Spring Break 2017
The Technology and Human Rights spring break tour provided the opportunity to meet leaders and policymakers in technology and human rights. The third annual tour took the group to Baltimore and Washington D.C. and was a great opportunity to build connections with alumni and other students.
The group of students participating in the tour were
Deqa Aden ’18 | Nathan Calvin ’18 | Nicole Carver ’19 | Michael Cummings ’18 | Mark Duncan ’19 | Angela Frimpong ’20 | Anesu Gamanya ’17 | Lily Hamilton ’19 | Grisel Hernandez ’17 | Esther Hwang ’19 | Sophie Macklem-Johnson ’18 | Erina Matsui ’18 | Luc Moisan ’17 | Linda Oyolu ’17 | Hanh Pham ’17 | Nora Sahel ’17 | Jarren Santos ’17 | Sarojini Sapru ’17 | Nomalanga Shields ’18 | Xiaoxuan Yang ’17
Faculty trip leaders were Sarah Purcell ’92, director, Rosenfield Program; and Barb Trish, professor of political science
The staff trip leaders were Maureen Fitzgibbon, assistant director of employer relations & employment counseling, and Laureen Van Wyk, Rosenfield Program coordinator.
Our first stop in Baltimore was at the Baltimore Sun. Adam Marton, senior editor of interactive design, gathered a group of journalists and data experts to illustrate how they produced an interactive feature on the death of Freddie Gray and the civil unrest in Baltimore. The data team sorted through police reports, eyewitness interviews, and reams of government data to provide a tool for understanding to the Baltimore community. The team also shared other interesting data journalism projects
Over lunch at Phillips Seafood Restaurant, Tamar Lasky ’76 shared with the group about the work of MIE Resources. Lasky's Baltimore company, founded in 2010, consults on epidemiology, and she discussed human rights and vital medications.
Ed Senn ’79, who is a longtime friend of the Rosenfield Program, hosted us at Verizon for presentations and a lovely lunch. The technology space, which opened October 2016, offers visitors interactive demonstrations of various "Internet of Things" technologies such as
- Cameras and sensors that provide emergency services with a whole-field view of an emergency situation
- Health sensors to send urgent warnings to medical professionals
- A mock tractor and drone to demonstrate the use of agricultural sensors
- A connected, electric, low-speed car to reduce parking congestion on college campuses
- Supply chain telematics for keeping track of the status of packages
At the Federal Trade Commission, Russ Damtoft '76 explained that the mission of the FTC is to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices and to enhance public understanding of the competitive process.
The restaurant Circa Foggy Bottom was the happening place when our tour group met with Abel Lomax '05 and others to discuss careers in foreign service. The evening was topped off with homemade gelato at Abel's home. Many students were really interested in learning about careers in foreign service.
At the Urban Institute, we were hosted by David Leitson ’16 who assembled a panel of alumni from the Urban Institute and the Center for Global Development to talk with the students about research and the non-profit sector. Urban's mission is to open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.
Kate Goddard Rohrbaugh ’91 hosted us at the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is a 2-year program in which American citizens volunteer in developing countries and work with local governments, schools, NPOs, NGOs, and entrepreneurs for social and economic development. The Peace Corps goal is helping people of other countries better understand Americans and helping Americans better understand people of other countries.
Ann Louise-Colgan hosted our group at the U.S. Institute of Peace. The Institute promotes peace in high conflict zones around the globe through research and collaborative processes.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis. Rand began as a defense research initiative after World War II, but now they tackle a huge array of social issues. We heard about several projects ranging from policing to data rights. Rich Moore, senior engineer at Rand Corporation, hosted a discussion with Rebecca Balebako, John Davis, Rich Moore, and Stephanie Rennane.
The group also visited Internews, Newseum, and the National Geographic Museum.
Spring Break 2016
Cherry blossoms adorned the nation’s capital as 25 Grinnell College students, faculty, and staff arrived for the Policy Tour in Washington D.C. The tour, which was the second week of spring break, provided an opportunity for students to see aspects of the policy making process in practice. Visits to organizations allowed students to build connections with alums.
The tour began at the Arms Control Association where Greg Thielmann '72, Arms Control Association, talked about his 25-year career in Foreign Service.
On Day two, the students were captivated as Ed Senn '79, Verizon, discussed his work in public policy advocacy. "Grinnell is the basis of who I am today," says Ed. Mr. Senn hosted the group for lunch at the National Association of Manufacturers. Former Rosenfield Program Committee Members Chris Hildebrand '10, Sally Blatz '08, Josh Dorner '03, Hamsa Hasan '09, and Claire Griffith '12 joined the group for lunch.
The tour of the US Capitol included a visit to Senator Chuck Grassley’s office.
A highlight of the week was the Alumni Reception at Decatur House. President Kington and Student Trip Leader David Leitson each gave a talk before Rosenfield Program Director, Sarah Purcell, spoke about the 30 years of success of the Rosenfield Program.
Next was a visit to the Heritage Foundation where Ted Bromund '91 shared with the group about the history of think tanks. The Heritage Foundation, the world's largest think tank, was founded in 1973. It is a research and educational institution think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
A special feature on the tour was a meeting with Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Secretary Vilsack spoke about the history of the USDA and how the organization provides leadership on issues related to food, agriculture, and natural resources. He welcomed questions from the students. Iowa State Director of Rural Development, Grinnellian Bill Menner, assisted in hosting the tour group.
Ben Weyl '07 invited the group to visit Politico where he talked to the group about his new career. "It's a bright spot in media," says Ben. Politico is a journalism outlet covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally.
The Grinnell group enjoyed a gourmet Native American lunch at the Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian. The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and is dedicated to the life, languages, literature, history, and arts of the Native Americans of the Western Hemisphere. Eric Green '85 and Aubrey Carlson '82 joined the lunch to discuss their work at the State Department.
The tour concluded on Saturday morning with a tour of the White House.
The students participating in the trip were Deqa Aden ’18, Jackson Blais ’16, Glorianne Dorce ’16, Michaela Gelnarova ’18, Suha Gillani ’16, Martha Graham ’16, Carley Kleinhans ‘16,Emma Lange ’16, Laika Lewis ’16, Thanh Mai ’18, Katherine Menner ’18, Luc Moisan ’17, Olivia Queathem ’18, Virginia Purcell ’16, Caleigh Ryan ’17, Deanna Taylor ’18, Roselle Tenorio ’17, Anna Schierenbeck ’18, and Lauren Yi ’18. David Leitson ’16 was the student trip leader.
Faculty and staff who were on the trip were Sarah Purcell, Director, Rosenfield Program; Barb Trish, Professor of Political Science; Wayne Moyer, Professor of Political Science; Christie Mohlke, Assistant Director of Career Development and Internships; and Laureen Van Wyk, Rosenfield Program Coordinator.
Spring Break 2015
Excitement filled the air as a group of 20 Grinnell students and four faculty and staff members set out for the Human Rights and International Relations Tour during spring break. The trip was co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program; the Center for Careers, Life, and Service; and the Development and Alumni Relations Office.
To start off, the group met with Sarah Labowitz ’04, who used to work for the State Department, and is now a research scholar and directs the program on business and human rights at NYU Stern School of Business. Sarah has worked on issues of business and human rights for almost a decade, with expertise in the areas of labor rights in supply chains and Internet policy. The students had conversation with Sarah and Professor Michael Posner, former Assistant Secretary of State, over lunch. Catalina Caro Torres hosted the group at the Council on Foreign Relations for a student briefing. Networking skills were put to use during the evening reception with New York alumni and President Kington at the Rubin Museum of Art.
The second day in New York City began at the New York Times with a tour with Roberta Smith ’69, art critic. The students then had the opportunity to meet with reporters Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirz who are collaborating on an investigative series about police brutality at Rikers Island. Damien Cave, deputy national editor for digital at the Times. At Human Rights Watch, Paul Aufiero spoke with the group about the work of the organization and then the group headed to the Center for Constitutional Rights for a presentation from Executive Director Vince Warren and a meeting with Leonard Kurz ’75 and other alums.
The excitement continued on day three as the group traveled to Queens to meet with Luna Ranjit ’00 at Adhikaar. With a donation from a Grinnell professor, Luna began Adhikaar in 2005 to improve the lives of Nepali-speaking communities, and her group has had great success in advocating for civil rights. Episcopal Relief and Development was the next stop, where Katie Mears ’03 shared about the work of this international organization working to overcome poverty. The day ended at Alliance Berstain L.P. where Ahsan Rahim ’11 hosted a pizza dinner with the New York Alumni Planning Committee.
Day four began with a briefing at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations with Liz Lee ’99, a foreign service officer assigned to the mission. The students were captivated by the experiences she shared. The group then split up for a few hours: some of them opted to go see Ground Zero, others enjoyed some shopping at Chelsea Market and a stroll at Highline Park. The afternoon started off with a tour of the United Nations and ended in Jersey City at Forbes Magazine. Liyan Chen ’12 arranged for the aspiring students to meet with several editors and reporters for the magazine, where she works as a reporter covering international issues.
Sarah Purcell, Director of the Rosenfield Program, says: “We were so excited to share with students so many fascinating and important organizations and individuals. We got an inside look at human rights and international work, and our entire visit to New York was so energizing.”
Student trip participants were Lilianna Bagnoli ’15, Chantelle Dallas ’15, Silvia Foster-Frau ‘15, Stephen Gruber-Miller ‘15, Gwendolyn Ihrie ’15, Iulia Iordache ’15, Liesl Schnabel ’15, Tefiro Serunjogi ’15, Louisa Silverman ’15, Danielle Chorne ’16, Colleen Moser ’16, Paige Wheeler ’16, Andino Isaac ’17, Annie Casey ’17, Teodora Cakarmis ’17, Desiree Dos Santos da Mota ’17, Armando Perez ’17, and Sebastian Rivera ’18. Student trip leaders were Roni Finkelstein ’15 and Anesu Gamanya ’15. Faculty trip leaders were Sarah Purcell, Professor of History and Director of the Rosenfield Program; and Ed Cohn, Assistant Professor of History and Interim Director of the Rosenfield Program. Staff leaders were Nate Dobbels, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations for Career Programs; and Laureen Van Wyk, Rosenfield Program Coordinator.