Amal Aun is a Palestinian Fulbright Scholar from Israel. A second-year CIPA student, she is concentrating her studies on Human Rights and Social Justice, with a special emphasis on the Middle East. (more…)
Amal Aun is a second-year CIPA student who is concentrating her studies on Human Rights and Social Justice. A Fulbright Scholar, Amal is a Palestinian citizen from Israel. She came to CIPA after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Haifa, majoring in Political History of the Middle East and Linguistics. Amal has founded, and continues to remotely manage, her own advocacy and public speaking institute “Speak Up”. (more…)
Emily is a second-year CIPA student who is concentrating her studies on Human Rights and Social Justice. (more…)
Tiffany Jordan graduated from CIPA in May of 2016 with a concentration in Human Rights and Social Justice. She currently works for Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA) as a Legislative Fellow and Press Assistant on Capitol Hill. (more…)
Julia Fleury is in her final semester of studies at CIPA, where she is completing a concentration in Human Rights and Social Justice. She spent fall semester 2015 in Washington, D.C., enrolled in the CIPA Washington Externship Program.
While there’s nothing quite like the peace and quiet of our beloved Ithaca, having spent the last five years in Chicago, my heart couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend a semester living, studying, and working in the bustling city of D.C. More than longing for “civilization” again (I’m only kidding when I say this), I strongly believed that there was no place more ideal to gain exposure to the degree I was studying than in the heart of the public administration world. Similarly, having come straight from undergrad to CIPA, my lack of work experience convinced me to take advantage of any opportunities to expand my professional network.
To me, D.C. has always seemed like this black hole of intellect and knowledge. I don’t mean black hole in a bad sense- because who wouldn’t love living in a place filled with young, passionate, dedicated, and educated people hoping to make an impact on our world? I mean black hole in a way where everyone is on the same playing field. How can you prove that you are the one worthy of making change? In a city that functions more on “who you know” than “what you know,” I’m thankful for CIPA’s extensive network of engaged alumni and their willingness to help current students like me achieve our professional goals.
Interested in migration policy, I was offered a position at the State Department in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the Office of International Migration. CIPA’s alumni comradery was proven to me over and over again throughout the course of the semester, especially through the crazy process of applying for security clearance from the federal government. While waiting to be cleared, I started working at the central office of the D.C. Public Schools in the Office of Teaching and Learning. I was assigned to help give their Secondary Literacy curriculum a “face life.”
As it turned out, my security clearance didn’t go through until Thanksgiving, when my semester in D.C. was nearing the end, so I wasn’t able to intern at the State Department. However, I was fortunate to be able to tailor my internship at the D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) to focus on migration policy. I created a working document of best practices for teachers to make their classrooms more inclusive for English language learners. My team at DCPS entrusted me with a great deal of responsibility and autonomy and I really felt as if I was contributing something that would positively impact the success of those students who struggle academically because of cultural and language differences. Furthermore, experiencing the realities of office dynamics was crucial for someone with such limited professional exposure.
My time in D.C. was short–almost too short. By the time December rolled around, I was just beginning to feel like I had found my rhythm. Having the opportunity to participate in this externship forced me to grow up a little, something I think was necessary. For four months, I was a working professional who had to strategically balance life, work, and school. While it definitely wasn’t easy, it provided me with an eye-opening perspective that I wouldn’t have gotten in Ithaca. The externship provided me with connections with Cornell alums and various colloquium speakers but also, more importantly, allowed me to develop the confidence to navigate the very complex world of D.C. I am certain that this confidence will prove useful for me as I continue my job search and plan for entering “real life” in just three short months.
Photo above: Julie enjoys Washington, D.C. with other CIPA students enrolled in the Externship Program.