Nov 03, 2010

Students taking it straight to the media

NYU Wagner students are making their points of view and observations known through the news media by publishing their own articles.

Dave Algoso, a second-year Wagner student specializing in international development policy, wrote a piece Oct. 26, 2010, for the influential Foreign Policy website, entitled "Don't Try This Abroad." The article is a thoughtful retort to New York Times columnist Nick Kristof's tribute in the Sunday Magazine to the rise of "the fix-the-world-on-your-own generation."

"Unfortunately," Algoso writes, "such stories don't reflect reality. Spend a little time in any community in the world, and you'll see people from that community finding ways to improve it - not outsiders....Yet these people are absent from Kristof's stories."

Algoso, who in his spare time keeps up an interesting blog, Find What Works, also had some words of praise for the Times columnist's account of international aid workers and the organizations that support them. He wrote that "Kristof's article does some good if it convinces more people to pursue international development as a career. We all start as amateurs. The difference is whether we seek to learn more or assume that we can just start doing something, muddling through as we go."

Kristof posted a response to Algoso's and others' reactions, citing his Times article.

The future of international development aid also caught the attention of Barbara Kiviat, a David Bohnett Fellow at NYU Wagner. Kiviat covered the October 21-23 Microfinance Innovation & Impact Conference organized by Professor Jonathan Morduch and the Financial Access Institute, of which Morduch is managing director. The research-based conference was held at the headquarters of the Deutsche Bank and the Moody's Corporation, where Kiviat filed two pieces for Reuters: The Real Revolution in Microfinance and The Less You Know About Finance, the Better.

Kiviat worked as a journalist for the better part of a decade, mainly as a staff writer at Time magazine. There, she covered business and economics and wrote cover stories on topics such as job creation and the housing market.

Meanwhile, Wagner first-year student Ruthie Warshenbrot coauthored a recent article for e-Jewish Philanthopy flagging the puzzling absence of women in one major organization's recent listing of "Jewish Community Heroes."

Warshenbrot is the Lisa Goldberg Fellow of Jewish Professional Leadership at NYU Wagner/Skirball Dual Degree program, and a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

"In our Jewish tradition, women are revered, respected and valued in so many ways. What is different about contemporary Jewish life that regards female leadership as less heroic?" she asks in the piece, coauthored by Shannon Sarna, external relations coordinator at The Samuel Bronfman Foundation.

Write on!



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