I’m Shalaka Joshi, second-year Masters of Public Administration student with a concentration in International Security Policy and a specialization in Technology, Media, and Communications. Prior to graduate school, I was an Associate at the public affairs firm Dewey Square Group in Washington, D.C, and I have an undergraduate Political Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. While my family is from India, and I was born there, I grew up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas.

When applying to graduate school, I knew I was looking for an institution where I would not only learn about the important issues of the day, but would also prepare me to be forward thinking about the challenges that we face. Being at SIPA has sparked my interest in the intersection of technology, policy, and politics, and how this nexus of ideas is impacting our lives. It has also provided me opportunity for growth, intellectual fulfilment, and close friendships with my wonderful peers.

The Columbia Journal of International Affairs has been around since 1947, making it the oldest student-run academic publication in the world. I first learned of it when a flyer announcing that the Journal was looking for assistant editors caught my eye early in my first semester at SIPA. Because I was intrigued with the idea of students leading the conversation on the public policy challenges of the future, I applied to join the board as an assistant editor on the digital team.

Currently, I am the Managing Editor of the Digital and Online Team, where I help to manage our website and social media presence. My goal for the past year has been to build the Journal’s digital presence so that more people know of the work we do, and we can further share the ideas in our pages. We have done this by livestreaming the launch events for our two most recent issues: “Contentious Narratives” and “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” by developing our social media presence, and by publishing interesting analysis around important events both current and historical, such as the Brazilian elections last year and the centenary of the end of World War I in 2018.

We live in a world in which policy discussions have become divorced from the public conversation. It is my hope that the Journal continues to try to break through this divide and engage with everyone, and leads the conversation on the public policy challenges of our time.

The next issue of the Journal will examine “The Dynamics of Global Feminism.” For this issue, we have announced a student essay contest and a visual arts contest, a great way for SIPA students to win money and be published alongside experts, academics and policymakers. We invite everyone, including future SIPA students, to engage with us and carry the legacy of the Journal forward for the next 70 years.

Follow us on social media on Facebook and Twitter for the latest issue of the Journal, and as an example of how you can get further involved with life at SIPA.

Photo Credit: Shalaka Joshi and the JIA, including the header photo of the JIA special launch event.