On Monday, October 17th, Professor Toni Pepe, Assistant Professor of Art and Photography, and Laura Grey, Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design, teamed up to complete a two-session workshop on multimodal literacy. In this session, Professor Grey first provided a brief introduction to presentation design, covering a variety of fundamentals such as general layout, font considerations, and color. Then she and Professor Pepe facilitated Fellows’ completion of their slide deck on Women’s Participation in the Labor Force that they are preparing for the Global Leadership Forum.
On Friday, October 7th, HHHP Director Jack McCarthy led his second session on leadership development for the BU cohort. He described how, over the course of the next several months, the Fellows will undergo a series of sessions during which they examine the habits, skills, and perspectives that they need to develop as leaders. As part of this curriculum, a professional 360-degree confidential feedback process will be conducted, in which candid feedback data of Fellows’ leadership practices and experiences from supervisors, colleagues, and employees in their home countries and here in the U.S. will be collected. Private expert coaching will then be provided to each Fellow based on their self-assessment and the feedback from others. The Fellows will then create a personal leadership development plan that they will present to the Humphrey cohort and coordinators.
Professor McCarthy continued with a description of the many ways in which the world is changing an ever-accelerating pace, the pressing global challenges that have emerged as a result, and some of the innovative solutions that have been devised to address those challenges. Given that most of our Fellows specialize in banking, finance, and education, he underscored the great global gap in wealth and challenged the Fellows to consider how they can support others to make the world fairer and more just—to apply their talents not to be the best in the world, but for the world. He further cited the “triple bottom line” of People, Planet and Profit that needs to be considered in tackling the world’s development challenges.
On Monday, October 3rd, Assistant Professor of Art & Photography Toni Pepe led the first of a two-session workshop on visual and multimodal literacy—a critical capacity for success in today’s interconnected world. Another objective of this workshop is to support the Fellows’ preparing of a slide presentation for the Program’s Global Leadership Forum (GLF), which will be held on October 23–27 in Washington, DC. This year, the State Department has designated “gender equity” as the central theme of the GLF, and all of Humphrey Program’s fifteen campus cohorts will present on that theme.
Professor Pepe is a specialist in the “performativity of gender”—how gender is socially constructed and expressed through images. She began with a digest version of her Introduction to Photography course, in which she described how factors such as perspective, lines, and lighting influence the messages communicated by photographs. She incorporated a variety of images, including centuries-old paintings and photographs from all over the world that have embedded within them a variety of messages about gender roles.
Professor Pepe then introduced Image Atlas, a website that shows how web searches are mediated depending on the country where the search is taking place. Fellows searched terms such as “gender”, “leadership”, and “manager” and saw how different the results were across nineteen different countries on six continents.
On October 17th, Professor Pepe and Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design Laura Grey will together continue the workshop and assist the Fellows in completing their presentation for the GLF.
From September 22–26, Josiane Sylvie Mbakop Noukeu (Cameroon) joined a forum in Washington, DC organized by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a U.S. Trade Act that enhances market access to the U.S. for qualifying Sub-Saharan African countries.
This year’s AGOA Forum included discussions centered on implementing gender-sensitive laws and regulations to support women’s entrepreneurship and overcome discriminatory frameworks related to women’s economic rights including those governing inheritance, marriage, divorce, land rights, labor markets, and business regulations.
We congratulate Josiane for her participation in this important event.
On Friday, September, 30th, our cohort met with Agnes Igoye, a 2010-2011 HHHP Alumna who attended the University of Minnesota and a current student (and Student Ambassador) in the Kennedy School. Agnes is Uganda’s deputy national coordinator of the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Department and the Training Manager for the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control. She coordinates and monitors all counter-trafficking activities in Uganda, and she has trained over 2,000 law-enforcement officers in counter-trafficking measures.
Agnes recently began a Mid-Career Master’s Program in Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government under the Edward S. Mason Program. She spoke with our cohort about the priorities she pursued during her Fellowship year, the road that led her to the Kennedy School, and her experience as a Mason Fellow.
The Mason Program is the Kennedy School’s flagship international program; it annually prepares approximately 80 leaders from developing countries to address the world’s most pressing development challenges—and as such, it is of special interest to BU Humphrey Fellows specializing in banking and finance.
Dina Buchbinder Auron, an MIT Humphrey Program and Mason Program alumna, also joined us to share her experience. Dina is the Founder and President of Educación para Compartir (Education for Sharing), which provides children ages 6 to 15 with project management tools to design solutions to their community’s problems. Dina described how her work as an educator led her to the Kennedy School, which was of particular interest to our Fellows who specialize in education.
We are grateful to Marny Mitchell, Associate Director of Admissions and Recruitment, for arranging this special visit and joining us to provide an overview of the Kennedy School’s mission, its various programs, and activities in which Humphrey Fellows may participate throughout the year.
On Monday, September 26th, a distinguished panel of experts on gender equity introduced their recent work to the Fellows. Dr. Carrie Preston, Director of the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, spoke about her research as a student of Noh drama in Japan (her new book, Learning to Kneel, has just been released by Columbia University Press); Vrinda Varma, a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar currently at BU, introduced the Kudumbashree, a successful women’s empowerment initiative in Kerala, India, and Assistant Professor of Art & Photography Toni Pepe used her own work to introduce the performativity of gender.
This session was the first in a series of three designed to support Fellows’ preparation of a presentation on gender equity that they will deliver in Washington, DC in October, during the Program’s Global Leadership Forum.
We were also honored to have a special guest with us: Janet Ferone, a longtime teacher and administrator of the Boston Public Schools and former President of the Boston chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW), has kindly agreed to work with our Fellows who are particularly interested in gender equity.
After presenting, the speakers joined breakout groups in which Fellows described issues and initiatives in gender equity in their respective countries. After our speakers departed, we continued with a discussion of possible directions the Fellows might take with their own presentation. Next month, Professor Pepe will lead the Fellows in a two-session workshop to produce that presentation.
On Wednesday, September 21st, Dean Kenneth Freeman formally welcomed the 2016-2017 Humphrey Fellows to BU and Questrom at a reception attended by about forty members of the BU community including Fellows’ academic advisors, professional affiliates from the surrounding area, host families, and other supporters of the Program. We were particularly pleased that Ms. Amy Nemith, Assistant Director of the Global Professional Exchanges Division and Program Lead of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at the Institute of International Education in Washington, DC, was able to join us. Following remarks by Dean Freeman, HHHP Director Jack McCarthy, and Ms. Nemith, each Fellow introduced him or herself to the audience, and a reception followed.
Here are some scenes from the event:
On Friday, September 16th and Monday, September 19th, the Fellows presented “Slices of My Culture” to the cohort and coordinators. They used selected photos to introduce three aspects of their home cultures. We were all treated to a rich an diverse array of topics ranging from religious practices and ancient history to dance festivals and fashion, and the Fellows had a chance to grow into their roles as informal cultural ambassadors of their respective countries.
On August 31st and September 9th, the Fellows enjoyed a two-part workshop on Presenting Your Professional Self: The Art of the Elevator Pitch. In the first session, Bank of America Senior Vice President and BU alumnus Al Petras introduced the topic and gave the Fellows pointers based on his own experience—and then the Fellows practiced:
In our second session, the Fellows practiced again and gave feedback to one another in an exercise modeled on “speed dating.” We then regrouped for debriefing and discussion.
The Fellows will have many opportunities to use their refined elevator pitches throughout the year—their first of which will take place on Wednesday, September 21st, at the Dean’s Welcome Reception hosted by the Questrom School of Business.