Perlik, 2016 (December), United States
Instructor, United States Military Academy - West Point, NY
On the classroom experience: So far, my favorite class has been The Historian's Art of Current Affairs with Professor Sulmaan Khan. The class reviews significant historical events and forces each student to examine and question preconceived notions about how to draw lessons and historical analogies from each event. Professor Khan has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history he teaches, and as an expert moderator he found a way to shape incredibly dynamic and challenging discussions. The quality of the students in that course was also inspiring – we had an Egyptian student who captivated us during our session on the Arab Spring, a Romanian student who shared personal post-Cold War Europe stories as we discussed the fall of the Soviet Union, several U.S. military veterans who drew on experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq during our classes on wars in the Middle East – the list could go on for each topic we discussed. During the last session of the semester, the class gave Professor Khan a five-minute standing ovation. I took the class during my first semester, but many students in their last semester said it was the best class they took in their two years at Fletcher.
A quintessential Fletcher moment: My quintessential Fletcher Moment occurred in my second semester when I had the opportunity to meet General Joseph Dunford, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Fletcher graduate. The moment struck me because of how different our meeting was than it would have been in my "real" life as an Army Officer. In the Army, any visit from a high-ranking officer – especially the highest ranking officer in the U.S. military – would be met with a lot of stress and weeks of preparation for just a glimpse or perhaps a handshake with the visiting officer. When General Dunford attended the Academic Convocation ceremony in September to receive his Distinguished Graduate award, I listened to him give an eloquent, yet familiar speech to Fletcher faculty and students. Afterwards, Professor Shultz (who heads our security studies field) took me directly to meet General Dunford and talk with him for a few minutes before he generously gave his time to many more students for about an hour, discussing everything from his favorite Fletcher class to students’ recommendations for military strategy in Syria. Realizing such an impressive and impactful person is in the Fletcher Network and listening to him thank several of my own instructors for their impact on his career made for a truly memorable day at Fletcher.
Favorite Twitter handle:
@mindykaling (if we're being honest...)
Most rewarding trip:
2015 summer research trip to Vietnam, where I retraced my Grandfather's service locations during the Vietnam War
Most memorable international experience:
Watching my brother's Ordination at Saint Peter's Basilica inside the Vatican in Rome.
Global issue that brought you to Fletcher:
The desire to become an informed, global leader in the U.S. military.
Fields of Study
International Security Studies
Political Systems & Theories
Activities involved in at Fletcher
Women in International Security, Co-President
Fletcher Security Review, Events Coordinator
Fletcher Students in International Security
Education before Fletcher
BS, International Relations - United States Military Academy at West Point
Experience before Fletcher
UH60 Blackhawk Helicopter Flight Company Commander - US Army, Fort Hood, Texas
Multi-National Air Assault and Air Mission Planner - US Army, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
UH60 Blackhawk Helicopter Platoon Leader - US Army, Eastern Afghanistan