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United Nations Career Trip

Friday, October 20th, the first year IPED students embarked upon a full day of meetings and events on the United Nations complex in Manhattan, New York. The day started with a visit to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Equator Initiative office. Jamison Ervin, the manager of the UNDP Global Programme on Nature for Development, spoke with the group about the Equator Prize, the New York Declaration on Forests, and why climate justice is integral to development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Several Fordham IPED students work at the UNDP Equator Initiative office part time through the Arrupe Fellowship. Students asked questions about development finance, internships, and nature-based solutions for development.

UNDP and Fordham IPED celebrate a robust partnership.

UNDP Jamison Ervin presenting to Fordham IPED students.

After that, the IPED Fordham group headed to the UNICEF office where we were greeted by Liliana Carvajal, Statistics and Monitoring Specialist at UNICEF and 2004 Fordham IPED Alumna. Liliana showed us data on infant and maternal mortality and explained how to use this data to track trends and progress on the SDGs. We also heard from an HR representative to hear more about the application process for potential internships and jobs at UNICEF in New York.

IPED Alumna Liliana Carvajal ’04 at UNICEF.

Fordham IPED students at UNICEF presentation.

Fordham IPED visits UNICEF.

For lunch, we went to the prestigious UN Delegates Dining Room. We shared a meal with our Director, Dr. Henry Schwalbenberg, as well as current and former Alumni who work at the United Nations.

In the afternoon, we were hosted at the United States Mission to the United Nations by Political Advisor to Ambassador Nikki Haley, Leslie Ordeman. He explained the process of creating and relaying policy briefings to the ambassador and international parties. He also shared about his background and what it looks like to choose the Foreign Service Officer path.

Leslie Ordeman, Political Advisor, speaks with students at the US Mission.

The day concluded with a tour of the United Nations Headquarters. Guides showed us the UN Security Council Chamber, the UN General Assembly Hall, exhibits on the damage of nuclear war, and human rights documents, among other pieces. It was inspiring to be in a place where so much happens. Many of us were inspired throughout the day, seeing our dreams up close and within reach.

UN Security Council Chamber

Students outside the UN Headquarters

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Fordham Students supported the UNDP Equator Prize 2017

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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Student Spotlight: Owen Fitzgerald, Tess Hart, and Viktoriia Brezheniuk at UNDP

Owen Fitzgerald, Therese ‘Tess’ Hart, and Viktoriia Brezheniuk (IPED ‘18) are interning at the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Equator Initiative. The main purpose of the Equator initiative (EI) is to recognize and promote the achievements and innovations of indigenous peoples and local communities. Every two years, the EI announces a global call for nominations for their prestigious award called the Equator Prize. This Prize ultimately serves “to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage.”

Owen shared his excitement that life is never boring at the UNDP: “Our responsibilities at UNDP’s Equator Initiative are ever-changing!” Upon arrival in September of 2016, Tess and Owen were working on a research project focusing on biodiversity and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They assessed 60 different countries’ National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), and teamed up with a few others to produce a publication highlighting their findings.

Now, their attention has been focused mainly on the Equator Prize 2017 with the help of Viktoriia, who joined the team in January 2017. The global call for nominations is being spread far and wide. In March, when nominations are due, the EI team will begin reviewing submissions for this prestigious award, a task our IPEDers will be taking part in.

As Arrupe Fellows, Tess and Owen had an automatic “in” for the position with UNDP. Viktoriia, a Ricci Fellow, was passionate about joining the team as well, so Tess and Owen offered Viktoriia’s resume to their boss and she was also accepted as an intern. 

Viktoriia, Tess, and Owen at UNDP

Owen and Tess are full-time students, interning part-time as a requirement for their fellowships. Viktoriia is pursuing her education part-time while interning with UNDP part-time and working with the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham, also part-time.

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2016 Washington, D.C. Career Trip

On Thursday and Friday, November 3rd and 4th, IPED went to Washington, D.C. for the annual Washington, D.C. Career Trip

The IPED students began the trip at Elephant and Castle to meet with representatives from the International Trade Administration (ITA). The discussions began with Israly Echegaray, an IPED alumna, who now works with the ITA and was able to work on both the TTIP and TPP trade agreements.

Israly Echegaray speaks about the ITA

Israly Echegaray speaks about the ITA

Israly had two pieces of advice for those seeking a job with the government: 1. Read the job description and be sure to use keywords when answering the question. 2. When answering, don’t be too high level with your answers initially.

Next to speak was Constance Handley, another IPED alumna, who is now the Deputy Director of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC). Her career began with the ITA in the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties office from which she moved around a little bit before her current position.

Constance Handley, Shane Subler, and Moses Cam pose at Elephant and Castle

Constance Handley, Shane Subler, and Moses Cam pose at Elephant and Castle

The final speaker from the ITA was Shane Subler, IPED alumni, who spoke briefly about his work with Ms. Handley in the ITEC doing analysis.

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IPEDers Victoriia Brezheniuk, Liya Khalikova, and Sydney Kornegay goofing around outside USAID

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IPED at USAID

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The flags at USAID

After lunch the IPED students spent some time at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The first speaker was Anthony Cotton, RPCV, IPED alumni and Peace Corps Fellow who went on to get the double Master’s degree in IPED and Economics. He was a Presidential Management Fellow before he began his work with USAID. He has had an exciting career so far, holding seven jobs in seven years within the agency.

Anthony Cotton speaking

Anthony Cotton speaking

His tips were: 1. Spend time meeting people and having informational interviews. 2. Make business cards as a means to induce someone to give you theirs. 3. Apply to everything because it helps you learn your own narrative and to nail your resume.

Next to speak was Sarah Webber, RPCV, IPED alumna, Arrupe Fellow, and Fulbright Fellow to Botswana. Ms. Webber works with the Health section of USAID coordinating and organizing health initiatives for USAID.

Her tip was to apply for the Presidential Management Fellow as it was an excellent way to get a foot in the door at USAID.

Sarah Weber and Tracy O'Heir

Sarah Weber and Tracy O’Heir

The last speaker of the day was Tracy O’Heir, a Jesuit Volunteer Corps alumna, IPED alumna and Arrupe Fellow. Ms. O’Hare is the team lead for the southern and western Africa Foreign Disaster Assistance.

Her tip was to study French because it is super useful for a career with USAID.

On Thursday evening IPED had its annual Washington, D.C. Alumni Dinner at Tortilla Coast. IPEDers, both current and past, mingled and discussed opportunities and shared tips.

Friday morning IPED students went to the United States Department of Agriculture. First to speak was Matt Pavone, an IPED alumni and recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy. Mr. Pavone works with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) as an Outreach Specialist working to implement credit and community support programs to small-scale US farmers.

Matt Pavone

Matt Pavone

Next to speak was Hoa Hyunh from the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). Mr. Hyunh is the Director of North Asia in the Agricultural Trade Office working in promotion of agriculture products overseas.

Hoa Hyunh

Hoa Hyunh

Hoa was followed by Jane Wilkins from the FAS. She is an IPED Alumna, and works as an analyst for foreign banks in order for them to take part in a US funded development program. She is a Civil Service Officer as opposed to a Foreign Service Officer.

Next was Brian Gruse who also worked for the FAS as Assistant Deputy Administrator. His focus was in capacity building in developing countries.

The two Brians (Brian Dutoi and Brian Gruse) speak at USAID

The two Brians (Brian Dutoi and Brian Gruse) speak at USAID

Finally, Brian Dutoi wrapped up the information session with a discussion of his with the the FAS in Food for Progress. He is also an IPED alumni and works on monetizing food commodities.

Following a lunch at the USDA cafeteria, the IPED students wrapped up their D.C. trip with a visit to the Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC).

IPED at the Millennium Challenge Corporation

IPED at the Millennium Challenge Corporation

IPEDers Owen Fitzgerald, Victoriia Brezheniuk, Cody Harder, Edward Barbini, and Samantha Kinney at MCC

IPEDers Owen Fitzgerald, Victoriia Brezheniuk, Cody Harder, Edward Barbini, and Samantha Kinney at MCC

First to speak was Kari Nelson, formerly with the MCC, but recently moved to Social Impact. Ms. Nelson gave an overview of what the MCC does and the metrics used to determine country eligibility for “compacts.”

Keri Nelson pictured here with Melissa Griswald

Keri Nelson pictured here with Melissa Griswald

Beth Zitler, a Science and Technology Fellow, spoke next about Open Data and the Open Data Challenge.

Beth Zitler speaking on Open Data

Beth Zitler speaking on Open Data

Representatives from human resources, Tom Wyke and his co-worker, Gigi, spoke about internship opportunities and hiring process.

Next to speak was Melissa Griswald from the implementation section of MCC. She works on the actual compacts (projects) from the development stage to implementation.

We finished the session with Sarah Lane from monitoring and evaluation, who spoke about her work and some of the metrics used to evaluate the work done in the field.

Sarah Lane and an excellent visual aid describing how MCC works

Sarah Lane and an excellent visual aid describing how MCC works

It was a wonderful trip and the IPED first years were even able to do a little bit of sightseeing.

IPED 2018 in front of the White House

IPED 2018 in front of the White House

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World Food Systems Summer School – Jaclyn Yap

After completing my Language Immersion in France, I headed to Switzerland to attend the World Food Systems Summer School. It is organized by World Food Systems Center at ETH Zürich. This year’s theme was “Organic Agriculture and Food Systems.”

As an IPED student specializing in Global Environmental and Resource Economics, I purposely searched for a summer program that would help me gain a more holistic understanding of and interdisciplinary knowledge on the food system to supplement my academic research. Through the IPED Summer grant and the GSAS Professional Development Grant (PDG), I was able to take part in this unique opportunity to learn more about food systems.

Classroom session

Classroom session

 

The course ran from August 7 to 21, 2016 at Rheinau, Switzerland. Leading researchers and practitioners from agricultural production, food processing, health and nutrition, political economy, came to speak to us about their field. Aside from lectures, we also had plenty of group activities to further discuss the topics. The speakers were certainly very open to discussions with us students during breaks and even after the sessions.

My classmates and I visiting an apple orchard in Bachs

My classmates and I visiting an apple orchard in Bachs

 My groupmates and I presenting our final project to the class


My groupmates and I presenting our final project to the class

 

We did not spend the two weeks just inside the lecture halls. We also had farm tours, alpine excursions, and site visits. We got our hands dirty with our soil analysis activity and organic farming exposure. The field trips were definitely my favorite!

A beautiful day for Alpine Excursion in Graubünden

A beautiful day for Alpine Excursion in Graubünden

Soil analysis in Rheinau with my groupmates

Soil analysis in Rheinau with my groupmates

Making traditional Swiss bread “Zopf”. I’m at the back observing my Swiss friend as she skillfully did it.

Making traditional Swiss bread “Zopf”. I’m at the back observing my Swiss friend as she skillfully did it.

 

We stayed at a wonderful guesthouse in Rheinau. Our hosts served us the freshest and healthiest meals every day, as well as weekend barbecues at the garden! Coming from different backgrounds and culture, we spent many of our nights (and days) getting to know each other. We learned a lot from each other and made new friends and professional contacts.

My fellow participants and I dancing to a Kenyan song

My fellow participants and I dancing to a Kenyan song

 

Attending the summer school with amazing people who shared the same passion for food and for helping make the world a better place was truly a memorable and informative experience.

My Class Photo

My Class Photo

 

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