Blog Archives

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.

maham11

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.

A Warm Welcome to the Summer 2012 interns!

It’s not just the temperatures rising in Boston that gets the office buzzing in June – we are excited to welcome a whole new batch of interns during the summer months!  And this summer we’re making our global to local tagline come to life in the office – we have a big group who come from a variety of different schools across the country, not just Boston, and have a diverse portfolio of experience!  Learn a little bit more about our interns below.  And for those interested in joining our stellar internship team this fall and beyond, check out more info here!

Julia Kuperminc

Intern Focus: Education

Hi! My name is Julia Kuperminc and I am an education intern at the UNA-GB.  I am a rising senior at Brandeis University where I major in International & Global Studies (IGS) and Politics.  I studied international criminal law in The Hague on a Brandeis program last summer.  Last fall, I studied French and international law in Paris.  Aside from IGS and Politics, I also study Spanish, French, and Legal Studies at Brandeis.

Miranda Mackinnon

Intern Focus: Education

I recently received a BA in Sociology from Gordon College (Wenham, MA). During my Junior year, I also studied Global Health and Developmental Policy in Geneva, Switzerland 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 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 reading.

Ashan Singh

Intern Focus: Education

Growing up, moving around so much is definitely what made me such a globally oriented person. I was born in Mumbai, India, and spent much of my childhood moving from India to the United Kingdom, and then from the UK to the United States. Since moving from the United Kingdom, I have spent most of my life in the Greater Boston Area, and was a student in the Newton Public Schools system.  I have had a strong interest for current events and the world since a young age, and I have certainly let my passions guide me throughout my academic career. During my time in high school I co-founded Destination Education, a club promoting free and compulsory education in developing countries, and I have spent summers in both India, as well as one summer in Ghana, working at a school teaching children English. I was also heavily involved within my high school, serving in student council, as the managing editor of the newspaper, and as a member of several sports teams.  After graduating from Newton South High School in 2011, I have begun my pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in both International Development and International Relations and will be entering my sophomore year at Tulane University, in New Orleans, Louisiana this coming fall.

Sarah Kester

Intern Focus: Education

I am a rising senior at Tufts University where I am double majoring in International Relations with a focus in global health and Community Health. I first developed an interest in international affairs at the National Cathedral School in Washington, DC, where I participated in a number of Model UN conferences. Model UN was one of my favorite things about high school so I am very excited to be helping with the UNA-GB’s Summer Institute. Outside of school, I love to sing and cook with my friends!

Molly McCabe

Intern Focus: Programs and Development

I am currently a senior at Stonehill College, as a double major in sociology and interdisciplinary studies.  Last year, I studied abroad in South Africa, where I took a service learning course in sustainable community engagement. During this time, I taught in the Lynedoch Primary School and developed a fourth grade curriculum based on the UN Children’s Rights Declaration. My time abroad spurred a passion in me for global studies, and a commitment to engaging youth in these issues.  I am very excited to be working with United Nations Association of Greater Boston this summer, where I will learn more about what I can do locally to continue this work!

Catherine Schrage

Intern Focus: Communications and Graphic Design

I am rising senior at Cornell University, studying Psychology, French and Gender Studies. I just returned from a year abroad in Paris, France where I took classes at the Sorbonne and University of Paris 8. I’m passionate about design, art and magazines and I am co-editor-in-chief of a quirky features publication called Kitsch Magazine at Cornell. I’m from Mystic, Connecticut and I am hoping to move back abroad after I graduate in December. My goal for the next couple years is to learn Arabic and Italian, so who knows where I’ll end up!

Jessica Pires

Intern Focus: Events and Membership

I am a rising senior at Colby College double majoring in International Studies and Anthropology. At Colby, I am very active in student programming, serving as Co-Chair for Live Music and am a founding member of my school’s Women of Color Alliance. Last fall I studied abroad in Durban, South Africa and did research at a drug rehabilitation facility for street children. I am originally from Boston but now live in Stow, the apple capital of Massachusetts. This summer I will be planning some of UNA-GB’s signature events, mainly focusing on October’s United Nations Day events. In the future I hope to work with a human rights organization and hope to take what I learn here at UNA-GB with me!

Leah Beaudoin

Intern Focus: Young Professionals Coordinator

I am a junior at Simmons College pursuing a dual major in International Relations and Economics with a minor in Social Justice. I am especially interested in Middle Eastern politics and cultures. I am really excited to intern with the UNA-GB this summer where I can learn even more about the world around me. I plan on studying abroad in London next year, and after getting my degree, I hope to attend law school and start a career in Washington D.C. I am interested in humanitarian affairs, and think that the UNA-GB is a great place to further that interest.

Bianca Diaz

Intern Focus: Office Assistance and Education

Hi, my name is Bianca, I am 17 years old and a rising senior at Boston Latin Academy. I have been doing Model UN for 4 years and absolutely love it.  I’ve also been the longest-standing intern – working at UNA-GB since 7th grade!! I want to move to Washington D.C and become an immigration lawyer.  I like listening to other people’s problems and helping them.  Overall I am an outgoing person to be around and I look forward to working with everyone because I like making new friends.

Stephanie Thermora

Intern Focus: MLK Summer Scholar / Office Assistance

I am 18 years old and a senior at Boston Latin Academy. I have always been interested in foreign politics and International Relations since I was young.
At a young age, I loved watching Taboo, National Geographic and The Travel Network. I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to work with United Nations Association of Greater Boston this summer. I hope that I may continue learn more about the world with UNA-GB and college!

Eve Krassner

Intern Focus: Education

I am currently a junior at Boston University studying Anthropology and French, and I hope to someday go into International Relations and conflict resolution.  I grew up on a farm in Brazil, just outside of São Paulo.  I love to travel, and over the past couple of years I have spent my summers eating gelato in Italian piazzas, bargaining with crazy vendors in crowded Moroccan markets, bungy-jumping off of bridges in South Africa, and working with the most wonderful kids in Tanzania and Rwanda. This fall I will be taking on the International Honors Program, studying globalization and sustainable development alongside a group of college students as passionate about the world as me, and I can’t wait!


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

Welcome to Our Spring ’12 Interns!

The start of each semester is always an exciting time for us here at UNA-GB, as we welcome a batch of new interns.  Every few months, we have the pleasure of bringing on new, bright, energetic and talented college students and recent graduates to substantively grow our work and expand our influence.  This spring we have a robust and knowledgeable group (and the largest in number to date too!)  Learn a little bit more about our interns below.

Natalie Prolman

Intern Focus: Student Ambassadors- Education

I am a Senior at Northeastern University studying a dual major in International Affairs & Human Services, with a minor in Sociology. Last year I served as a Campus Ambassador for the UNA-GB, and I am now the Coordinator for the Student Ambassador Program. During my time at Northeastern I have participated in two Dialogue of Civilization study abroad programs, including  a Global Corps Practicum to Thailand and a Service Learning and Transnational Activism program in India. I have previously interned for the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya an Capitol d on Hill for Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I am interested in community development and international social work as well as traveling and photography. I hope to one day work for the United Nations or start an NGO of my own.

Deanna McLaughlin

Intern Focus: Programs- Development

I am currently finishing my senior year at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. I am a double major in political science and international studies with a minor in Spanish. I grew up in Gorham, Maine. I spent last semester in La Paz, Bolivia studying Latin American revolution movements and conflict resolution and also a semester prior in Washington DC interning at the National Governors Association. I am working with the UNA-GB team in development. After graduation I plan to spend at least one year engaging in post-graduate service.


Chelsea Contre

Intern Focus: Programs- Events/Website

I am a junior at Lesley University majoring in Communications and minoring in Design and Business Management. I have played soccer and basketball while growing up in Connecticut and currently play both sports at Lesley. Last spring I had the opportunity to study abroad in Australia, where I spent four months traveling and studying. I have a passion for understanding and learning other cultures other than my own. I am interested in designing and event planning, as well as the communications department of UNA-GB where I’m excited to learn more in the field.

Elizabeth Ross

Intern Focus: Programs- Consuls Ball/Silent Auction

I am a senior at Tufts University, majoring in
International Relations with a concentration in “Ideologies.” I am
originally from Billings, Montana. Over the past four years I have
studied abroad in Talloires, France; Lima, Peru; and most recently for
the 2010-2011 academic year at Pembroke College at Oxford University,
England. Other internship experiences include working at KULR-8, a
local TV news stations in Billings, MT; Fred Friendly Seminars in New
York City; and US Senator Max Baucus’ office. Upon graduation I
hope to work in Washington DC or London. In my spare time she enjoys
outdoor activities, sports, shopping, and cooking.

Nathalie Van der Elst

Intern Focus: Education

I am currently a senior at Boston University studying International Relations. I come from Belgium, from my father’s side, and my mother is South Korean. However, I have never lived in both countries before. 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 freed them of their national boundaries and gave them the courage to pursue life across the world, an attitude that has inspired me. I believe the UNAGB has the same mindset. One that teaches us to understand, learn and experience different cultures, and become immersed in a giving global community. I hope to further my studies through International Law to continue promoting internationalism; and perhaps someday I can inspire others too.

Alyson Reitano

Intern Focus: Programs- Communications

I am a Global Business and Marketing major finishing up my senior year at Suffolk University. I am from Merrimac, Massachusetts and from Italian and Irish decent. I have been blessed with the opportunity to have studied abroad in three different locations and my majors have provided me with the flexibility to have been able to study in Spain, Australia and Italy. I have been immersed in many cultures and have practiced each country’s unique method of doing business. I am currently taking 5 classes as well as being the Vice President of Suffolk University’s International Business Club and am a Lead Caller Student Ambassador for the Suffolk University Annual Fund. In the future, I hope to continue travelling and to someday work for the U.S. government.

Stephen Armstrong

Intern Focus: Education

I am a senior at Emmanuel College, studying international affairs. I hope to pursue a doctorate degree in International Affairs, after my military service is completed. I was born in Tottenham England, a blue collar borough of London, eventually settling in Bedale Yorshire. I lived there for seven years, before moving to Revere, Massachusetts. I am an aspiring athlete for the Greater Boston Track Club, where I compete for the club in different competitive events. I am profoundly excited about the prospects of interning in the educational department of UNA-GB.

Braeden Lord

Intern Focus: Education 

I am a freshman at Boston College studying Islamic Civilization and Society as well as Political Science. After spending a very moving summer in one of the most torn post-Troubles neighborhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I understood that my career calling was mitigating international crises. The past five years I have intensively participated in Model United Nations Conferences as far as St. Petersburg, Russia, and I hope that my international experience will serve me well as I study Arabic and aim my career at promoting peaceful solutions in the Middle East. I am very excited to be working with the United Nations Association of Greater Boston.

Peter Hung

Intern Focus: Education

I am a junior studying International Relations at Boston University. Although I was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, my enrollment into the International School of Beijing in 2004 introduced me to a community of diplomats who reside in China, and consequently, the importance and beauty of diplomacy and international cooperation’s. In high school I was an avid participant and organizer of Asian regional Model United Nations Conferences such as THIMUN-Singapore. I speak fluent Mandarin, English and now am honing my proficiency in Swahili and Spanish.

Lian Lian Ma

Intern Focus: Education

I am a senior from Boston University studying International Relations and International Management. Having grown up in Shanghai, China and moved to Vancouver, Canada during high school, I was always passionate about international events and global politics. While my first two years involved IR research on topics like Chinese diplomacy and conflict resolution, I transitioned to international management in junior year, hoping to understand the world from a business perspective. I was actively involved in Model UN conferences for the past year, during which I gained much knowledge on the impact of international organizations and businesses. I’m currently considering pursuing my Masters after graduation, and I hope to work for the World Bank in the future.

Jun Il Hwang

Intern Focus: Education 

I grew up in the Republic of Korea until I was fourteen years old and began to study in the United States of America as an international student ever since. Now I am about to graduate from Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a minor degree in Spanish. I have taken some summer courses in Spain and Peru to learn Spanish and also their political/social issues and dilemmas today. Also in Madrid, I was an intern at an NGO called COSOP, which helps immigrants in need. I have worked at UNAGB for about 6 months now and have had a great experience so far. I look forward to continue my internship here and learn even more about global citizenships, education, and intriguing international affairs.

Alyssa Brodie

Intern Focus: Programs- Consuls Ball

Growing up in Miami, Florida, I was exposed to a diverse upbringing; with my high school being 40% white (non-hispanic) and 60% a mix of Hispanic, African-American, and Asian… and I loved it! Since, I have craved the need for new people in my life who bring a different background and perspective. This, in itself, is what drove me to intern at the UNA-GB. Majoring in Advertising with a minor in International Relations at Boston University, I have been able to mesh my passion for everything the UNA-GB stands for and my passion for planning events/promotions. Being able to bring people together at the Consuls Ball from different nationalities for causes we each care about is what is so incredible about America and the UNA-GB.  On a side note, I also enjoy painting, concerts, karaoke, practicing speaking Hebrew, and the “Back to the Future” movie trilogy.

Olivia DiNucci

Intern Focus: Programs- Young Professionals 

I am a junior at Emerson College where I study Political Communications and also play for the women’s basketball team.  Pittsburgh, PA is my home and where I acquired an interest for social justice. My current goals are broad and open to possibilities. I want to be a citizen of the world who is constantly learning and discovering what life has to offer.  I want to be more then just life’s tourist, I want to live and immerse myself within new, different, and stimulating environments.  I want to explore the many cultures of this earth through the people and minds that created them. I am interning with the Young Professionals department at UNA-GB where I can connect with others over international issues and culture.

Katie Lansing

Intern Focus: Education

I am a senior year major in International Relations at Lesley University. Born in Boston, I moved to France when I was four years old. At the age of eight, my family moved the Democratic Republic of the Congo where we lived for a year before moving back to France. I attended and graduated from a French high school, after which I moved back to Boston to start college. I love travel, I love the game of International Relations, but most of all I love people. After I graduate I hope to get a Masters in conflict resolution and one day
work in conflict mediation.

Bianca Diaz

Intern Focus: Office Assistance/Education

Hi, my name is Bianca, I am 16 years old (almost 17!) and currently a junior at Boston Latin Academy. I have been doing Model UN for 4 years and absolutely love it.  I’ve also been the longest-standing intern – working at UNA-GB since 7th grade!! I want to move to Washington D.C and become an immigration lawyer.  I like listening to other people’s problems and helping them.  Overall I am an outgoing person to be around and I look forward to working with everyone because I like making new friends.

We anticipate great things will come out of this semester with this unique and accomplished group of young people! A WARM welcome from the UNA-GB staff!

-UNA-GB staff: Lena, Kaitlin, Jennifer, Rebecca and Ann

2011 Annual Member Meeting: The Success of the Past Meets the Potential of the Future!

Fall has officially kicked off here at UNA-GB. Over the past few weeks, UNA-GB was hard at work planning our Annual Member Meeting and Kimball Lecture, held Wednesday, September 28, and boy, was it a success!

Every year, we hold an Annual Meeting to communicate all that we’re doing with our members and friends. In addition this year, UNA-GB’s annual Kimball Lecture was held after the meeting. This year, not only did we showcase all that we have accomplished so far, but we presented our exciting plans for the rest of the year!

Newly elected Board Member Hakan Satiroglu (second from left) with UNA-GB Board and Advisory Council members.

The evening started off with our Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, which was open to the public, during which Officers, Board Members, and Advisory Council Members were elected. Among the newly elected were Nate Tassinari, Hakan Satiroglu and Roger Berry. We look forward to seeing what these new faces can bring to our already fantastic Board of Directors!

With an ambitious agenda, the Annual Meeting of Members began almost immediately following the Board of Directors Meeting. The program began with opening remarks from UNA-GB’s Executive Director, Lena Granberg, who played the role of Sec-Gen throughout the night, complete with a gavel and all.  President Richard Golob gave a very inspiring speech laying out the success of UNA-GB during 2010 and the first half of 2011. From the Women’s Forum, to the Young Professionals Network, to our Signature Events including the annual Consuls Ball, Richard presented our enormous impact on the greater Boston community – in the past year alone, more than 5,000 people have been served with UNA-GB’s classroom and community based programming!

The expectations for the upcoming months were only raised higher after the next part of the evening.

Nate Tassinari sharing our Young Professionals upcoming events!

A panel of our staff and volunteers took the stage to detail our various groups, our upcoming events, and easy ways for UNA-GB members to get involved. Among speakers were Rebecca Corcoran for our Model UN Program, Natalie Prolman for our Campus Ambassadors, Nate Tassinari for our Young Professionals Group, Elizabeth Grealy for our Women’s Forum, and Kaitlin Hasseler for our Signature Events and Advocacy/Communications.  It wasn’t just pure presentation though – audience members had a chance to win big by answering trivia questions like “the world’s population will hit _____ billion in October 2011” and “what do ABC’s “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Seacrest and Supreme Court Justice Breyer have in common?”  (Answers??  Seven and Model UN, respectively!)

For those who weren’t at the Meeting, click here to learn more about our upcoming events, and also find out how YOU can get involved with our programs and events here!  2 easy ways to get involved right now? Become a member today! Also, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep updated with our latest news and upcoming events!

Ambassador Walter Carrington

Following our panel of speakers, attendees had the chance to hear Ambassador Walter Carrington give the Kimball Lecture keynote address, focused on Africa and the War on Terrorism. Carrington served as US Ambassador to Nigeria and Senegal, and is currently an Associate of Harvard’s DuBois Institute while working on a book on Nigeria and another on Islam in Africa. And during his introduction given by Richard Golob, UNA-GB President, we even learned that Carrington was Martin Luther King Jr.’s big brother in their Fraternity at Harvard University!

The Kimball Lecture is given annually in memory of Professors Chase and Mary Lee Evans Kimball. Chase and Mary Lee were lifelong supporters and promoters of United States participation and responsible leadership in international organizations, starting with fervent advocacy of the United States entry in the League of Nations. Chase, a lawyer and professor of international relations, and Mary Lee, a professor of French, were enthusiastic and loyal supporters and generous donors to UNA-GB and the UN Council of the South Shore.

The evening ended with a Wine and Cheese Around the World ReceptionThe Robert F. Meagher Wine & Cheese Around the World Reception was started this year as an annual event to recognize the contributions and legacy of long-time UNA-GB Board Member Bob Meagher who passed away in 2007 at the age of 80. Our reception included cheese from all over the world including Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, and France, and our wine selection spanned from Chile, to New Zealand, and California to Hungary!

We even had a few famous faces join us at the Meeting this year, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Goodwill Ambassador (and Boston darling) Giselle Bündchen.  New to this year’s Annual Member Meeting was a photo-booth with key United Nations individuals, which provided a great form of entertainment during registration.

Overall, 2011 Annual Member Meeting was a HUGE success! From the interactive photo-booth, to our panel of speakers, and our Kimball Lecture to the Wine and Cheese Around the World Reception, our guests felt engaged, informed, and excited about the upcoming months!

Weren’t able to attend this event? Click here to check out photos from the evening!  And join us at our upcoming events!

-Jennifer J.

Join UNA-GB’s 66 for 66 Campaign

As world leaders prepare to gather today for the United Nations General Assembly’s opening session, here at UNA-GB a brand new 66 for 66 Campaign has been launched.  In connection with the opening of the 66th session of the General Assembly and in honor of the 66th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, our campaign focuses on providing 66 Boston-area high school students the unique opportunity to step into the shoes of diplomats at the annual UN Day Model UN Simulation at the Massachusetts State House on October 24.

“Now more than ever we need to invest in and nurture the next generation of global leaders” says Jennifer Irizarry, Education Director at UNA-GB.  “Unfortunately, too many urban students do not have access to the life-changing resources offered through Model UN, so this campaign allows us to offer more students an opportunity to broaden their perspective, engage in international issues, and build skills that will be critical for college and workplace success.”

UNA-GB’s Model UN program is a college-preparatory program that exposes public school students to the work of the United Nations, the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and topics such as international economics, development and sustainability, while building leadership and negotiation skills, critical reading and writing ability, and public speaking prowess.

It only costs $50 to support one student’s participation in a Model UN, so the 66 for 66 Campaign’s total goal is to raise $3,300 to serve 66 students.  The campaign will run up through Monday, October 24, when dozens of Boston-area public school students will come together at the Massachusetts State House in honor of the 66th anniversary of the UN to solve a critical issue in international development. Students representing diverse nations such as Afghanistan, Paraguay, and South Africa will participate in a Model UN simulation to debate solutions to gender inequality and answer the question: Why do global inequalities for women in education and employment persist and what can be done about it?

Want to learn more about and to support the 66 for 66 Campaign? Visit http://ow.ly/6sdrB!  And invite your friends and family to join you today in investing in the global leaders of tomorrow!

-UNA-GB Education

Invest in Healthy Ecosystems

With the global population set to reach 7 billion people later this year food and resource security is becoming increasingly more important. This week a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and its partners announced that investing in healthy ecosystems could improve food security, enhance resilience to climate change, as well as provide economic benefits for poor communities.

The report, which was written by over 50 contributors, uses case studies of China, Guatemala, Jordan as well as others to present the issues as well as recommend changes. The three specific areas of change in order to improve food security and reduce stresses on water supplies are detailed as: environmental protection, water resources management and food production. The report also explains that one of the most difficult challenges in improving current levels of food production is the availability of water because it is needed for livestock, crop irrigation, fisheries and other agricultural uses. Likewise, the report also makes recommendations for drylands, wetlands, crop systems, fisheries and livestock systems.


“Maintaining healthy, resilient ecosystems to ensure water availability for agriculture and other ecosystem services is thus essential for long-term food security,” a press release on the report produced by UNEP and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) stated.

Investing in our healthy ecosystems could make huge differences in the everyday and long-term lives of communities around the globe. You can also get involved in a variety of ways, both small and big, through WhyHunger.com – a organization building a movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions. Likewise you can read more about the global food crisis and what the UN is doing to help here.

Here at UNA-GB we will be holding a Women’s Forum Luncheon Roundtable on October 6th, which will focus on Women, Population, and the Millennium Development Goals.  Jane Roberts, a grassroots advocate who is the co-founder of the 34 Million Friends of the UNFPA project will share how supporting gender equality makes a positive impact on all of the MDGs and population issues as a whole. Her contributions in the fields of population, development, the environment, and the human rights of women and girls have led to many recognitions, including a feature chapter in Nicholas Kristof’s NY Times bestseller Half the SkyRSVP now to get involved and join the conversation!

– Alexandra

A Humanitarian’s World

“Let those we honour today inspire us to start our own journey to make the world a better place and bring our human family more closely together.”         -UN’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Today is World Humanitarian Day, which was established on December 11, 2008 in honor of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, an outstanding humanitarian that tragically lost his life in Baghdad, along with 21 other U.N. personnel, on this day in 2003. Along with the United Nations and governments all over the world, this day is recognized to pay tribute to the hard work, perseverance and dedication of humanitarian workers as they continue to sacrifice their lives to ease the suffering of people in crises. This year’s theme is “people helping people”, encouraging more involvement throughout the world. Check out some amazing stories from humanitarians helping around the world and artists spreading the word through music in a special music video made for this year’s recognition day.

Looking back, this past year has been plagued with humanitarian crises. Newspaper headlines all over the world tell stories from soldiers in Afghanistan to children suffering through the famine in East Africa and more. But what you don’t see in the front page are the people behind the scenes who have risked everything to assist the citizens of countries going through economic and political crises. They are the humanitarian workers who have gone beyond their call of duty to assure victims that there is hope and that they are not alone. During this World Humanitarian Day, the world recognizes the humanitarian workers that have gone through extraordinary measures to aid the victims of these crises. From Haiti to Somalia, their presence around the world have touched countless lives and helped save millions. You can make a difference in many ways which could include helping them raise awareness on the many humanitarian issues plaguing our global community and  the Millennium Development Goals or volunteering. The International Institute of Boston also welcomes you to celebrate this day with them through volunteer work. Whatever you choose to do, whichever cause you wish to undertake, know that you are making a difference.

-Lorainne Marie S. Lopez

The Rural Challenge

Another week has just begun and today we have our weekly blog post from our Get Educated, One Topic At A Time blog series. This week learn about rural development in today’s world, including the benefits and challenges it introduces to areas around the world in rural areas with the need for development for a brighter future. Check out our other blog posts in the series, including: “Creating A Road To Democracy”, “A Historical Moment For Genocide”, “Two Sides To Invest”, “An Undefined Grasp Of Failure”, “A Necessary Priority” and “A Reform For The World”.  Check back next Monday for a new post on a whole new topic to ‘get educated’ on!

Approximately 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty today. According to the World Bank, about 75% of the world’s poorest live in rural areas. Rural development is an important international step, not only to reduce poverty, but also to ensure food security and foster agricultural growth worldwide.

The World Bank defines rural development as “improving the living standards of the low-income population residing in rural areas and making the process of their development self-sustaining.” This definition is driven by concerns over the increasing of rural poverty and the increased focus on improving the socioeconomic well-being of the poor through sustainable improvements. However, rural development faces structural problems such as proper transportation of food, lack of physical and social infrastructure, and underemployment in the rural workforce. This impedes growth, development, and poverty reduction in rural areas.

In 1990, the World Bank adopted an economic strategy of “poverty reducing growth” that created opportunities to earn income and improve services for the poor. This leads to a diversity of local services that will in turn lead to “balanced and sustainable rural economic growth and food security.” There is also a need to promote equal opportunity for competition, by favoring small enterprise over large, urban-based enterprise and to concentrate on rural communities.

Rural women in many countries, like in Kenya, play a central role in managing natural resources.

Rural women and children are significantly affected by poverty. In developing countries, women make up about 43% of the agriculture labour force. They work as wage labourers, sell produce, and participate in small-scale trading. In developing countries such as Africa, Asia and the Pacific, women work an average of 12 more hours each week than men. However, women are held back by low education, unequal property right laws and limited access to resources. Rural children are affected by child labour. 70% of all child labour in the world, which is equal to about 150 million children, takes place in agriculture. Child labour is often difficult to track or underreported and there is no clear defined difference between child labour and children working to help their families. It is also difficult to directly challenge and eliminate when children make up about one-third of the agriculture work force. Thus, policies attempt to improve overall working conditions and reduce safety hazards, as well as improve access to education for children. Nevertheless, the main root of child labour lies in rural poverty.

Currently, changes in agricultural markets are providing new opportunities for smallholder farmers to improve their productivity, especially in developing countries. But, the 2011 Rural Poverty Report of the IFAD says that there still remains “an urgent need…to invest more and better in agriculture and rural areas.” International actions by the World Bank, the International Labour Organization and the UN Millennium Development Goals stress the challenges in rural development, but also provide frameworks to increase rural employment and smallholder agriculture and reiterate the goal of halving the number of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.

-Yun-Hee