Blog Archives

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.

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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.

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!

Bon Appetit: Cuisine and Conversation with UNA-GB’s Young Professionals

On Tuesday, May 7, UNA-GB Young Professionals (YP) said “bon appetit” with 25 young professionals of Boston at their bi-monthly Taste Of series. While sipping on French wine, authentic cheeses, hor’ dourves, and desserts at  Petit Robert Central Bistro attendees discussed the culture and current events of France. The hot topic of the night was the recent presidential election in France.

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Dominique Thomas, a student from France, gave insight on Francois Hollande defeating Nicolas Sarkozy in the election that gained worldwide coverage.  Hollande won 51.9 to Sarkozy’s 48.1 with 80 percent of the French population voting. Hollande, the first socialist president in almost two decades, could alter the future of the European Union.

Dan Sullivan, YP Leadership Board

Dan Sullivan, a YP leadership board member, educated the group on the relationship between France and the United Nations. France is one of 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. France is present in 10 of the current 15 peacekeeping operations including Afghanistan and Lebanon.

A game of trivia was played for those who were not so familiar with their French facts.  France ranks second among host countries for the Olympics with five, falling behind the US who has hosted the games eight times. France ranks first with Nobel Prize in Literature with twelve.

The evening ended with further discussion on French topics and a chance to network with other young professionals of Boston. Please stay posted for the UNA-GB next event at the end of July! Stay updated through Facebook and Twitter!

Santé!

-Olivia

From Main Street to Capitol Hill: 2011 UNA-USA Annual Meeting Recap

Last week I joined UNA-USA members and staff from more than 60 chapters across the country to raise awareness about the United Nations and the critical role it plays in advancing American national security and foreign policy goals during UNA-USA’s Annual Meeting in Washington DC.  The Annual Meeting agenda focused on how we can continue to strengthen support for the work of the UN at the grassroots level.

UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, and UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden at the 2011 UNA-USA Annual Meeting.

The week’s meetings were particularly exciting, because it was the first Annual Meeting since UNA-USA officially joined the United Nations Foundation family.  A number of new faces were on hand, including former Senator Timothy Wirth, President of UN Foundation, and Kathy Calvin, CEO of UN Foundation.

Conversations emphasizing “focus” and “change” dominated the Annual Meeting.  Many of the speakers drove home the need to focus on the work of the UN and how we can better advocate for a strong US role in promoting global cooperation.  Our support for the UN is imperative to peace.  As Ambassador Rice so eloquently put it, “Now more than ever, Americans’ security and wellbeing are inextricably linked to those of people everywhere. Now more than ever, we need common responses to global problems. And that is why the U.S. is so much better off—so much stronger, so much safer and more secure—in a world with the United Nations than we would be in a world without it.”  In her keynote address at the conference, Ambassador Rice also highlighted the immense change going on in the world, seen most clearly in the Middle East.  She encouraged everyone to “break out of old habits and find new answers to 21st-century challenges.”

The partnership between UNA-USA and UN Foundation seems well-positioned to find new ways to leverage the strengths of each organization, creating a powerful synergy and focus of missions.  UNA’s grassroots outreach, combined with UNF’s grasstops mobilizing and campaigning, creates a real opportunity for progress. While it’s true that change never comes without growing pains, UNA members and leaders expressed excitement about gaining access to strong UNF campaigns like GirlUp and Nothing But Nets, and the elevated co-branding opportunities that exist between the two organizations.

In addition to meeting the UNF key players, those in attendance heard from UNA-USA’s new Executive Director, Patrick Madden.  Madden set forth a strong vision for the future of UNA’s work and partnerships.  He also challenged us to grow our local membership, engage young professionals in our programming, and expand our advocacy efforts.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the chance to take up Madden’s call to action to advocate for the UN, and foreign affairs as a whole.  On Tuesday, all of us UNA members went to the Hill to meet with our respective congressional members My Massachusetts counterpart, Alma Morrison, and I deftly navigated all 3 House buildings and 2 of the 3 Senate buildings to meet with staffers from the offices of Reps. McGovern, Capuano, and Lynch, and Sens. Brown and Kerry.  We shared our concerns and wishes regarding US engagement on global issues and made sure our elected officials knew these issues are important to us and our fellow UNA-GB members, their constituents.  It was clear that with drastic budget cuts looming, now more than ever our elected officials needed to hear about our values and priorities directly from us.

I came away from the 2011 UNA-USA Annual Meeting inspired to take action more concretely and to continue to mobilize the greater Boston community on the issues that matter to the UN.  As the oft-repeated mantra goes, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”   It is imperative for us to act now.  I look forward to more fully engaging with UNA-USA, UNF, and the UN, as we work together towards stronger and more successful action and messaging!  I sincerely hope you join us!

-Kaitlin Hasseler, UNA-GB Program Manager