Category: Democracy

  • Five reasons you should join a professional association

    Students and colleagues who know me know that I am an advocate for joining professional associations. I am a member of several of them, ARNOVA, ASPA, SAJA, among others. As a grad student, I initially was reluctant and during my master’s program didn’t really see the value of joining one. But once I started my […]

  • Why bother with Direct Trade?

    Is Direct trade – a model for fairer trade? What does direct trade mean? In simple terms, it means buying directly from the producer.  In the world of small batch production – crafts, arts or even food commodities, produced by small producers, often there are many middle-men/ women, who are part of the supply chain. […]

  • Have you learnt your crisis communications lessons, yet?

    Covid-19, economic recession of 2008, 9/11 attacks and a great many other events should have taught us one thing: crisis management. I firmly believe that if you have been paying attention to these events then you’d have picked up at least a few lessons in crisis management/ communications along the way. If you haven’t, no […]

  • What is the best way to address your professor/ colleague in an academic setting?

    What is the best way to address your professor/ colleague in an academic setting?

    I have made my fair share of faux-pas when it comes to addressing people, in an academic setting. So, based on over a decade of experience living, working and surviving American academia, here are a few tips for you, to navigate this complicated landscape. I’ll just focus on the seemingly innocuous topic of how to […]

  • Why are most Afghans who are fleeing, going to neighboring countries?

    Why are most Afghans who are fleeing, going to neighboring countries?

    Did you know that a majority of the refugees from the Middle East live in the region? Lebanon & Jordan host millions of people who have fled war, conflict or other disasters. There are an estimated 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, for example. In Pakistan, the story is similar : about three million Afghans reside […]

  • Is democratic choice impossible?

    Is democratic choice impossible?

    How to pick a solution that satisfies everyone? This problem has faced (and continues to face) all of us. Should we all wear a mask or not? Should this be enforced? Go on vacation during a pandemic – or not? There seems to be a struggle among Americans to answer such basic questions. While a […]

  • Six tips to be a successful online student

    With the sudden change in school and college schedules, with the COVID-19 situation, most institutions in the U.S. are going towards online education. Many are scrambling to make this transition, while those who are better prepared are doing virtual classes smoothly. There seem to be multiple resources for teachers on how to teach better, however; […]

  • Hi-networth giving in America : a symptom of another gilded age?

    Felicity Huffman’s sentencing to 14 days in jail this week could be a turning point in American charity. It is among the few indictments of a rich person who used their money or influence to gain an advantage for them/their family. But a change in American attitudes towards charity and a turning point? How so, […]

  • Insights into refugee resettlement in Germany

    Last week, I was in Munich, attending a conference organized by the Institut fur Politisch Bildung, a German think-tank and Virginia Tech (my alma mater). The three day visit was overwhelmingly positive, except for a visit to the Dachau Concentration camp, which left me drained, emotionally.  Regardless, here is a quick synopsis of some of […]

  • Two Americans in Ecuador

    While the American political apparatus is busy withdrawing itself from the world, I met two incredible Americans who have not only spent their energies, but also their time trying to make Ecuador a better place. Just last week I was in Quito, the country’s capital to visit Sun Mountain, an organization founded by Scott Solberg, an […]

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