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A View from the Class: The 2018 Award-Winning Capstone Workshop Team

The SIPA Office of Alumni and Development is pleased to share another installment of A View from the Class, a SIPA stories series featuring current SIPA students, recently graduated alumni, and SIPA faculty.

Here, we feature the Capstone workshop team that was awarded this year’s Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson Award for Human Values in International Affairs for their work with UN Women on the project “Using Twitter Data Combined with Traditional Survey Data to Measure Societal Dynamics Related to Violence Against Women in Brazil.” Awarded annually, the Gitelson award was created by SIPA alumna, Dr. Susan Gitelson to recognize outstanding work by SIPA students related to human values in international affairs.

For this project, six SIPA students were partnered with faculty advisor, David Dabscheck. UN Women was interested in the use of Big Data; specifically, to understand the potential of using Twitter data combined with traditional survey data to measure societal dynamics related to violence against women in Brazil, where the rates of homicide have continued to increase since 2007.

Alejandra Baez MIA’18: At SIPA, Alejandra concentrated in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with specializations in Latin America and Technology, Media, and Communications. A Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow, she will join the U.S. State Department in September 2018 as a Foreign Service Officer.

Wajeeha Bajwa MIA’18: Wajeeha grew up in Tokyo and Moscow and completed her undergraduate education in Germany before returning home to Pakistan to pursue a career in independent consulting. At SIPA, she specialized in Gender and Public Policy to complement her international field experience. She hopes to join an international organization working for women’s empowerment globally.

Gabriel Barrientos MPA-DP’18: At SIPA, Gabriel focused on quantitative analysis, education policies, and behavioral economics. Recently graduated, Gabriel is joining Concordia in New York City as a Partnership Development Manager, working with key partners, industry leaders, and other stakeholders to foster and strengthen public-private partnerships for social impact.

Veronique Ehamo MIA’18: At SIPA, Veronique concentrated in Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy with a dual specialization in Gender and Public Policy and Regional African Studies. From the Democratic Republic of Congo, she  will begin PhD studies in the United Kingdom this fall, focusing her research on the utilization of rape as a weapon of war in the North Kivu Region of Eastern DRC.

Lilah Greenberg MPA’19: A dual degree student at SIPA and the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW), Lilah is pursuing her MPA, concentrating in Human Rights with a specialization in Gender and Public Policy. In fall 2018, she will continue her studies at CSSW, focusing on human rights and contemporary social issues in the U.S.

Marie Wavre MPA’18: An attorney and MPA graduate in Development and Gender Policy, Marie received a Master in Public International Law from Université Paris Assas and an LL.M. in International Law and Justice from Fordham University School of Law. Marie is currently legal counsel for an immigration law office representing Tibetan refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs & Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowships

The 2013 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs & Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowships competition, provided by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation is now open.

They are seeking highly motivated and academically excellent college juniors and graduating seniors or college graduates who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State.  The goal of the programs is to attract outstanding students from all ethnic and social backgrounds who are dedicated to representing America’s interests abroad. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply to one of the two Programs.

The Programs provide:  

  • Up to $40,000 annually for academic expenses, covering the last year of undergraduate study and first year of graduate study (Undergraduate Fellowship); or the first and second year of graduate study (Graduate Fellowship)
  • Two paid State Department summer internships (domestic and abroad)
  • Access to the Pickering Fellows network

Eligibility requirements at the time of application:

  • Undergraduate applicants: college junior or equivalent
  • Graduate applicants: entering a two-year terminal master’s degree program in the fall of the Fellowship year
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 (4.0 scale)
  • Be a United States citizen

Application Deadlines:

Graduate Fellowship: January 21, 2013

Undergraduate Fellowship:  February 7, 2013

To apply visit:



What’s new with SIPA admission’s process?

September always seems to start and end too soon.  Students arrive and the School is buzzing.  Work piles on and project deadlines seem shorter. But the best part is meeting new applicants on the road and at home.  The academic year has begun, our students finalized their fall class schedules on Friday after two weeks of course “shopping”.  For prospective students, September is a month when they start pulling together their application materials and narrow down their searches for the best school for them.   Applications are also beginning to roll in — giving us a glimpse to what the applicants are interested in and what they’ve done.

This fall should be even more interesting, as we re-open the Spring class after a two year hiatus.  Interested applicants who know they want to pursue a Master of Public Administration or Master of International Affairs at SIPA, have an opportunity to begin their studies nine months early.  Fall applications are due on January 5th, but if you apply and are admitted for Spring, you will be getting ready to start classes in January  (instead of twiddling your thumbs waiting for an admission decision).  Applicants interested in being considered for Spring 2013 admission to our two year masters program have until October 15th to submit their application (application is live, just make sure you select the appropriate program/term of interest).

One difference (and recent change) between the Spring and Fall admissions is that for those applying to start in January 2013, you do not need to wait until a specific date to hear back from us.  The Admissions Committee will review applications as they are submitted and completed.  Once a decision is rendered, you will get news immediately.  So for those who have active calendars or events pending an admissions decision and want to plan ahead – early, get your applications in so we can get reading.  Our goal is to notify all Spring applicants (who turn in a completed application) by November 30th but again, if you want a decision earlier, you should submit before the deadline.  Also, unlike years past (when we offered a Spring entry term — before the spring option was taken away), this year we will review Spring applicants for SIPA fellowship consideration (there is no separate application) — so like the Fall term, a small percentage of our incoming Spring students will also have  a chance of receiving a merit award.  Small as it may be, it’s better than the old policy of NO MONEY for new Spring enrolled students.  It’s one feat we’ve won for our new students.


Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

Recently we posted information on a $33,000 scholarship opportunity for U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.  For this entry we have a scholarship opportunity that has provided an average award of $35,000 a year to nationals of World Bank Member countries.

The Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is a wonderful opportunity for those that qualify and wish to submit an application.  It does require a completely separate application from the application submitted to SIPA and it is available via the JJ/WBGSP web siteThe deadline to apply is March 31, 2011.

Here is a brief description of the basic qualifications needed to apply, see the site referenced above for full details.

To apply for a JJ/WBGSP scholarship under the Regular Program, an applicant must:

* Be a national of a World Bank member country eligible to borrow.
* Be born after March 31, 1971.
* Have, by March 31, 2011, at least 2, preferably 4 to 5, years of recent full time professional experience acquired after a university degree, in the applicant’s home country or in another developing country.
* Hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
* Be in good health.
* Be of good character.
* Not be a permanent resident or a national of any industrialized country.
* Not be residing in an industrialized country for more than one year.
* Not be an Executive Director, his/her alternate, staff of the World Bank Group (the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, International Development Association, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes), consultant, or relative of the aforementioned.

SIPA Professor Awarded Charles Merriam Award

We are pleased to announce that SIPA Professor Michael Doyle has won the 2009 American Political Science Association (APSA) Charles Merriam Award. This award recognizes “a person whose published work and career represent a significant contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research.”

md2221Professor Doyle is the Harold Brown Professor of United States Foreign and Security Policy at SIPA and holds joint appointments in the Columbia School of Law and the Political Science Department. His recent publications include Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations, with Nicholas Sambanis (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006) and Striking First: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).

Professor Doyle has appeared on this blog before when in January he was  appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to a new term as Chair of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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