Dean Brigety said the record-sized incoming class, world-class faculty and new programs set the stage for an exciting future for the Elliott School.
By Tatyana Hopkins
This year’s incoming class at the Elliott School of International Affairs was its largest yet, and as the school moves forward, students and faculty will have access to several new research and learning opportunities, Dean Reuben Brigety II said Thursday during his state of the school speech
He said the Elliott School’s “world-class faculty” enables the school to attract talented and diverse students “who are passionate about building a more peaceful future.” He noted record-setting fundraising over the past year and announced a growing list of opportunities soon to be available at the school, including a new B.S. program in international affairs.
“As proud as we are of all of these accomplishments over the last year, we are even more excited about what lies ahead,” Dr. Brigety said.
Set to launch next fall, the B.S. in international affairs degree will offer students the opportunity to develop technical computer science skills to merge with historic and contextual understanding of a region in order to gather new insights and responses to cybersecurity threats.
“We’re working to finalize the curriculum with the provost’s office,” Dr. Brigety said.
Currently, students are learning about cybersecurity policy from Adm. Michelle Howard, the Elliott School’s J.B. and Maurice Shapiro Professor of International Affairs.
“Adm. Howard comes to the Elliott School following a long and distinguished career in the Naval Service,” Dr. Brigety said.
Among many accomplishments, Adm. Howard was the first woman to achieve four-star rank in the Navy, was the first African American woman to captain a ship and once held the second highest-ranking post in the Navy.
Though she could not make the state of the school event, Dr. Brigety took time to recognize her and along with four other instructors who had recently joined the schoo: Arturo Sotomayor, Jennifer Cooke, Yolande Bouka and Noam Schimmel.
Last year, the school hosted more than 350 events, which included visits from heads of state, cabinet members and other global leaders. The school’s new Leadership, Ethics and Practice (LEAP) Initiative, which seeks to prepare students for complex challenges they may encounter in their careers, will continue to bring experts to campus to speak with students about their experiences.
The dean said that research and study opportunities at the school will continue to expand, highlighting more than $3 million in U.S. Department of Education’s grant funding given to three of its institutes that covers the next four years. And he noted that two of them, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Institute for Korean Studies, also received the designation of a National Resource Center of Asian Studies.
“This designation enhances our reputation as a leading educational institution in global affairs,” said Dr. Brigety. “GW joins just a handful of other universities, including Stanford, Columbia and the University of Chicago, that have been recognized with this honor.”
According to Dr. Brigety, the school has been awarded more than $9 million in research grants in the past year. Additionally, it has received over 90 Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships to support students in studying modern foreign languages and related international studies, with 24 students to be awarded fellowships in the first year.
Dr. Brigety said the recent honors and awards underscore the importance and relevance of research at the university.
“Our 11 dynamic research institutes provide faculty and students with unprecedented opportunities to learn, collaborate and engage,” he said.
Dr. Brigety was introduced by undergraduate student Raman Mama, a senior who has studied in Shanghai and London as part of his international studies program at the school. He said the school offers a supportive faculty and many opportunities to expand studies beyond the classroom.
“The Elliott School is filled with prospects for students to push the boundaries of what is possible in getting a more complete world view,” Mr. Mama said. “From conflict resolution to global public health, Elliott School students have the chance to dissect some of the most complex issues in order to develop real-world solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”