Student Experiences With RCGA

Middlebury College students find different ways to connect with the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs. Click on a student's name below to read about their experiences with RCGA. There are many ways to engage with RCGA, and students are always welcome to contact the Center to share their thoughts, questions, and ideas. Read about Rana Abdehlamid and Shabana Basij-Rasikh, two recipients of research grants, and their outstanding accomplishments.

Bree Baccaglini ’15— San Francisco, California

A political science major with an Arabic minor, Bree Baccaglini studied in Jordan her junior year. She spent fall semester 2013 at the Middlebury C.V. Starr School in Amman, and spent spring semester working with Save the Children at the Za’atari refugee camp. As a Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs Intern, Bree has had several projects. Among them, she worked with Middlebury College Executive in Residence Charlie MacCormack, a former CEO of Save the Children, on writing an international development guidebook for Middlebury students. She also assisted Professor Tamar Mayer to conduct research on ethno and religious nationalism among the Uyghur, Chechen, and Palestinian peoples. Bree is also a member of the Rohatyn Student Advisory Board, which hosts internationally themed events and helps promote RCGA. After Middlebury, Bree hopes to work with either a policy think tank or in the humanitarian sector, with a focus on the Middle East.

Josh Berlowitz '16—Westchester, N.Y.

Josh Berlowitz is a Political Science and Classics double major from Westchester, N.Y., and the Rohatyn Center 2014 summer intern. Since May, Josh has worked closely with Max Ward (History), researching Communism in Japan during the 1920s, and with Allison Stanger (Political Science), transcribing interviews for her upcoming book on the history of whistleblowing. Josh’s remaining Rohatyn research projects will be with Leticia Arroyo Abad (Economics), Sarah Stroup (Political Science), and Jessica Teets (Political Science). Through his internship, Josh is pleased to be enhancing his critical thinking and research skills; he also notes that the interviews he’s transcribed, such as those Stanger held with employees of Facebook and the Sunlight Foundation, have fueled his future career interests. This coming fall, Josh will study abroad in Turkey. When her returns to Middlebury, he hopes to write a senior project on how key historical events are mirrored in modern society.

Irene Estefanía González ’15—Spain

Irene González, a political science and German double major, was born and raised in Spain before attending the Red Cross Nordic United World College in Flekke, Norway, in 2009. At Middlebury, she worked as a Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs Intern during her sophomore and senior years. She spent her junior year (2013-2014) studying at the Middlebury C.V. Starr School in Berlin, Germany. As an intern, she researched a variety of topics, including the social revolution of May 1968, French culinary history, drug trafficking, and Latin-American fiscal policy. Irene is also a member of the Rohatyn Student Advisory Board which hosts internationally themed events and helps promote RCGA. After graduation, Irene hopes to work in the fields of international relations, cooperation, and development. 

Douglas Gledhill '14—Phoenix, AR

Douglas Gledhill, an International Politics and Economics major from Phoenix, AZ, was an intern with the Rohatyn Center during the summer of 2012. Doug worked closely with Mario Higa of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, conducting research and translating from Portuguese into English Higa’s papers on the history of Communism. Enhanced research skills, learning to work independently while under direction and deadlines, and further developing his Portuguese are some of the benefits that Doug attributes to his time as an intern. Doug studied abroad in both China and Brazil before interning at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) this past summer. In September, Doug will join Amazon and spend two years at the company’s various domestic sites to learn its financial operations. He imagines this experience, along with the research and language skills he developed at Middlebury, will serve him well in a future return to China or Brazil. Before joining Amazon, however, Doug will travel briefly to North Korea with a British tour company, a trip he feels will be unlike anything he’s experienced before.

Stephanie Ovitt ’15.5— North Creek, New York
An international and global studies major focusing on South Asia and political science, Stephanie Ovitt is an RCGA intern and has been a member of the Rohatyn Student Advisory Board (RSAB) since its inception. Stephanie spent the first semester of her junior year (spring 2014) at the Middlebury C.V. Starr School in New Delhi, India, enrolled in classes at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. While there she studied political science and Hindi. During the summers of 2014 and 2015, she interned for the Asian University for Women Support Foundation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As an RCGA intern, Stephanie’s projects have ranged from researching scholarly work on ISIS to conducting an in-depth review of international centers at other colleges and universities. After graduating, she hopes to work in development or international relations, focusing on South Asia.
 
Helen (Jialong) Wu '16—Chengdu, China

An International Politics and Economics major from Chengdu, China, Helen was an intern with the Rohatyn Center during the 2013-2014 academic year. Helen worked closely with Will Pyle of Economics, researching Chinese urbanization efforts, particularly through multi-media resources. Helen notes that her work at RCGA has helped her develop stronger research skills and has allowed her to explore issues related to the environment, migration, and labor inequality as a result of urbanization in China.  Helen will be studying abroad in France this coming year, where she hopes to develop a research project that might tie into her work at RCGA, noting that a “comparative study of [Chinese] urbanization and that of European cities” would be of interest. Outside the classroom, Helen is active in the International Student Organization, and helped to organize the group’s first symposium titled, “Globalization and Food” this past spring. Apart from the concrete skills she has developed and expanded as an intern with RCGA, Helen notes that “the friendship and network that I’ve gained with my professors and others in the office,” have been equally valuable.

Frank Wyer '15—Arroyo Grande, CA

How do Middlebury College students shape their college careers? The answer is never straightforward, as exemplified by Frank Wyer ’15, an International Politics and Economics major and intern with the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs. From Arroyo Grande, California, Wyer chose Middlebury anticipating that the College’s strengths in international studies and languages would align with his interests, as well as hoping to explore programs offered at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).

Wyer’s curiosity quickly led him to the Rohatyn Center, which sponsors vibrant co-curricular programs and undergraduate research. As a Rohatyn intern, Wyer has worked  closely with faculty on research projects that often call on German and French skills he’s perfecting at Middlebury. “I love the language classes at Midd,” states Wyer. “The professors are always so fun and engaged, and there are so many opportunities to practice, whether it’s as simple as going to language tables for lunch or even traveling up to Montreal for fall break.”

However, Wyer’s engagement with Middlebury’s international offerings goes well beyond the Vermont campus. Last summer, he was awarded an internship at MIIS's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), where he worked on the Nuclear Threat Initiative to research lost and stolen nuclear material. The CNS internship allowed Wyer to attend lectures and conduct research with top diplomats and scholars in the field. Wyer’s Middlebury education has extended overseas during his junior year. In the fall, he was among a select group of students to compete in a prestigious debate tournament at Oxford University. This spring, he is studying at the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School Abroad in Mainz, Germany, where he also hopes to pursue independent research that will inform his senior work.

The vast opportunities that Wyer has embraced are equipping him with concrete skills and global networks. As he says, “I’m still not sure exactly where I’ll end up, whether it’s in diplomacy, academics, or maybe something I haven’t even considered yet, but my experiences at Midd and Monterey have really opened up the world to me in a way I never would have imagined.”

Tom (Hyeon-seok) Yu '16—Seoul, South Korea

Tom, an Economics major and Chinese/Political Science double minor from Seoul, South Korea, was an intern at the Rohatyn Center during the 2013-2014 academic year. Tom worked closely with Professor Jessica Teets of political science, editing reviews for books about modern political and economic issues in China; this research connects well with his academic interests. This summer, Tom will attend the Middlebury Chinese Summer Language School in preparation for studying at the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in China (Kunming). While there, he will research social and political issues of labor movements and internal migration; his project is supported by a Mellon Foundation grant. Through his RCGA internship, Tom has sharpened his research skills, enhanced his understanding of politics and economics in China, and expanded his on-campus network. “I’m very appreciative of the help, support, and kindness that professors show,” Tom states. “The people [at RCGA] really make a difference.”

Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
F: 802.443.2050
RCGA@middlebury.edu