We often have the joy of hearing from our alumni months or years after they’ve left Duke to pursue the next steps of their careers. We recently received this letter from one such alum (reprinted with his permission):
Dear Professors and Friends,
I wanted to share that I have been thinking about you all in the last few months. I’ll try to keep it brief while explaining why.
This was an important challenge for me. However, during all this time, I found myself thinking about how your classes and many of the discussions I had with you were giving me insights into what I was facing.
Just to mention some of them:
- When analyzing public policies on Indigenous Affairs from other countries in order to replicate best practices and avoid mistakes. We actually used short versions of the alternative matrix!
- When dealing with public administration and unions, and discussing what we were able and not able to do. “Good enough” governance and policies!
- Whenever we were requested to address an indigenous conflict or violent situation, trying to apply a conflict sensitivity analysis and response. That was one of our main contributions I think.
- Dealing and applying a Human Right’s approach to the Indigenous Affairs in the country. Something absolutely new for the National Indigenous Policies.
- In every discussion that we had on whether to apply a conflict resolution or legal advocacy approach in order to protect Indigenous Rights on arising conflicts.
- Every single time we tried to improve the projects and programs of the organization, applying the critical framework and identifying the critical routes to speed up up the projects and avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.
I thought that, if I were you, it would be nice to know that all the uncountable hours and classes spend on me, and surely many other students, have very specific impacts on us and on policies as well. I am very thankful to you for this. And of course, for the Rotary Peace Fellowship which gave me that opportunity.
It came to my mind lately that, with time, all the dots connect and all your conversations and classes flourish in unexpected ways.
Last semester I started teaching Public Policies to undergrads studying political sciences and international relations at Austral University. I have been using many of the things I learned in Rosemary’s policy analysis class for the curriculum.
For my next step, I will be moving to Bolivia to work as Specialist on Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Projects at the FONPLATA bank. All the dots keep connecting. My hope is to create a solid connection between peacebuilding, development, and policy. I have an idea on how to do so, thanks to you.
Best and kind regards to all of you,
Ignacio Asis, MIDP ‘17
Rotary Peace Fellow