Monthly Archives: November 2016


This semester has consumed my life and pushed me to constantly be moving. Each second I stop and reflect, I realize how many amazing opportunities I have been afforded and I can only hope the rest of my life will contain just as much chaos. I got to interview Vijay Prashad after reading his book The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution. I had the chance to be standing right next to Kim Barker whose work as a journalist was made into the novel, The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then turned into the major motion picture, “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”. Lastly, I was inspired by Grant Berry who is a Ph.D. candidate in Spanish and Language Science in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. His CGS Brown Bag on linguistics pushed me to start my own research. 

This semester has shown me what is possible for one person to accomplish. I can’t imagine having spent my time this fall doing anything else. I feel truly encouraged and exhilarated by all I have experienced. It has been a pleasure to get to know amazing people such as Sarah, Mary, Emily H., Parker, and Rana throughout my journey. Each one of them has encouraged and motivated me to be a better writer, interviewer, global citizen, friend, and person. They have contributed to my successes along this journey. It has been quite the adventure this past semester and I know this experience will only encourage me to dive into new challenges as my life progresses.

I know from here, I will take this experience with me as I travel to France next semester. I will know how to be calm in stressful situations. I will know how to engage with others around me academically and socially as I make new friends. Lastly, I will know how to be confident and put myself into unknown situations. As I continue to grow and eventually graduate, I am grateful to have had this internship to help me understand myself and my determination to make a difference in our world. I want to fight for what I believe in. Now more than ever seems like the perfect time to start. 

Thanksgiving is next week and I want to end by saying simply how thankful I am to have had this opportunity. This is not goodbye but a see you soon.


Tina Fey is Kim Barker

The Kim Barker event was a wonderful success!  Every time I read a book or watch a movie, I am left with unanswered questions.  However, this was the very first time I was able to get my questions answered.  What happened to Farouq, how has Kim’s life changed since moving back to the states? These questions and many more were answered on the record and a few were answered off the record.  Check out my interview with her on the CGS youtube page!

img_5675After our eye opening interview, Kim Barker gave a phenomenal lecture to over 100 students, faculty and staff on Afghanistan’s foreign policy.  She even cracked a few jokes about the election, which brought some dark humor to Katz Auditorium.  Her lecture was based on five lessons she learned on her journey; do your research, adapt to the culture, figure out a strategy and stick to it, know how to get out and while you may not be able to change the world you can make a difference in someone’s life and they can change yours.  After answering a few questions, Barker signed a few books and chatted with a few of the audience members.

Lectures like this make this internship extremely rewarding. 

Almost done, for the semester…

       12 weeks. It has been 12 weeks since I started interning at the Center of Global Studies and it has truly been one of the most interesting experiences of my life.  It started off as a typical internship; inputting data, writing press releases, sending emails, etc.  However, things began to take an interesting shift when we had our first Brown Bag, “Fifty Shades of Zionism: Iranian Jews and Israel”.  As a Global Studies major, this lecture explained a topic that I was studying in class; extremely helpful.  Not only that, but the pictures I took during this Brown Bag were used to recap the event.  Seeing your work published on social media and around campus is truly a unique opportunity.  Also, I was able to freshen up on my photography skills.   

 img_5454My newly discovered photography skills came in handy when Vijay Prashad, a historian, journalist, author and professor, gave a lecture on Western Bombs, Eastern Societies.  He was definitely an inspiring person as he explained his research and knowledge without fearing the opposing view.  Once again, the week prior to his visit, I read a section of his book, Of Darker Nations, in one of my classes.  It was exciting to meet the author behind the words and hear him speak it instead of just reading it.  As a kinesthetic learner, I understand and remember concepts better by seeing and doing instead of reading.

     The next major lecture was Ian Johnstone’s talk on “The UN in crisis: priorities for the next Secretary-General”.  When I first heard about this lecture, I was overjoyed because I am considering a career with the UN after graduation.  Moreover, the Secretary-General plays a crucial part in the progress and instillment of development programs that affect the world.  (It is important to note the roles of interns during these lectures; one walks around and takes pictures, one takes a countless amount of notes to later on write an article for the newsletter and one runs the videocamera.  If all interns are there, then everything runs smoothly, but when there is only one intern available they have to get creative). It just so happened that I was the only intern available to attend this lecture and I was a bit nervous, how could I walk around and take pictures while taking notes to write an article?  I knew that I had to prioritize the note taking before the pictures, so I sat in the front row and started jotting down notes.  Every now and then I would pull out the camera and snap a few pics of Johnstone.  If you saw the pictures and wondered why they were all taken from the same angle, now you know.  Luckily, there was a Q&A and then I was able to walk around and try to take pictures from different angles.  This event taught me the importance of being adaptable and believing in yourself and your creative abilities.  If I ever have to do this again, I am confident I can handle it. screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-10-09-10-pm

      Finally, the event that I have been working on the most is happening this Thursday.  In early October, I was asked to write a press release and create a poster for Kim Barker’s lecture on November 10th.  Not knowing much about who Barker is or her significance, I borrowed Barker’s book, The Taliban Shuffle, from Sarah.  After reading the first few pages, I was truly invested; which political figures would Barker interact with, how does she live in countries full of destruction, what will happen to Farouq? I do not want to spoil anything else so I will just highly recommend reading this book. Furthermore, as a movie buff, I was ecstatic to learn that there is a movie based on this book, Whiskey Foxtrot Tango.  After finishing the book, I rented the movie from the library and watched it.  As much as I liked the movie, with Tina Fey starring in it, the book had much more detail and, one of my favorite characters in the book, Farouq, was not really important in the movie.  Anyway, understanding who Kim Barker is helped me write a press release and create my first ever major poster for this event, although it took a few drafts to create.  14955793_1159352987481042_1228266024223535826_n

This Thursday, Kim Barker will finally be here and if everything goes as planned, I will have the opportunity to interview her before the lecture.  Stay tuned for the event’s recap and my experiences with Kim Barker. 

My advice: always be prepared for the unexpected and welcome criticism because it will make you a better person and a more effective intern!