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International Development Studies Newsletter

International Development Studies

Project management workshop hosted by IDS alumnus Nick Ford

Nick Ford

Beginning on March 25, the International Development Studies program hosted a project management workshop that was facilitated by program alum Nick Ford.

Mr. Ford is currently an international project leader at IntraHealth International in North Carolina with 18 years of international development experience. Mr. Ford supervised multi-million dollar projects portfolios in challenging African environments. In addition to his role at IntraHealth, he shares and teaches skill sets needed in the field of development as a project manager.

The project development workshop was an interactive learning experience with real world application. The workshop allowed future practitioners to understand the theory behind project management, learn how to use management tools that will enable them to effectively monitor and mange projects, as well as partake in practical exercises for an experience based education training.

The offered project tool kit allowed students to have immediate application to workshop information. Towards the end of the workshop experience, Mr. Ford opened the floor for students to ask questions regarding networking and experience in the field as a development practitioner.

IDS students travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with development experts

The International Development Studies (IDS) Program at Ohio University made its annual trip to Washington, D.C., on January 7, 2016.

Led by the Program Director Dr. Bob Walter, the first-year and second-year graduate students were privileged to interact with active development professionals serving in various capacities.

This year, students were welcomed by the United States Agency for International Development, Global Environmental Facility and the World Wildlife Fund, among other prominent internationally focused institutions. Additionally, students were able to network with Ohio University Alumni who are currently practicing professionals serving in various development focus areas such as gender equality, environment, and maternal and child health.

Upon returning from the trip, Dr. Walter, put out a request to students for feedback. Below are some of their comments.

  • “I also like the scope of agencies that we visited. There was something for everyone, no matter his or her specialization” (Jessica Arnold).
  • “I loved our visit to various organizations…their presentations were relevant to us” (Eric Dushimimana).
  • “What I really liked about it was the fact that I got to meet many people working in the development field and also got a sense of how development agencies work” (Frederica Jackson).
  • “The talks and experiences gave me an idea and opened my mind to things that I have to consider and do, especially with my area of specialization” (Helena Yeboah).
  • “This DC trip has been important because we have interacted with these organization officials. The latters emphasized the need of networking for career success” (Mohamed Keita).

The students expressed key take-aways from meeting with alumni and various organizations. Due to the relevancy of presentations, students were able to relate and understand their future roles as development practitioners.

One common theme among many students was the opportunity to meet practitioners serving in various concentrations of development. It’s not often that students are given a platform to mix and mingle with possible future employers and colleagues. It is because of this opportunity that IDS students will walk into their field of work with a concrete idea of what to expect.

Dr. Felipe Aros-Vera leads presentation for IDS students on experiences working in Earthquake Relief in Nepal

Felipe Aros-Vera

Felipe Aros-Vera is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Systems Engineering at Ohio University with research interest in humanitarian logistics and operations. Before joining the Bobcat family, Dr. Aros-Vera worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for the Infrastructure, Transportation and the Environmental at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Participating in several applied research projects, Dr. Aros-Vera has worked in Remote Sensing Decisions Support Systems for Optimal Access Restoration in post disaster environments. Dr. Aros-Vera has also worked in Integrative Freight Demand Management in the New York City Metropolitan Area, and New York City Park and Ride Study. With a plethora of publications, Dr. Aros-Vera continues to inspire through sharing his experience in the field. On Friday January 29, Dr. Aros-Vera talked of his field experience with a group of International Development students at the Center for International Studies.

Dr. Aros-Vera presented to International development students on his experience in Nepal working in Earthquake Relief where he conducted research on observations from fieldwork. He spoke about international relief organizations efforts in Nepal on both local and national levels. He also spoke about project objectives in diagnosing and characterizing disaster conditions. Dr. Aros-Vera was happy to provide his perspective as students asked questions about development in disaster relief projects.

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