Monthly Archives: September 2018

2018 Summer Internship Series: Tait Militana at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

By: Tait Militana ’19

During the summer 2018, Tait Militana joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a student trainee in economics. He worked at the Economic Research Service, USDA’s arm for agriculture and economics research, where he supported a data product that forecasts income across the U.S. farm sector.  The product is released three times a year, providing a measure of the health of the farm sector as well as its contribution to GDP

Tait’s principal project was to build out a database of historic farm income forecasts and provide initial analysis to help ERS answer the question: How accurate are our projections?

He also provided support for ERS’ August income release.

Tait in the U.S. Department of Agriculture

During his internship, Tait worked extensively with the SAS and Stata statistical programs and learned data manipulation and extraction techniques.

“Having the opportunity to program every day in a research environment helped me deepen my skill set in quantitative analysis and compliment the economics training I’ve received at IPED,” Tait said.

In addition to the programming experience, the ERS internship exposed Tait to the many policy issue affecting American farmers as well as the federal system for producing, analyzing, and dissemination economic statistics.

A group photo with the team from USDA

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2018 Summer Internship Series: Kelly Cannon at United Nations Development Program

By: Kelly Cannon ’19

This summer, I worked as an intern at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with the Global Programme on Nature for Development. At the UNDP, my work focused on the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), “a partnership of governments, multinational companies, civil society and indigenous peoples who strive to halve deforestation by 2020 and to end it by 2030.” The NYDF focuses on ten global goals related to the protection and restoration of forests. “If realized, [these goals] have the potential to reduce annual carbon emissions by 4.5 to 8.8 billion tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to the annual emissions of the United States.” As a part of the NYDF team, I researched and consolidated resources to populate the Global Forum for the NYDF, a space for endorsers of the declaration to interact and share best practices that promote the ten goals. I also created knowledge products, including photo essays, showcasing outstanding examples of community initiatives working to end deforestation and promote alternative livelihoods. Furthermore, I managed endorsers and potential endorsers of the declaration in order to ensure effective communication. My role also required event planning support, which provided me the opportunity to attend a High-Level Dinner at the UN General Assembly on “Innovations and Solutions for Safeguarding Life on Earth” (see photo above with my wonderful team).

Kelly Cannon with the team from UNDP

In addition to my internship at the UNDP, I worked as a Graduate Assistant for the IPED Program. I undertook two primary projects. The first involved developing the Fordham-Francis Index report, a human needs assessment tool designed in response to Pope Francis’ address to the United Nations. I consolidated and organized research for the publication and utilized a variety of software tools including Tableu, Prezi, and Microsoft Publisher. The second project was the Annual IPED Alumni Directory. This required reaching out to IPED alumni throughout the summer and collecting data in order to compile their contact and employment information and organizing it using Microsoft Access and coding it in Microsoft Word to prepare the directory for publication. As I put together the Alumni Directory, I enjoyed learning about all the amazing work IPED alumni do all over the world! My summer internships taught me new skills, developed old skills, provided networking opportunities, and fostered new friendships.

Kelly at the UNDP Office

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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 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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