Former Fellow Don Gomez Heads to the Army’s Ranger Leadership School

Former Leadership fellow Don Gomez reflects on his recent graduation from the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course as he prepares to enter Ranger School, an intense combat training course.

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Don Gomez having the Blue Cord pinned on by his wife. Photo: Courtesy of Don Gomez

This post originally appeared on Carrying the Gun, the blog of former leadership fellow Don Gomez (2008-2010).

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This week I graduated from the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course (IBOLC). I’m now branch qualified, meaning I can go on and do my job as an infantry platoon leader. Next up is Ranger School, an intensive two month combat leadership course. Continue reading “Former Fellow Don Gomez Heads to the Army’s Ranger Leadership School”

Center Fellows Reflect on the Meaning and Challenges of Service (Part II)

This is the second post in a two part series on a Wiki created by the Colin Powell Center’s Partners for Change fellows to explore themes around the idea of “service”, focusing here on “permanence”.

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This “word cloud” was generated using terms pulled from the fellows’ Service Wiki. Image via Wordle.net.

This is the second post in a two part series on a Wiki created by the Colin Powell Center’s Partners for Change fellows to explore themes around the idea of “service”.

During our discussions of “service” in the Partners for Change seminar another emergent theme was “permanence.” Questions and assertions of service projects’ longevity and sustainability were tossed around while trying to define what makes a project effective. In other words, how do we know if service is making an impact? There were several conflicting views on permanence as it relates to service, but all the fellows’ voices were heard. At the end of the unit, and perhaps after some important time for reflection, the fellows produced a collaborative voice in their “Service Wiki.” The following is an excerpt on “permanence.” Continue reading “Center Fellows Reflect on the Meaning and Challenges of Service (Part II)”

Moving Beyond the Mafia State

If international relations (IR) scholarship is to advance policymakers’ understanding of transnational organized crime and its role with respect to state power — and therefore by extension, the best ways to militate against illicit power corrupting the national interests of states — new theoretical frameworks are needed.

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Moisés Naím at the 2009 World Economic Forum on Latin America. Photo: World Economic Forum / Creative Commons

Originally posted on Huffington Post by Center Coordinator Michael Busch.

Earlier this spring, Moisés Naím provocatively warned against an emerging menace facing our world today — the advent of what he terms the “mafia state.” Analyzing the role of transnational organized crime in the age of globalization has been Naím’s bailiwick for some years now, and familiar readers will find little that catches them off-guard. Still, his argument that illicit actors have penetrated national governments with unprecedented success in recent years should be enough for policymakers to take notice. Naím doesn’t mince words about what’s at stake. “In a mafia state, high government officials actually become integral players in, if not the leaders of, criminal enterprises, and the defense and promotion of those enterprises’ businesses become official priorities.” Continue reading “Moving Beyond the Mafia State”

Immigration Reform: A First Step Toward Elevating the Future

Elated students hug in response to President Obama's immigration reform announcement.
Elated students hug in response to President Obama’s immigration reform announcement. Photo by Delcia Lopez

By Center Director Vince Boudreau.

Every spring, I spend several days lecturing at a retirement community.  Part of what drives Powell Center programming is a desire to more effectively connect the college’s activities to the public sphere, and by presenting lectures about international affairs geared to public audiences, I feel I am discharging that mission, if only in very modest terms.  I often talk about security policy, or international affairs in Asia.  But two years ago, on the heels of the Powell Center’s immigration conference, I chose to speak on immigration and the role of new Americans in this country.

Continue reading “Immigration Reform: A First Step Toward Elevating the Future”

After 7 Years of Service, Deputy Director Nora Heaphy Moves on to New Challenges

After seven years at the Colin Powell Center, Deputy Director Nora Heaphy is leaving to become the director of the Cahn Fellows Program at Columbia Teacher’s College

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Deputy Director Nora Heaphy is leaving the Colin Powell Center.

Dear Friends,

I’m writing with exceptionally mixed emotions to say that after seven years at the Colin Powell Center for Leadership and Service, Nora Heaphy is leaving to become the director of the Cahn Fellows Program at Columbia Teacher’s College. Those who worked with her surely will have recognized her as an utterly dedicated and visionary leader at the Center.  Under her careful guidance, we built a multi-faceted service-learning program, expanded the range and quality of the scholarship activities for students, developed new ways to support faculty and built an exceptional team dedicated to promoting leadership and service at CCNY. Continue reading “After 7 Years of Service, Deputy Director Nora Heaphy Moves on to New Challenges”

Linking Studies with Service, a Center Fellow Launches a Career in Global Public Health

A former Colin Powell fellow, Mohamed Jallow has begun a career in global public health, with positions as the Council on Foreign Relations and IntraHealth International.

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Former fellow Mohamed Jallow (right) with Ambassador John Price. Photo: Sirin Samman

Looking back at my academic and career trajectory, it would not have been possible without my affiliation with the Colin Powell Center. My internship at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which led to my full time employment there after graduation, was largely due to the service-learning requirements at the Colin Powell Center. The idea of linking students with a domestic or international organization engaged in work around a student’s area of interest to provide real world experience is innovative and immensely rewarding to those who participate. My time at the CFR allowed me not only to grow my professional network, but to learn and discover new approaches to solving global issues, including global public health, a field in which I currently work. Continue reading “Linking Studies with Service, a Center Fellow Launches a Career in Global Public Health”

Helping Students on the Way to College, a Fellow Learns about Herself

On a university tour with high school students, Partners for Change fellow Whitley Jackson learned valuable lessons about herself and what makes her want to help others.

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Crouse College on the Syracuse University campus. Photo: Briles Takes Pictures / Creative Commons

I had the opportunity to work with the College Access Center during the year. While there I worked with high school juniors on college access and college applications through group workshops held at least twice a month. Workshop topics varied from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to the College Board, to finding what major is best for you. Before stepping into the doors of the Center, I was worried about whether or not I would be able to help the students or if I would be able to make them feel comfortable. While at the Center, I learned to be honest about my limits and be both flexible and relatable through conversations with students individually and as a group. Continue reading “Helping Students on the Way to College, a Fellow Learns about Herself”

Corporate Power and International Trade

A leaked document posted at Public Citizen last night offers a stark reminder of the rising power transnational corporations enjoy in the domestic settings of nation-states where they do business. The Huffington Post’s Zach Carter writes that “The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.” As Carter points out, “The terms run contrary to campaign promises issued by Obama and the Democratic Party during the 2008 campaign.”

A rally protesting the Canadian mining company Pacific Rim Mining's case with the World Bank Tribunal to force El Salvador to approve an environmentally hazardous mine project.
A rally protesting the Pacific Rim Mining Company’s case with the World Bank Tribunal to force El Salvador to approve an environmentally hazardous mine project. Photo by Ron Carver

Originally posted on Huffington Post by Center Coordinator Michael Busch.

A leaked document posted at Public Citizen last night offers a stark reminder of the rising power transnational corporations enjoy in the domestic settings of nation-states where they do business. The Huffington Post’s Zach Carter writes:

The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.

As Carter points out, “The terms run contrary to campaign promises issued by Obama and the Democratic Party during the 2008 campaign.” Continue reading “Corporate Power and International Trade”