It is normal when the sound of Karachi surprises a man crossing McAllister Street to catch a 5R bus to Ocean Beach. It is very normal when a veteran customer service agent at the San Francisco International Airport desk asks, “Where’s this?” staring at your boarding pass!
In other parts of the world, cities like Karachi may remain unknown in 2018; fast forward to the mid-century, and they are megacities. Demographic studies project that by 2050, there will be 2.3 billion more people living in urban areas. The majority of this population will be from Asia and Africa. Needless to say, they will be living in Asian and African cities.
On September 13th, the University hosted the “Climate Change, Extractive Industries, and Indigenous Rights: An Emerging Discussion” panel event. The event is related to the Global Climate Action Summit held in San Francisco.
From L to R: USF Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Adrienne Johnson, USF Environmental Studies Major Alexii Sigona, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairperson Valentin Lopez, Chief and Spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe Caleen Sisk, Co-founder of Indian People Organizing for Change and the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Corrina Gould, and USF Associate Professor of International Studies Dana Zartner.
It is roughly seven months since selected BAIS students participated in the Model United Nations Conferences in different cities – but the experiences from those forums continue to expand the vision in them. In this page, we highlight the gatherings of 2017 and 2018, with students reflecting on their experiences as delegates at the Northwest Model United Nations in Seattle, the Barkley Conference, and the YMCA Conference.
As the incoming Chair of the International Studies Department, I want to take this opportunity to welcome new and returning students (and faculty and staff) to the 2018/2019 academic year at USF. It is an exhilarating moment for our department because of many new developments that are bubbling up all around us.
We thought it was time to catch up with one of our BAIS alumni. This week we caught up with Morten Tastum (BAIS ´14), who is currently a program coordinator and visiting fellow at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
A few months after graduating, I accepted a position as the program coordinator and visiting fellow for a completely new think tank under Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) called Nordic Ways. Nordic Ways is focused on bringing forth Nordic ideas and approaches to a wide array of issues covering business, industry, politics, and much more with a focus on practical application. I will assist in setting up the project for a future Nordic Program at SAIS, as well as coordinate between the Nordic country entities and the relevant US Congress caucuses.
On November 17 & 18, we are organizing the Forum for Transnational Collaboration in the Visual Arts with the objective of bringing together emerging voices from previously marginalized countries that are poised to become an essential part of the global conversation in contemporary art and institutions today. What traditionally used to be the art capitals of the world seems to be changing alongside a major shift in the world economy. We wish to create conversation on these topics and hope that it will promote a network of engagement among arts professionals.
A degree in International Studies provides the knowledge and skills employers in a variety of fields are looking for in those they hire. In the International Studies Department at USF we are always working to improve our curriculum to better serve our students to this end. Professor Dana Zartner, Chair of the International Studies Department, recently worked with members of four other International Studies programs around the country to brainstorm some best practices for creating success for our students. The results of their work were recently published in International Studies Perspectives, which is linked below. We’d love to hear from you – what other best practices can you think of?
Currently, I am working at the International Institute in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s a refugee resettlement agency that also offers many free services to immigrants and asylees in the county. I am an Employment Specialist and focus on helping immigrants and refugees locate employment. Additionally, I am working on expanding a new program called Career Pathways, which is an additional service that guides any foreign-born individual towards achieving their professional career and educational goals. This program helps people that were professionals in their home country to practice in their field in the U.S.
On another note, I am involved with 1951 Coffee Company. On the weekends, I am working as a barista at a local cafe to gain experience. In the future, I hope to help the current team secure funding for a second location and open a branch in St. Louis.
Since graduating, I haven’t had a linear career path. My only goal has been to travel and experience as much as I can of the world.
In my last semester at USF, I took Professor Juluri’s Davies Seminar on the book publishing industry, and this inspired me to move to New York City to take up an internship as the Publicity Assistant at powerHouse Books, a fine art and photography book publisher. I did that for 8 months before I found out about available teaching positions in China.
Through Marshall University, I was placed in an international school in Shanghai as a 4th grade Language Arts, Science, Geography, and Art teacher. On my weekends and holidays, I traveled Asia extensively, and by the end of the year, I had seen Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, The Philippines, Korea, and Malaysia. Between school years I spent a month living in Istanbul. Afterward, I took a job as a Language Arts/ESL tutor in Taipei. My time in Taipei allowed me to add Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau to my travels.
I moved back home to Honolulu last August to help my parents move their business. I’ve been working in retail for the last year, and with Hawaii’s strong Asian tourist economy, my travels have allowed me to connect with many different clients.
Over spring break I traveled to Colombia with fellow international studies senior Cherine Adly. There were two Arrupe Immersion trips going to Colombia as well, but we were going alone to see as much of the country as we could in the period of short time. About a week before leaving, we discovered that another senior in the IS program was also going to Colombia with family. Adriana Levandowski (BAIS ’17) was headed off a day or two before us, but we would be on an in-country flight together a few days into the trip. We took a look at our itineraries and tried to figure out where we might be able to meet up. Taking into consideration which areas we were staying in, it looked like we’d only be able to meet up once—little did we know how wrong we were.
We tried to get dinner with Adriana on the first night that we arrived, but it didn’t work out. There went our only opportunity to meet up. The next day we were all on the same flight to Santa Marta, but being on a plane in different rows didn’t afford too much time to chat. Two days later, Cherine and I had camped the night before in Tayrona National Park. We were on a beach a few hours’ hike from the entrance of the park. We were walking out of the entrance of the beach area to start on the journey out of the park when I hear my name being called. I look up, and there is Adriana, her mom, and her cousin. They had hiked for three hours to get to the beach. If they had taken just a few more minutes, or we had left a few minutes earlier we would have completely missed each other. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We only had a few minutes to say hello and offer some suggestions before we had to continue on back to Santa Marta. We parted ways saying we’d see each other back at school, not anticipating running into them again. I bet you can guess what happened next.
The next day Cherine and I wandered around Santa Marta in the morning before we were scheduled to catch a bus to Cartagena in the afternoon. We stopped at an ATM and while I waited in line, Cherine went around the corner to buy some water. While waiting, I looked up only to see Adriana’s cousin buying a coconut from a street vendor across the street. I did a double take, and then saw Adriana beside him. We had a little longer to chat this time, exchanging stories and suggestions for the city before parting ways so Cherine and I could catch our bus. But the coincidences don’t end there.
On the final day of our trip we returned to the Bogota airport. Once checked in to our flight and through security we decided lunch was in order. We entered a restaurant and were walking towards an open table when I heard my name being called yet again. Adriana and her family were eating lunch at the same restaurant and were on the same flight back to San Francisco with us. As we got seated on the plane, we also found out that one of the Arrupe Immersion groups was on the same plane as well.
Who would have thought that in a country more than twice the size of California, we would run into our fellow Don not once, not twice, but three times. Whether you want to change the world from here, or have plans to change it from somewhere else, do something because the world is a pretty small place either way and Dons are EVERYWHERE!