had to undergo. They also shared about the different paths available in foreign service. Mr. Lawrence also shared about the difficulty of balancing professional and personal life because of the demands of the job. He noted, though, that it is manageable and the administration has been improving over the years.

IPED students and the representatives from the US Mission

The day ended with a tour of the United Nations Headquarters. The guide took us to the different chambers and halls of the headquarters. There were a lot of informative history about the UN that the guide highlighted while we make the tour.

One of the many artwork at the UN Headquarters depicting man’s struggle and journey for peace

IPED students at the UN Security Council Hall

A mural at the UN Headquarters depicting the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl

IPED Students at the UN General Assembly Hall

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South Africa Emerging Markets Study 2018

By: Mohammed Masudur Rahman ‘19

Every year, select IPED students from Fordham University participate in an exchange program with University of Pretoria, South Africa. The Advanced Certificate in Emerging Markets & Country Risk Analysis includes three courses on Finance, Political Risk Analysis, and Emerging Markets. As a part of this endeavor, a group of five students from IPED and Economics department went to South Africa in August of 2018 to participate in the Emerging Markets: South Africa course module.

The students were hosted in University of Pretoria campus in Pretoria where they took part in rigorous coursework, gave presentations, and made visits to various important financial and industry institutions, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Public Investment Corporation (PIC). Students were also immersed in local culture through excursions to local communities, heritage sites and tourist attractions.

Fordham Students in South Africa sharing a meal with fellow South African students

Fordham Students at University of Pretoria campus

The students learned about various emerging markets including a focus on South Africa. The Emerging Markets course equipped them with knowledge of current market dynamics, ability to collect, analyze and read micro indicator data and use them to assess market potential of emerging economies. The course ended with the students writing investment reports on various emerging markets.

The Emerging Markets cohort was joined by students from South Africa in their visits to various top level institutes. The visits included some of South Africa’s top institutions: Industrial Development Corporation, Public Investment Corporation, South Africa Reserve Bank, Standard Bank, BRICS, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, US Chamber of Commerce, National Economic Development and Labor Council, and the National Union of Metalworkers in South Africa.

Group of Students at Industrial Development Corporation, South Africa

Group of Students at National Economic Development and Labor Council, South Africa

The trip was also full of excursions where the students got to visit iconic tourist and heritage sites around Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto. Some of the most memorable visits included Robben Island, Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope, the home of Winnie Mandela on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, and the Cradle of Humankind. The final week of the trip was spent exploring game reserves and safari in Krueger National Park.

Group of Students at the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town

Group of Students in front of the Table Mountain, one of the natural wonders

Visiting Heritage Sites including the Mandela Statue

One of the Big Five Animals students saw during the Krueger National Park visit

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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 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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International Project: The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago

By: Robyn Emory Murray ’18

The Fordham delegation leaving on their first day of the Camino

Last month, three IPED students were invited to join the International Project on “The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago: Harnessing the power of tourism to promote cross-cultural dialogue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Benjamin Boltz (IPED ’19), Owen Fitzgerald (IPED ’18), Robyn Emory Murray (IPED ’18), and Evan Soloman (M.A., Ethics and Society), were chosen by Dr. Melissa Labonte to participate in the program, which consisted of three phases: online learning modules, walking the Camino de Santiago, and the concluding forum.

IPED students with Provost Freedman

The focus of the program, organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Helsinki España University Network, and the Compostela Group of Universities, was to reflect on human rights, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the value of tourism in achieving those goals. “Walking the Camino was incredible. The idea that people had been walking to Santiago de Compostela for hundreds of years along the routes that we were taking created this tangible connection with history and, for me, Christianity what I had never experienced before.” – Robyn Emory Murray

Owen, Evan, Robyn, and Axelle (KU Leuven) arrive in Santiago de Compostela

Student Owen Fitzgerald ’18 reflects: “Ultimately, this initiative helped me to garner broader knowledge of these rights that are intrinsic to all human beings and to gain a deeper understanding of the impact cross-cultural dialogue can have, especially in the context of tourism. For me, each of the 81 miles hiked served as an opportunity to reflect on these topics with other impassioned students – together on the same journey toward ensuring a more free and peaceful world.”

Countryside in Galicia, Spain

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