Blog Archives

Boston Celebrates Newest Sister City!

On Friday, October 9, 2015 the City of Boston celebrated the signing of a new sister city agreement with Praia, Cabo Verde. Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Mayor Ulisses Correia e Silva have joined together in an agreement formalizing trade and collaboration between Boston and Praia, the capital of Cabo Verde.  “Boston has a strong Cape Verdean community,” said Mayor Walsh, “and our partnership with Praia is a fitting testament to our city’s diversity.” With some 40,000 Cabo Verdean immigrants living in the Boston area, this relationship is a wonderful new opportunity for the exchange of culture and ideas between the two cities. Already, trade between the two cities is well established with a cargo ship departing between the two about once a month and with Boston contractors working on housing projects on the island. There is also hope to increase a tourism exchange between the two countries. Cabo Verde Airlines used to run out of Logan Airport but has recently moved to Providence. The two city leaders also hope to collaborate on crime prevention plans as both cities experience similar types of criminal activity.

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Praia is the newest addition to Boston’s extensive list of sister cities, which includes Kyoto, Japan; Strasbourg, France; Barcelona, Spain; Hangzhou, China; Padua, Italy; Melbourne, Australia; Taipei, Taiwan; Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Read more about Boston’s sister-City Program here!

Why YOU want to be at the UN Day Luncheon

It is Fall, the temperatures are dropping, and the leaves are changing colors. Do you know what that means? Drumroll! UNA-GB is pleased to announce its 2014 United Nations Day Luncheon! This years’ event will take place on Monday, December 8th at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Register now before it is too late!

Since 1948, United Nations has been celebrating the Anniversary of its founding in 1945 through UN Day. According to the UN, it should be an occasion for “governments and peoples to reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter”.  Since 2000, UNA-GB has celebrated the international holiday with our annual luncheon, gathering leaders from the business and academic communities in the Greater Boston area for an engaging dialogue on world affairs and an opportunity to network with other globally conscious individuals and organizations.

Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, David Donoghue, with United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

This years’ Luncheon will focus on Ireland, the world leader in quality of life. USA and Ireland have relations that go way back, from values that our ancestors shared, to emigration. Two of the most important areas that the two governments share are education and medical research. Ireland’s membership in the European Union has helped its relations with United States, especially in areas such as trade and economic policy. Besides trade and economics, United States and Ireland hold a unique bond: millions of American citizens have some ancestral connection with Ireland. Boston is known to have the highest population of Irish people in the whole United States! And this is one of the many reasons why you should attend this amazing event! Still wondering why you really need to honor us with your attendance?

Here are a few more reasons we can think of:

1.  Ambassador David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations will be there.

2. He will be our keynote speaker. Read all about him here.

3. Our attendees will include individuals and companies who are actively engaged in global affairs, as well as who have a commitment to global education in the Boston community and a desire to foster dialogue among a diverse set of companies, peoples and nations.

4. There will be opportunities to network with professionals, consuls, and other individuals who are dedicated to promoting the founding principles of the United Nations.

5. Members of the UNA-GB, professionals of all ages, Consuls from a variety of Consulates in Boston, and most importantly, YOU will have the opportunity to discuss anything from national issues/achievements to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded people who support the work of the United Nations.

Delegates voting on a resolution

 

6. It’s a good excuse to get out of the office (or school or the house) and enjoy some delicious food at one of Boston’s finest landmarks!
7. You will be supporting UNA-GB’s programs, which aim to educate today’s  youth and tomorrow’s leaders!

 

 

 

Convinced? Then hurry up and sign up to attend 2014 UN Day Luncheon here!!

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Fall 2013: Meet the Interns!

Rose Llanos-Almeida UNAGB InternRose Llanos-Almeida

I am a second year graduate student studying international affairs at Boston University. My area of focus is theory and policy and I am very much interested in Latin America, specifically Brazil. I was originally born in Florida but my parents are from Peru and El Salvador. My heritage has played such a significant part in my professional interests that I decided to major  in Portuguese and Spanish for my undergraduate studies. During my free time, I love to go salsa, forro, and samba dancing and spend time with my husband, friends and family. I also love traveling; visiting Brazil has been one of the highlights of my travels. One place I would love to travel to is Greece; I spent the summer studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland and visited many other places in Europe yet did not have enough time to squeeze in Greece. Ultimately, my dream job would be to work in international development focusing on improving the lives of children, their families and communities.

Marc Orlandella UNAGB InternMarc Orlandella
I am a senior at Boston University majoring in International Relations and Business Administration.
I am from Saugus, MA. In my free time I serve as a mentor at BU, helping new students adjust to campus life. I offer my help and advice when new students need some assistance. My favorite place I’ve traveled to is probably Madrid. I studied abroad there over the spring semester and it was an awesome experience! It’s a beautiful city. While I was there I had the chance to learn a lot about the culture and increase my Spanish speaking skills. If I could go anywhere in the world I would choose Italy, especially Sicily. My whole family comes from Southern Italy and my grandfather is from Sicily. I would love to visit and spend time there! My dream job is being involved in the education field. I love working with students and mentoring, so I think I want to work for a school/university. It would be especially great if I had the chance to combine international relations with an education position. Or more realistically, I would be an actor and star in my own sitcom on TV. I would want to use a time machine to travel into the future, like maybe a thousand years ahead. I’m curious to see how the world will be and how it will look. I think it would be pretty great to see all the new technology that will exist.
Kyeu Eun UNAGB Intern
Kyeu Eun (Cathy)
I am from Seoul, South Korea. In my free time, I like to walk around outside, listen to music, and look at different design blogs. My favorite place that I have been is Vancouver because of the beautiful environment and diverse groups of people. I would love to travel to Greece someday because I would like to look at ancient architecture and artifacts in person. Also, Greek food is absolutely amazing! If I had a time machine, I would like to observe 10 years from now, which would be 2023, because I would like to see my parents’ health conditions and warn them now to be become healthy.

Eliza Berg

Eliza Berg UNAGB Intern

This is me above the Thames in London, where I studied Conflict Resolution in the summer of 2012

I am currently a senior at Boston University studying International Relations and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and I am very excited to continue my internship at UNA-GB! Originally from a small town in New Hampshire, I have slowly become accustomed to the busy city life in Boston and I love all of the diverse opportunities for research, networking, performance, and art (to name a few) here! One of my favorite things to do in Boston is take walks along the esplanade next to the Charles River, and to eat delicious food at restaurants and cafes with a variety of cuisines. I’ve made it my goal to go to one restaurant per month that features food from a different area of the world (which should be easy with YP’s awesome “Taste Of” events!) One of the places that I have always wanted to visit is Morocco, and I am finally getting the opportunity to go to Rabat in January to do some independent research! I would also love to visit other North African and Middle Eastern countries, and I love learning the Arabic language.  For these reasons (and because of my research interests) I hope to one day work for a non-profit or government agency that promotes women’s rights in the MENA and other developing countries.

Jennifer Beiwise UNAGB intern

This is me outside of Belfast City Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Jennifer Bleiwise

I am a senior at Northeastern University studying International Affairs with minors in Political Science and History. I’m from a small town in central New Jersey. I love traveling abroad, and I have studied abroad multiple times and have done internships abroad as well. I have studied in England, Austria, the Czech Republic, and France, and did two different internships in Northern Ireland. I really enjoyed studying in Austria and the Czech Republic because I have both Austrian and Czech heritage. Every city I have been to is beautiful and charming in its own way, but if I had to go back to one, I would buy a one way ticket to Belfast, Northern Ireland. My dream job would probably be to be a country singer!

Lesley Ta UNAGB Intern
Lesley Ta
Hi, my name is Lesley Ta and I’m currently a senior at Malden High School in Malden, Massachusetts. I was born and raised in Boston. I will be a first generation college student; I hope to have a career concerning international relations or political science. I have a gravitational pull toward water sports – I love rowing, kayaking, sailing, and paddle boarding. Although I’m not the most athletic person out there, I enjoy being able to physically and mentally challenge myself. In the following spring, I will be traveling to Beijing and Shanghai through my school. I’m so excited to be here at the UNA-GB, having participated in the same Model UN conferences that I now assist with.
Alyssa Russell UNAGB Intern

This is me in front of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Alyssa Russell

I am a senior at Boston University studying International Relations and Public Relations. I am originally from Falmouth, MA, which is on Cape Cod. I have always loved anything and everything to do with the ocean. In my free time, I love to read, walk or hike outside, write, and explore wherever I happen to be living! Last year, I studied abroad in Paris, France, doing an internship program. I learned so much and got to travel all over Europe; it’s hard to choose, but I think that my favorite place was Edinburgh, Scotland. I loved the medieval feel of the city, the natural beauty both in and around the city, and the people- and I even got to see a fire festival while I was there! If I had a time machine, I would want to go to the lost Inca city at Machu Picchu. I have two dream jobs: one would be to be a highly-in-demand travel blogger, paid to travel all over the world and write about it, and the other would be to work for an international nonprofit, maybe doing conservation or development work.

Montana FredrickMontana Fredrick UNAGB Intern

I am a sophomore at Northeastern University studying International Affairs and am from Chicago, IL. This semester my free time has been devoted to movie hopping–seeing three movies for the price of one–and creating homemade conditioners. I have been to the movies about three times this semester and seen five movies, my goal is to see all of the films that have been given the Oscar nod. I would definitely go to Morocco. I am fluent in French but miss being around french speakers, although Morocco isn’t the first place people go to practice their french I have recently become fascinated with their presence in North Africa. My dream job is to be an international super star like Celine Dion! If I could, I would go into the future to see myself at age 30. I’m curious to know what I will be doing for a living, what friends I will have and if I have kept any, what my younger siblings would be doing, where I will be living, and what the world would be like.

Summer 2013: Meet the Interns!

Summer 2013 has started and so have the new interns! Here is a little bit more about each one…

“Ali’s Interns” (Programming)

At PAUL Bakery in Prague

Me at PAUL Bakery in Prague eating a macaroon, one of my favorite pastries!

Brittany Osachuk
Hi, my name is Brittany Osachuk and I am a fifth year student at Northeastern University studying International Affairs with a minor in Political Science. I am a citizen of the U.S. and Finland and grew up in central Massachusetts but spent time living in Grenada and Finland during my younger years. I have a passion for travelling and experiencing new cultures which has led me to study abroad in the Czech Republic and Japan. In my free time I love to dance hip-hop and am on the No Limits Dance Crew at Northeastern. Fun fact: I can speak Finnish fluently, and yes, it is an uncommon and unusual language! If I could be anyone for a day I would be a KGB spy during the Cold War.

If I could be anyone for a day, I would be Darius Rucker so I could wagon wheel all the time.

Tim Lawlor

My name is Timothy Jude Lawlor Jr. I am a senior at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (home of real education). I am from Merica, meaning I am American from Irish background. My favorite country is Germany, and my hobbies include outdoors activities and working on my truck. Fun fact – I worked in Germany for a summer at a camp for the Boy Scouts.  If I could be anyone for a day, I would be Darius Rucker so I could wagon wheel all the time.

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Along with academics at PC, I am also a cheerleader for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and I enjoy dancing with the dance club and playing intramural soccer.

Cayla Barbour

Hi! My name Cayla and I am a rising junior at Providence College. I am a Raynham, MA native, but both of my parents are from Lebanon making me 100% Lebanese. I love my family’s homeland,but Lebanon is only one of my favorite places to travel. Being a Spanish minor, I love Spain, specifically the city of Granada. I love countries and languages, and that has inspired me to pursue a degree in Global Studies with a double minor in Spanish and Political Science. Along with academics at PC, I am also a cheerleader for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and I enjoy dancing with the dance club and playing intramural soccer. A fun fact about me is that I can lick my elbow, and if I could be anyone for a day, I would be Kate Middleton (or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge).

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A casual picture of me skydiving recently.

Shuvam Rizal

Hello. My name is Shuvam Rizal and I am a junior at UMass Amherst. I am from Kathmandu in Nepal, but my favorite place is obviously here at UNA-GB building in Boston.  Like Tim, I am fan of Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel,” and one of my hobbies is jamming out to it on the guitar every now and then. Fun fact – A large part of me is still very angry at Scar for Mufasa’s death. If I could be anyone for a day, I’d be one of the Beatles, no question!

“Rebecca & Monika’s Interns” (Education)

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My hobbies include volunteering at my local church, playing the piano and going out with my friends!

Beatriz Pereira

Hi! My name is Beatriz, and I am currently a sophomore at UMass Boston studying Political Science and International Relations. I am originally from Vitoria, Brazil but I have been living in Boston since 2001. Officially I am Brazilian because I was born in Brazil but I have a crazy mixture of German, Portuguese and Italian because of my parents’ ancestors. If I had to visit one place I would go to Australia, who wouldn’t want to visit the biggest island in the world? I love their accents, their free-spirited style and their way of living. My hobbies include volunteering at my local church, playing the piano and going out with my friends! I would love to be Queen Elizabeth for a day, to just know the feeling of being a queen without the responsibilities. A random fun fact about me is — I am a little obsessed with painting my nails.

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I love Thai, Chinese, and Mexican food!

Maham Ahmed

Hi, my name is Maham, and I will be a freshman this fall at UMass Amherst! I am from Reading, MA, and I am originally from Pakistan. I love traveling especially to older cities like London, but I am a little biased when it comes to my favorite city as it would have to be Peshawar, Pakistan, the city I was born in. My hobbies include cooking, baking, reading, watching movies, making collages, and photography. I love Thai, Chinese, and Mexican food! A fun fact about me is that I can speak 6 languages (including English).  And if I could be anyone for a day I would probably be… Michael Kors or Vera Wang.

Wenwen Zhang (1)

If I could choose a person to be for a day, it must be Luxun, a writer who used his pen to fight against darkness and dictators, and his books influenced and inspired many young people at that time.

Wenwen Zhang

My name is Wenwen Zhang, Class 2013 in Wheaton College. I am from an ancient city Shaoxing (China) with 2,500 years’ history. I really want to visit North Korea one day and learn the local cultures and history. I love travelling and photography, and three facts about myself: 1. I cannot swim and am afraid of water; 2. I always mix “kitchen” and “chicken”; 3. I am a big fan of Mayday, a Taiwanese band. If I could choose a person to be for a day, it must be Luxun, a writer who used his pen to fight against darkness and dictators, and his books influenced and inspired many young people at that time. I am really interested in economic development and I would like to work on improving people in developing countries’ living standards in the future.

grad party 1

A fun fact about me is that I won Best Hair in my graduating class and if I could be anyone for a day I’d be James Bond.

Caio Alvim

Hi, my name is Caio and I’m going to be a freshman at Umass Boston in the  fall where I’ll be studying Political Science. I was born in the town of Mendes Pimentel in Minas Gerais, Brasil. I’m a native Brasilian of both Italian and Portuguese ancestry. I haven’t traveled enough to have a favorite place picked out in the world but there’s no place I want to get to know more than northern Italy. I love my hometown of Boston and I’m a huge Boston sports fanatic! I love film and acting and I hope to one day pursue my love of acting and become a major Hollywood film star. I also love international relations and might end up choosing to become a diplomat and follow my love of international diplomacy. I love sports, and I was a Division I swimmer in high school and hope to continue swimming in college. A fun fact about me is that I won Best Hair in my graduating class and if I could be anyone for a day I’d be James Bond.

Meet our Spring 2013 Interns!

A new year has started, and here at the office, we have so many new and returning interns that we would like for all of you to meet. Each intern has shared with us some quirky and interesting facts about themselves. Check out what each had to say below:

Naa Aku S. Addo- Education 

 DSC04420If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why? 

Michelle Obama. An African-American woman in power is something I aspire to be. A diplomatic woman whose focus is on the wellness of women is inspiring. Hopefully in the near future, I can also be a woman of color in office who will give young girls and women a voice to feel empowered.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

I would love to go to Dubai, The United Arab Emirates. I have heard great things about that place. The hospitality, shopping malls as well as the rich Arabian history the land and museums hold.

What is your favorite hobby?

Traveling and Shopping with my mother

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share! 

I speak three Ghanaian languages: Ga, Twi and Fante

  

Jiwon Ma- Education  

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If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

Tina Fey. She radiates with beauty, intelligence, humor, and confidence. She makes humor, and intelligence go hand in hand, and she makes it look so easy! Whenever I’m stressed out, Tina Fey reminds me that life can be difficult, but you can make the best out of the situation.

 If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

I would love to visit Machu Picchu. I have been so fascinated by it, and it has inspired me to study Spanish ever since I was in middle school.

What is your favorite hobby?

While I’m not on almost every social networking websites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flipboard, and the list goes on – I love to read classical novels, write in my journal, read up on interesting historical facts, drink coffee, knit, listen to music, hang out with friends, and collect mugs.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

When I was 2 years old, and my brother was 4 years old, I was bigger than him. I have pictures to prove it if anyone is interested.

  

Grace Holley- Education 

 BoliviaIf you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

If I could be one person for a day, I would be Jay-Z! He has a commanding presence that draws attention from all over the world, and I would use that power to speak (and record a few songs) on world/community issues.  The power of music is incredible– I’ve always thought that the potential of a lot of mainstream songwriting is wasted when it could be bringing attention to bigger things and spreading more positive ideas. Plus, I’d get to be seen with Beyonce.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

I would like to go everywhere in the world, but if I had to choose, I would go to Bhutan. It seems to be unlike any place I’ve ever been, and it would be interesting to learn about a way of life that is said to be more centered around peacefulness than anything else.

What is your favorite hobby?

I enjoy traveling, drawing, dancing, reading/watching inspiring speeches by world leaders and studying maps.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

In middle school, I placed 3rd in a national Scrabble competition, winning a box of Hasbro games the size of my living room! One other fact is that I hope to move to DC soon and eventually work in the Foreign Service!

Nathalie Van Der Elst- Education 

 DSC01617If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

There are so many people I wish I could be, and when I look at their traits, I realize it is because I want to be someone excellent and passionate about what they do, whatever that may be; a world-class athlete, a great mother, or the best pizza-maker in all the land. These people inspire, their words and actions send chills down my spine, and they gain happiness and fulfillment in their lives. I hope to achieve this level of excellence and character.

If you could travel to any place in the world, and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

I would go to New Zealand for the beautiful landscape, and to visit locations of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (best movies!).

What is your favorite hobby?

I love to sing, to the point that it annoys others. I sing in the shower, while I cook because it makes cooking bearable, at work (yep the UNAGB office) on a daily basis, mouthing on the T, and ‘occasionally’ at karaoke. I guarantee UNAGB karaoke will happen!

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I was born practically bald, but as you can see in my photo, I have grown to have a nice, thick set of hair. Thanks Dad!

Cynthia Haas- Education 

Fiji_CynthiaHass_UNA_GBIf you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

I usually say that I wouldn’t trade my life even for a day but the semester is getting a little heavy so…I’m gonna take a break from this life and be Oprah for a day! Yay!! Oprah has been my secret best friend since about age 4. Being so tiny and underage for adult content, I would hide behind the sofa and watch her every day as my parents sat on the sofa thinking I was being an obedient child doing my homework.  For as long as I can remember, one of my biggest dreams has been and still is to meet the world. Being Oprah I’d be able to do just that. So let the dreams come alive! It’s Oprah time!

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

Hands down, I would go to Spain. I feel a spiritual connection to the colorful houses, the motor scooters and the summer romances that are in nearly every movie.

What is your favorite hobby?

My absolute favorite hobby is to travel. More specifically, going on random adventures trying anything and everything I’ve never done. This is my expertise, so much so that Megabus and Travelocity are two of my absolute best friends.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

Fun Fact: I’m kind of obsessed with New York. I run a talk show there that you should all know about because it leverages the voice of youth like us! www.GimmeMo.com! Oh, another fun fact, I thread eyebrows! Yay for being groomed! Want to know more about me? Follow my journey @CynthiaHass on Twitter! See you there!

Devin Denny- Programs: Signature Events 

image If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

Nicholas Kristof. I admire his work concerning women’s empowerment across the globe, human rights abuses, and advocating for underrepresented communities. In the future, I hope to expand upon Kristof’s work through advocating for human rights and gender equity.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

India! For the past six years, I’ve been studying Hinduism as an academic hobby. I would love to travel around India to see the Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple, Rajarajeswaram, and the Kapaleeshwarar Temple.

What is your favorite hobby?

Traveling, going to Celtics games, and bikram yoga.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I drink a minimum of three cups of coffee a day.

YeJin Kim- Programs: Young Professionals 

IMG_3502If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

I would love to be my parents for a day so that I can understand (at least a little bit) how it feels like sending a daughter to another country and not living together.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

Egypt to see the Great Pyramid of Giza

What is your favorite hobby?

Reading blog posts about food that I can’t cook by myself, listening to Broadway musical soundtracks, writing greeting cards, and taking photos on sunny days

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I love “card shopping” at Papyrus because I like picking out cards with sweet phrases/messages to give to people. Christmas card shopping is my favorite part of the year.

Marcela Aguirre- Programs: Communications 

304 If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

This is a hard one because I have two options. One option is to be Secretary General of the UN for a day. Being able to work for the UN is one of my dreams so it would just be amazing to see international relations in action. My second option is to be Paloma Herrera, principal ballet dancer at American Ballet Theatre. She’s such an incredible dancer and it would just be amazing to dance like her for a day. Additionally, it would be a dream come true to dance for ABT!

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

There are so many places to which I would love to travel. However, if I could only choose one, then I would choose Brazil. Ever since I started learning Portuguese a few years ago, I’ve become a bit obsessed with everything about Brazil: the country itself, the culture, the food, the music, the language, to name a few.

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobbies include dancing (ballet, modern, jazz), traveling, reading, playing tennis, and learning new languages. I also enjoy photography!

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I’ve been a hardcore Francophile since I was 6 years old! It was at this age that my brother, who is a few years older than me, taught me a few words in French. I immediately fell in love with the language and so I made it my mission to learn it. Every school project that I ever did in elementary, middle, and high school was related to France. I even minored in French as an undergraduate! I just love everything about France and the French. My dream/goal is to be able to speak French fluently and live in France.

 

Valeria Vidal- Programs: Membership 

IMG_2727 If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

I would be Michelle Bachelet, ex president of Chile and former executive director of UN Women. Her work is extremely inspiring in Latin American politics while making a breakthrough in history.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?  

I would go to Japan! I actually just got accepted to a month program to be there and study comparative politics and public policy!

What is your favorite hobby? 

Traveling as much as possible! Locally, going on long bike rides.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

I just recently became a US citizen and now have dual citizenship with Peru!

Eliza Berg- Programs: Women’s Forum 

DSC05649 If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

Because Devin swooped up Nick Kristof already, I would choose to be Hillary Clinton (or anyone who gets to work with/for her!) I greatly admire Ms. Clinton for many reasons, one being that she has worked to empower women around the globe by focusing on programs and initiatives in the State Department that address gender issues. I hope to emulate her work ethic and dedication to her job in my present and future life!

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

Everywhere! I haven’t been to many places outside of the U.S., so there are many areas of the world that I hope to explore one day. One place that is top on my list is Turkey. I’m fascinated by the history of this not quite European but not quite Middle Eastern country! I think I would split my trip between Turkey and Sweden (an unlikely duo, I know). I have relatives in Sweden and it is also a country that I admire!

What is your favorite hobby?

I love to dance, sing (as in sing in the shower), read, learn languages, explore new places, and hang out with family and friends! My favorite hobby is probably watching a good TV show series!   “Seinfeld” will forever and always be my favorite TV show.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

When I studied abroad this past summer (with Marcela!), we casually walked past Jack White on a side street in Brussels.

Patrick McNicholas- Programs: Consuls Ball 

profile If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

Secretary of State. Past, present, or future. Being in the middle of the most important and complex foreign policy decisions would be a dream come true. The travel, the people you would meet, and the experiences wouldn’t be bad either!

If I could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go?

I would love to see all of Italy. The country has so much to offer from the mountains up north to its gorgeous coasts and cities. I am a bit of a history nut and Italy certainly has plenty of it.

What is your favorite hobby?

Favorite hobby is definitely golf. Takes my mind off of everything.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

New England boy for life!

Nars Chang- Programs: Consuls Ball 

IMG_1926 If you could be any person for a day, who would you be and why?

I don’t want to give up any single day of being myself. I hope that I can truly be myself everyday—not to giving in for fears, not to give up out of frustrations, always speak for my heart, and fight for what I truly believe.

And I would like to be anyone who fits the description.

If you could travel to any place in the world and spend 2 weeks there, where would you go? 

I want to travel, just travel, in the next 10-20 years. No idea where I am going yet!!

In this case, if I can go somewhere and spend 2 weeks, I want to go back to Taiwan and spend 2 weeks with my family and friends.

What is your favorite hobby?

Movies!!! I love movies. Walking and biking are great also.

Any other fun fact about yourself that you would like to share!

Taking pictures of shadows—bright vs. dark, shadows are just pretty!!

 

*Want to be an intern for this upcoming summer or next Fall? Then, check out this link to find out how to apply: http://www.unagb.org/get-involved/internships

UNA-GB Intern Date

Time flies! The fall semester is almost over and it’s been fantastic with our awesome group of interns. Before the crazy weeks of finals, our interns decided to hang out and celebrate the end of the semester outside of the office. With great meals and drinks at the Cheesecake Factory, the interns enjoyed “UNA-GB Intern Secret Santa,” guessing who got whom. Everyone filled out their wishlists beforehand except Josh, our only guy intern. They all loved their secret santa presents!!!

It was a wonderful “Intern Date” and everyone enjoyed it. And that’s all for this semester! Happy holidays and we’ll be back!

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Interested in our internship program? click here.

A Warm Welcome to the Fall 2012 interns!

As the leaves are changing in New England, so are the UNA-GB interns! We would like to give a warm welcome to our new, wonderful fall semester interns and to congratulate those returning for more. We have a colorful array of new and old faces gracing the office with varied backgrounds, interests and strengths; each bringing a little something special to the office.

Programs:

ImageMarcela Aguirre

I am a second-year international affairs graduate student at Boston University. My specific concentrations are theory and policy with a regional focus on Europe. I hold an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in communication studies with a minor in French from University of Texas at El Paso. This past summer I studied abroad in Europe for an international conflict resolution program with BU. I spent the first month in Geneva learning theories and concepts of conflict resolution while visiting international organizations such as the United Nations. I spent the second month in London learning case studies in conflict resolution. After I complete my master’s degree in May 2013, I hope to find a job in the field of public diplomacy.

YeJin Kim

I am YeJin Kim, a second-year international relations and international communication graduate student at Boston University. I was born and raised in South Korea up until high school, when I moved to the United States and attended high school in North Carolina. I received my bachelor’s degree in public relations from Indiana University Bloomington. I love meeting new people, traveling, taking photos, and learning about different cultures. In the future, I hope to work in the communications sector of an international organization. I’m excited to be working with the United Nations Association of Greater Boston this Fall because I’m eager to learn skills from the experienced UNA-GB team.

Devin Denny

I am Devin Denny and a graduate student at Harvard University earning a M.T.S. in Religion, Ethics, & Politics, specializing in women’s rights within Islam and Hinduism. I graduated from University of Rochester with a B.A. in European History and Comparative Religion with Honors. I am particularly interested in human trafficking, international human rights public policy, and educational equity. After spending my summer in Morocco, I am determined to perfect my Arabic verb conjugations! When I’m not studying, I love crossword puzzles, ballet, and planning trips to all corners of the world.

Valeria Vidal

My name is Valeria Vidal and I am a junior at Northeastern University pursuing a dual degree in international affairs and language, literature and culture .I have two minors, one in law and public policy and the other in sustainable business practices. I am originally from Peru but I have grown up in many different places around the world such as the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Argentina, Dominican Republic, and France to name a few. I am passionate in my support of the UNA-GB’s mission to work with students in the Boston area by keeping them informed, engaged, and inspired in the work of the United Nations.

Education:

ImageNathalie Van Der Elst

Hi! I am Nathalie Van Der Elst, a recent graduate of Boston University with a major in international relations. I come from Belgium, from my father’s side, and my mother is South Korean. However, I have never lived in either of the two countries. Instead, my father’s work took me to places such as Turkey, where I lived for 14 years, and China. My parents have very different backgrounds but it is their international mindset that gave them the courage to pursue life across the world, an attitude that has inspired me. I believe the UNA-GB has the same mindset. One that teaches us to understand, learn, and experience different cultures, and become immersed in a global, giving community. I hope to further my studies through international law to continue promoting internationalism; and perhaps someday I can inspire others too.

Anna Avetissian

My name is Anna Avetissian and I am currently a graduate student at Harvard University. In 2008, I founded a fundraiser to raise awareness and funds for the underprivileged youth in Armenia. This experience inspired me to pursue a degree in international relations. I believe strongly in the phrase: “It takes a village to raise a child” and the necessity of positive relationships in a child’s life. This philosophy is mainly inspired by ten years of my professional life working for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program as an educator.

ImageNaa Aku Shika Addo

I am a senior at Emmanuel College with a double major in global studies & international relations and sociology with a concentration in social justice. I live in Vermont but am originally from Ghana, the country of birth of the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. Last spring, I studied abroad in Brussels where I had the opportunity of interning with the Mission of Montenegro to the European Union. Over the summer, I also interned with the ECOSOC committee of the United Nations in New York. My passion for global studies spurred from having the opportunity to travel along with the experiences that she has had. I would love to get my master’s degree in diplomacy. But for now, I plan to take a year off after graduation to study for the LSAT.

Miranda MacKinnon

Hi, I am Miranda MacKinnon. I graduated from Gordon College (Wenham, MA) in May 2012 where I studied Sociology, Development, and Global Health. I have been working with UNA-GB since June 2012. During the Spring of 2011, I studied abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, for a Global Health and Developmental Policy program and conducted research at the United Nations and the World Health Organization. To further my research, I co-designed a community development project (Summer 2011) called “The Learn Africa Project” focused on preventing disease and promoting education in Togo, West Africa. I currently live in Boston, MA, working a variety of jobs while searching for a job in nonprofit, development, or public health. I hope to attend graduate school for public health and international development. I enjoy meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, exploring the outdoors, painting, traveling, and learning.

ImageJiwon Ma

I am Jiwon Ma, and I am a junior at Lesley University majoring in global studies and minoring in psychology. I am a Community Advisor (CA), or commonly known as an RA in other universities. Over the summer, I studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea at Yonsei University. It was really interesting to experience Korea as an adult.  I learned about International Organizations and Globalization, focusing on the United Nations and its purpose and function. I was born in South Korea. I lived in South Korea when I was a child and immigrated to Fiji. I have lived in the United States the majority of my life.

ImageGrace Holley

Hi, my name is Grace Holley and I am a student of International Relations at Boston University. I am from Malden, MA and graduated from Malden High School, so I am glad to be working at the UNA-GB which has close ties to my hometown and other local cities and schools. At age eighteen, after working for much of the year, I was able to backpack independently through Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Spain, and Morocco. The inequality I was exposed to in these countries drives me to work toward a sustainable solution global injustices and extreme porverty. I am excited to be starting my career in global development and hope to help make the world a better place!

We look forward to a productive and exciting semester with all of these wonderful new interns! Welcome! And for those interested in joining our stellar internship team next spring and beyond, check out more info here!

Collaboration, Education, Innovation: Northeastern University’s Emerging Markets Symposium

Last Thursday’s Fourth Annual Emerging Markets Symposium was a morning of critical discussion and inspiration as business leaders and academics tackled the topic of  “Winning in Emerging Markets”. The symposium, held by Northeastern University’s Center for Emerging Markets and led by director and professor Ravi Ramamurthi, focused on sharing lessons from experience in order to look to a future of economic collaboration in rapidly growing economies around the world. The speakers came from various sectors and experience levels, from seasoned CEOs to students currently building start-ups abroad; this made for a dynamic and interesting morning.

The symposium began with an inauguration by Governor Deval Patrick. In his remarks he focused on education, innovation, and infrastructure as the drivers of a developing economy, adding that Massachusetts has been and is developing in all of these key areas. He stated that eastern Massachusetts has the highest concentration of colleges and universities worldwide, that the Commonwealth is a center for innovation, and touched on infrastructure projects that are ongoing in the western part of the state. He urged that now is the time for Massachusetts to become even more involved in the global economy, beginning with our universities, saying “This globalized economy is all about an explosion of knowledge, and we have that in spades.” According to the Governor, committing to investment in education and innovation in the Commonwealth creates a “platform for future growth” and makes Massachusetts an enticing business partner for cities and countries with emerging markets.

After Governor Patrick gave his remarks, the symposium opened up for a question and answer period during which he answered frankly to questions about future trade missions, specifically on the African continent,  and job creation. The rest of the morning was filled with engaging presentations from a diverse group of speakers, all building on Patrick’s key points of education, innovation, and collaboration.

Sanjay Mirchandani, CIO and COO for EMC Corp. Centers of Excellence spoke to the strength of collaboration throughout global offices and stressed the importance of working with and hiring local staff to tailor one’s business to emerging markets’ standards. Working in emerging markets means being willing to liaise between local and global, Sao Paulo and Boston. In a CEO panel, Luis Bonell of Liberty International and Giri Chakravarthi of Emhart-AsiaStanley Black & Decker presented on “Capturing Business in Emerging Markets”.

A map of global emerging markets

Despite the differences in their sectors, insurance and household tools/ fasteners respectively, both underscored the importance of having a deep understanding of market dynamics and local cultures as a key to success. Ventia Kontogouris, of Venkon Group, LLC., talked about creating businesses from scratch in emerging markets, speaking from her 20+ years of experience in venture capital investments in India. Again, she highlighted local to local collaboration as paramount in doing good business across the globe. Nigel Burton, Chief Marketing Officer at Colgate-Palmolive, was the luncheon keynote, focusing his remarks on marketing challenges in various local contexts and giving voice to the perspective of a large multinational corporation with a larger presence in emerging markets than in traditional, western markets.

Jola Venture’s SolPod for crop dehydration

A definite highlight of the morning for many were two wonderful presentations from Northeastern students on their personal experiences in Cameroon and Uganda, and the work they’ve undertaken in these regions. Michael Cantalino presented the business model for his start-up, Jola Venture, a company that provides solar powered food dehydrators for farmers. Elizabeth Cherchia shared her experience with Northeastern’s Engineers Without Borders and her water security projects in a Ugandan village. Their dedication was inspiring and garnered praise from the distinguished speakers for ensuring us that our future in emerging markets will be a bright one.

The key words of the day were education, innovation, collaboration and cultural competency- words we live by here at UNA-GB. Our Model UN and classroom programming serve nearly 3,000 students in the greater Boston area, teaching them valuable skills in problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking through various cultural lenses. While corporations are making their mark on emerging markets, we’re doing work right here in Boston to prepare young leaders for a promising future in a globalized world.

And stay tuned… exciting news to come about one emerging market in particular and our 2012 UN Day Luncheon!!

-Jessica Pires

Celebrating World Environment Day with a Boston Corporate LEEDer

Tomorrow, June 5, UNA-GB is teaming up with John Hancock Financial to celebrate the 40th anniversary of United Nations World Environment Day and its theme, “Green Economy: Does it include you?”

The annual World Environment Day was created by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1972 as a way to raise awareness about environmental issues. UNEP focuses on several areas ranging from environmental governance to disasters, conflicts, and climate change, and encourages global citizens to care for our environment in order to improve our quality of life. World Environment Day serves to personalize environmental issues and urge civil society to realize that it is our responsibility to take action. Not only is WED a celebration but it is also an opportunity to come together and initiate change in support of sustainable lifestyles and development.

More specifically, this year WED will hone in on issues of green economies– economies that are low carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive. UNEP suggests that because  a green economy is socially inclusive that means that we as global citizens are integral in making a change, that it is not only up to businesses and policy-makers; this is where the bulk of this year’s theme comes into play.

These questions arise just as the UN is gearing up for the Rio+20 conference, taking place June 20-22. The conference marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon acknowledges World Environment Day as the perfect opportunity to prepare for Rio+20 and to reflect on how we fit into green economies (read his official statement here).  World leaders and thousands of participants from governments, NGOs, and the private sector will convene  to discuss “priority areas” including green economy and its role in poverty eradication. For more information on this topic, check out Rio+20’s green economy resource and this Guardian article on green jobs and how they can help lift workers out of poverty. And to get involved take a look at Rio’s page on engagement.

UNA-USA has sprung into action by responding to efforts to ban UN’s Agenda 21 and encouraging members to let their voices be heard and write letters to editors. Additionally, the UN Foundation has established Rio+Social and the 6 Minute Speech project as a way to connect to the event through social media- an easy way to get involved! Both organizations are hosting a live web conference on June 22 @ 1 PM EST to get an insider’s look at Rio+20’s sessions (RSVP here).

With all of those options there are still more opportunities to help! UNEP challenges us all to join in the WED  and Rio+20 action by not only asking ourselves how we can be included in promoting sustainable development but also by simply organizing a neighborhood clean-up, planting a tree, or even walking to work.  More than 8,400 WED activities, including Tuesday’s program at John Hancock, have been registered at UNEP’s global 2012 WED website.

This year John Hancock Financial’s headquarter offices at 601 Congress Street in downtown Boston became the first existing building in New England to become LEED certified at the platinum level by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) At UNA-GB’s event, John Hancock Financial will be recognized for its environmental commitment and leadership. Our hope is to encourage other corporations in the Boston area and beyond to take similar steps such as striving for the greener rankings as John Hancock did or by supporting environmental efforts elsewhere in their company or surrounding communities.

Although the event focuses on corporate action, we must not forget this year’s WED theme; does the green economy include you? We should ask ourselves what we can do to be more involved in environmental issues. UNA-GB will be volunteering with the Boston Harbor Association on Tuesday by cleaning a park near John Hancock at 12:30pm.

UNA-GB is also deeply committed to educating the next generation of global citizens about environmental sustainability beyond just World Environment Day – through our Model UN program this past year, more than 600 students have debated environmental topics, including clean water, green building and sustainable development.

What will you do to celebrate World Environment Day? What actions will you take to support the environment on June 5? And on June 6th and beyond? A great first step is to join us for World Environment Day on Tuesday. Hope to see you there! You can also check out how else you can support the planet with 50 Ways to Help.

Boston Event details recap:
Tuesday, June 5
Event at John Hancock Financial, 601 Congress Street
10:15-10:45 AM- Tour of John Hancock’s new LEED certified building
11:00-11:30 AM- Brief speaking engagement with UNA-GB Board President Richard Golob and State/city environmental officials.
12:00 pm- John Hancock vendor fair
12:30-1:30 PM- Park clean-up with Boston Harbor Association (To participate in the clean-up, email info@unagb.org your name!).

-Jessica P

Child Marriage Call & Response: An Afternoon of Action for Africa

ImageYesterday afternoon, May 21, the Women’s Forum@UNA-GB welcomed many guests to celebrate Africa Day with a delicious lunch and inspiring conversation. 50 community members and leaders joined us to raise awareness about the issue of early child marriage in sub-Saharan Africa. At noon the room was buzzing with lively conversation as guests enjoyed Kenyan dishes from Taste of Kilimanjaro Catering and delicious fresh fruit juices from Teranga Senegalese Restaurant.

UNA-GB Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Development, Kaitlin Hasseler, opened up the forum, framing how one goal of the Luncheon was to celebrate how far Africa has come – she shared hopeful statistics including that between 2000 and 2010 six of the ten fastest growing economies were African, the poverty rate has been on the decline by about 1% every year, educational opportunities have expanded and more girls are in school, and in 2010 Africa achieved a major global milestone when South Africa hosted the World Cup.  She then introduced Wamburu Mitaru, a Berklee student originally from Kenya, to start off the celebration with a powerful song dedicated to the children of Africa.

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Despite the encouraging progress in Africa, there are also significant challenges the region faces, including the 2nd highest rate of child marriage globally, which the panelists were then tasked with expanding upon.  The focus was not only on engaging in a dialogue about child marriage but also shining a light on those whom have already begun making a difference in their communities to combat the practice.  Blessing Rogers of Hope for Children International, Inc., Josephine Kulea of the Sambura Girls Foundation, and Amanda Grant-Rose of Lift Up Africa, offered different perspectives on the issue of child marriage. Ms. Rogers provided more information about the historical and cultural context surrounding the topic, explaining where the practice originated from and what kept communities tied to the practice.  Josephine spoke more about her organization and shared her personal experiences, including detailing a particular marriage intervention that she led in her home community of Samburu, Kenya.   Amanda Grant-Rose followed by highlighting Lift Up Africa’s work supporting the organization HELGA and their bride rescue project – this work is led by Priscilla, a Maasai woman who has earned the trust of her community and spent the past 2 decades rescuing girls and educating them (when Kaitlin visited this program in November 2011, she had rescued 706 girls at that point!).

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Our panelists- Blessing, Josephine, and Amanda

To close, our panelists offered simple action plans encouraging guests to share what they’ve learned and make small steps towards change:

  • Blessing shared that while we can’t all travel to Africa,  we can get engaged in advocacy efforts by voicing our opinions and communicating with state and federal bodies directly.  She  specifically mentioned organizations such as USAID.
  • Josephine asked for support to build a dorm/rescue center for her girls, underscoring the importance of concrete solutions that directly help the community (you can learn how to support these efforts here). She also invited attendees to sponsor a girl. 
  • Amanda encouraged everyone to go home and share what they learned with least 5 people about the broader issue of child marriage and what they can do, again stressing the importance of the impact that education and small actions can make.
  • Kaitlin emphasized the importance of educating the next generation, sharing information about UNA-GB’s partner, UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign, geared towards adolescent American girls, as well as UNA-GB’s Model UN program, which educates 6th-12th graders in Boston about critical global issues including child marriage.

Wamburu Mitaru ended the luncheon with another beautiful song that was a call and response with the audience – a fitting end to an event focused on how we as a community can answer the call to action on ending child marriage!

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped to make it a wonderful afternoon!  See more photos here from the Luncheon and stay tuned for upcoming events with our Women’s Forum on our event calendar.

-Jessica Pires