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Grant Encourages Students to Enter International Careers - Homeroom

Grant Encourages Students to Enter International Careers

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In 2011, the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women (JFEW) awarded grants to the SUNY Levin Institute to establish the JFEW-SUNY International Relations and Global Affairs Scholarship Program for students at SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Stony Brook. The program helps students to become leaders in international relations and global affairs through mentoring opportunities and peer networks. During the course of the program, from 2011 to 2016, 100 SUNY students receive over $1,000,000 in scholarship money and extensive professional support through a two-year program, which includes a summer internship.

In 2011, the program began with a pilot summer internship for students entering their senior year; 10 Binghamton and 10 Stony Brook students were selected. Following a four-day orientation at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan where they learned about international relations and how to succeed in a professional environment, the interns were placed with a variety of international organizations. Along with the experience they gained at their host organizations, they took part in topical weekly seminars, participated in networking events, kept a daily journal and completed several assignments. Students received $5,000 for the internship.

Deanna D'Onofrio '12, a psychology major from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., who interned with charity: water, says, “The JFEW internship taught me essential skills regarding business etiquette, international relations and how to carry myself as a professional, all of which I will remember for the remainder of my career.”

The second element of the scholarship program is the two-year academic program. Completed during students’ junior and senior years, it includes an academic-year seminar series, a paid summer internship with international organizations, professional development activities, and opportunities to create mentor and peer networks with a focus on women and leadership in international relations and global affairs.

Each year, ten students are selected from both universities. During the previous years, students participated in monthly seminars that give them an overview of key themes, vocabulary and resources in international relations and global affairs. They attended networking, professional development and mentoring sessions. They also complete assignments such as writing a detailed reflection piece following each seminar, authoring briefs of Foreign Affairs magazine articles and summarizing editorials authored by New York Times columnists. Students must also maintain a list of women leaders in the news and write a reflection piece about female leadership.

The seminars include guest speakers from organizations including Foreign Policy Association, the Atlantic Council, and the Americas Society. In the second year the monthly seminars are focused on career skills and led by the campus Career Services Centers.  Organizations that have hosted the Scholars include the U.S. Department of State (in NY), Institute of International Education, American Turkish Society, and Carnegie Council. The Orientation before the internship includes private briefings with notable leaders. Past speakers include the Consul General of the Czech Republic, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kenyan Mission to the UN, and the Mexican Ambassador to the UN. During the Internship there are weekly evening seminars with briefings at different organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Pfizer, and the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.

"Working with the JFEW-SUNY program has been an amazing experience," explains philosophy, politics and law major Kristiana Zuccarini '13 from Huntington, N.Y. "Through our monthly seminars and regular assignments, I have had the opportunity to combine knowledge learned inside the classroom and apply it to current, international affairs."

On May 9, 2013, the Career Center at Stony Brook University recognized the JFEW - SUNY Program in International Relations & Global Affairs as the 2013 Internship Program of the Year. Marianna Savoca, the Director of Stony Brook’s Career Center, notes “The internships themselves are outstanding, and the professional development overlay is what distinguishes it from others. The seminars introducing students to the field of international relations, guest speakers from governmental and non-governmental organizations, site visits to consulates, the Department of State (NY), and the United Nations to name a few, along with the individual mentoring students gain from professionals in the field all contribute to the uniqueness of the program and the students’ sincere appreciation for the opportunity.”

"SUNY is extremely grateful to the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women for their generosity and vision in making the program possible," says Maryalice Mazzara, Director of Academic Affairs, SUNY Levin Institute. "The JFEW-SUNY International Relations and Global Affairs program is world-class in the quality of its internships and programming. The students have excelled and represent SUNY with pride." #

For additional information, contact Dr. Maryalice Mazzarra, the JFEW SUNY Program Director at Maryalice.Mazzara@suny.edu.

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