On Friday, October 20, 2023, APSIA and the Georgia Institute of Technology Nunn School of International Affairs (GTech Nunn) welcomed 13 community college and undergraduate advisors from nine institutions to the 2023 Fall Public and International Service Advisor (PISA) training workshop in Atlanta.
To begin, Peter Brecke, Nunn School Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies, welcomed everyone and talked about the School’s call to change the world through international affairs.
Then, Dr. Brecke invited his former student Levar Smith, now Assistant Professor of Political Science at Morehouse College (GTech Nunn Alumnus), to moderate the alumni panel on career journeys and possibilities. Speakers Rana Shabb, Associate Director, Middle East at The Carter Center (Georgetown SFS and GTech Nunn Alumna), and Amara Uyanna, Business Sustainability Consultant at The Coca-Cola Company (UT LBJ Alumna), emphasized that there is no singular path to a career in public and international service. Rather, individuals attracted to the field often have a passion to do good, want an outlet for this passion, and find it in public and international service. Speakers discussed how students can practice engaging in meaningful policy conversations with individuals who may have opinions opposite of their own.
After the career panel, advisors heard from Cullen Newton, Director of Employer Outreach at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and Vince Pedicino, Director of Academic Programs at the Nunn School. Moderated by Said Sewell, Director of Office Of Academics, Research, & Student Success at the Atlanta University Center Consortium, the panelists discussed key factors that prospective graduate students should consider when comparing graduate degrees and mapping financial aid. Panelists stressed the importance of affordability, location, and class size in measuring the student’s degree of fit with any APSIA program. Moreover, students should think about what they want professionally from the graduate school experience.
After lunch, advisors reconvened for a final panel moderated by Carol Riddock, Associate Director of Pre-Law Advising & Career Coach for the Law, Government, Public Policy, and International Affairs Careers Community at Emory University (PISA). Looking at how advisors can connect their globally-minded students with local opportunities, panelists Maleeka Glover, Interim Executive Director of Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security, and Amit Khanduri, Director of Programs at the Georgia Resilience & Opportunity Fund (Duke Sanford Alumnus), talked about ways students can connect locally with global security, sustainability, and climate change, among other topics. The fields of public and international service can offer exciting pathways into the public sector near home, especially at the city, county, and state levels of government. Speakers also encouraged advisors to help their students consider the breadth of possibilities available in the nonprofit and private sectors.
To close out the day, APSIA Constituent Relations Coordinator Britnee Chuor (UT LBJ Alumna) shared more about the PISA Network and explained the access attendees now have to events and resources for themselves and their students. Learn more at pisanetwork.com.
Attendees came from
- Agnes Scott College
- Beulah Heights University
- Clayton State University
- Georgia Gwinnett College
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Georgia State University
- Morehouse College
- Spelman College
- University of West Georgia