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.
This week, students continued to settle into their internships and started the second week of courses.
On Wednesday (2/4), Leon Botstein, President of Bard College spoke at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, an event which several BGIA faculty members attended.
After Core Seminar on Thursday (2/5), students attended a public panel discussion hosted by BGIA. The subject of the panel addressed: "The State of Russian-Western Relations: Was there ever a 'Post Cold-War order?” The individual speakers at the event were: Jeffrey Mankoff, author of "Russian Foreign Policy: The Return of Great Power Politics" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), Andrew Nagorski, former Senior Editor, Newsweek International, and Valerie Sperling, author of "Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia" (Oxford University Press, 2014). The speakers discussed the historical landscape of the post Cold War world, the presence of journalists in the Soviet Union during the 1970s-1980s and the image that Putin projects of himself to the world. Their presentations were folowed by a lively Q&A.
The first week of classes and internships was off to a snowy start as a winter blizzard hit New York City. Despite the weather, most students started their internships on Monday, where they got acquainted with the office space and met their mentors and fellow interns. Throughout the week, students also sampled the classes that BGIA has to offer and took some more time to navigate city living. This semester courses include American Grand Strategy with Walter Russell Mead; Trends in Terrorism and Counterterrorism with Tom Parker; Writing on International Affairs with Ilan Greenberg; Intelligence, Risk, and Decision Making; and Core Seminar: NGOs in International Politics with Jonathan Cristol and Rachel Meyer.
On Thursday, a group of students attended the Broadway comedy You Can’t Take it With You, starring Anna Chlumsky, Kristine Nielson, Annaleigh Ashford and Elizabeth Ashley.
This week, the Spring 2015 students were welcomed to the BIGA Program in New York City. The new group consists of students from Bard College, Bard College Berlin, Emory University, Princeton University, and Simon’s Rock.
Orientation events this week included panels made up of Bard and BGIA alumni, as well as speakers from multiple NGOs and private firms, who all gave BGIA students career advice and tips for being successful in NYC. Students were also treated to a day of panels at the New York Law School where speakers included individuals working in the public and private sectors. These panel members had a wide variety of professions, including working in tech firms, government jobs, writing for news publications, practicing law, and working at nonprofits.
On Friday, BGIA students finished up orientation week by taking a trip to the Top of the Rock and then going for a tour at the United Nations.
Video: Bard Globalization and International Affairs Students Jump-Start Their Careers
On Thursday (12/18) students attended a closing ceremony for the end of the BGIA Fall program where they received a Certificate of Intensive Study of International Affairs. Many internship mentors were present at the ceremony, as well as professors and friends. It was a fun way to end the semester.
Monday (12/8) students met for the final Ethics for a Reconnected World course. Professor Joel Rosenthal discussed the recent tension caused by the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, both resulting in the failure to indict police officers in racially charged incidents. Students handed in their final papers; a 20 page paper they have worked on all semester discussing an ethical point of contention in international relations.
Tuesday (12/9) students attended the broadway show “On the Town,” a Leornard Bernstien composed musical about workmen in New York City excited to see new sights, meet ladies, and more. The musical features famous songs such as “New York, New York.”
Thursday (12/11) students attended a workshop about LinkedIn. Students started off with having professional photos taken for their online profiles and then continued to learn how to best navigate the social media website to best enhance their job search and networking experiences.
On Monday (12/1) students went to see La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera house. This featured Franco Zeffirelli's classic take on the famous Puccini opera that tells a tale of tragic love set in bohemian Paris. Mimi, the leading female character, was performed by Sonya Yoncheva who has recently received high praise from the New York Times for her performance.
On Thursday (12/4) guest speaker Aaron Voloj Dessauer, Fellow from Yale Law School center for Law and Philosophy spoke on the topic "Civil Liberties in the Age of the Preventive State." Dessauer acknowledged the recent upset in regards to law enforcement's failure in the use of profiling, yet provided an interesting defense for how it can be used. Dessauer also explicated the meaning and legal interpretations for the First and Fourth Amendments and their exceptional nature juxtaposed to the rest of the world's interpretation of civil liberties.
Wednesday (11/19) students in the Power, War and Terror course gave a mock panel discussion role playing authors John Ikenberry, John Mearsheimer, and Charles Glaser. Each student explained their respective author’s strategic vision and predictions for US policy towards China’s rise. The group of authors selected helped develop a complex understanding of the different schools of thought addressing the conflict; liberal institutionalists, defensive realism, and offensive realism.
Thursday (11/20), American Grand Strategy Professor, Walter Russell Mead presented on the topic “Is Democracy Promotion Dead?” Mead argued that American foreign policy needs to play reduce its role in picking leaders and structuring governments for other nations. Mead emphasized that democracy promotion is unsuccessful in the way it is deployed today, and that if the US uses more subtle tactics, such as educational initiatives, another democracy wave may gain momentum on its own.
Tuesday (11/11) students had the option of attending two different events. BGIA Alum Aubrey Clark-Brown invited students to a panel on “Turkey under Erdogan: Is it still a model of ‘Islamic Democracy’?”, hosted by NYU Center for Dialogues. Panelists included Y. Alp Aslandogan, President of Alliance for Shared Values; Mark Meirowitz, Professor of Humanities at SUNY Maritime College; and Fathali Moghaddam, Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University.
The BGIA and Central European University Alumni Associations hosted a panel that same night at BGIA on “Conflict in the Age of ISIS.” The Panelists included Jonathan Cristol, BGIA Director and Professor; Maciej Bartkowski, Senior Director for Education and Research at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict; and Rebecca Lissner from Georgetown University. Peter Debartolo, the chair of the BGIA alumni board moderated this event. Students found this event particularly interesting due to the convergence of different diverse strategies and goals voiced on the ISIS conflict.
Thursday (11/13) students of Power, War, and Terror took a field trip to United States Military Academy at West Point. Students visited to hear Ambassador Tom Pickering address the student body and discuss his career and strategy. Afterwards, Professor Scott Silverstone led students on a guided tour of the campus and introduced students to USMA cadets. (See picture)
Friday (11/7) BGIA Professor Andrew Nagorski published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “Putin Tries to Undo the Tragedy of the Berlin Wall’s Fall.” Nagorski discusses Putin’s intentions to head down a political path of restoring aggressive nationalism and rebuilding the lost Soviet Union. Nagorski’s course, “Writing on International Affairs” will begin exploring the op-ed medium this upcoming week.
On Friday evening, students saw comedian Marc Maron perform at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Maron's comedy career has become widely recognized and recently has led him to guest appear on HBO, Letterman, Leno, Jimmy Fallon and several other late night shows and comedy specials. His critically acclaimed series, “Maron” and podcast, "WTF with Marc Maron" have gained him a strong following due to the raw and honest comedic content.
Sunday (11/9) students had a great time at a sold out show of Interstellar at the Lincoln Square Theatre, one only of ~100 theatres screening it in 70mm.
On Monday (10/27) students attended a Core Seminar Career Panel focusing on Americans Working for Foreign Governments. A Research Analyst at the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the United Nations and the Special Assistant to the Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations discussed their experiences, interests and challenges as Americans working for foreign governments.
On Tuesday (10/28) students attended a Core Seminar Panel, “The World Wonders, What Will America Fight For?” Dr. Joe Burton, lecturer and co-author of “More Power to the People? Public Participation in Foreign Policy,” and Dr. Simona Soare, author of “9000 Tons of Diplomacy: United States Strategy, Hegemonic Power, and Relative Decline” both discussed the challenges America faces with its global commitments, and constant military expectations. Each speaker discussed their personal expertise; Soare spoke about the European perspective and Burton focused on Asia's expectations.
On Thursday (10/30) students met for the Speaker Series “The Kurds and Kurdistan Northern Iraq: A Personal Perspective.” Dr. Joe P. Dunn, Charles A. Dana Professor of History and Politics at Converse College and author of six books and hundreds of articles and reviews, spoke about his experience working closely in the field with Kurds as well as background history and current status of the ethnic group. The conversation was expanded to a discussion assessing America’s effort to combat ISIS and possible strategies beyond a military framework.
On Monday (10/20) students met at the New York Historical Society to see speaker Stephen Sestanovich and moderator Robert Kagan discuss the topic of “Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama.” Sestanovich spoke about his book, the impacts of American primacy, and the balance between American performance and commitment.
On Thursday (10/23) students handed in their midterm essays for Core Seminar. The essay challenged students to discuss NGOs stakeholders and what role they have in the programs and operations of an organization.This assignment also gave students a chance to discuss their firsthand experience at their internships, examining stakeholders in their own organization.
Coming up: Professor Walter Russell Mead will do a Reddit AMA
On Wednesday, October 22, Professor Walter Russell Mead will be joining the ranks of Barack Obama and Louis CK by doing a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) at 2 PM. Log on (http://www.reddit.com/r/iama) and watch the action unfold, or join in and ask a question!
In the course Power, War and Terror, a group of students gave a presentation entitled "Fixing the International System after WWII." The group explicated the topic of a post-war vision of international order developed during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations and reflected upon influences of Wilson's failed attempt to create the League of Nations. Through a close examination of John Ikenberry's work, students gained a more enhanced understanding of the complexities of the war and post-war efforts.
On Friday (10/10), students attended an event at the Council on Foreign Relations on the Sunni-Shia Divide. Deborah Amos, a Foreign Correspondent for NPR, and Vali R. Nasr, Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies spoke at the event regarding the nature of the conflict, its impacts on the Middle East region and proposed strategies and tactics to respond and manage it.
Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program 108 West 39th St., Suite 1000A, New York, NY 10018 Phone: 1.646.839.9262 Email: email@example.com