PIR Student News - Issue 3 (2017)
Welcome to our third Issue of PIR Student News, written by and for PIR students. In addition to our regular features this Issue includes our second special section on PIR-related summer opportunities. If you are a PIR undergrad (any year) with newsletter ideas or keen to get involved, let us know: pir.studentnews@ed.ac.uk
8th March 2017 - Celebrate International Women's Day with inspiring women speakers of international reputation. On 8 March,  6-7pm at George Square Lecture Theatre, Dr Catherine Calderwood (Scottish Government - Chief Medical Officer) will give a short lecture on the importance of women. Book here: http://edin.ac/2mOMakK
16th March 2017 - Cakes and Catastrophe (PIR Roundtable Series with Discussion and cake!) ‘Foreign policy after Brexit and Trump’. More Info and venue here:  http://www.pol.ed.ac.uk/news/2017/cakes_and_catastrophe

19th March 2017 (deadline) - Leviathan Issue III: The Next Generation. Have an idea that you’d love to write and even get published in our own PIR student journal? E-mail leviathaneditor@gmail.com if you would like to submit an article for Leviathan! Specify a region of interest, and do not feel constrained by the theme!
30th March 2017 (deadline) -  SPS Staff-Student Choir: Are you a PIR student who enjoys singing? Would you be interested in joining your colleagues to form the Social and Political Science Staff-Student Choir? E-mail Dr Alan Convery at choirsps@gmail.com for more information.

30th April 2017 (deadline) -  Fourth Years: What do you think of your Politics or IR degree? What has worked well, and what hasn’t worked so well?  Have your say and support your degree subject by filling out the National Student Survey (NSS)! The NSS is crucial to determining your University’s and your Subject’s national rankings. The survey is carried out externally by polling company Ipsos MORI, who will e-mail, call and pester you until you reply. It takes 10 minutes  http://www.ed.ac.uk/students/academic-life/quality-assurance/student-surveys/national
Check out other PIR Events here: http://www.pol.ed.ac.uk/events
Now that we are in the second half of Semester 2, it is time give thanks to everyone who has stood out during our time at Edinburgh. Here are some ways to give back!
Teaching Awards: Do you think your Personal Tutor, Dissertation Supervisor, Course Staff or Support Staff are outstanding? Nominate them for their respective teaching awards! Nominations close Thursday, 23 March https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/representation/campaigns/teachingawards/
Outstanding PIR Tutor Awards: Do you take a PIR course where a Postgraduate student is the tutor? Do you appreciate their contribution to the course? Nominate them for Outstanding PIR Tutor! Nominations close Thursday, 23 March http://www.pol.ed.ac.uk/news/2017/nominations_open_for_best_postgraduate_tutor
Here’s the second part of our Summer Experience Extravaganza (See Issue 2 for more private sector and government internships.) Our current PIR students have taken on a range of summer PIR-relevant activities - internships, apprenticeships, volunteering - within the private, public and voluntary sector.  In this issue we highlight student experiences in the private but primarily third sector: NGOs and nonprofits.

Jack Evans (Year 4, IR) s1351637@sms.ed.ac.uk
I’m an apprentice at a hunting company, managing anti-poaching and conservation efforts and guiding foreign clients in game reserves along the Luangwa River valley. I’m also a 4th year IR student for most of the year, but in the months of May to September, you’d find me living a very different life. We manage over a million hectares of Zambia’s wilderness by government order, and my own role in the company takes me deep into these frontiers. Exposure to East and Southern African societies has directed my personal research within politics and IR courses. I’ve picked up a new language, valuable contacts in those regions and in Britain (not my home country), and—most importantly to the student of social sciences—a perspective from the other side of the world. At the end of four years, I’m poised to complete both my apprenticeship and degree in 2017, with opportunities open from both angles. While the balancing of these two distinct efforts has been an immensely rewarding challenge, my one-way ticket south is booked for May. To learn more about the company go to www.phazambia.com or get in touch by email.

Noah Gibbs (Year 4, IR) s1344813@sms.ed.ac.uk
I interned with the U.S. Department of State in Kaohsiung, Taiwan over the summer. Since the U.S. does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, I was working with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). AIT is a non-profit corporation chartered by the U.S. government and is tasked with maintaining U.S. relations. It is essentially a U.S. embassy in all but name My internship consisted of a broad set of tasks, including writing reports on Taiwan’s energy industry, providing consular support for U.S. citizens abroad, staffing an international conference, and even acting in public diplomacy videos produced by AIT. I got the internship by applying for it online through the USAJOBS website. More information can be found on the State Department’s official website. I would definitely recommend the internship to other students as it gave me an in depth look at what life is like in the U.S. foreign service. Anyone who is interested in my experience is free to email me at my student email.
Anya Hare (Year 2, IR)  s1561153@ed.ac.uk
Friends last year introduced me to the society Edinburgh Global Partnerships (EGP).  I had no plans for my summer nor was I involved in extracurricular activities, so I saw it as a unique opportunity to fill both gaps. I decided to apply and was placed on team Uganda. The project was in partnership with an NGO farming cooperative called Uganda Community Farms (UCF) which takes grassroots action on extreme poverty. My team was comprised of six other students who I would not have met otherwise, and they have all become amazing friends. We spent the spring semester constantly fundraising together to reach our budget of £10,000. We succeeded, and in the beginning of June headed off to Uganda. We spent nine weeks in the rural village building a storage unit along with local masons. We were able to take weekends off and travel as well. It was so amazing to see the natural beauty and wildlife Uganda has to offer. The experience was gratifying, challenging, and incredible. It is so rewarding to know that I made a difference in the lives of hundreds of people in the welcoming and special community I became a part of.
Asher Kessler (Year 4, Phil and Pols) s1314122@sms.ed.ac.uk
I volunteered in a small refugee camp in northern Greece with an NGO called RefuAid. I spent most of my chatting to people about their daily issues and trying to find long-term solutions for them; this could range from setting up a kindergarten, a ready supply of medical visits etc. There are loads of great facebook groups which advertise volunteering roles to do with helping refugees all across Europe. I found a link through a friend who was also volunteering. I would definitely recommend it, many places need as much help as they can get and for many roles prior experience isn't necessary.
Katie Miller (Year 4 IR), s1335138@sms.ed.ac.uk
Over the summer I interned at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK. Over the first few weeks I was involved in the planning and delivery of an international workshop on aid effectiveness, giving me the chance to engage with senior parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth. Over the second half of the internship I was tasked with researching security threats and military reform in Nigeria to support the development of a long term technical training programme for the National Assembly of Nigeria. This was an amazing experience, partly due to the fact that the CPA UK office is located in Westminster Hall. Starting four days after the EU referendum made this a very exciting environment. I’m happy to speak to other students interested in this association.
Ziski Putz, (Year 4, IR) s1341441@sms.ed.ac.uk
I’m a 4th year IR student with Austrian roots and socialized American enthusiasm that I put to use indulging in an addiction to social impact work. This year I couldn’t be more thrilled to throw myself into Project Elpis, bringing solar-powered mobile charging stations and offline informational materials to refugee camps in Greece. Bridging environmental sustainability and human rights, this project extends beyond the refugee crisis. Elpis has made it to the final round of the Clinton Global Initiative University, been covered by Reuters and the BBC, invited to an UN-endorsed innovation festival in Switzerland, and installed units in 9 locations across Greece. If you’re passionate, into extreme-procrastination, or looking to beef up that tinder profile then don’t be shy:  whatever your skill or interest, it could fit in our project. E-mail contact.projectelpis@gmail.com, check us out at elpismeanshope.com, message me on Facebook, or contact me in person.

 Maryam Saade, (Year 4, IR) s1359772@sms.ed.ac.uk  
Over the summer I interned at Jafra Foundation, an NGO and community-based organization that responds to the urgent needs in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria. Jafra Foundation works in an array of sectors including psychosocial support, hygiene awareness and Extensive Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities. I was involved in donor mapping which involved an analysis of possible donors and the sectors attracting donor attention as well as possible funding opportunities. Working with Jafra Foundation was a highly rewarding experience that helped me understand the difficulties of delivering aid in complex conflicts as well as where and how to look for funding from bilateral and multilateral donors.
Emma Searle (Year 4 IR) s1331804@sms.ed.ac.uk
Not all summer experiences need to be directly linked to PIR. I am an IR student who used last summer to get started with a student publication called Canvas, which is the History of Art Society’s journal supported by Edinburgh College of Art (ECA).  The journal helps students (in ECA and the university more broadly) to promote their work, and it helps the University as a whole to critically engage with art.  I have been the Editor in Chief for the first two issues.  Here’s the Canvas website link: http://www.canvasjournal.com/  Email me if you’d like more information.
PIR is growing!  Say hello to our new PIR staff who seem to love our delightful city of Edinburgh for its friendly people and international credentials. But what brought them to our university and what exactly do they teach? Read on to find out about…

UK Politics lecturer Marc Geddes love for both Edinburgh and Sheffield

Asia-Pacific IR expert Oliver Turner, whose breakfasts consist of rice and fish (when not in Scotland)

Politico-legal anthropologist Nicola Perugini’s research on human rights in Israel and Palestine

Every issue we’ll feature several Politics or IR alumni. In this issue we profile two IR students who have both pursued exciting -though different- postgraduate paths
Gabriela Lomeu Campos (MA IR, 2016) graduated last year and is now pursuing a funded postgraduate Masters degree in International Migration and Ethnic Relations at the University of Malmo Sweden.  Gabi has had her PIR dissertation (which studied regional integration in South America and was supervised by Chad Damro) published in an academic journal!  Since graduating last year Gabi stayed in touch with Chad who provided extra support and advice.  Gabi also sought advice from other academics working in the field.  The fine result is a published article on ‘From Success to Failure : Under What Conditions Did Mercosur Integrate?’ which examines the role of state leadership, and perceptions of economic and political national gains:
Well done Gaby! Current PIR students – if you want to know more, Gaby can be contacted at:  gabilomeu93@gmail.com
Gemma McDonald  (MA IR, 2009) graduated in 2009 (her dissertation explored Just War Theory) and moved to London where she earned a Masters in International Business. Moving back to Scotland in 2010 Gemma worked for tech startups before launching her own events company. The latter involved a ‘horrendously steep learning curve which made my dissertation look like light relief’. She was very lucky, however, to win support from Launch-Ed at Edinburgh and the Scottish Institute of Enterprise. If you’re just starting your time at Edinburgh she highly recommends checking out Launch-Ed;  learning how to develop ideas/business plans is a great life skill.
The bit of business she loved most was the challenge of profile building so she shifted work to the communications sphere and got a job with Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) where she is responsible for developing and implementing their communications strategy. Her role is demanding and involves dealing with the media and meeting some of the most inspiring explorers and adventurers on the planet. She next hopes to work in the field of crisis communications, helping companies manage their reputation when the going gets tough.  She feels her UG study will become even more important in this new line of work.
Gemma met one of her best friends at Edinburgh and says without her friend ‘Politics/IR would have been much harder’. So if you are just starting out her advice is to make friends with your classmates (you may be at each other’s weddings one day) and to speak to your professors! Don’t hesitate to ask for help.  Also get as much work-experience as you can.  But mainly, have fun because it gets harder… but the pay offs get bigger too!
Our next issue (no 4, 2017) will feature more PIR student stories, advice about relevant summer activities and how to choose courses for next year (if you’re not graduating!)
Have you got ideas for other newsletter content?  If so, contact us on email here: pir.studentnews@ed.ac.uk
Editorial Team:  Tara Biglari, Anita Glad, Jamie McDonald, Adam Hendry, Elizabeth Irvine, Rafael Rosales La Torraca, Konstantin Von Wedel, Sarah Waldman.  Staff Mentor, Elizabeth Bomberg; SSO support, Natalie Stroud
If you’re currently in years 2 or 3 and interested in applying to join our team next year let us know:  pir.studentnews@ed.ac.uk  Or contact Elizabeth Bomberg (e.bomberg@ed.ac.uk).
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