Blog Archives

Meet Our Summer 2011 Interns!

With the summer semester in full swing,
UNA-GB is pleased to introduce our latest team of interns!

Chris Asmar

Education Intern

I am a rising senior at Boston College where I am majoring in Political Science and Islamic Civilization and Societies.  I spent this past semester studying abroad in the Middle East at the American University of Kuwait, where I earned a Certificate in Gulf Studies.  I have been involved with Model United Nations in different ways since my freshman year in high school, and will serve as President of the Boston College Model United Nations for the 2011-2012 academic year.  After graduation, I see myself working either in Foreign Service for the US State Department or for an NGO like Amnesty International.

Nicolas Blake

Education Intern

I am from Berkley, Massachusetts and am an International Studies major at American University in Washington, DC. I am interested in politics – both national and international – economics, and United States foreign policy. I first developed an interest in international affairs while at Somerset High School through participating in Model United Nations (MUN) conferences, including those sponsored by the United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB). Based on my own experience in developing academic and professional goals through participation in MUN, I hope to contribute to the UNA-GB’s mission of extending such opportunities to other New England students.  In my free time, I am a proud citizen of Red Sox Nation and consumer of Mad Men DVD’s.

Annie Burrows

Education Intern

I grew up in Brookline and attended public school there.  I went to Connecticut College in New London for my undergraduate degree and then spent a year in Spain studying for my masters in bilingual and multicultural education. I’ve lived in Madrid, Seville, Santiago (DR), and Costa Rica. I speak Spanish and I’m hoping to learn French some day as well. I’m hoping to go to graduate school in the United States or England within the next couple of years, hopefully for International Relations, Higher Education Administration, or some combination of the two. I love to dance, learn about different cultures, try new types of food (eat in general), and play board games.

James Fargher

Education Intern

Born in the United States to British parents, I have been lucky enough
to live both in the US and in Europe and to be a dual citizen.
Currently, I live on Cape Cod and am student at Drew University in New Jersey working towards my BA in History, with minors in Politics, European studies, and possibly French. I have been an avid fan of Model UN, both in high school and university, and take a great interest in international security and strategic studies. Ultimately I hope to earn my Ph.D. in History and rejoin the rest of my family in the UK, working for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, canoeing and music, as well as unashamedly loving board games and murder mystery TV shows.

Amanda Gonzalez

Education Intern

“¡Hola! I am from New York City, the Bronx to be specific, and was
raised in a Puerto Rican-American household. I have made my way to
Boston University from the inner-city school system of New York and will be beginning my last year of undergraduate studies in September. I am currently studying International Relations with a focus on Europe, Business and Economics, and a minor in the Spanish language. I am very excited to be interning with the UNAGB as an education intern this summer as working with the organization hits a passion close to home. Throughout
my academic career I was never exposed to Model of the UN nor international affairs, that is until I came to BU. Now I have the opportunity to educate students on the international affairs, simulations, and Model of the UN conferences that I was unfortunately not exposed to. The earlier we educate and expose the youth of today on the importance of international cooperation, the more promising and capable the adults and world of tomorrow!”

Smriti Kattel

Programs Intern

I was born and grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal, and moved to Boston with my family after high school. I am a senior at Boston University, majoring in International Relations, and minoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I have lived through the Nepali Civil War, and the rocky ongoing transition to democracy. Having thus witnessed firsthand what a difference the UN makes in the world, I am a passionate supporter of the UN and UNA-GB. Having lived in both Nepal and the U.S., I see my life as a project of integrating these two very beautiful, yet very different cultures.

Yun-Hee Kim

Education Intern

I was born in Germany, but spent the first half of my childhood in New Jersey. Afterwards, I attended middle and high school in Seoul, Korea. Now, I am currently a rising senior at Tufts University. I major in International Relations and have a minor in English. I recently studied abroad for a semester in Madrid, Spain to improve my fluency with Spanish. After I graduate, I hope to work in governmental foreign affairs or with international organizations. I enjoy reading and writing about my travels, as well as cooking and learning about foods from different countries.

Cara Koenigsberg

Programs Intern

I just graduated a few weeks ago from Suffolk University with a BSBA degree in Global Business and Management. I’m originally from Rumson, New Jersey. I’ve spent my entire life traveling between the US and Italy to visit family, am fluent in English and Italian, and have studied Spanish. I started studying abroad at a young age, to boost my love of traveling, spending a portion of a summer while in high school studying in Cambridge, England, later followed by another summer and year studying abroad in Rome, Italy while in college. While studying abroad in Italy for a year, I also had three internship experiences with focuses in International Affairs and International Travel. I look forward to my internship experience at UNA-GB this summer, with a focus in Social Media, to give me more opportunities to be exposed to the global world as I begin my global career and choose my ‘post-grad’ path, a path that will definitely have an international twist and allow me to travel the world.

Lorianne Lopez

Programs Intern

Studying international relations and learning about different cultures have always been  passions of mine. Growing up in the Philippines, I have been exposed to both traditional and Western cultures through my family and school. My interest in global issues grew even more as I lived in Spain for several months during high school. Currently, I am a senior in Boston College pursuing a major in Economics and a minor in International Studies. As an international student, I have become more aware of the disparities in the standard of living between my country and the US, and I aim to continue working in the NGO sector to learn more about development and hopefully pursue a Masters in that study. I am also the upcoming president of the International Club of Boston College, which aims to promote international issues and foster stronger relations between the international students and the rest of the BC community.

Muzghan Rasul

Programs Intern

I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. My family and I were forced to move to Russia to save our lives. I had to start my life over in Russia. I had to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture. I graduated from high school in Moscow, Russia. My journalism studies began in Moscow where I immigrated with my parents, and were interrupted when I moved to the United States. Here in the states I had to start my life over again. I enrolled as a junior in Broadcast journalism field at Emerson College and just graduated in May.  Although I was forced to leave Afghanistan, I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had living in different countries because I have learned about other people’s customs and values. I have a strong interest in international affairs because of my multicultural experience.

Miriam Wong

Education Intern

My name is Miriam Wong and I am a rising sophomore at Brandeis University. I come from Hong Kong and grew up in Guangzhou, China, where I attended an international school with students and teachers from various countries and backgrounds. My interest in development economics and poverty alleviation led me to become actively involved with Positive Foundations, a student organization at Brandeis that advocates, fundraises, and raises awareness about the UN Millennium Development Goals. As an intern at UNAGB, I help prepare for the middle and high school Model United Nations conferences and work with passionate and intelligent future leaders who will be able to make a positive difference in the world. . Some of my hobbies include playing new music on my radio show, watching sitcoms and playing volleyball.

V-Day Comes to Boston

It was a full house at the V-Day Spotlight Boston 2011: Violence Against Women and Girls of Post-Earthquake Haiti event Friday, March 18th. Sunny skies and teasing summer temperatures did not deter the dozens of guests who turned out to learn how we can join the movement against gender-based violence in Haiti. The event was sponsored by the Women’s Forum@UNA-GB and the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights (CWHHR) at Suffolk University and aimed to highlight the increasing sexual violence against women in Haiti and raise awareness, funds, and local support to stop the rising trend.

The event was inspired by V-Day, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Since its creation in 1998 V-Day has been a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations (watch a great new video about V-Day’s work and mission here). In addition, each year V-Day spotlights a particular group of women who are experiencing violence with the goal of raising awareness and funds to put a worldwide media spotlight on this area. In 2011, V-Day’s Spotlight Campaign is on the Women and Girls of Haiti and calls attention to the high levels of violence against women and girls of Haiti and the increased rates of sexual violence since the devastating earthquake that of January 2010.

The Boston 2011 Spotlight evening began with refreshments and was followed by a brief PowerPoint presentation by Rachel DiBella, lead project coordinator at the Victim Rights Law Center and member of both the Women’s Forum and the CWHHR. Her presentation focused on informing the audience of the past and present state of Haiti, the staggering surge in violence since the earthquake, and the nearly nonexistent judicial reprimand.

Following the presentation, guests heard from two incredibly knowledgeable and experienced panelists Carline Desire and Brian Concannon. Desire, Executive Director of The Association of Haitian Women in Boston (AFAB) spoke about the history of the Haitian women’s movement and gave listeners an insider’s glimpse into the lives and circumstances of many Haitian women’s lives. She outlined the many reasons women are at risk to violence and also why often cases of rape are not reported. Desire closed her discussion with words of hope and  emphasized the importance of supporting grassroots organizations in Haiti, United States aid and fair policies toward Haiti and also changing the ways we socialize our children concerning the treatment of others.

Next, Concannon, Director at The Insti­tute for Jus­tice & Democ­racy in Haiti (IJDH) spoke giving the audience an insider judicial perspective on the legal processes, or lack there of, in Haiti. He assured the importance of speaking with our representatives in the United States about the importance of international aid within the budgets. He also told listeners about the current efforts, by his organization and others, to bring these women justice. There is much work to be done but progress is made through the strength of the voices of us all. For example, IJDH’s submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review of Haiti keeps the global community up to date on the strengths and shortcomings on the ground in Haiti and tomorrow, March 25th, IJDH along with 3 other organizations will testify before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, DC on the crisis of this violence in Haiti.  They will underscore the constant threat of sexual violence faced by women and girls in Haiti’s displacement camps and the need for immediate implementation response.

All funds raised through the event were used to support a revolutionary national program in Haiti lead by a coalition of women activists, including longtime V-Day activist Elvire Eugene, in order to ensure a lasting impact on the ground and support the V-Day program which will establish three safe houses. Each house will have also have an office of legal assistance for survivors of violence. In addition, the campaign is working towards the construction of four legal assistance offices and will provide advocacy support for 19 community based organizations throughout the country doing anti-violence work.

A huge thank you goes out to all who joined us for this event and another thank you to V-Day whose 2011 Spotlight Campaign ensures that thousands of women and men throughout the world will be exposed to the issues facing women and girls in the devastated region.

Remember it is not too late to help! There are many opportunities to be active here in Boston! Check out Karen Ansara’s Blog to stay updated on issues in Haiti, attend Wheelock’s innovative event this Monday to help us gain perspective on the conditions in Haiti, DONATEeducate yourself, speak out and be a part of the movement!

-Katie