I attended one of the meetings of the UNICEF group on campus, after getting on their mailing list at the start of the semester. The UNICEF group here at Northeastern works to build grassroots momentum for the mission of protecting the rights of the world’s children. UNICEF does work in 150 different countries around the world, helping to ensure that every child will someday have a chance at a healthy and safe life. It is important that people continue to prioritize groups like UNICEF, and that public interest in the work they do is maintained. The group does volunteer work in the Boston community as well as raising awareness. At the meeting I attended, we spent time discussing a date for volunteering with community table. It is great that the organization not only brings attention to the work UNICEF is already doing, but actually branches out and brings its own initiatives to our city. It is a great way to put your motivation into direct action. UNICEF even threw a gala at Northeastern this semester, and organized a clothing drive that people could donate to on campus. Although I did not have time this semester to be involved regularly with the organization, I am planning on becoming an active member next fall. I hope to do work surrounding human rights in the future, and it is great to get involved right away with an organization that works to protect the most vulnerable members of our population.


My peer mentor group attended a meeting about the path to becoming a lawyer. This was very helpful for me, as I am seriously considering going to law school after my undergraduate degree. The event speaker was Susannah Barton Tobin, who currently works at Harvard Law School. I found the event to be very enjoyable, and Tobin provided some great personal insight into the journey of becoming a lawyer, rather than just giving us the technical details. I learned that going to law school is something I should really take the time to think about and decide if it is really the right fit for me. I am someone who really enjoys academia, and a PhD allows you to delve deeply into a particular area of academia. However, I am also very eager to see myself in action, doing the work I am passionate about. Law school allows you to do serious internships during the time you are getting your degree, and the whole process takes several years less than a PhD. Law School can also be something that, for many people, ends up being a stressful and miserable experience. The bottom line is, it is not for everyone and it should not be entered into without having already done some sort of internship in the field. This means that I will probably want to do one of my co-ops at either a firm or an organization that has an important law department. Tobin also talked about the idealistic expectations she had about being a lawyer when she was younger, and how that’s not always the way things play out. For example, her life’s dream had been to work for the ACLU. The ACLU stands up for the civil liberties of all citizens, a mission that Tobin strongly identified with. She did end up working there at one point in her life, and was once given the task of defending a few members of the Ku Klux Klan. They had been distributing pamphlets throughout a town in Massachusetts, and had been stopped by police. Of course, this is in line with what the ACLU stands for- freedom of political expression. However, this was not the work Susannah had dreamed of doing when she was younger. Not every part of your career as a lawyer is going to allow you to impact the world in the positive way you want to. There are times when you have to do work you don’t entirely agree with, or that you don’t agree with at all. Since I am a person hoping to do work regrading human rights in the future, I think that is important for me to keep in mind. I have to be realistic about my career and stop myself from being completely discouraged when I cannot succeed in changing the things I care about. Tobin also talked about the different way your career can evolve throughout the years. She spent years as a court clerk and now works at the same law school she attended. There are many ways to use your degree throughout your life.


This semester I attended an event on campus regarding one of the most important political issues of our times: The Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Huskies for Israel brought two speakers who had both worked together at an environmental research organization in a rural part of Israel. The organization hopes to bring people together for the common good of protecting the environment for future generations. We will all be effected negatively if the degradation of the natural world continues. One speaker was a Palestinian man, while the other was an Israeli woman. They both came from such different backgrounds, but they both agreed that Israelis and Palestinians are widely segregated from each other, and there is limited positive interaction. Both of them were isolated in their own ethnic groups growing up, and they emphasized how strange it was to people around them that they wanted to work at the institute. They told incredible and moving stories about their lives in the conflict ridden region. The Palestinian man talked about his relationship with religion growing up, and the way he had become the more secular person he was today. He talked about his friend’s warnings that he would be pacified by the Israelis if he went to the environmental institute. The Israeli woman talked about what it meant to protest the government in the current political climate, and how people were oftentimes extremely aggressive towards people who spoke out publically. It was interesting that the experience at the institute had made the Israeli woman more liberal, and the Palestinian man more centrist in his ideas about the conflict. She had become more critical of Israeli policy and he had become less hating of Israeli people as a whole. Both of these people agreed that while the institute did a lot of good for the people who came there, it was not easily accessible to many others. Its reach is not far enough to affect the entire region. I left the meeting extremely impacted by what these people had said. I consider myself to be very pro-Palestinian, and it was very heartening to hear the perspective of a liberal Israeli like this woman, who had so many insights to add to the conversation. Before this event, I had only heard the perspectives of Jews living in the United States. Living in the region itself is very different. It was also interesting to hear from a secular Palestinian, since people have largely generalized the population as all Muslim fundamentalists like Hamas. The “Huskies for Israel students in the room seemed to want assurance from Mohammad, the Palestinian, that he now understood that his was wrong to hate Israelis. I admired the diplomatic way he responded by telling them that Israel was its own worst enemy.

Make Up Blog Assignment – Nicholas Dean

Due to the fact that I was unable to participate in a student organization meeting or a final peer mentor blog post, I will be writing one of the following papers to receive credit for the International Affairs at NU course. The following are the instructions directly from Professor Rasanen:

For each blog post you couldn’t complete, write a 2-page paper, double spaced, on an issue in International Affairs. It may NOT be the same issue you write about in your final paper (a comprehensive list may be found on this site: Your paper should answer the following questions:

1) Why is this an important issue within International Affairs? Why did you pick it?

2) What faculty or courses at Northeastern are related to this topic and why?

3) Write a paragraph or two about a couple of current conflicts surrounding this issue

Defense and Security: NATO

The rich history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the context of the international communities policy on defense and security is interesting and still influences today’s policies and politics. NATO has both political and military implications and the members of the agreement must abide by them. Politically, NATO “promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defense and security issues to build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict” (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Militarily,  NATO “is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes” (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). However, “if diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake crisis-management operations” (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). NATO is an ever increasing important issue in international affairs for a variety of reasons. Historically, NATO was a tool used by Western countries, although spearheaded by the United States of America, to protect democracy and capitalism and keep struggling European states from falling to the Soviet Union and communism. I chose this specific issue in the category of defense and security due to personal interest in the subject as well as how there has been turmoil regarding the subject under the new Trump Administration in the White House.

There are a variety of classes at Northeastern that are related to NATO and its creation and implementation. Some of these courses include The World Since 1945, History of Espionage, Approaches to World History, and The Global Cold War. These courses are most likely excellent resources for any student wishing to expand their knowledge on the Cold War and the creation of NATO.

Although there are not many current conflicts in regards to NATO, there are plenty of current events and updates in the international community regarding it. On April 13th, 2017, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg paid the United States a visit to meet President Donald Trump at the White House. Together, they discussed NATO’s importance and its duty to protect both North America and Europe (Secretary General: NATO is a bedrock of security for both Europe and North America). Specifically, “Mr. Stoltenberg welcomed the very strong commitment of the United States to the security of Europe, and underlined the importance of the transatlantic bond. He said: ‘In a more dangerous and more unpredictable world, it’s important to have friends and Allies. And in NATO, America has the best friends and the best Allies in the world.’ ” (Secretary General: NATO is a bedrock of security for both Europe and North America).

Another current event happing in the world of NATO is that NATO has recently openly welcomed the opening of a European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats (NATO welcomes opening of European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats). It has been said that “several NATO Allies and European Union members came together in Helsinki on Tuesday (11 April 2017), formally agreeing to establish a European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in the Finnish capital” (NATO welcomes opening of European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats). NATO has expressed how “countering hybrid threats is a priority for NATO, as they blur the line between war and peace – combining military aggression with political, diplomatic, economic, cyber and disinformation measures” (NATO welcomes opening of European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats).

All in all, NATO is of an extreme importance to keeping the international community stable and secure. The United States has been a critical member of NATO and I am personally interested in watching how the new Trump Administration handles their policy on NATO.

Works Cited

“NATO welcomes opening of European Centre for Countering Hybrid Threats.” NATO. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

“North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” NATO. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. <http://;

“Secretary General: NATO is a bedrock of security for both Europe and North America.” NATO. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

Blog #9: Next round of questions for advanced students


1. What specific curriculum background or extracurricular activities have helped you stand out amongst your peers when applying for co-ops, internships, or other job opportunities?

2. What are some of the specific graduate programs that you’re looking to apply to and why?

3. If you could redo your time at Northeastern, what would you do differently or what strategies would you implement that you wish you had sooner that would have benefitted you more greatly?

Solo Event – Women’s Empowerment is Smart Economics

Women’s Empowerment is Smart Economics

Dr. Yana Rodgers

  1. Introductory Remarks
    1. Women’s economic empowerment improves efficacy in the labor force
    2. Discuss women’s empowerment in the labor market using a global [respective
    3. Demonstrate that the benefits of empowering women extend to their family and to economies as a whole
  2. Womens Entrepreneurship
    1. Globally: small scale entrepreneurship an imporatn source of income generation for women and men
      1. Provides flexibility
      2. Allows for upward mobility in labor market
      3. Source of income for women in conservative countries where women face constraints working outside the globe
      4. Allows combination of child care with income generation
    2. Strategies to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship
      1. Loans
        1. Microfinance
          1. Rapid growth of microfinance since Grameen Bank
          2. Helps to incentive creation and maintenance of small scale businesses
          3. Microfinance different from commercial banking
      2. Conditional Cash Transfer Programs
        1. Cash disbursements to women made conditional on social targets, such as school enrollment and healthcare access for their children
        2. Some programs include support for women’s education, training and employment
        3. Most well known: Mexico’s Oportunidades (Progresa) program and Brazil’s Bolsa Familia
        4. Based on research on income held by women
      3. Bundled Financial Packages
        1. Not all studies have found positive impacts of loans, grants, and cash on women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment; some found zero impact
        2. Greater access to capital not sufficient to help women’s businesses to grow
  1. Gender and Agriculture: Gaps and Consequences
    1. Agriculture still the primary source of employment in many developing countries
    2. Three salient features of the gendered division of labor in agriculture:
      1. Women allocate a disproportion among of time to childcare and domestic responsibilities
      2. Together with their relatively greater burden of unpaid housework and caring labor
    3. These inefficient have negative repercussions fro agriculture productivity and overall economic progress
    4. Agricultural sectors also characterized by large gender gaps in productivity across countries
    5. Wage Labor in agricultural markets
      1. Common features:
        1. Women’s relative participation in the total wage market is low
        2. Women’s less likely to hold full time jobs
        3. Women have seasonal jobs
    6. Strategies to Promote Women’s Agency in Agriculture
      1. Need to dismantle a structure of constrains that limit women full access to agricultural resources and paid employment
        1. Develop infrastructure to reduce their unpaid work burdens
        2. Promote gender-aware agriculture extension services
        3. Formalization of women land ownership and property rights
  1. Wage Employment
    1. Gender differences in wage employment encompass:
      1. Labor force participation rates (LFPRs)
      2. Wage gaps
    2. Gender wage gaps
      1. On average, women earn less than men in countries
      2. Men’s advantage often persists over time
      3. Gaps partially explained by gender differences in observes characteristics
      4. Globalization impacts women’s employment
    3. Wage Employment: Gender Differences
      1. Working conditions have become an issue for women given female labor intensity of export production
      2. Employment gains for women have come as a mixed blessing
    4. Employment segregation
    5. Strategies to Promote Equal treatment
      1. Key objective: reduce disparities in pay and employment by passing and enforcing anti-discrimination legislation
      2. Improve working conditions in global factories through:
        1. Government enforcement of existing labor laws
        2. Consumer pressure on cooperations to enforce codes of conduct
      3. Provide level playing field for working parents with paid parental leave, paid sick leave and public support with childcare
      4. Increase access to schooling and promote skill development for girls and women
    6. Economic growth affects gender inequality
  1. Take Home Points
    1. Economic growth is not sufficient to immerse entered well being in all its dimensions
    2. Emphasis on maintaining competitiveness
    3. Provide women with greater access to credit
    4. invest in infrastructure
    5. Strengthen women property rights
    6. Gender smart policy approaches promote equality, raise productivity and improve long run growth and well being

Blog Post #9: 3 More questions for a more advanced student in the major. ZAK Kranc

  1. When do you reccomend that students begin searching for co-op opportunities? Has it been beneficial to start early, or wait until the one-credit co-op class?
  2. Based on what you’ve seen in searching for post-collegiate jobs, what are the top qualifications and skills that employers are looking for? What makes a resume jump out the most to potential employers?
  3. What are your reccomendations for students considering a double or combined major? Have you found that its benefical to career readiness and preparation? Are there benefits from choosing certain majors over others?




  1. Read through the comments made by my professor very thoroughly, so I am aware of why they think the lower grade was fair.
  2. Read their policy on grades and the way the course is weighted
  3. Email the professor to set up a meeting discussing a course of action
  4. Meet with professor and be clear about what my goals are.


Dear Professor,

I recently submitted my midterm assignment for your section one class. I have viewed my grade for the midterm assignment on blackboard, and I would like to discuss some of the feedback I received. I know that this assignment is weighted heavily for our final grade, and I would really appreciate a meeting where we could discuss why I received a lower grade, and what I can do during the rest of my time in this course. I really value your guidance, and of course wish to get as much out of your class as possible.



Zoe Papastoitsis


Dear Professor,

I took your conflict negotiation class my sophomore year at Northeastern. The class was small, and allowed me to voice my opinions and listen to others. It was one of the most influential experiences I have had at this school, and provided me with a lot of clarity about what I am passionate about. I have now begun the process of applying to graduate school, and when I was asked to provide a recommendation letter, your name was the first that came to mind. I feel like I thrived in your class, and grew a lot as a student and critical thinker. The highlights of the course for me were our presentations on land disputes in the former USSR territories, and of course our class debate on nuclear deterrence. My argumentation skills became so developed through the research I did for these assignments.

I am applying to the International Law program at NYU. The university looks for students who are passionate and have a variety of unique experiences, but it also looks for people who have a strong academic background and are adept at deep critical thinking and meaningful argumentation. It would mean so much to me if you felt that my time in your class could help me on my way towards a career in International Law. The deadline is two months out, so there is no rush in considering my offer.


Many Thanks,

Zoe Papastoitsis