BY BRENDAN MONAHAN
Stonehill is partnering with organizations throughout Eastern Europe and Eurasia to change the way students learn about international relations and crime, getting them out of the classroom and into the field.
The College’s departments of Political Science and International Studies, and Sociology and Criminology are partnering with the Office of International Programs in the Fall to launch the “Learning Inside Out” program, offering students the opportunity to study and work on conflict analysis and resolution or globalization or transnational crime from an international perspective.
Students enrolled in the program will take one of two tracks in the Fall. The Conflict Analysis Program begins with POL 347: Conflict Analysis and Resolution course, taught by Political Science Professor Anna Ohanyan. It will focus on international conflicts spanning the twentieth century and into present day. There is a focus in the regions of the Western Balkans, the Middle East, the South Caucasus, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Sub-Sahara Africa and Southeast Asia.
The Globalization and Transnational Crime Program begins with CRM 355: Globalization and Transnational Crime course taught by Criminology Professor Anamika Twyman-Ghoshal. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach to help students gain a better understanding of crime in a global context, and explore offenses most prevalent from an international perspective including human trafficking, maritime piracy, corruption and corporate deviance.
After passing the Fall course, students in the Spring will intern in Armenia, Georgia, or Serbia for a non-governmental organization (NGO), research think tank, or governmental office. This internship experience will allow the student to apply what they learned in the classroom to work in the field of conflict analysis and resolution, or transnational crime.
At the end of the internship, students write a research paper based on a feature of conflict or transnational crime where they did their field work. Possible internship sites include the Helsinki Commission for Human Rights in Belgrade, the Eurasia Partnership in Yerevan, the Center for Excellence in Negotiation in Yerevan, the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi, and the Victimization Society of Serbia.
At the end of the internship, students meet in Armenia in June 2016 for two weeks in an integrative seminar with Ohanyan to refine their research papers and craft a presentation to be given at the undergraduate conference co-sponsored by the College and the Eurasia Partnership Foundation,“New Voices: Junior Scholars’ Conference on Regional Security” in Yerevan, Armenia.
The professors said the program provides a different type of an international academic and internship experience than anything Stonehill, or any other college or university has ever offered
“The program gives our students a great narrative which can shape their lives for years to come. Spending time in a society that has been through war and recovered, and working side by side with regional peacebuilders is such a great and humbling learning opportunity. It will provide students with amazing lessons which are hard to come by behind the walls of the academia,” Ohanyon said.
Twyman-Ghoshal said she hopes to change Stonehill students ideas of a typical abroad experience.
“With this program, we want to break the imaginary line that students draw between areas they think they can or cannot travel to, while providing them with an opportunity to hone their research and work skills. It will to be a transformative experience,” Twyman-Ghoshal said.
Students can obtain more information about the program by contacting either professor via email or by attending an information session. Sessions will be held on March 27 at 1 p.m. in Martin 224, on March 30 at 11:30 a.m. in Martin 105, and on April 10 at 1 p.m. in Martin 224.