Mirielle McMillin, 2017, United States

Why Fletcher? I applied to graduate schools during my Peace Corps service in Ethiopia. The town in which I lived had no internet access, so I spent every weekend traveling to the regional capital in order to research schools. I remember pouring over program and course descriptions and copying pages upon pages of information about various schools into a Word document to be read once I had returned to my site. It became evident early on that Fletcher offered the largest selection of courses in line with my interests – and based on students' descriptions of the program, I could tell that Fletcher was not simply a school but a diverse, close-knit community. Upon my acceptance I sought advice from former professors, one of whom is a Fletcher alum, and directed questions to the Office of Admissions. I was impressed by the unfailing patience and kindness of everyone with whom I spoke, and it was apparent that I wasn't just another applicant – the responses that I received were catered towards my background and interests, and they were understanding of my lifestyle in Ethiopia. Fletcher is an incredible school, but what sets it apart is the true sense of belonging and support cultivated by students and faculty.

A Favorite Class: I'm hesitant to pick a favorite class since all of them are uniquely challenging and insightful. However, Gender, Culture, and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies addresses issues that are invaluable when studying and working within an international context. Professors Mazurana and Stites bring a wealth of knowledge into the classroom. They enliven the class with personal anecdotes (alternately amusing and heartbreaking) that highlight the importance of gender analysis, and facilitate understanding of the material. Whenever I read an article for another class, I now analyze the problem within a gendered context, whether the class calls for this or not. So many of the issues discussed in all of my classes overlap and illuminate each other, and it has been fascinating to draw these connections. The faculty are all considerate, approachable, and genuine in their desire to share their knowledge and experiences.

Favorite book:

Doctor Zhivago

Favorite food:

ice cream

Most pressing world issue:

gender inequality and climate change

Moment when you felt the furthest from home:

My first week at site as a Peace Corps Volunteer

Favorite location on campus:

The Hall of Flags

Fields of Study

Human Security

Humanitarian Studies

Activities involved in at Fletcher

Global Women

The Gender Initiative

Education before Fletcher

BA, International Studies and French - Boston College

Experience before Fletcher

Peace Corps Education Volunteer, Agula, Tigray, Ethiopia