Jonathan Cristol (Bard ’00) is stepping down as BGIA director after many years of service to the program and further contributions to the Bard Political Studies program. We thank him for all his many contributions to the College. Jonny will be a fellow at the World Policy Institute and remain attached to Bard as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Civic Engagement. We thank Jonny for his many years of hard work and dedication to BGIA.
Jim Ketterer will serve as the new director of BGIA and will become Dean of International Studies. Jim has been at Bard for the past two years, teaching and working with CCE on Bard’s international partnerships, particularly the Bard/Al-Quds partnership. He came to Bard after returning from Egypt, where he was the country director for AMIDEAST, the largest US NGO in the country. He previously worked in academia (including a stint at Bard), government and international development.
Rachel Meyer (Bard ’06), who has been working at BGIA for the past two years, has been promoted into the role of Deputy Director of BGIA, where she will oversee day-to-day operations at BGIA.
In addition, Bryan Billings will join the BGIA team, bringing his many years of international program experience as he takes on recruiting for the program while maintaining his long work with Smolny. Walter Russell Mead will continue to serve as BGIA's academic director and Anna Seidner is the residence director.
A current BGIA student interning at AID FOR AIDS wrote a fascinating blog post about an innovative way to get antiretroviral medicine to infants. Read more here: http://aidforaids.org/simple-yet-inventive-technology-to-deliver-hiv-medication-to-infants/
On 6/10, Sahana Dharmapuri spoke to the Core Seminar class about her experience as a gender advisor and challenges that women in international security may face. She also recommended ways that students can think about their own research to incorporate a gender perspective.
On 6/11, a group of students went out to the American Ballet Theater to see Sleeping Beauty.
This summer, BGIA students are interning at the following organizations: Aid for AIDS; Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs; Global Action to Prevent War; Global Justice Center; Global Kids; Global Poverty Project; Group SJR; Magnum Foundation; NPower; Oxford Analytica; Physicans for Human Rights; and Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict.
This week marked the final week of classes at BGIA. The professors closed out the semester by tying all of the pieces of their courses together and summarizing the major points. Students will use the following week to finish up final papers before BGIA graduation.
On Thursday (5/7), students attended a LinkedIn workshop at BGIA to learn how to use the website in an effective way. They learned how to expand their professional network on the website and gained some tips about what to post on their profiles to benefit their job searches.
On Thursday (4/30), students attended a panel discussion about Immigration Law. Each of the three panelists are BGIA alumni, so they discussed their career paths, starting with BGIA and continuing on. The individual speakers each spoke about their unique experiences and areas of focus within the practice of immigration law. Students were eager to engage in the question and answer portion and received some insightful career advice.
On Thursday (4/23), BGIA students had the opportunity to attend Broken, a play featuring the playwright-actor David Meyers and actor Michael Pemberton. The premise of the play circles around a mass murderer and the conversations he has with his prison doctor.
On Friday (4/24), students had another opportunity to attend a theatre performance of the Broadway show Ling on Love. The new comedy musical serves as a fond tribute to the opera world and it’s diva stars Renée Fleming, Douglas Sills, Anna Chlumsky and Jerry O’Connell.
On Monday (4/13), BGIA hosted a public event titled “Central Asian Reactions to the Ukraine Crisis: Treading a Fine Line.” The talk featured Emil Joroev, Associate Professor of international and Comparative Politics at the American University of Central Asia. Professor Joroev outlined the reactions of the five Central Asian countries to the Ukraine crisis and discussed the political repercussions of their actions.
On Thursday (4/16), BGIA students attended a panel on “Science and Public Health Careers in International Relations. Panelists included Megan Naidoo, an International Policy Analyst at Pfizer, Inc. and Elias Primoff, a Publications Coordinator at Médecins Sans Frontieres.
On Thursday (4/9), students gave presentations on their internships during Core Seminar. Each student explained what their organization or company did, and then explained their roles as an intern. The presentations were diverse and creative and each one showed how much the students have learned through the internship experiences.
On Wednesday (4/1), students in Ilan Greenberg’s Writing on International Affairs course took a trip to Flushing. Students split up into pairs and set off to find someone to interview. The goal was to find an immigrant and interview them about their experiences, and hopefully hear a few interesting stories on the way. Students then used their collected notes to write an assignment to practice writing news stories.
On Thursday (4/2), BGIA hosted a public event titled “East Asian Security Threats After ‘The Pivot.’” Speakers included Malia DuMont, a Bard alumnus who is the Director of Strategy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, US Department of Defense, and the formed Assistant to the Chief of the Staff in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defence and Americas’ Security Affairs. Joining Ms. Dumont was Mark E. Manyin who is a specialist in the Asian Affairs division of the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, and a former International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
This week marked the first week of classes in the new BGIA space at The World Policy Institute. Students navigated the new office space and enjoyed the large student space.
On Monday (3/23), a group of students attended Something Rotten! a new Broadway musical comedy. Set in the 1590s, the show follows two budding playwrights, desperate to write the next hit play.
On Thursday (3/26), another group of students attended Verdi’s Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera. This opera marks famed tenor Placido Domingo’s first performance in the baritone role of Don Carlo, while tenor Francesco Meli starred as Ernani. Soprano Angela Meade played the role of Elvira, the heroine whose love is fought for over and over again.
BGIA students had a week off from classes to enjoy a spring break.
While the students were away, the directors of BGIA made the move to the new home of the program at the World Policy Institute. Students will begin the inaugural week in the exciting new space when they return from spring break.
On Thursday (3/12), BGIA hosted a public panel titled “Erdogan Leans East: Is Turkey’s Democracy Slipping Away?” The speakers on the panel included Cenk Sidar and Pinar Kemerli. Cenk Sidar is the founder and managing director of Sidar Global Advisors, as well as the foreign policy and economic advisor to the Republican People’s Party, which is main opposition party in Turkey. Pinar Kemerli is a visiting Assistant Professor of Political Studies at Bard College. The panel was moderated by Nesrin Ersoy McMeekin, who is a current lecturer in Social Studies at Bard College, and a former lecturer in history at Koc University. Throughout the talk, the panelists presented a brief history about the current political environment in Turkey and then analyzed the social and economic factors that are placing a strain on the level on democracy within Turkey.
On Thursday (3/5), BGIA hosted a public lecture in the James Clarke Chace Memorial Speaker Series, featuring Barak Mendelsohn, associate professor of Political Science at Haverford College. During his talk, Dr. Mendelsohn presented his ideas on the franchising of terrorist groups. After going through the different techniques that terrorist groups use to gain a sphere of influence, he argued that Al-Qaeda has used a “branching-out” technique. Dr. Mendelsohn used historical proof to analyze the success of this method and make a prediction for the future of Al-Qaeda in the region. At the end of the lecture, students and attendees were treated to a lively question and answer period.
This week at BGIA, students continued their coursework and internships.
On Wednesday (2/25), the students in the Intelligence, Risk and Decision Making class had the opportunity to see a workshop production of Rogelio Martinez’s “Ping Pong” at the Public Theatre. The play is centered around a table tennis match at which President Nixon and Chairman Mao were in attendance. The show takes a comedic, as well as dramatic, perspective on a decisive moment in US-China relations.
Despite the exceptionally cold weather in New York City, students had another engaging week at BGIA.
On Thursday (2/19), Dr. Timothy Weiskel, a professor at Harvard University, and visiting scholar at Emerson College, visited BGIA to talk to students and BGIA alumni about the global climate change. He informed students of what the climate looks like today, and proposed ideas for helping to tackle the issue. Dr. Weiskel encouraged students to start asking the hard questions about the state of the environment, as well as start to thinking in new and innovative ways.
On Friday (2/20), some of the BGIA students attended a performance of “Mona Lisa” by the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
On Sunday (2/8) a few students went to see a comedy show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The show was titled "Comedy Camisado," starring Hannibal Burress, who is known for his mellow humor, and for being a cast member on Comedy Central's "Broad City" (among other roles).
On Thursday (2/12) during Core Seminar, students were treated to a visit by BGIA alumnus Danielle Schwab, who currently works as an analyst at Asymmetrica. She joined students in an interesting conversation about Transnational Criminal Syndicates. Not only did Danielle give students an idea of what her job entails, but she also gave some helpful career advice for students looking to work in either the public or private sector.
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