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Congratulations to the Global Studies MA students who have been awarded the Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. Rising second-year REEES concentrators, Kristal Bird (Russian; summer), Hailey De Jong (Polish; academic-year), Ashley McDermott (Russian; summer and academic-year), and Alison Tomas (Russian; academic year) will continue to study their respective language. Rising second-year thematic concentrators Kate Hewitt (Farsi; summer and academic year) and Tara DiCassio (Arabic; academic-year; declined) also received FLAS awards. In addition, the following incoming REEES students also received awards for language study: Walter Gay (Russian; summer and academic-year), Leah Valtin-Erwin (Polish; summer and academic-year), and Paige Haynes (Russian; summer and academic-year).

Congratulations to Tara Di Cassio for earning a 12-month fellowship to study advanced-level Arabic at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan for the 2016-2017 academic year. The fellowship was awarded by Harvard University’s Center for Arabic Study Abroad. Read more here.

Our Global Studies MA students pursued many exciting opportunities this spring including attending conferences, presenting their research on campus and organizing opportunities for professionalization and skills-based learning. Here are a few highlights:

NCCSSIn February, Kinsey Davis Spencer participated in the Graduate Student Roundtable at the annual conference of the NC Council for the Social Studies in Greensboro, NC. She was one of four graduate students selected to present their research for their capstone projects or theses to students and faculty at Schools of Education throughout the state. Kinsey appreciated the opportunity to discuss her work on the Global Educator Digital Badge and receive beneficial feedback and to learn about other projects related to Social Studies and Global Education.

Kate European HorizonsAlso in February, Kate Hewitt, first-year MA student and graduate student president of European Horizons at Carolina, had the opportunity to represent UNC-Chapel Hill at Yale University for the Second Annual European Horizons Student Conference. The conference brought 100 undergraduate and graduate students from 53 American and European universities together with prominent policy makers and professors to address many of the challenges confronting the European Union. Kate participated in the Social Entrepreneurship workshop where students pitched social business ideas to address the economic and social integration of refugees into Europe. Over 24 hours, 16 students developed and wrote business plans for four social entrepreneurship ideas that were later pitched for grant funding. These ideas were some of the many solutions proposed in 20 policy papers for challenges facing the European Union, including: asylum and immigration policy, the interplay of religion and secularism in the context of European identity, the process of building a Eurozone treasury, and the future of European defense and security. Kate found the conference theme, “Envisioning a Confident Europe,” inspiring. She has brought this vision of not only a confident Europe but a confident globe back to her studies at UNC.

The 13th Annual UNC-Duke University Rotary Spring Conference took place on April 8 at the FedEx Global Education Center with the theme “Peace and Development: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” Romi Brammer, second-year MA student, was one of nine Rotary Peace Fellows to present their culminating MA projects at the conference Among this year’s graduating class of Rotary Peace Fellows, there are five students who completed the Master’s in Development Policy at Duke University and four UNC students—three in Public Health and one in Global Studies. Read more about the conference here.

Measuring the effectiveness of social change programs is crucial for increasing project impact and demonstrating accountability to donors and to communities. Sarah Miller Frazer, second-year MA Student and RTI Intern, led a professionalization seminar the practical application of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for evidence-based decision making. The seminar was organized for graduate students in the UNC Global Studies program and the Master’s in International Studies at North Carolina State University, as part of the ongoing collaboration between the two programs. In this discussion, students learned several approaches to M&E, how it fits into the project cycles, and basic tools to help with M&E. The discussion included time to discuss challenges in measuring results, applying M&E in a variety of job roles, and how different types and sizes of organizations approach M&E.  View below a video of the full presentation by Sarah and the discussion that followed