Sorry this is late, I didn’t realize it hadn’t been submitted
- How did you approach professors to work on research with them?
- What is working with professors to do research like?
- What was your favorite IA class that you took?
Sorry this is late, I didn’t realize it hadn’t been submitted
When addressing a faculty member asking for a changed grade, a person needs to be respectful, direct, and detailed. The beginning of the email should be sure to properly address the professor in the most formal way possible. A poor beginning to an email can shape whether or not the receiver even considers what the sender is proposing. If a student wants a professor to change their grade, then they should use all the proper grammar and titles in the first part of the email.
Secondly, the student should not avoid what they want to say. Getting right to the point is important because professors don’t have an unlimited amount of time to read student’s emails, and there’s no reason to not address what needs to be discussed. Reading through a lot of unnecessary content will not help a student’s case with their professor, and could even potentially harm it.
Third, the student must not only ask for the changed grade, but explain why they deserve the changed grade. Professors don’t just give away free points (if they did I’d have a 4.0), the student needs to deserve them. The student needs to give the professor multiple detailed arguments for why they are deserving of receiving a higher grade. Then, if the professor agrees with the student, he/she will change the student’s grade.
Dear Professor X,
I received a C on the last assignment for your class (insert name of the class). When looking at your comments and the rubric, I think my work was worth more than the C. Specifically, because of (fill in with specific reason) and because of (fill in with other specific reason).
Sample recommendation letter request:
Dear Professor Razzaqui,
Hi, It’s your former student Evan Crystal. I took your comparative government class in the Spring semester of 2016. It was one of my favorite classes that semester, and I thought we had a really good professor-student connection when I came to your office hours, so I was wondering if you would be willing to write a recommendation letter for my graduate school applications.
I know it’s been a while since you had me in your class, so I was thinking you could use my essays for the public policy assignment, and the comparative economics assignment as the basis for the recommendation letter. If you need copies of those essays, I can send them to you.
This letter is for graduate school, so please focus on my qualities as a student when writing this letter. Highlighting my strengths and what I can bring to a classroom would be very helpful.
If you have any questions you can email me back, or we can meet in person.
Thank you so much,
On Tuesday 1/24 I attended my second meeting of the Northeastern University Political Review, a student run magazine that publishes articles on local, national, and international political issues. The club meets once a week in Hastings Hall (conveniently located next door from my dorm, East Village) to discuss current political issues.
On Tuesday, our discussion centered on the women’s march. We talked about feminism, and what roles different races played in the women’s march. Our discussion focused on privilege, and how that played into who marched, and for what. This included examining social media posts by African American women remind white women that they as a whole voted for Trump, and that African American women built the movement, and White Women should not steal it.
One thing that stood out in mind was a particularly poignant line from one woman of color who tried to explain that the fear white women are currently feeling because of the fact that Donald Trump took office was the fear that many women of color have had all their life because of the daily prejudice they face. Up until reading that line, I had been a little hesitant to agree with a lot of the things being said at the meeting. Putting the fear and prejudice in perspective really helped me understand the situation. Obviously, I haven’t experienced—nor will I experience—what these women are protesting, so all the perspectives and opinions we looked at were incredibly helpful to me.
The other main event we discussed was what happened with Richard Spencer that same time. Richard Spencer is a neo-Nazi who currently writes for various white supremacist websites. He was giving a television interview in public when a person ran up and punched him in the face. The editor of NUPR asked the question, “is it okay to punch Nazi’s in the face?” The debate quickly split into two sides. One side supported free speech, with the argument being: “no matter how much satisfaction you get from punching someone in the face, freedom of speech is a sacred right in our constitution and it protects Nazi’s too.” The other side did not mind the fact that maybe repeatedly punching Nazis would silence them, which would improve the country. My argument was that any sort of violence, whether it manifested as property damage or assault, takes away from the legitimacy of a protest because it allows opponents to focus on the violence taking place instead of the message of the protest.
At the end of the meeting we wrapped up with final thoughts, and anyone who wanted to could stay to continue any of the discussions that we’d just finished.
NUPR is officially non-partisan, and even though most (if not all) of the people in the room were democrats, yet we had a great debate, with strong opinions on both sides. This was all encouraged by the editors because they like to run dual opinion pieces on both sides of an issue. I definitely plan on returning and hopefully one day I will have something published in the NUPR.
The two degrees I researched were the Juris Doctor (JD) law degree and the Master of Arts (MA). Both degrees are offered from many different schools throughout Boston, ranging from online schools and programs to major universities like Northeastern, Boston University, and Harvard.
I am interested in the law degree because I think it would open up a lot of different doors for my career. Law degrees can be incredibly important for entering political fields. Going to law school would allow me to understand and advocate for laws that help the cause of whatever career I end up pursuing. Additionally, law degrees drastically increase an individual’s earning potential.
Having a Master’s degree would allow me to learn more about some subject that I love, while simultaneously proving to the world that I am an expert on the subject matter. An MA is a Master’s degree in a field related to the arts, whereas an MS is a Master’s in science. Given that I’m an IA major, an MA makes more sense for me right now. Like the law degree, having a Master’s degree would open up more career opportunities because some places require a second degree.
I was looking at the UMass Law School and the Northeastern Law School. The UMass Law School because as a Massachusetts resident it would be incredibly cheap for me to attend, and the Northeastern Law School because I believe that Northeastern’s co-op program would be invaluable in securing a job after Law School. For the Master’s degree, I was looking at Tufts’ Fletcher School of Diplomacy because it is nationally renowned and thus would be a great place to finish my education.
In both cases, getting the second degree would help open up new career paths, or help me advance in my chosen path farther than having just a BA would allow.
Northeastern Law School’s Professor Richard Daynard looks like he’d be incredibly interesting to work with because of his work in the public health sector, specifically, fighting the tobacco industry. If I end up going into law, public health is definitely one of my potential interests, and I think what Professor Daynard is doing is incredibly important.
Today (the first of March) my peer mentor group and I attended the “Law & Policy Challenges in 2017 & Beyond” event that was hosted by Dan Urman, the head of the “Law and Public Policy” minor here at Northeastern, and Susannah Barton Tobin, a professor at Harvard Law School. The event focused on giving the students (most of whom were juniors or older) advice about approaching a career in law.
Honestly, the event did not focus very much on International Affairs, as the two people heading the event were mostly talking about what a career in law would entail and not how a law degree would work with interests in international relations. That being said, it was very interesting, and I learned a lot at the event about the process of applying to and attending law school.
The two professors started off talking about Professor Tobin’s life and what made her want to get a law degree. Then they talked about the process of applying to law school, and whether a student should actually attend law school or not. The professors stressed the fact that attending law school is not a decision that should be taken lightly. They also mentioned that many careers that people think need law degrees don’t always need them. Today most law schools prefer that students take two to four years after they receive their undergraduate degree before they attend law school. The professors talked about good ways to spend those years with programs like teach for America or the Peace Corps. Having students that have done all kinds of different things before they attend law school gives classes more diversity and more perspective than if everyone was fresh out of undergrad.
Another thing that was stressed during the event was the need for experience. Professor Tobin talked about her experiences defending free speech as an intern at the ACLU (ranging from high school students to members of the KKK) after her first year of law school, and working at a large Boston firm called Ropes and Grey after her second year. This included my favorite part of the night, when she described the work she did for the firm with sports law, like contracts for NCAA head coaches, and a 1st amendment case involving closing off Yawkey Way during Red Sox games.
All in all, I don’t think I was the target audience, but it did make me think about law school, a route I know many of my peers plan to take in this major. I definitely made me pursuing a co-op in a law firm in order to learn a little more about what being a lawyer is like.
Coming into Northeastern as an International Affairs student, one of my goals was to be able to speak a second language fluently (or almost fluently) by the time I left. Based on my regional interest and the fact that I took it in high school, Spanish was the language I wanted to (continue to) learn while at Northeastern.
At Northeastern I am able to take classes in Spanish, and there are 6 different levels of the language for students. Spanish classes help me with things like grammar, different tenses, and vocabulary, and give me a dedicated space to learn. While grammar is by far the least interesting part of learning any language, it is still important, and also hard to learn outside of class.
Classes are only the beginning of the potential to learn Spanish while I am here. Some clubs host Spanish speaking events that allow people to go and practice their Spanish. This is a good way to not only practice, but to also find students who are like-minded about learning a new language. Going abroad is potentially the best way to learn a new language. A traditional study abroad somewhere like Madrid or Buenos Aires would allow me to take all my classes in the language I want to learn, and some dialogues do too. I’m going on an immersion Spanish dialogue to Peru this summer, which should go a long way towards improving my language skills.
The best way to learn a new language is via immersion, and through studying abroad and international co-op opportunities Northeastern provides its students with many ways to immerse themselves. By hearing and speaking the language daily, and using it in every part of their life, immersion is the best way to learn. Lessons in a classroom can only go so far, and immersion is an important final step to mastering the language, almost like a capstone project of fluency.
If a student wants to find somewhere outside of Northeastern, but still in Boston, to practice their Spanish, there are many places that need people who can speak both Spanish and English. The Citywide Boston Hispanic Center and Catholic Charities of Boston are two examples of these places. These are two entities in Boston that work with recent Hispanic immigrants and require bilingual volunteers to help with official forms and documents, as well as getting people situated in the city. Working at a one of those or a similar place would allow a student to do good work and practice their Spanish.
On February 15th, I attended “Nature Knows No Borders: Environmental Cooperation in the Middle East”, a discussion featuring one Israeli student, and one Palestinian student representing the Aravah (the Hebrew word for “willow”) Institute. The Aravah Institute is located in the middle of the Negev Desert in southern Israel, and takes in 50 students a semester to learn about the environment and important renewable energy technology that can help citizens in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. When accepting students, the institute tries to find a balance between Israelis and Arabs because aside from the environment, the institute attempts to bring the two populations of students together, and helps each side present their view of the ongoing conflict.
The first thing our presenters did was tell their own story for how they eventually ended up studying at the institute. The first person who spoke was an Israeli woman. She grew up in the North of the country in a largely Palestinian area. She lived in a village that was all Jews, but most of the other villages in the area were all Arab. The second intifada started when she was ten, and she recalled being too terrified to even ride the busses in Israel. After her mandatory service in the Israeli Defense force, she attended university and participated in left-wing protests that called for peace and a two-state solution. Eventually she discovered the Institute, which, combined two of her passions, the environment, and continued conversation between Arabs and Israelis.
The male presenter was from Palestine, and grew up in a small village in the West Bank. He graduated from college with a degree in Engineering, and had a job all set in Jordan, before someone told him about the institute. He applied and was accepted; however, his mouther and some of his friends did not want him to go for fear of being brainwashed. Not only did he go, but he attended multiple semesters of the institute and uses what he learned at a company that provides renewable energy technology across the Middle East.
What was most telling to me about the presentation was that even though the Aravah Institute focuses primarily on the environment, most of the time at the event was spent talking about the nature of the Israeli-Arab divide, and ways to solve it. Additionally, most of the audience questions focused on the Israeli-Arab conflict as well. To me it felt like this was symbolic of the idea that this conflict overshadows nearly everything that goes on between the two groups of people. Regardless of how many scientific advances are made, or how many peace initiatives are started, the conflict will continue to overshadow every aspect of life in Israel and Palestine until a significant step is taken in the right direction by both sides. And, unfortunately, it seems neither Donald Trump, nor Benjamin Netanyahu are willing to take that step at this time.
I chose to examine the study abroad program at the University of Cape Town, located in Cape Town, South Africa.
Studying for a semester at Cape Town University would give a student the ability to learn in a completely different environment from Boston. In Cape Town and the surrounding area, students would be able to experience African life in a way they never could in Boston. By living in an African city students can see things they could only study back home. This is why studying abroad in Cape Town offers Northeastern students a chance to experience a new and unique perspective.
If I were to complete this program, I hope I would learn a lot about a country, and a continent that is not often studied in American classrooms. Up until college, my history classes primarily focused on East Asian and European history. After completing a semester at the University of Cape Town, I would have both learned about, and seen parts of Africa. Living in Cape Town would also give me opportunities to travel to other parts of South Africa or other countries.
Culturally, South Africa is very diverse, with multiple ethnic groups from Africa, descendants of Dutch and English settlers, and people from other former English colonies like Indians and Chinese. Both English and Afrikaans are spoken in the country, so a student studying abroad would not necessarily face too much difficulty communicating.
While a very advanced country, South Africa has some societal issues that an American student would need to understand and adjust to, in order to have a successful study abroad in the country. South Africa is still recovering from the legacy of apartheid, and a portion of the African population lives in townships, which are impoverished slums on the outskirts of cities. This is a stark example of inequality in the country, and Northeastern even has co-op students trying to help that situation. Understanding this economic dynamic in the country is important if a student plans on living in South Africa.