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Our New MA IR Students Arrive !

Our New MA IR students participating in a session lead by PARCC Director, Catherine Bertini

Our New MA IR students participating in a session lead by PARCC Director, Catherine Bertini

Today the PAIA Department welcomed 59 new MA IR students to the Maxwell School and Syracuse University. As part of my remarks, I was able to introduce the group to one another and share the breadth of diversity of backgrounds and experiences they bring to our community.

Representing over 15 different countries and 21 different states within the US, this new cohort of students also collectively speaks over 18 different languages and has traversed nearly the entire globe in their past experiences:  work, academic and professional.  Officially, they represent the countries of Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Belarus, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Mexico, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Turkey,  Trinidad and Tobago, and Zambia. Those from the US come to us from: New York (25%), Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Georgia. Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Utah, Wyoming, S. Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada, California and Hawaii.

Prospective students are always concerned that they may not be a strong candidate for admission if they had not studied International Affairs prior – and I always try to alleviate their concerns on this point. Most demonstrative of this fact is the variety of undergraduate majors and minors that our incoming classes reflect.   This new cohorts’ undergraduate majors and minors include (though not an exhaustive list):  Accounting/Marketing, Political Science/Government (30%), Communications/Media Studies, Business/Finance, Economics, Math, Classics, Education, Global Studies/IR (25%), History, Sociology, Psychology, Religion/Theology, English, Spanish, German, Middle East Studies, Intelligence, Law and Pharmacy. 10% of our incoming students hold a prior graduate degree.  International Relations is a field that benefits greatly from a strong and varied disciplinary perspective.  Maxwell, as a School of Social Sciences, can build on this variety but still provide our students a true interdisciplinary exploration of the field in a very targeted and deliberative approach.

These new students are also well accomplished and well honored! They include US Army and Coast Guard Officers and former ROTC officers, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, McNair Scholars, a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow, several IIE/Fulbright Scholars and past US students who have held Fulbright fellowships overseas, Fellows from both the Kosovo Transformational Leadership Program and the Kosovo American Education Fellowships programs, several Civil Society Leadership Awards Scholars via the Open Society Foundation, former YALI/Mandela Fellows (Young African Leaders Initiative), and several (some government – sponsored) ministry personnel from a number of international governments including Peru, Afghanistan, Mexico and Zambia.

We are excited for the next few days of activities. Our new students will have ample opportunity to get to know one another, be introduced to our new department / school leadership and staff, meet program alumni and faculty, learn more about the interesting research taking place in Maxwell’s nine cutting edge research institutes, and learn all about the full suite of academic and professional resources available to them as students and as alumni.  We are very pleased today to welcome them to their new academic and community home!

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