Winter Term Independent Study: Evaluating Rural Development Models in the Dominican Republic
What role do international nongovernmental organizations play in promoting development? To what extent can they encourage environmental conservation and rural development, and make this model sustainable by creating a revenue stream rather than depending on grants? This experiential learning opportunity will entail 2 faculty and 3 students going to the Dominican Republic to evaluate an innovative development model used by Zorzal Cacao. This reserve-farm partnership links environmental conservation efforts to the development of sustainable and profitable organic Cacao cultivation. As such, it seeks to demonstrate how environmental conservation, local development, and profitability are not mutually exclusive, but in fact, can reinforce one another. Students will evaluate this innovative development model by conducting original fieldwork research, and could choose to engage in GIS mapping of existing farms to identify potential areas of development, survey farming partners to identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing partnerships, and research the factors that encourage or hinder potential new partners to participate in this model. Students will have a unique opportunity to engage in original fieldwork research and provide a professional program evaluation. Students must speak Spanish at either a proficient or fluent level.
Potential Projects that Students Might Select
- Evaluate current farm-reserve model – compare to surrounding farms
- Conservation – positive impact on thrush
- Fair/Direct trade – development
- Sustainability – ability of farm to support reserve
- Geocoding – GIS analysis or develop interactive map for farm/reserve
- Food focus – tree to bar, etc.
- November & December: students selected, and work with Professor Lewis and Professor Teets to develop projects. The owners will introduce the farm-reserve, and we will have other guests discuss different aspects of the project.
- Students will make travel plans (and enroll in IS if desired) by late November
- Dominican Republic: January 7th – 21st [Jan 7 (arrival day) to Jan 21st (return day)]
Application Process and Logistics
- This opportunity is paid for through a Middlebury College grant, so all costs other than incidentals will be covered for participants.
- If interested, students should email Professor Teets with a transcript, resume, and short essay explaining why you would like to participate, what sort of project most interests you, and how previous coursework, skills, or experiences have helped to prepare you to work on a research team in the DR.
- Applications are due by November 7, 2017.
- We will not have professional interpreters with us, so all students must be at least proficient in Spanish (fluency would be even better).
Big things happening here on campus this coming week in the world of social impact and development. Here are Tracy’s top 5 reasons you should try to attend any one of these events with our Middlebury alumni who have come back to campus:
1) Knowledge is power, and the more you are armed with info about certain sectors, the more easily it is to identify with why or why not this space is a place you want to spend your time and learn more from;
2) Internships are a great way to gain experience in a sector that you are curious about, whether its a nonprofit or a research think tank or social entrepreneurship, alumni here on campus are here to help you explore these possibilities;
3) Learn Who the Players Are: engaging with alumni who have experience in different sectors of the social impact space can help you understand ‘who the players are’ in the different sectors–are they NGOs (non-governmental organizations), consultants, funders, foundations, think tanks, or corporations;
4) Networking: at Middlebury we are so fortunate to have alumni that stay connected to their alma mater in ways that are incredibly meaningful, from mentoring current students during summer internships to helping seniors prepare for the job application and interview process. These alumni are willing to assist current students to connect with other like-minded professionals in their industries and sectors. So come meet them, ask well-prepared questions and think about ways that you can connect with their networks;
5) JOBS…there are so many ways that alumni ‘give back’ to Middlebury and one is by working with CCI to post jobs on Handshake. Don’t be surprised then, when you find entry-level J-PAL jobs listed in Handshake!
***EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK ***
- Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, CCI Library, ADK House – Alumni Career Conversation w/former CEO of Save the Children, Charlie MacCormack ’63: How to Enter Global Development
- Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm, CCI Library, ADK House – Careers at the Abdul Latin Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT: Hannah Myers, Middlebury ’14, will present on J-PAL’s work, randomized evaluations, and how to get a job with J-PAL or J-PAL’s partners.
- Friday, November 3, 2017, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Coltrane Lounge, ADK House – How to Have a Purposeful Job Search: Carolyn Birsky ’10.5 offers students a different way of approaching the job search process and avoid the trap of taking any job they can get their hands on.
The 18th annual Harvard Kennedy School Public Policy and Leadership Conference (PPLC) will take place February 8-11, 2018. The conference aims to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate programs in public policy and international affairs by informing students about opportunities for graduate study and careers in both domestic and international public policy. Please note only first and second year undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients are eligible to apply.
The conference will take place on the HKS campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. All conference expenses are covered by HKS. The intensive three days of workshops, panels, and lectures is designed to encourage students who possess a commitment to public service, particularly those from historically underserved communities and people of color. While on campus, participants will learn about:
- Careers in public service
- Domestic and international policy issues
- Fellowship programs
- Summer Public Policy and International Affairs Institutes
- Graduate schools that offer programs in public policy
- Student life
The online application is available here. The deadline to apply is November 8
The Public Policy & International Affairs Program (PPIA) is now accepting applications for the 2018 PPIA Fellowship!
The PPIA program prepares undergraduates to be competitive candidates for top degree programs in the fields of public policy, public administration or international affairs through participation in a Junior Summer Institute (JSI). JSI is an intensive, 7-week, academic program during the summer at one of these host campuses:
- The Ford School – University of Michigan
- The Goldman School – UC Berkeley
- Heinz College – Carnegie Mellon University
- Woodrow Wilson School – Princeton University
- Humphrey School – University of Minnesota
Eligible candidates are current undergrads who will be completing their B.A. between December 2018 and August 2019. The deadline to apply is November 1.
Team Peru Internship for Credit with Prof. Orion Lewis- Calca Region, Peru
Agriculture extension in Peru is based off a western, top down, teacher-student model that does not consider traditional methods of knowledge transfer. The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD) is currently partnering with the community of Sacclio in Peru and a small group of identified community leaders to create a localized agriculture extension program that is specifically designed for small scale farmers. A localized extension program will offer trainings and resources for small scale farmers to organize, maintain traditional and environmentally friendly farming practices, provide agency and voice, and create innovative avenues to access markets. Students will participate in intensive facilitations and conversations to build context and critical perspectives; visit farming communities with differing levels of access; meet with NGOs, government officials, and community leaders; and participate in farming activities, workshops and other hands-on experiences. For more information visit http://alianzaandina.org/january-term/.
For this year’s JTerm students will join the AASD as stakeholders in this process. Students can expect to:
- Participate in intensive facilitations and conversations with the AASD to build context and critical perspectives;
- Visit farming communities with differing levels of access and connectivity as well as ecological zones;
- Meet with NGOs, government officials and community leaders;
- Participate in farming activities, workshops and hands on experience to build context;
- Immerse themselves in readings, informational videos will be discussed as well as weekly reflections.
Deliverables for this practicum have not yet been decided on, but will most likely fit into the following framework:
- A situation analysis related to a particular theme (which can be negotiated with the AASD in country)
- The design of an initiative—probably a tweak to an existing project–that is firmly rooted in the situation analysis
- A product that would support the initiative (which can be negotiated with AASD in country)”
For more information, visit AASD’s new website: http://alianzaandina.org/
Dates: January 8-26, 2018
Expenses: Students are responsible for program fees and travel costs.
To apply: Meet with Prof. Orion Lewis (email@example.com) to discuss independent study options by October 30. If approved, you will be directed to apply to AASD.
If you have any questions about Team Peru, please contact Carolyn Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org/831-647-6417
The IDEX Accelerator & Global Fellowship Program has an upcoming application deadline of October 15th for their January 2018 cohort program. The program was founded on the idea that by investing in the future generations of leaders who are passionate about leading high-impact careers, we can regenerate local economies and build stronger communities around the world. There is a tuition involved but there are also scholarships within the IDEX system to cover many expenses such as travel. For instance, IDEX founded the InvestWISE Scholarship Fund in 2014 and made it a core part of their mission to help balance the gender scales to place more women in leadership roles within specialized impact fields such as Agriculture, Clean Energy, Impact Investing, Technology for Development and Public Policy.
Check out the program here: http://www.idexaccelerator.com/.