MAIS Students Present their Research at this year’s ISA West Conference in Pasadena, CA

ISA-West, a regional division of the International Studies Association, held its annual conference in September 2017 in Pasadena, California. ISA-West brings together students, faculty, and scholars from around the region, the U.S., and the world to present their research and discuss global issues. This year, with generous assistance from the Rue W. Ziegler Scholarship Fund, two MAIS students presented their Capstone work. Jessica Tran presented her paper entitled “Increasing US militarization of the Asa-Pacific region and its impacts on regional stability from a critical security perspective”. Tristan Burger presented her research project “Small Arms: An Applied Approach to Children in Armed Conflict Prevention Initiatives”. Below, Jessica shares her experience:

After conducting preliminary research on my thesis project throughout the summer, I had the opportunity to share my work at the ISA West Annual Conference in Pasadena, California. Presenting in a panel on U.S. Foreign Policy and International Conflict, I was excited to share my thesis project and gain valuable feedback from peers and established scholars.

Not only did I receive constructive responses for my project, but I also had the opportunity to connect with many scholars whose area of expertise relate to my academic interests. I met my rockstar, J. Ann Tickner, whose tremendous work in Feminist IR and critical security studies inspired me to think more critically about the analytical approach to my project. I engaged in a lively discussion with IR Professor Sanjoy Banerjee on China’s security infrastructure; he promised we could stay in touch and provide guidance on the case study portion of my project.

Additionally, David Lake—the discussant for my panel—offered considerable support to myself and other panelists, including extending the discussion of our papers and general career advice over coffee. These interactions were truly the highlight of the trip. I enjoyed sharing and discussing IS ideas, but the immense support of the IS community in developing emerging scholars was what really blew me away. I left tremendously encouraged with not only my thesis project but also the prospects for life after MAIS.

In participating in the conference, I faced a lot of personal fears—fear of public speaking, fear of presenting my ideas to the world, and fear of rejection. I can’t say I’ve been completely cured of these insecurities, but I’m grateful for the experience to tackle it head on and come out the other side a bit more confident and determined.

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Global Migration Crisis: Voices from Leading International Humanitarians

Student Outreach for Refugees, Asylees and Immigrants (SORAI), a student run organization started by several MAIS students, recently hosted an event on campus to address the refugee crisis happening around the world. Below is a write up about the event. 

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There are over 65 million displaced individuals worldwide, nearly 20 million are refugees. Almost 5 million are from Syrian and over half of all refugees are children. We are living in an era with the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Addressing and finding a solution to this global migration crisis has never been greater.

The refugee crisis has also been the debate and key points in both the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US Presidential elections. Given the current political, economic, and security conditions around the world the graduate Student Outreach for Refugees, Asylees and Immigrants (SORAI) worked diligently to get an on the field humanitarian to be the voice of the millions of individuals seeking safety.

Father Florenzo Maria Rigoni has over 45 years of humanitarian experience and is a recipient of multiple awards. Father Rigoni gave an hour lecture about the plight and human rights of migrants and refugees, specifically those from Latin America.

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By bringing a leading international humanitarian to USF, SORAI hopes to increase awareness of the current global migration crisis that affects over 65 million people. In all, we hope his voice helps inspire USF staff, students and faculty to help find and/or create a solution to the current migration crisis.

SORAI was honored to present Father an award for the relentless commitment he has shown in saving the lives of migrants and refugees during the current migration crisis.

The event Global Migration Crisis: Voices from Leading International Humanitarians took place at the Harney Science Center on November 18th, 2016. The event attracted students, faculty, and consular leaders.

Congratulations Fall 2016 Graduates!

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The International Studies department would like to congratulate all of our Fall 2016 graduates! This is our favorite and least favorite part of year as we love to celebrate your accomplishments as International Studies students but are sad to see you leave us. We’re so proud of you, and we can’t wait to see what you do to Change the World From Here (and There and Everywhere)!

B.A. in International Studies graduates

Noor Tarik Al Haidary Melinda Bernard David Chavez
David Garrett Kendall Kincaid Nabila Maharani
Hoang Minh Nguyen Macie Roorda

M.A. in International Studies graduates

Fardowsa Abdullahi Azamat Baiyzbekov Keith Baskerville
Belguun Bat-Erdene Daniela Carina Bermudez Nicole Campos
Andrew Chen Tala Dayyat Cristina Del Puerto
Brian Dexter Isabel Cristina Duarte Vasquez Dakota Floyd
Narek Ghazaryan Briawna Gillespie Deeti Gupta
Marianne Hoeidal Sarai Anne Ikenze Rida Kazmi
Marcus Littman Magdalena Martinez Francesca Mateo
Chalwe Mwansa Yu Namie John Paul Posis
Audrey Purnama Fabiola Ramirez Tavui Harley Roe
Meron Semedar Anna Takkenberg Tengxiang Xu
Joseph Young Jose Zacarias

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October in Review

The semester is officially past the halfway point and the holidays are fast approaching! Take a moment to look back at October, and check out how the International Studies Department packed this month chock-full of opportunities to for our students to learn outside the classroom. In between studying for midterms, IS students relaxed at socials, lunches, and speaker events.

dsc_0013October 5- How I Got This Job Series (Abby Rubinson)
To start off the month, IS hosted the first installment of the “How I Got This Job” Speaker Series, featuring Abby Rubinson. Abby spoke to students about her own experiences working in non-governmental organizations focused on human rights and the environment, and provided some valuable tips on developing careers in non-profits. Number one on her list? Be flexible. Flaunt the diversity of your skills as an International Studies student, and show employers a willingness to go the extra mile in everything you do.

dsc_0122October 10- New Student Lunch: Study Abroad
Our final New Student Lunch this semester was a hit, and our adept group of Peer Advisors each shared their Study Abroad stories with new students looking to integrate real-life international experiences into the major. This lunch also highlighted all the different ways students can study abroad during their time at USF, whether they’re on a budget or crunched for time! New students left the lunch confident about the option to study abroad in ways that work best for them.

img_7836October 13- Game Changer with Omer Ismail
Our Fall keynote speaker was Omer Ismail, the co-founder of the Darfur Peace and Development Organization. Omer has worked with international relief organizations promoting human rights for over thirty years, and is the current Policy Advisor at the Enough Project. Omer discussed the work of The Sentry, an initiative founded in conjunction with the Enough Project to fight the facilitation of genocide and mass atrocities in the African continent through the use of legitimate networks of international finance and trade. Students and faculty engaged in a lively discussion of legal tools that could be used to prosecute international human rights offenders.

October 18- San Francisco State University Graduate Recruiting Fair
October also means recruitment is picking up for the MAIS program! This month, Administrative Director Christie Meno and Program Assistant Amanda Mitchell headed out to Merced for the annual graduate fair at San Francisco State University, and the San Francisco Idealist Fair. We also held an on campus info session and are pumped up to continue recruiting exciting new minds to contribute to our Masters program.

Oct 26- Human Rights & Environmental Justice
International Studies was made proud by the outstanding work of our faculty this month, and a big shout out goes to Professor Brian Dowd-Uribe for his participation in a panel discussion sponsored by the 11th Hour Project and USF’s Environmental Management Program. This event focused on the panelists’ work on building community partnerships to create more just, equitable, and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. In an inspiring parting note, moderator Joe Sciortino, Executive Director of The Schmidt Family Foundation, called upon USF students to engage in this important work by mastering advocacy skills and community organizing to enact meaningful change from the ground up.

 

Finally, a big thanks to everyone who participated in and contributed to International Studies events this month. This the wraps up our October debrief, and look out for the next one at the end of November!

September in Review

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September was a busy month for the International Studies Department! We welcomed 77 new undergraduate majors and 36 grad students to the department as well as hosted socials and academic events.
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We started off the month with a department-wide social on campus and had a huge turn out. Undergrad students and grad students had the opportunity to mingle with faculty and staff over drinks and hors d’oeuvres. It was a great to get know so many of our students in a more relaxed setting!

img_6599The MAIS students had the opportunity to see the Giants beat the Cardinals in a 8-2 victory, and it wouldn’t have been a true SF baseball game social if there wasn’t tons of garlic fries.

photo-sep-23-7-18-40-pm-2The department also gathered at a USF Men’s soccer game and was able to witness our very own undergrad, David Garrett, score the winning goal against Stanford! Go Dons!

153We also hosted our annual BAIS Alumni Reunion at the local brewery, Barrel Head. It was a huge success and was a great networking opportunity for our Seniors to connect with BAIS Alums.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-5-36-52-pmOn the activist side, students from Professor Zartner’s Human Rights and Global Change class stood in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux #NoDAP.

img_1141In true International Studies fashion, the team help support a day long conference on Eritrea. The conference brought together Eritrean activists, scholars, and community members to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Eritrea’s independence and to discuss the current state of human rights in the country.

img_1236Lastly, we rounded out the month with our fall Colloquia series featuring the fascinating research of Professor Stopnitzky on the correlations between traditional agricultural practices and male-skewed sex ratios in countries around the world.

There’s always something in the International Studies department, so check out our events calendar or stop by the department office to find out more!

1st Annual Restore Hope for Refugees Banquet

On March 31, the Multicultural Graduate Student Alliance (MGSA) hosted the 1st Annual Restore Hope for Refugees Banquet to raise funds for the Kayany Foundation to help build a classroom for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Several MAIS students are involved in the organization which partnered with USF ASAUSF Arab Student Union and USFCA Muslim Student Association to organize the fundraising event. The over 100 people in attendance enjoyed performances from ASWAT Bay Area Arabic Music Ensemble Group and the Shabab Al Quds Dabke Group plus special guests Bandar Shawwaf from the Friends of Kayany Inc and the talented Dima Khatib Managing Director of the Aj+ Global and her son Fares who recited Arab poetry.

The event raised $3,810 toward the $6,500 needed to cover the cost of a clean, safe, and climate-controlled classroom that accommodates up to 35 Syrian refugee children in an environment that foster’s education, empowerment, and healthy living. To contribute to this cause, you can donate by clicking here.

Special thanks to Old Jerusalem Restaurant for catering our banquet and all the organizations/businesses who donated items and funded this amazing event. This includes: University of San Francisco, the USF Graduate Student SenateUniversity of San Francisco School of Management, the Middle East Children’s AllianceJewish Voice for Peace, Sharif’s Jewelers, Sephora, LUSH Cosmetics, CREAM, King Kush Clothing Plus, Ashbury Tabaco, Costco Corporation, Samiramis Imports, Philz Coffee,Rumi Book Store, theAROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center and the Arab Cultural & Community Center.