Category Archives: Alumni

Excel Crash Course by Fordham IPED Alumni Alex Zoubine ’16

By: Djina Stamatovic

On Saturday, October 14th, the IPED students had the chance to attend an Excel Crash Course led by the IPED alumni Alex Zoubine ’16, currently employed in the Portfolio Management Office at Scholastic.

The level of prior Excel knowledge of the students was mixed, however, the pace of the course was able to satisfy the needs of all the attendees. The IPED students had the chance to acquire new skills to employ in the Econometrics and Data Analysis courses offered at Fordham but also in the working world.

In a moderate time frame, various interesting topics were covered, such as spreadsheet formatting and set-up,  simple and in conjunction formulas, pivot tables, and charts. Also, special focus was dedicated to data elaboration, as it is a pivotal element in every business sector–data validation & checks, data analysis, graphing, & regressions and data cleaning & manipulation.

Finally, as Fordham alumni Alex talked about his transition from Fordham to the private industry, his experience with job applications and adapting one’s academic knowledge to the needs of business. He also helped our students with their job/internship preparation in terms of, amongst others, sample data exercises that employers would have during the screening process of hiring.

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Vatican Dinner: 2017 Fordham University Pope Francis Global Poverty Index Research

Photo Credits: Thomas Stoelker

Dr. Schwalbenberg welcomes His Excellency Archbishop Paul Ricard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and Head of the Holy See’s Delegation to the Opening of the 72nd UN General Assembly.

Last Monday, IPED students participated in the CAPP/Fordham Dinner to welcome His Excellency Archbishop Gallagher, Head of the Holy See’s delegation to the Opening of the 72nd UN General Assembly. Notable guests to the event were His Eminence, Theodore Cardinal McCarric, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, Dr. Frederick Fakharzadeh M.D., President of the Fondazione Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice – USA, Reverend Fr. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President of Fordham University, and Professor Henry Schwalbenberg, Ph.D., Director of the IPED Program.

His Excellency Archbishop Paul Ricard Gallagher and Father McShane

The dinner was an opportunity for students to present the results of the research we conducted for the 2017 Fordham University Pope Francis Global Poverty Index which is a simple yet broad measure of poverty and wellbeing. The index highlights seven primary indicators which are categorized into two main categories – material wellbeing and spiritual wellbeing. This study intends to help decision-makers identify countries most in need of aid as well as the area of development in which aid is most expected to make an impact. A copy of the results can be obtained through the IPED program’s office at the campus in Rosehill.

His Excellency Archbishop Paul Ricard Gallagher

Donna Odra and Archbishop Gallagher as he is given his copy of the Pope Francis Poverty Index

Furthermore, we were also able to listen to Archbishop Gallagher’s address on the Holy See’s perspective on Contemporary International Issues. In his address, he emphasizes on the necessity of upholding the equal dignity of all human beings prior to any political or cultural construct, with all its consequences for the life of society. The Holy See is pursuing this goal through its efforts to prioritize and promote peace around the world despite the increased conflict and tension in different regions. He reiterates the Holy See’s encouragement of the International Community to choose peacemaking over warmongering and that dialogue has always been more fruitful than violence.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See Mission to the UN, speaks at the Vatican Dinner

His Excellency Archbishop Paul Ricard Gallagher speaks at the Vatican Dinner

The archbishop entertained questions from the guests after his address. Dinner concluded with socials allowing guests and students to share thoughts and ideas on the current challenges we are facing in the international arena.

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African Youth Leadership Summit: Carlos Baeta Shares His Experience

Carlos Baeta, IPED Class of 2017

“One of the distinguishing features of the summit, I believe, is the level of engagement and unity that it inspired in all of us.”

Carlos with Summit colleagues

Last month, Carlos Baeta (IPED ’17) attended the African Youth Leadership Summit in Marrakech, Morocco. Through its partnership with the MasterPeace Organization and a competitive screening process, the summit brought together 180 young people from close to 30 African countries in order to engage in workshops and seminars focused on developing entrepreneurship, leadership and African unity and integration. A veteran of other youth leadership conferences, Carlos said that “the different experiences and solutions that my colleagues had developed and actioned-out” was what stood out the most.

This was a unique platform for so many diverse participants with a common goal to come together and engage in actionable discourse. Carlos writes, “I believe one of the greatest services that we could do for ourselves, our countries that we represented and our continent, was to be as engaged and open minded as possible. The potential to learn and grow increases significantly when you have people from different backgrounds and with different skillsets collaborating on finding nuanced solutions to the plethora of challenges and opportunities my continent has.” His coursework and experiences with IPED, he says, have helped him to frame his thoughts in such a way that he could participate with his colleagues in a meaningful and impactful manner.

When asked about a specific experience he wanted to share from the summit, Carlos had this to say: “I have never been to North Africa before or rather embarrassingly enough, interacted with people from countries such as Chad or Sudan for example. I would be remiss if I did not say that this experience is something that will be embedded in me for the rest of my life.”

Carlos and fellow attendees to the Summit

Carlos came to attend the Summit through his personal network, but says that there are a plethora of platforms such as OpportunitiesForAfricans on Facebook as well. “I would suggest signing up to pages and platforms to stay abreast with the best and latest opportunities.”

Carlos is a native of South Africa and grew up in the small town of Vryheid in rural Kwa Zulu Natal. He says, “I have always dreamt about travelling and experiencing different cultures and seeing different cities. Since I have begun my studies at Fordham, I have been fortunate enough to have travelled to four different countries and attend countless different seminars. It has been a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to one day use my cumulative experiences and skills to extend these types of opportunities to other young South Africans back home.”

Contributed by Carlos Baeta

Edited by Robyn Murray

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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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2017 Swanstrom-Baerwald Award Ceremony

From the left: Dr. Schwalbenberg, the Permanent Observer to the Holy See Mission to the United Nations Archbishop Auza, Ms. Elizabeth Pfifer, President of Fordham University Father McShane, and Vice President of Catholic Relief Services David Palasits.

On March 8th, Fordham IPED had the honor of hosting the Swanstrom-Baerwald Award Ceremony on Rose Hill Campus. In conjunction with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Fordham awarded Elizabeth “Liz” Pfifer the prestigious award in honor of her selfless dedication to her relief and development work throughout Africa. For a full synopsis of the ceremony and Ms. Pfifer’s accomplishments, please follow this link to the Fordham News article covering the event.

The full auditorium there to celebrate Ms. Pfifer’s accomplishments

The award on the table during Father McShane’s speech praising the work Ms. Pfifer has done

Dr. Schwalbenberg introducing the award and our distinguished awardee.

IPED in attendance

Later in the evening there were two more awards presented to Mr. Osvaldo Hernandez and Ms. Lois Harr. Mr. Hernandez was awarded the Cardinal McCarrick Fellowship Travel Award, honoring the Cardinal’s work with CRS on behalf of peace and development. The fellowship will enable Mr. Hernandez to visit Fordham IPED graduate students completing field assignments with CRS in Africa so that he can experience first-hand the official international humanitarian work of the American Catholic community.

Mr. Hernandez receiving the Cardinal McCarrick Travel Fellowship Award

Ms. Harr was presented the John F. Hurley S.J. Commendation, honoring her work promoting the CRS in the United States. Please follow this link to an article covering the award and Ms. Harr’s work.

Ms. Lois Carr receiving her award, the John F. Hurley S.J. Commendation

Of course, it was an IPED event and we found time to have some fun, too.

Kelsey Garcia, IPED ’18 holding the flags of the UN, USA, and Morocco, her country of service in the Peace Corps.

Some of the IPEDers involved in a case of gender imbalance, upon request of Queen Viktoria Brezheniuk (center)

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