Tag Archives: LISA

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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Filed under Alumni, Career, IPED Fellowships, Trips

Language Immersion Study Award: David Masagbor – Egypt

I studied Arabic for a period of 6 weeks at the Arab Academy in downtown Cairo. Arab Academy offers courses in both colloquial and classical Arabic. Having lived in Egypt before and having an acceptable grasp of colloquial Arabic, I chose to study the classical form of the language.

David at the Arab Academy

David at the Arab Academy

Arab Academy is an exceptional institution. I will 100 percent recommend it to anyone looking to learn the language. Classes aren’t group sessions. Every student has their own tutor which allows you to learn at your own pace and ask as many questions as you want. My classes typically started between 12pm and ended 3pm. The first hour was spent practicing basic responses to common questions while the other two were spent mastering the alphabets, forming words with them and eventually whole sentences. The teachers were very patient and understanding.

Can’t make it to class for some reason? No problem, Arab academy offers classes online as well. They organize online sessions for students unable to be physically present in class for whatever reason. Students are also given access to their online resources and can self-study at their own pace and complete assignments online as well.

Arab Academy is also very diverse. Students come from just about everywhere…the US, Chile, Europe, everywhere.

Jumping for joy about Arabic!

Jumping for joy about Arabic!

Unfortunately, I did not do much travelling while in Egypt partly because, well, I had been to most places prior to this trip (completed my undergrad degree in Egypt). I did get to reconnect with old friends though and visit places I didn’t get to visit while I was an undergrad such as the Cairo Tower from which you can observe all of downtown Cairo and many parts of the city west and east of the Nile River. I also visited the “Time Square” of Cairo aka “where every Cairo resident avoids” aka “Oldest tourist trap of the Middle East”- The pyramids. It was fun though don’t get me wrong.

David at Giza

David at Giza

Being that it was Ramadan, I was able to share in the breaking of fast (Iftar) with friends after 6pm everyday during the period which made the experience all the more interesting. I thank IPED for giving me this unforgettable opportunity in Cairo!

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Filed under Academic, Community & Culture, Trips

Language Immersion Study Award: Armand Aquino, Katie McCann, Jackie Yap – France

Summer Shenanigans
Three  IPED students – Armand Aquino, Katie McCann, and Jackie Yap – spent their summer in France for an intensive French language study and cultural immersion with an Alliance Française Institution. Armand was in Toulouse; Katie was in Bordeaux; and Jackie began in Toulouse then continued on to Lyon.
Armand and Jackie were recipients of the 2016 Language Immersion Study Award (LISA) while Katie is an Arrupe Fellow who decided to use her summer grant from her fellowship to pursue French language study. French language study is part of their professional development to further their careers in international development.

Learning French at an Alliance Française Institution in France is a great opportunity because of the diversity of its students. Aside from the structured lectures, Alliance Française organizes a number of activities for its students so they can immerse themselves into the French culture. Such activities include guided tours of museums and the city, “art” hunting, and cheese (and wine) tasting (this is France, after all).

In addition, Alliance Francaise arranges homestays for the students which enables them to continue speaking in French even at home.
Armand and Katie shared that the summer experience has also been great opportunity for them to expand their network in the international development space. Both have met people working in international organizations such as the International Red Cross and World Food Programme who like them are studying French for their own professional development.
When asked for advice to students considering a language study for the summer, Jackie said that “If you are just starting out in the language, I encourage you to take advantage of the language class (audit) at Fordham. It helped me learn the basics and allowed me to be more confident in practicing the language. Also, do not be afraid to practice and make mistakes. Many, if not everyone, appreciate the fact that you are trying to learn French.”

Armand in Toulouse, France

Armand in Toulouse, France

Jackie gives a two-thumbs up to the French Cuisine even though she accidentally ordered frog legs despite the waiter’s attempt to translate what “grenouille” means.

Jackie gives a two-thumbs up to the French Cuisine even though she accidentally ordered frog legs despite the waiter’s attempt to translate what “grenouille” means.

Katie in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Katie in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Katie, Jackie, and Armand showing their IPED pride at Lourdes, France

Katie, Jackie, and Armand showing their IPED pride at Lourdes, France

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Filed under IPED Fellowships, Prestigious Awards, Trips

Language Immersion Study Award: Ryan Barthel – Taiwan

Ryan Barthel, Language Immersion Study Award recipient, wrote late summer about his experience studying Traditional Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan:

你們好! I am in my third week learning Mandarin Chinese at Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages in Kaohsiung, Taiwan through a Language Immersion Study Award (LISA). Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan, located at the southern end of the island, and is a major port and manufacturing center. Wenzao is a university dedicated to language study, and trains students in European and Asian languages, as well as instruction of English and Chinese. I chose to study Mandarin because of the advantages it will give me in my search for a career and fellowships after IPED as well as help me to better connect with Mandarin speaking friends. Even though it is among the most widely spoken languages in the world, the US government lists it as a lesser studied language in America. Trade relationships and alliances in this region ensure it will remain important to the US.

While immersion study can be exhausting, it provides nearly unlimited opportunity to practice. My fellow Mandarin learners come from every continent (including a Bronx native!), so it is often easier to converse among ourselves in Mandarin, even outside the classroom. While Mandarin is often cited as a particularly difficult language to learn by many people, the underlying grammar is much simpler than English. Learning in Taiwan has been a great experience so far. Taiwanese people are very welcoming to foreigners, though this can sometimes make true immersion more difficult (at least for someone as obviously foreign as myself) because anyone who speaks English will try and practice with you! Longstanding links with the US and Japan make cultural adjustment bit easier as well. A challenge is that Taiwan is one of only a handful of places that use traditional Chinese characters. Obviously, this is a plus if you want to learn traditional characters, but it could be a challenge if you want to live or work in China. One simple tip for any language learners: Buy things in your new language! Shopkeepers have a vested interest in understanding you that even your teachers may not share, and it’s great practice as well as a good confidence builder when a random person can pick up on what you’re saying! It also helps to remove you from the sterile ‘learning’ environment and get a better idea of how people actually speak (turns out, not everyone follows classroom dialogue scripts, unfortunately!).

Overall, this is a wonderful experience thus far. My language skills are improving quickly and the teachers are dynamic and engaging. Beyond that, Taiwan is a beautiful country with a rich history and delicious food (food being the top reason anyone I’ve ever spoken to who has been to Taiwan says to visit), though it could stand to have a cold front or two move through. 再見!

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Filed under Academic, Internships, Trips

IPED Summer Ventures

IPED students between their 1st and 2nd years completed various not-for profit, government, and private sector internships this summer.   Through the generous support of IPED alumni, several IPED students were also granted LISA’s (Language Immersion Scholarship Assistance) to student a foreign language outside of the United States.  Below is a list of the all the internship and language study placements from this summer:


Joshua Voges, ENDA Énergie (Senegal)                

Emily Kremser, Mercy Corps (Liberia)                

Camille Tacastacas, Cartwheel Foundation (Philippines), French Study (France)

Veronica Muoio, Humanitarian Research Services (Jordan)

Brian Strassburger, Jesuit Refugee Services (South Africa)





Government/ Think Tank

Richard Koch, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Spanish Study (Florida)

Samantha Andrews, Council for Foreign Relations (New York)

Robert Gallic, Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (New Jersey)

Ryan Jacobson, Council on Competitiveness (Washington DC)

RG Homeland Security

Sam's Summer


Language Immersion Scholarship Assistance (LISA)

Betamina Coronel, French Study (France)

Pierrepont Johnson, French Study (France)

Elizabeth Shaw, French Study (France)

Alexandra Strzempko, Spanish Study (Peru)

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Private Sector

Mary Frances Wines, Ernst & Young (New York)

Nathan Birhanu, Nomura Securities (New York)

Huyen Nguyen, National Bank of Canada (New York)

Jordan Radovan, Morgan Stanley (New York)

Lodewikus Lombaard, St. Gallen’s Wings of Excellence (Switzerland), Ernst and Young (New York), Spanish Study (Spain)

Pan Yang, Bank of China (China)

Alexei Zoubine, Jordan Edmiston Group (New York) 

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by | October 20, 2015 · 6:35 pm