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W&M Spring Break Seminar is new opportunity to 'Study in DC'

  • Spring Break Seminar:
    Spring Break Seminar:  Mike Tierney (left) and David Trichler will teach the first seminar in March 2017.  Courtesy photo
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Three-credit course offered in Washington Center in March 2017

Provost Michael R. Halleran recently announced that William & Mary is growing its academic offerings in the W&M Washington Center with the addition of a new W&M Spring Break Seminar opportunity beginning in March 2017.

The first course in that seminar, Foreign Policy:  International Development, Security, and Commerce, will be taught by Mike Tierney, Hylton Professor of Government and International Relations, and AidData Director of Operations David Trichler. 

Taking advantage of the abundant range of speakers and site visits available in the Washington, D.C. area, the course will explore topics such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the 2016 election, the allocation and implementation of World Bank aid, the role of journalism in policy debates, the affect of interagency process on complex issues such as climate change and the reasoning behind America’s cooperative nuclear agreement with Iran.

logoHalleran said that this latest “Study in DC” academic opportunity in the W&M Washington Center “will help our students gain a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Washington’s dynamic international institutions,” and noted that it fulfills the call in the W&M Strategic Plan to “expand programs through the D.C. office … to reach more students by FY18 and take even more advantage of domestic and international policy opportunities, including those in international aid.”

He added, “I am excited to see the expansion of our D.C. assets and opportunities and expect this course to be very popular and successful.”

Tierney said that the work he and Trichler have done with the Williamsburg-based “think-and-do tank” AidData has helped them establish a wide variety of relationships throughout the D.C. international affairs community, and that students in the course “will be directly exposed to policy practitioners in D.C. to better understand how these different actors define their goals, analyze complex situations and achieve (or not) their objectives in the policy process.” 

According to Tierney, the course will “provide students with analytical tools and the opportunity to apply them through case studies, site visits and simulations. We anticipate a great line-up of guest lecturers who are embedded deep in the policy process, and we hope that the course will provide helpful context to enrich students’ coursework back on campus by engaging them in current, complex debates in foreign policy.”

Tierney and Trichler said that guest lectures and site visits will include such organizations as the National Security Council, State Department, Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Millennium Challenge Corporation.

The opportunity is open to undergraduate and graduate students of all majors, and there are no prerequisites. 

William & Mary Washington Center administrators will manage the seminar, providing the same quality of support to students in D.C. as campus administrators do in Williamsburg and planning activities during the week to help students network with the 17,000-strong D.C. alumni community.  Students may choose to live at home, W&M-sponsored furnished apartments in the D.C. area or elsewhere.

Interested students can find more information and an application on the W&M Spring Break Seminar site. Applications are open now and close Nov. 7.