Paula Armstrong, 2015, USA

A quintessential Fletcher moment: A quintessential Fletcher moment for me was enjoying Sunday brunch at a Mexican restaurant with a typically eclectic group of Fletcher friends: a Greek military officer, an Indonesian diplomat, lawyers from Austria, Mexico, India, Greece, and Germany, an exchange student from Russia, and a tri-national Navy veteran from Benin, France, and the USA. Between bites of tacos and tamales, our conversation and laughter flowed freely, and I felt deeply grateful to be studying alongside such accomplished, ambitious, and fun-loving people.

On the classroom experience: The diverse experiences Fletcher students and faculty bring to the classroom have broadened my global perspective by adding a personal dimension to the international issues we examine in class. It's one thing to learn about territorial disputes in the South China Sea through legal textbooks and journal articles, but quite another to discuss them with a Southeast Asian diplomat who knows the challenges of negotiating such disputes firsthand. These personal perspectives make it clear to me that international relations is ultimately about how individual people shape, and are shaped by, processes and events. As a result, I'm aware every day that international issues are both more complex and more meaningful than they could ever be rendered on a page.

Favorite book:

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Favorite movie:

Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)

Favorite musician or band:

Frank Ocean

Favorite website:

Humans of New York

Fletcher alumnus you admire:

Jeffrey Feltman, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs

Fields of Study

  • International Security Studies

  • Public and NGO Management
  • Migration and Refugee Studies (self-designed)

Activities involved in at Fletcher

  • Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program
  • Fletcher Gender Initiative
  • Global Women 
  • Fletcher Students in Security

Education before Fletcher

  • BA, International Relations/German Studies, Brown University

Experience before Fletcher

  • Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, Assistant Language Teacher, Nishinomiyashi, Hyogo, Japan
  • United States Department of State, Intern at Consulate General, Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • Brown University History Department, Research Assistant, London, United Kingdom

Languages

  • German
  • Japanese
  • English