About IPID

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on International Development (IPID) is a newly formed student initiative linking graduate students, scholars, and practitioners with interests in development. IPID also sustains an online student-edited journal, Reconsidering Development, in addition to the IPID student group. These activities constitute an ongoing cross-department and cross-sector endeavor meant to continually grow and evolve.

The student group and online journal provide graduate students with opportunities to develop skills in leadership and to promote their scholarship in the field of international development. IPID's mission and goal seeks to continually explore and expand upon three initial research questions:

  1. How does an interdisciplinary perspective shift our conceptualization of international development?
  2. What are the trends and issues affecting current approaches to international development?
  3. What is the future of this interdisciplinary field (including the role of the international community)?
It is fitting that the founding charter IPID members and advisors come from departments at the University of Minnesota with a tradition of cross-disciplinary and cross-sector scholarship and practice, including the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the program in Comparative and International Development Education, and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. 

Student Leaders
The IPID student group's current leaders are:

Peter in China on bicycle trip.jpgPresident
Peter Ehresmann, Master of Development Practice candidate
I'm Peter, or "2-meter Peter" rather, as I was called in my 2nd home and past life in China and am one of the 2nd year Masters of Development Practice (MDP) pioneers. Prior to returning home to attend Humphrey, I spent 4 years teaching English in Chinese universities in Jilin City and Beijing, breaking up my time there by envisioning and organizing a 14-month musical bicycle expedition of 5, called FueledByRice.org , from Beijing to Paris via India to make a small yet tangible contribution to building intercultural understanding & peace. Since interning and researching my undergraduate thesis in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya on a Human Rights Fellowship in 2003, I have been deeply considering the politics of poverty, environmental destruction, and the ethics of the lifestyle choices we all make as the privileged few: How do we actually balance economic growth with environmental sustainability? Just what ought our end goals of international development be?  I most recently spent my summer (2011) in Cairo Egypt working on garbage and recycling for the MDP field experience. I earned my BA in Political Science at St. John's University, MN, and love bicycling, the outdoors, photography, music, and living abroad.

My vision for IPID is to grow and fill out our young 2-year old student organization through your involvement in our standing committees and potential sub-committees (such as for specific events like the semesterly student speaker conference) as outlined in our Constitution. I would love to see you take the initiative to help us build IPID with your ideas, leading the planning of an event, or helping us better collaborate with other student organizations. Even better, I hope you run for a committee chair in the fall elections or for an officer position in the spring!  I am eager to discuss, debate with, and learn from you!

brandon_ecuador.jpgVice President
Brandon Wu, Master of Public Policy candidate
I'm a second-year Master of Public Policy student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, concentrating in Global Policy.  Prior to coming to the Humphrey, I worked as a researcher and grantwriter at Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in Washington, DC, doing policy analysis and advocacy around U.S. trade policy from 2005-2010. I have a B.A. in sociology from Yale University, where I studied comparative historical sociology of international development. 

My current research centers on the conflict between national economic policy in Colombia, including the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and the economic, social and cultural rights of historically marginalized Afro-Colombian communities.  I spent my summer in Colombia working on this research, and related activism, in Bogotá and the conflict zone of Urabá.  I'm now turning this research into a master's thesis and various advocacy papers related to the Colombia FTA.

I'm interested in looking at development through the lens of addressing global inequality by challenging the power structures and entrenched interests that benefit from the status quo.  I blog about this sort of thing at Power and Participation.  I'm also super excited to share and learn from other members of IPID over the course of this year!

Britta Hansen, Master of Development Practice candidate
I am a second year Masters of Development Practice student at the Humphrey School, while here I have focused my studies on international agriculture and nutrition issues in the global south. I completed my summer field work in Bolivia where I conducted an evaluation of  small scale irrigation ponds for improved agricultural production. My background is in agricultural education and community development with a focus on Latin America.Before starting my graduate studies I was working with the Ministry of Education and the World Food Program in Liberia where I worked with parent teacher associations on school feeding programs. I spent two years in Bolivia working in ag extension and nutrition education, while there I also completed an extensive beekeeping project in the small community where I lived. Some fun facts about me; I have lived or studied on all but two continents, I paddled a canoe across Ontario and my family owns the first Christmas tree farm in the state. I am looking forward to continuing my work with IPID and being a part of the diverse University community.

Officer At-Large
Chet Bodin, Master of Public Policy candidate
Greetings! My name is Chet Bodin.  I'm the current Officer At-Large in IPID, and a second year MPP student at the Humphrey School studying global policy.  For me IPID is about personal development as much as community or economic development.  I believe most of us understand there are fundamental problems with the world, and see evidence of that in the suffering, conflict and human rights failures that exist. With this in mind, I maintain that the lasting growth we seek, arrives best when as aspire to integrate with others.  By sharing ideas, and making a personal commitment to work and learn together, we are empowered to pursue change with different cultures, nations and philosophies- not in spite of them.
Personally, I value a socioeconomic model that puts a premium on humanity, social awareness, public service and work ethic.  At IPID, I aim to understand the values of others to cultivate introspection, and learn how to apply development policy that's in step with people, their beliefs, their communities and surroundings.

Last year, as the Programming Committee Co-Chair, I helped to organize an IPID Open House, two discussion panels on Sierra Leone and Iraq. More recently, I've been concentrating on strengthening IPID's organizational structure to have more members engaged in programming, as we expand our membership and pursue our goals across campus.  I'm looking forward to the addition of new members whose experience, energy and ideas will invigorate the group's capacity, imagination and ever-expanding potential.  Let's make IPID 2011-12 the best year yet.

Logan Dumaine, Master of Public Policy candidate

Strategic Relations Chair
Ameido Amevor, Master of Public Policy candidate

kirsten.jpgProgramming Co-Chair
Kirsten Selvig, Law School

I am a first year law student at the U. I do not have any direct experience with international development, but I do have a fascination with the mechanics of power in international development (and the international community at large). I studied History in undergrad, and spent my fifth year studying abroad in Paris, France and Leeds, England. My time in Paris was a great mishmash of international students, French students, and very globally active faculty that allowed me a tiny peek into the clockwork of European power politics. In England, I focused on my thesis project, which looked at the lingering effect the British Empire has on British politics today. That year gave me a real appreciation for the way that historical problems have a funny way of sticking around long past their formal end-point, and a burning desire to get abroad again as soon as possible. My perspective is grounded in the Western world and how more developed countries struggle with the tension between humanitarian obligations and national security concerns/domestic political pressures.

I hope to expand IPID's presence on campus, especially in the law school. We law students do love to argue and we could always use a few more progressive consciences around to keep us ethical. I'm excited to get in arguments, uh, I mean discussions with people outside of law and gain a larger perspective on the issues of the world!

p9210678.jpgProgramming Co-Chair
Gilles Amadou Ouedraogo, Master of Development Practice candidate

Gilles (Geo) Ouedraogo holds a B.A. in international management from Gustavus Adolphus College with a minor in Peace Studies. He is currently a student in the Masters of Development Practice in International Development program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Viewing the application of Social Justice as a key factor to the success of sustainable development, he joined numerous student organizations during his undergraduate studies; such as Amnesty International and Building bridges, which both raised awareness on world issues plaguing our world. In addition to his activism on campus, he embarked on a five month trip across India; one of the fastest developing nations of our time; on an intensive course entitled Social Justice, Peace and Development. As a result he experienced microcredit first hand and instantly fell in love with the concept. He started thinking of ways it could be adapted to a sub-Saharan African model of economic, social and human development. He has thoroughly enjoyed the Humphrey so far and has joined IPID as a Co-Programming Chair to explore everything this dynamic organization has to offer!

Information Technology and Communication Chair
Rachel Garaghty, Master of Public Policy candidate

  • Programming Committee - Handles all planning and arrangements for guest speakers, programming and trips.
  • Finance Committee - Initiates and facilitates IPID fundraising efforts in coordination with all other committees.
  • Strategic Relations Committee - Initiates and sustains IPID outreach efforts among University students, faculty and staff and all outside parties.
  • Information Technology and Communication (ITC) Committee - Builds and sustains the IPID website and content.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rachel Garaghty published on October 23, 2011 7:58 PM.

Call for Submissions: Reconsidering Development and "Institutions" was the previous entry in this blog.

Film Showing: "The Unreturned" is the next entry in this blog.

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