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Visiting Assistant Professor

Scott Pulizzi
Casa Fuente CF443A
(831) 647-4155

Scott Pulizzi is an accomplished international development professional who brings 25 years of experience to the classroom. He has worked with United Nations agencies, national governments, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and businesses in dozens of countries to achieve social change. This includes serving as a team leader at UNESCO in Paris, a program director for the Government of Botswana, a policy evaluator in Indonesia, and a junior high school English teacher in Japan. 

In addition to teaching at the Middlebury Institute, he is currently a Principal Education and Health Specialist at the Washington DC-based American Institutes for Research, one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations. 

Dr. Pulizzi’s teaching approach is informed by the understanding that there are rarely simple solutions in social development; projects ramify, often with unintended consequences. Therefore, he aims to prepare the next generation of practitioners to embrace complexity, think systematically, challenge assumptions, see interrelationships, and break patterns. He has found that these skills are central for students to be successful program managers, project evaluators, policy analysts, and leaders of social change.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past four years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

Public, community, and nonprofit organizations are working to tackle increasingly complex social challenges in an an environment of competing priorities and inadequate resources. Organizations need to be strategic and innovative to be relevant to their stakeholders, and to be effective for their beneficiaries. In this course, you will study how organizations operate and how they can adapt and improve. You will learn about the factors and conditions that contribute to creating strategic and innovative organizations. This includes leadership; values, mission, and vision; organizational culture; external environment; and change management; among others.

This course contributes to your leadership training by developing your knowledge and skills for organizational planning and implementation, which can be applied in a wide range of settings. We will use course readings, class exercises, and case studies, and other learning methods to engage in analysis, diagnosis, and problem solving, so that you are prepared to participate in the strategic leadership of a social change organization.

Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

Do you have a real life project in mind you would want to tackle using a faculty mentor’s help? Do you want to build and/or strengthen your skills and knowledge, ideally by working on a consulting project for an organization of your choice? If yes, the Capstone course is for you. In this course you will be in the driver’s seat working on your project, while the faculty will coach you and provide practical skills and tools to help you effectively articulate, design, and implement your project, and communicate your findings to your client. In addition to individualized feedback sessions, faculty will also guide you to right resources for additional relevant skill and knowledge building.

Please check the prereqs:

- Only open for DPP students in 3rd or 4th semesters who are using the course to fulfill their Practicum requirement.

- Students who are planning to enroll in FMS, DPMI+ or IPSS should not enroll in this course. Contact the instructor if requesting exceptions.

- Students may undertake projects individually or in teams (maximum 3 per team), but team justification must be compelling

Fall 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

This course is designed to help students learn and practice key methods of applied qualitative data collection and analysis. Collection and analysis are covered in the same course because proper planning and collection of good quality information requires understanding of data analysis and vice versa. “Learning by doing” will be the main instruction approach. Examples from typical assignments from professional setting such as needs assessment, policy analysis, and M&E will be used to facilitate learning.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only, Spring 2018 - MIIS, MIIS Winter/J Term only

View in Course Catalog

During their IPSS internships students complete applied academic deliverables for which they earn six academic credits. The academic credit is not awarded for the internship itself, but for the work that applies students’ academic training to contribute to their host organizations’ mission in area of student’s career interest. The letter grades will be assigned based on the assessment of the following four deliverables:

IPSS Field Project: By the end of their internships students must have completed an ambitious project or other relatively autonomous contribution that presents value for the host organization and builds on students’ strengths and advances his/her skills and knowledge. The field project can take the form of a policy or consultancy report, evaluation, analysis, a website, or other substantive contribution to their host organization that integrates high quality research, analysis, and other skills and subject-matter knowledge. Faculty with relevant expertise and assigned peers will provide every student regular feedback on the major steps of the field project. Student’s regular internship responsibilities ideally should overlap with, but are not limited to the core field assignment. The organizations receiving interns are encouraged to help students identify such assignments prior to their arrival or at the very latest within one month after the start of student’s internship. The organization should provide assistance and guidance in completing this assignment.

Presentation: In the final part of the internship students will present on their field project to their colleagues at their host organizations. The video recording of that presentation will be then reviewed by the MIIS faculty who will invite students for Q&A and also provide additional feedback to students to improve the quality of their final deliverable(s).

Peer feedback: Interns will collaborate with their assigned peers by providing mutual peer feedback on their core field assignments to improve the quality of their work and learn from each other.

Final reflection: Interns will submit a final reflection to IPSS faculty and staff near the end of their internship- summarizing their most important insights and lessons they obtained from the internship experience for their professional and academic development.

Optional: Students are also highly encouraged to blog about their reflections on their internship experiences and comment on each others’ blogs throughout the internship assignment to maximize their learning.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, Professional Semester, Spring 2018 - MIIS, Professional Semester

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Areas of Interest

Dr. Pulizzi’s interests are researching, promoting, and creating the policies and practices that advance the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Entry points include global citizenship, health promotion, violence prevention, gender equity, civil society strengthening, human rights, social and behavior change communication, and skills-based education.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., International Development Studies, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • M.A., International Policy Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • B.A., International Relations, Seton Hall University

Professor Pulizzi has been teaching at the Institute off and on since 2009.