SoMa: Filipinos in San Fransisco’s South Of Market

Check out some of the amazing work our MAIS students complete in the program. Did you know that Filipinos have a historic presence among the tech companies located in the South of Market (SOMA) District of San Francisco? In this digital story produced for the seminar ‘Culture, Identity and Social Change,’ MAIS student Scott Cooper (’20) shares the struggles and concerns of Filipin@ activists in SOMA to preserve, invigorate, and make visible Filipino culture and heritage in this highly contested neighborhood.


Weeks of Transformation: My First Semester Experience


“Is Nairobi your first name?” the Wells Fargo banker, who was assisting me to open a checking account, asked. The gentleman was studying my passport!

In Kenya, when you meet my first name, you will demand my surname. And when I submit both, what often follows is a shock. Dan! Basil! Dan Basil! Traditionally, my name does not reveal my Kenyan identity, whether at home or in the U.S. Honestly, this is an issue I have struggled with. In their efforts to cushion their child from the storms of negative ethnicity, my parents must have settled on the ‘neutral names’. In the process, I lost part of my identity.

At the MAIS Program, I met classmates faced with similar challenges. At this point, I feel confident that MAIS is not just preparing us to re-define ourselves but equipping every student with the right tools to sufficiently change the world from here.

Continue reading “Weeks of Transformation: My First Semester Experience”

Securing the Future through Faculty Research: Emerging Asian Megacities

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.

Continue reading “Securing the Future through Faculty Research: Emerging Asian Megacities”

Building my thesis in the field

Among emerging scholars, the summer of every year is a perfect time to test the theories they have learned about, and incorporated in their thesis – all in the field. Serena Arena, one of the Rue Ziegler 2018 fellows, shares her research trip to Stuttgart, Germany.

This summer, I traveled to South West Germany to do research for my thesis entitled “Ethno-Religious Persecution, Sexual Slavery, Challenging Reintegration: What Is Next for The Future of Yazidi Women?” I spent a week interviewing Yazidi women who had lived under Daesh/ISIS captivity post the events of the Sinjar Massacre in 2014, in northern Iraq. Continue reading “Building my thesis in the field”

Learning from Communities: My Fieldwork Experience in Turkey

In the summer of 2018, the International Studies Program awarded me the Rue W. Ziegler Fellowship, which gave me the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in Turkey for my capstone project. My research topic focuses on the education and integration of Syrian refugees in Turkey. More precisely, I would like to discover the effects and the importance of Syrians’ education on their integration process in Turkey.

Continue reading “Learning from Communities: My Fieldwork Experience in Turkey”

Welcome to Academic Year 2018/2019!

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.

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MAIS Internship Spotlight: Jules Sombaye (´18)


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.

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

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.

Continue reading “Rue W. Ziegler Fellowship: Tristan Burger(MAIS´17)”

Forum for Transnational Collaboration in the Visual Arts | November 17 & 18

By: Melissa Vonimary Sovik, MAIS ’18

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.

Continue reading “Forum for Transnational Collaboration in the Visual Arts | November 17 & 18”