This summer, 40 Wellesley students participating in the Albright Institute traveled across the world to performing global affairs work in leading organizations across various fields.
Each year, the Albright Fellows participate in a three- week Wintersession program, go to different countries for ten- week internships, then share their experiences at the Tanner Conference at Wellesley. This year, the Albright Institute centered on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are goals set for the world by the United Nations in 2000 to be completed this year.
The Albright fellows split into eight groups of five students each, with each group in charge of solving a Millennium Development Goal.
international, national and regional laws pertaining to refugees.
During Wintersession, the fellows attended lectures given by different figures involved in political and foreign affairs. The talks varied in topics ranging from “Partners in Health: Beyond Ebola,” given by Ophelia Dahl, executive director of Partners in Health, to “Women Leading Public Policy: Case Studies Around the World,” given by Rangita Silva de Alwis, director of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative. At night, each group would participate in research to find holistic solutions to global issues.
Each team of fellows consisted of members from diverse backgrounds and of different majors,the teams used a multidisciplinary approach to address the MDGs. “People would constantly bring in different opinions, or everyone was kind of adding their own strengths,” said Charlotte Weiss ’16, a Spanish major and education studies minor.
Weiss and her team targeted the MDG of quality education and lifelong learning. Over the summer, she traveled to Santiago, Chile to research the experiences of Peruvian migrant females in Chile, interview organizations that support migrant children and promote intercultural education.
“You have to collaborate to solve problems and to solve global issues, and that’s such a key point of the Institute,” Weiss explained. “No one can do it alone and no one should do it alone.”
The experiences of each Albright Fellow varied. Caitlin Bailey ’16, an East Asian Studies major and Economics minor, focused on the MDG of lifelong learning during the Wintersession. Her research involved looking at case studies of countries that had undergone internal crisis and civil war to find ways to continue education throughout civil conflict. Over the summer, she interned at a magazine called City Weekend in Beijing, China and also traveled to Gansu Province in western China to document Tibetan nomadic living.
Nina McKee ’16, a Political Science major, focused on the MDG of good governance and effective institutions, working with her team to examine the effects that issues that cross international borders have on governments. For her internship, she traveled to Delhi, India, where she studied
As the fellows return to Wellesley from their internships, many have positive experiences and lessons to share.
“The Albright Institute is the experience that I will look back on, post graduation, and say, ‘That was education,’” Bailey said. “[It] has allowed me insight into the world I am entering and how I can best be a contributing member of our global society.”
Photo Courtesy of Charlotte Weiss ’16