Dara Gbolahan, 2014, United States

Why I chose Fletcher: While there are many academic and professional reasons that I chose Fletcher, the ultimate push toward my final decision came as a result of the Fletcher "friendliness." It may sound strange, but being a Southerner, there is real value in just being friendly... and that, Fletcher is. Throughout the application and admissions process, the Fletcher staff were not only helpful, but they really reached out to me. I even had a Fletcher graduate invite me for coffee, in Ecuador! As I considered comparable programs before decising to coming to Fletcher, I saw a lot of professionalism and academic excellence, but there was no “homey” feeling. Fletcher is "a place to put down your hat," where you can relax, feel at home, and be surrounded by good people. Fletcher students, faculty, and staff are the cream of the crop as far as genuinely nice people go. Anything that one could possibly need, someone is always willing to lend a hand, or their expertise. Once, someone returned my computer after I misplaced it! Who does that? Fletcher does! And I don't think I could have made a better choice.

On the classroom experience: The classroom experience is dynamic. Everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the discussion. We are really challenged to dissect the issues and propose solutions as if we are actually decision makers. I am a hands-on learner, so I find the in-class simulations to be not only helpful in applying key concepts, but really fun. My favorite class is International Negotiation. It is fascinating to learn about bringing together diverse interests toward an integrative solution, but it is challenging at the same time. I never knew that reaching  an agreement could be so strategic! The professors have so much experience and scholarship in their fields that we are literally interacting with top experts. The classroom experience at Fletcher is incomparable, and something one would have to experience to believe.

Favorite magazine:

Food Network Magazine

Favorite movie:

Ever After

Favorite food: 

Apple Pie

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher:

Deficiencies in Humanitarian Aid

Favorite place to study:

Ginn Library

Fields of Study

  • Humanitarian Studies
  • Human Security

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Refugee Assistance Program
  • International Migration Group
  • Humanitarian Action Society

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, International Studies, Oakwood University

Experience before Fletcher

  • Aid Assistant, Colombian Refugee Program, Quito, Ecuador
  • Volunteer SuncampDR,  Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic


  • Spanish
  • French
  • English

Summer Internship

Catholic Relief Services, Niamey, Niger
I worked as a program support intern, providing support for development and emergency relief projects within Niger.