Upcoming Practica

The following courses will be offered as Practica in 2020. For reference, courses from previous semesters are also listed.

On-campus Practica

The following Practica are available to all on-campus students, as well as online MAIR/MIS students that can attend weekly on-campus classes.

Conflict Mitigation and Peacebuilding

Professor: Hrach Gregorian

Course Time: W 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

This practicum is designed to increase familiarity with current practice in contemporary conflict prevention, mitigation, and settlement. Topics recently covered include conflict minerals, women's empowerment, youth violence prevention, and peace gaming. Hands-on activities emphasize such skills as narrative analysis, conflict prevention training, monitoring and evaluation, and conflict mapping. Practicum clients include NGOs such as Partners Global, Search for Common Ground, Saferworld, and Resolve; for-profit organizations such as Creative Associates; and government agencies such as the US Department of State.

Intelligence and Analysis

Professor: Aki Peritz

Course Time: M 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

The class produces a report intended to serve the intelligence, policy, defense, and diplomatic communities. US national security priorities shift rapidly, and topics will be determined with the client organization.

A Wicked Challenge to US National Security

Professor: Sally Shelton-Colby

Course Time: W 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Students in this practicum study a country of strategic interest to the United States and develop policy recommendations for the U.S. Government. Specifically, the practicum addresses challenges with governance, the government's role in international conflicts, fractious relationships within the country and in the international community. Students make policy recommendations for U.S. Department of State officials and other relevant entities and identify the pros and cons of each policy recommendation.

 

Conflict Mitigation and Peacebuilding

Professor: Hrach Gregorian

Course Time: Thursdays, 5:30-8:00pm

This course is designed to increase familiarity with current practice in contemporary conflict prevention, mitigation, and settlement. Topics recently covered include conflict minerals, women’s empowerment, youth violence prevention, and peace gaming. Hands-on activities emphasize such skills as narrative analysis, conflict prevention training, monitoring and evaluation, and conflict mapping.

human rights and political violence

Professor: Jeff Bachman

Course Time: Mondays, 5:30-8:00pm

Students in this practicum will conduct research into alleged human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law resulting from policies connected to the promotion and protection of national security. Particular topics may include counterterrorism; armed conflict; genocide; humanitarian intervention; and more.

A Wicked Challenge to US National Security

Professor: Sally Shelton-Colby

Course Time: Tuesdays, 5:30-8:00pm

Students in this course study a country of strategic interest to the United States and develop policy recommendations for the U.S. Government. Specifically, the practicum addresses challenges with governance, the government's role in international conflicts, fractious relationships within the country and in the international community. Students make policy recommendations for U.S. Department of State officials and other relevant entities and identify the pros and cons of each policy recommendation.

Latin america: Prepared for climate change?

Professor: Fulton Armstrong

Course Time: Mondays, 5:30-8:00pm

Climate change is rapidly becoming a significant challenge in Latin America and for U.S. foreign policy. This practicum assesses the region’s efforts so far to deal with these challenges and explores how innovation, education, and improved coordination within the region and worldwide might help.

China in latin america: indigenous people and resource extraction

Professor: Judy Shapiro

Course Time: Wednesdays, 5:30-8:00pm

This Spring 2020 practicum focuses on the Amazon basin, in several dimensions. First, with DAR-Peru as a partner, students will focus on the activities of a Chinese contractor (Sinohydro, also called Zhongguo Dianjian, or China Power) that plans to widen and deepen the Amazon to facilitate cargo shipping between Brazil and the Peruvian Coast. The second focus of the Practicum is the preparation of indigenous advoacy groups for their attendance of the November 2020 Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), which will meet in Kunming, China.

intelligence and analysis

Professor: Aki Peritz

Course Time: Wednesdays, 5:30-8:00pm

The class produces a report intended to serve the intelligence, policy, defense, and diplomatic communities. US national security priorities shift rapidly, and topics will be determined with the client organization.

leadership and management of peacebuilding ngos

Professor: Charles Dambach

Course Time: Thursdays, 5:30-8:00pm

This practicum focuses on key aspects of nonprofit organizations, specifically on leadership, organization development and program strategies, staffing structures, financing and governance. Students work with international organizations, such as the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Institute for Economics and Peace, and USAID prime contract agencies such as MSI and Creative Associates. Topics include strategic planning, budgeting, leadership concepts, and evaluation.

accountability in development

Professor: Rick Rowden

Course Time: Thursdays, 8:20-10:50pm

This practicum will provide opportunities for students to work with civil society organizations (CSOs) which are currently involved in advocating for increased civic participation on development-related policy issues with an emphasis on accountability. Practicum students will learn about policy advocacy efforts by CSOs currently engaged with governments and international organizations on development policy issues and gain critical research and analytical skills that are relevant to supporting such efforts.

eu migration policy: navigating the european response to mass migration

Professor: Karin Johnston

Course Time: Wednesdays, 8:20-10:50pm

Students in this course study a country of strategic interest to the United States and develop policy recommendations for the U.S. Government. Specifically, the practicum addresses challenges with governance, the government's role in international conflicts, fractious relationships within the country and in the international community. Students make policy recommendations for U.S. Department of State officials and other relevant entities and identify the pros and cons of each policy recommendation.

issues of multinational enterprise

Professor: Catherine Bocskor

Course Time: Wednesdays, 5:30-8:00pm

Students gain experience in the field of international business consulting by undertaking research projects for U.S. and foreign multinational enterprises, giving clients including such companies as Lockheed Martin, Rosetta Stone, EchoStar (Dish Network), and Danfoss, Inc., advice on real-life business and regulatory problems. The practicum emphasizes research, data presentation, and analytic skills, while teaching the students how to work together as a team.

policy and the press

Professor: Elise Labott

Course Time: W 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Through helping a foreign affairs focused government agency develop a press outreach strategy, students will learn effective techniques and tactics for shaping a message that explains various aspects of foreign policy and how to build results-oriented relationships with journalists to place and deliver it.

Intelligence and Analysis

Professor: Aki Peritz

Course Time: T 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

The class produces a report intended to serve the intelligence, policy, defense, and diplomatic communities. US national security priorities shift rapidly, and topics will be determined with the client organization.

Conflict Mitigation and Peacebuilding

Professor: Hrach Gregorian

Course Time: T 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

This practicum is designed to increase familiarity with current practice in contemporary conflict prevention, mitigation, and settlement. Topics recently covered include conflict minerals, women’s empowerment, youth violence prevention, and peace gaming. Hands-on activities emphasize such skills as narrative analysis, conflict prevention training, monitoring and evaluation, and conflict mapping.

A Wicked Challenge to US National Security

Professor: Sally Shelton-Colby

Course Time: Th 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Students in this practicum study a country of strategic interest to the United States and develop policy recommendations for the U.S. Government. Specifically, the practicum addresses challenges with governance, the government's role in international conflicts, fractious relationships within the country and in the international community.

Online Practica

Priority for online Practica admission is given to online students, but on-campus students are also welcome to apply!

countering foreign state propaganda and disinformation

Professor: Jorhena Thomas

Course Time: Thursdays, 7:30-8:50pm

This practicum will focus on the evolving use of propaganda and disinformation campaigns by nation-states to confuse and manipulate targeted populations. Students will work with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) to evaluate and provide recommendations for the United States’ efforts to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.

practicum in research and evaluation for ngo international programs

Professor: Elizabeth Phelps

Course Time: Saturdays, 9:00-10:20am

This practicum gives students direct experience in program evaluation and internal research for NGO international programs. Students will collaborate with an international or local (outside the US) NGO to identify evaluation and research opportunities that answer to specific interests or needs of the organization. This might include investigating potential for program growth within a broader strategic planning process or evaluating a specific program as part of a regular grant funding cycle. Prior coursework OR work experience in program evaluation or organizational research required.

mis practicum

Professor: Claudia Hofmann

Course Time: N/A

The Master of International Service (MIS) Practicum is a capstone of the executive MIS program. It serves as a vehicle to help students integrate what they have learned in their graduate coursework and provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate the ability to apply their skills and knowledge to projects beneficial to their professional lives. The MIS Practicum represents a bridge between graduate studies and full-time involvement in international affairs.

Sanctions, Corruption and Terrorist Financing

Professor: Peter Piatetsky

Course Time: TBD

Sanctions are central to how world powers approach foreign policy crises like North Korea and Iran, and are regularly used by governments to freeze assets of terrorists and proliferators, highlight corruption and human rights abuse, and in some cases, punish opponents. Students in this practicum will learn how illicit actors raise, store and use funds, and how governments, journalists and banks identify, trace and freeze these funds. Students will participate in a financial war game and prepare a report on a current illicit finance topic for executives at a multinational bank or corporation. Well performing students will gain knowledge and experience that will improve their ability to obtain a job in national security, banking and international business or FinTECH.

Countering Foreign State Propaganda and Disinformation

Professor: Jorhena Thomas

Course Time: TBD

This practicum will focus on the evolving use of propaganda and disinformation campaigns by nation-states to confuse and manipulate targeted populations. Students will work to evaluate and provide recommendations for the United States’ efforts to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.

evidence-based approaches to education in emergencies

Professor: Ally Krupar

Course Time: Th 7:30 PM - 8:50 PM

A student-led cross-country evaluation of Save the Children’s Education in Emergencies research and programming. Core issues include mapping and gap analysis of ongoing research efforts by various Save the Children members and country offices developing, coordinating with advocacy initiatives, and developing knowledge management systems.

Alternative Strategies: Challenges of the Third Offset for nato

Professor: Stephen Mariano

Course Time: Sa 9:00 AM - 10:20 AM

This project will focus on NATO's level of ambition and capability requirements outlined in a series of summit declarations and communiques. Students in this practicum will tackle a research question (or questions) from the NATO research agenda dealing with territorial defense and security challenges.

Practica Abroad

Scholarships and funding may be available for study abroad. If you are considering a Summer practica, explore your options as soon as possible.

Program Evaluation in Global Education Bahamas

Countries around the world are working to improve access to quality education, especially for historically underserved youth, in order to support national development, health, and peace. Through this practicum experience, students will not only practice program evaluation skills in international education and youth development, but will also develop cross-cultural research and communication skills. Students will also exercise intercultural competence skills as they engage with our Bahamian partners.

Professor: Amanda Taylor

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Cooperation for Peacebuilding Israel and Palestine

Students will become familiar with the wider transboundary cooperation efforts of AIES, PWEG, and other organizations in the region. During the desk study portion of the practicum, they will study the theory and practice of environmental peacebuilding, learn about the challenges and opportunities of conducting research and evaluation in a conflict setting, and develop skill in rapid-appraisal techniques, interview methods, and others. They will be required to read extensively and participate in the formulation of an assessment framework/matrix. During the field portion of the practicum, they will live and work in close quarters, meet practitioners working for these NGOs as well as the beneficiary-participant parties of the projects and communities. They will also meet Israeli and Palestinian officials whose governance practices have bearing on water, cooperation and peace in the region. Team members will undertake desk-study and research design work early in the summer of 2018; travel to the region to collect data in the field through participant-observation, interviews, focus groups, and/or archival work at the project sites; and produce a report that will be submitted to the partners to help them assess, improve, and further develop their activities. The collaborative report-writing phase will take place through the remainder of the summer, and possibly into the fall, when one or more public presentations will be made.

Professors: Eric Abitbol and Ken Conca

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The Future of Cyber Conflict Norway or Denmark

Recent election hacks and the proliferation of malware linked to state-sponsors open new fronts in strategic competition between rivals. What is the emerging character of cyber conflict? How do revisionist states use cyber operations short of war to coerce domestic and international opponents? To what extent to these operations spillover into the commercial space creating new markets for malware and cybercrime? The course will take students to NATO's "northern flank" - Scandinavian and Baltic countries whose territorial and commercial interest leave put them in the Kremlin's crosshairs. The class will combine remote seminars with visits to multiple countries in Northern Europe. At the conclusion of the course, students will present government and corporate partners forecasts about the future of cyber conflict in the region.

Professor: Benjamin Jensen

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Project Design, Monitoring and Evaluation in Indonesia

Students will spend roughly two weeks in Indonesia conducting project design, monitoring, and evaluation with local NGOs in the country. Student teams will work with their assigned NGO to fulfill these needs, to be determined by the organizations. In most cases, students will evaluate one of the local partner's projects and help them to assess their impact, but in some cases they may assist in project design or proposing grants. Students will develop concrete project design, monitoring, and evaluation skills, such as the ability to design a theory of change and Logframe relevant to project goals, develop evaluation tools, collect and analyze data using these tools, and teach these skills to civil society organizations in an international context. The program will conclude with students leading a training for VIA's local NGO partners and providing a manual for VIA to use to train their partners in the future.

Professor: Alex Cromwell

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Program Evaluation in International Education Kenya

Practicum students will partner with Dignitas, an education-focused NGO working in nonformal communities in Nairobi, Kenya, to conduct a program evaluation on the organization’s new model. About to enter its 10th year of work in building the capacity of teachers and school leaders in nonformal community schools, Dignitas will be rolling out a newly refined program model designed for scale in early 2019. They are moving from working with a small group of 40 schools to expanding the organization’s impact to the education system more broadly. Students will support the organization in thinking about how to meaningfully evaluate system-wide impact, will have an opportunity to design a wide-scale impact evaluation, and along the way, will learn about the social, political and economic dimensions of educational development efforts in Nairobi.

Professor: Amanda Taylor

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Evironment and peacebuilding in the Middle east Israel and Palestine

Students will become familiar with the wider transboundary cooperation efforts of AIES, PWEG, and other organizations in the region. Team members will undertake desk-study and research design work at the beginning of the course; travel to the region to collect data in the field through participant-observation, interviews, focus groups, and/or archival work at the project sites; and produce a report that will be submitted to the partners to help them assess, improve, and further develop their activities. The collaborative report-writing phase will take place through the remainder of the Summer, when one or more public presentations will be made.

Professors: Eric Abitbol and Ken Conca

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Political Ecologies of Land Use Conflict Costa Rica

The 3-credit graduate-level practicum will examine the roots of land use conflict caused by the expansion of pineapple farming in Costa Rica. Students will gain experience in the practical application of political ecology as a means to study and understand these conflicts.

Professor: Scott Freeman

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Global Fellowship Training and Capacity Building

ThailanD

Students will conduct a 10-day training for the Volunteers in Asia (VIA) Global Community Fellowship Program. Practicum students will be split into different groups, each of which will be responsible for a particular aspect of the training. The training will include the following areas: cross-cultural communication, peace and conflict resolution, and international development. Students will develop multiple sessions related to each topic. Topics may change and additional topics may also be added to the list. Roughly 10-15 fellows will take part in this training, in preparation for their post teaching English or working with a local NGO, in one of 4 countries that VIA works with in Asia.

Professor: Alex Cromwell

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Common Sense Monitoring and Evaluation for Women and Child Protection

Manila, Philippines

Students will partner with the Child Protection Network (CPN) to enrich the work of their Women and Child Protection Units through the development of user friendly monitoring and evaluation tools. Students will grapple with the chronic challenges inherent to such undertakings—identifying meaningful performance metrics and balancing rigor, usability, and time and budget constraints. Important stakeholders to consider will include the Department of Health, local government units, hospital staff and families.

Professor: Stephanie Fischer

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Participatory Program Evaluation of a Girls' Health and Livelihood Intervention

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Students in this course will evaluate an ongoing health promotion and livelihood training program for adolescent girls and young women living in informal settlements in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Students will travel to Tanzania to complete the fieldwork. The client is the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), the national hospital and school of public health.

Professor: Nina Yamanis

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Countering Cyber Threats and State-Sponsored Information Operations

Tentative Locations: Berlin, Prague, Riga and Sofia

As state-sponsored disinformation from Russia continues unabated there is greater need to coordinate state-to-state and multilateral efforts that allow for the identification of synergies and build on specializations. This project will look into the efforts of British and European states to understand Russian disinformation with a focus on how the U.S. can best work effectively with international partners. 

Professor: Eric Novotny

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The Political Ecology of Water in Costa Rica

Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica

In this practicum, students will gain experience in the practical application of political ecology as a means to study and understand environmental conflicts in southwest Costa Rica. Students will investigate water issues that revolve both around industrial agriculture and energy generation. Students will learn research skills and a political ecology framework and will produce a deliverable for water activists in the region.

Professor: Scott Freeman

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