MAIS Internship Spotlight: Jules Sombaye (´18)

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This week, we caught up with current MAIS student to learn about his recent internship experience. All MAIS students complete an internship intended to apply in-class learning to real-world situations. Jules (MAIS ’18) shares his experience below.

Who are you:

My name is Jules and I am from Yaounde, Cameroon. I am interested in global issues, more precisely, in conflict resolution and human rights advocacy in Central Africa.

During my first semester in the MAIS program, I had the opportunity to intern in the Marketing and Digital Communications Department at the World Affairs Council of Northern California. World Affairs is a non-profit organization that offers opportunities to meet with international experts, work with local nonprofits, participate in global conversations, explore international careers, and study abroad.  The organization also provides events and forums to give people the opportunity to discuss international issues with experts in the field.

How did the MAIS program prepare you for your internship?

The MAIS program provided me with invaluable critical thinking, research, and writing skills that greatly enhanced my work at the organization. The program taught me how to be detail-oriented, and how to think outside the box. Moreover, the knowledge on global issues acquired during the program helped me evolve as an intern. I was able to communicate with experts in International Studies about political, economic, and social global issues.

What were some highlights of interning at this organization?

Interning at World Affairs was my first concrete professional experience in the US. The organization is an outstanding knowledge and networking platform for students interested in international issues. In my case, having had the opportunity to discuss American foreign policy with Samantha Power, former US ambassador at the UN, was priceless. Moreover, I was lucky to hear advice from Duncan Green, the Oxfam Senior strategy adviser, on how to impact change through an organization.

What did you gain from your experience?

My experience at World Affairs helped me understand the work of a non-profit organization and the different impacts of this particular organization. Since I aspire to be an actor of change in my country, as well as the African continent, the skills and knowledge I gained are definitely important contributions to achieve this dream. Moreover, meeting experts in the field of International Studies gave me an insiders perspective and knowledge about what it means to work in the field.

Finally, I acquired some useful planning skills that have helped me manage the African Union Club at USF, an on-campus organization for which I am the president. The club aims to foster the debate African political issues at USF.

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Rue W. Ziegler Fellowship: Tristan Burger(MAIS´17)

Tristan:

The Rue W. Ziegler Fellowship awarded me the opportunity to travel to The Hague this fall to attend a child protection conference. The 15th Annual International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) European Regional Conference brought together researchers, academics, practitioners, and experts in the field of child rights from around the globe to discuss the most pressing issues facing children today.

My capstone topic is centered on innovative approaches to preventing the recruitment of child soldiers in conflict zones. The subjects covered in this conference touched on all aspects of child rights from access to health and education, domestic abuse, and sexual and gender-based violence. The talks I attended illuminated the growing concern young people face in an increasingly digitalized and globalized world where gaining access to vulnerable groups of children is easier than ever. I was particularly interested in the role that technology plays in child abuse as my research focuses on harnessing technology to protect children. Several of the discussants remarked on the paradoxical nature of technology as it relates to child protection and proffered solutions for effective applications.

Not only did this conference allow me to view my research from new perspectives, it afforded me the opportunity to network with other leaders in this field. I received valuable insight and advice from social workers and human rights activists about my applied project. They brought up interested and insightful points that I would not have otherwise considered.

It was also a pleasure to explore The Hague, a city home to the International Criminal Court, the Peace Palace, and dozens of other human rights institutions. It was inspiring to walk around the streets and see buildings that I had learned about in my international law class last year. I highly encourage MAIS students to travel abroad to better understand the real-world application of the theories that are taught in the classroom.

It was an honor to represent USF and MAIS on this trip and I am so grateful for the experiences that this fellowship afforded!

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Global Manifestos

During the Forum for Transnational Collaboration in the Visual Arts that took place on November 17th-18th, 2017 at USF, the workshop Global Manifestos was held. Global Manifestos was an innovative workshop for students, faculty and the public that encouraged individuals to share their experiences and reactions to the changes in the art community wrought by globalization. Economic globalization has marginalized more people than any previous economic system and allowed Multi-National Corporations unprecedented control over affairs of state in the art community. This fact has constrained individual choices and foisted upon previously independent cultures the vagaries of the market. Whether one is discussing farmers in Chiapas, street vendors in Tunisia, or Mom-and-Pop shops in the U.S., globalization has eroded previously stable economies and laid alternative models of culture and economy to waste. This interdisciplinary creative workshop has allowed the community of USF and the Bay Area, as well as international visitors from abroad, to speak out about the fragile domains that globalization has imperiled in the art community in particular.

The Global Manifestos Workshop presented an alternative to the model of economic globalization by providing a platform for multiple and diverse articulations on globalization. The voices of artists, curators, and critics who do not operate in the United States and Europe have been considered marginal, but scholars and professionals need to rethink these norms. Thus, the focus has been to explore the developments of artists and institutions from the (former) periphery that diffuse their own innovations into a global culture and, in so doing, transform the meaning of the visual arts, social dynamics and market processes of the art world.