Testimonials

  • James Sheats - Class 2014

    There’s something special about learning how to sustainably manage our ‘pale blue dot’ on an island dropped in the middle of the big blue sea. - James Sheats - Class 2014

  • Nicholas Van Woert - Class 2013

    'This program has been an experience of a lifetime. The location creates a greater educational experience being at the crossroads between Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. The diverse backgrounds from within your cohort teach you material outside of the readings and lectures, creating an environment for discussion on many thriving issues in today's globalized societies. At the end of the day these people become your family, striving to similar goals, and going through the same workloads. Would I be willing to do it again- YES!'- Nicholas Van Woert Class 2013

  • Lynette Camilleri - Class 2014

    An eye-opening, thought-provoking and fun course! The dual Master allows one to look at conflict analysis from very different angles, to work on and engage with material beyond one's comfort zones and to struggle to reach new heights. Additionally, through the course I got to meet people from various countries and backgrounds, to share experiences and build friendships. Lynette Camilleri - Class 2014

  • Jing Nie - Class 2014

    'The Master of Ocean governance course opened a new perspective for me to see world’s oceans and inspired me to learn more knowledge in future'. Jing Nie Class 2014

  • Clayton Hayes Class 2013

    The SERM programme greatest strength is its diversity of topics allowing student the full breath of sustainable development. The programme also challenges students to know their own strengths and weaknesses when working in groups to produce the highest quality work within given time frame.- Clayton Hayes Class 2013

  • Francesca Giordano - Class 2013

    'The IMP programme has not only given me the tools for future employment but also gave me the tools to become a better person in general. It gave me the opportunity to not only focus on myself but also to encounter and embrace many interesting people from different countries with their own cultures'.

  • Brandon Hoilett - Class 2013

    "This has been, by far, one of the most enriching experiences of my life.  This programme and living in Malta was tough and exhilarating, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat!" - Brandon Hoilett Class 2013

  • Angela Downey Class 2013

    My time on this tiny island will always be cherished and not soon forgotten for it is in Malta where I have met many great friends who I have shared experiences that will last a lifetime. Thank you to my classmates for keeping things interesting, I'll miss looking around the classroom to read everyone's face. Authority!-Angela Cristine Downey Class 2013

  • Niamh Donoghue - Class 2013

    Malta has become a home away from home minus the rain that is. On our first day we were told this course would change each and every one of us. Back then I didn't really know what they meant however, this truly has been a life changing experience. It hasn't always been easy, there have been times I have questioned what I am doing, but it has all been worth it. This course and experience have been priceless and wouldn't have been possible without the support of my cohort and my mentors.- Niamh Donoghue Class 2013

  • Inga Nicholas - Class 2012

    'Eye opening, intense course taught by superb, highly qualified professors..... Awareness expanding' - Inga Nicholas  Class 2012

  • Wenjiao Zhang - Class 2012

    'As time flying by for the one-year experience in the course in Malta so far, my vision has been challenged, my knowledge has been bridged, and whole experience has been coloured with diversity and richness'

  • Brian Farell - Class 2011

    Imagine going to class in December when temperatures are in the mid-sixties to lower-seventies. Imagine earning two coveted Masters degrees in thirteen months while studying on the doorstep of global headlines. Imagine that the program’s tuition equates to an out-of-state semester, and the cost of living is about the same as rural West Virginia. Plans for the weekend could point towards Rome, Valencia, Bologna, Paris, Cyprus or Morocco. The “too good to be true” adage does not apply here: this is the marriage of ICAR and the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC), hosted at the University of Malta.

    Last June, after receiving an ICAR email regarding an opportunity to study in Malta, I knew that it was an ideal opportunity for academic rigor and personal enrichment. Following this insight, I then looked up where Malta can be found in an Atlas. Malta is an island found between the boot of Italy and the Libyan coast, which has conveniently placed us on the door step of current events. The demonstrations in Tunisia began while we studied Mediterranean regionalism under MEDAC director Prof. Stephen Calleya. Mubarak fell while German Chair Professor Monika Wohlfeld instructed security studies, and while Swiss Chair Professor Derek Lutterbeck lectured the natural resources in a conflict economy, Libyan pilots landed in Malta after refusing orders to bomb their own citizens.

    Eleven students have completed the first semester of the newlywed ICAR/MEDAC program. Comprised of seven North Americans and four Maltese, the geographic demography of the inaugural cohort lacks the Arlington campus’s billboard global representation. However, the professional and personal diversities form a cohort that fosters ideal chemistry for conflict resolution inquiry. Students have worked professionally in journalism, law, NGOs, the State Department, and the private sector. This exceptional cohort has deeply enriched me, and as per theory has formed our own in-group identity. We did not choose our family; admissions did.

    The unique modular delivery of the program offers each course truncated to one or two weeks. The cohort meets four to five sessions per week for upwards of eight hours per day. ICAR and MEDAC faculty teach in a state-of-the-art classroom in a university over 400 years old. The faculty face the challenge of acquainting themselves to students with established relationships and chemistry. Usually their integration to this group is achieved following a toasted pint at actor Oliver Reed’s watering hole, and they beomce an intergral part of the group dynamic.

    Recently, we met MEDAC’s diplomats for a grad school mixer. The inevitable question they asked: “What are you studying?” The elevator pitch for the program is very difficult. What exactly is it that we study? What do we do? We began the course with a perfunctory, heavy dosage of Galtung, Burton, Lederach et al,. After applying theory-derived insights towards reflective practice through Prof. Cheldelin’s guidance and Prof Korostelina’s identity-based conflict, we have since studied MEDAC realism. The elevator pitch has become easier: “We’re applied theory practitioner students who specialize in Mediterranean security.”

    Over the New Year’s break, a colleague suggested a weeklong excursion to Morocco’s cultural center, Fez. We took advantage of the opportunity to smell the pungent spices of Fez’s Old Medina, to stare in the eyes of dead camel for sale in the souk, to taste authentic Moroccan cuisine, to hear the call to prayer, and share two hours of tea with a vendor with an infinite source of local legends and tales. I am greatly thankful for the marriage of ICAR and MEDAC. Having this opportunity has not been without consequence: we do not know you. My name is Brian, and my friends in the cohort are Andre, Suzan, Mike, Jessica, Kyoko, Ylenia, Natalie, Bardia, Stephen and Sue. We are pleased to meet you. - Brian Farell - Class 2011

    Source - http://scar.gmu.edu/newsletter-subject/11716

  • Abby Graefe -Class 2010

    'Enjoy every second on the island. Times may be frustrating and difficult, but leaving the island was one of the hardest things I've done. Don't waste a minute.

    Malta took a few months to get used to, but once I did, it felt like home. Home was not the United States, home was Malta. My friends in Malta were not just friends, they were family. There were ups and downs like any experience, but the ups outweighed the downs. Malta shaped all of us into better people, both personally and professionally'.

     

     

  • Dane Zammit - Class 2010

    Hi, my name is Dane Zammit and I am a graduate from the inaugural M.Sc. SERM/ISAT class of 2010.  I am Maltese-American and am currently working with the Virginia Center for Wind Energy at James Madison University as the Center’s offshore wind analyst.

    Having been born and raised in New York City until I was eleven, I have always toyed with the idea of moving back to the United States.  In Malta, I pursued an undergraduate degree mathematics and physics, which I completed in 2009.  While I found the degree extremely challenging and interesting, I still had not decided on a career path.

    Things changed when I heard of the new and upcoming SERM program during my senior year.  The SERM program appealed to me because I was very interested in obtaining a degree from an American university, and the program description suggested to me that I would be able to find a career path that would be both practical and well-suited for my undergraduate background.  Moreover, I realized that the program would expose me to areas I had not really thought about during my undergraduate life, such as the role of policy in science and technology.

    It has been over two years since I first started the SERM program, which is now in its 3rd year.  While the program had its faults and shortcomings, overall the program has been very successful in preparing me for the everyday challenges in environmental management and sustainable development, which are not only scientific but can be political, economical or social.  I quickly became intrigued in renewable energy as a career path, and after some consultation and research, I decided to do offshore wind, which was the topic of my SERM dissertation.

    It was during the summer when I was writing my thesis that I approached my advisor and current boss, Dr. Jonathan Miles, about furthering the work I was doing over the summer and finding a job in offshore wind in the United States.  I felt like I struck gold when he informed me that he was in the process of securing a research grant in offshore wind energy research at the Virginia Center for Wind Energy.  I immediately expressed my enthusiasm in joining the team and when the research grant was secured, I was brought over from Malta to work under this grant in June 2011.

    As I explained earlier, I am an offshore wind analyst at the Virginia Center for Wind Energy.  The ultimate goal of our research at JMU is to analyze the feasibility of both land-based and offshore wind turbine test and/or demonstration pad sites; to characterize the wind resource and metocean design environment at these sites, to work on environmental and community acceptability; and to help prepare the documentation required for permitting.  

    As one of the key researchers under this effort, some of my responsibilities are to schedule meetings between different working groups; attend offshore energy workshops/conferences, stakeholder meetings and other important meetings; design and create content for a Virginia Offshore Wind website, which should be online in the coming weeks; wind resource assessment and wind farm output calculations based on real weather data; study grid interconnection options and issues; and viewshed analysis.

    For future prospective SERM students, I would recommend it to anyone seeking a Master’s degree in environmental management, whether you are an engineer, biologist, business manager, policy maker or a geologist, amongst other careers.  While you probably will not learn much in the field you specialized in your undergrad degree, you will be exposed to so many new areas, which will help you become a more balanced professional, which is essential for any professional seeking a career in environmental science.

  • Viginia Phillips - Class 2010

    'I am currently gainfully employed with a Colorado environmental consulting company developing, implementing, and managing their division in clean energy and sustainability.

    Having grown up overseas and then moving to the US for my adulthood, it was a great pleasure to once again cross the ocean and immerse myself in a culture new to me. Malta provides the perfect environment in which to study the management of natural resources. Having just joined the EU in 2004, Malta is in an on-going process of adapting to more stringent EU environmental regulations. Furthermore, Malta is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with very little natural resources; therefore, the challenge lies in creating a relatively self-sustaining environment while supporting today's and tomorrow's generations. In short, Malta is the perfect playground for environmental scientists and policy makers. Not to mention the fact that you're on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean! Grazzi Malta and SERM/ISAT!

    Personally, I would advise you to get involved with Malta and the people; expand your horizons beyond the classroom. Malta is a diverse and unique country. There are many groups that will welcome you into their fold. For example, Greenhouse Malta and Green Drinks Malta are both extremely active societies in various local issues. I'm also a mountain biker and was at first a bit skeptical about the given terrain accommodating my love for this sport having come from Colorado. Nonetheless, I bought a bike from Jack at his shop in San Gwann, The Cyclist. He's a generous man and upon my leave of Malta bought my bike back when I left. My concerns about Malta's terrain were quickly assuaged. I joined a group of guys who went riding every Sunday morning. When we met they were decked out in their downhill gear. I was confused, but soon learned why. Malta offers awesome technical riding! You literally can ride your bike anywhere and everywhere which a group of my SERM comrades and I did on a regular basis. Just riding on the roads is an adrenaline rush! Whatever you're looking for, I'm sure Malta can provide for you. So investigate, get out there and hands on'.

  • Karolina Kocnerova - Class 2010

    'I am currently working as a Marketing Specialist with an iGaming company. I form part of a team that plans and executes various online marketing activities of the brand. My job is very focused on IMC and I believe the course helped me undrestand the complexities of an IMC program in general together with its complex planning and execution. I believe I gained a lot of practical skills during my studies and I am very much utilizing them right now - especially in the area of online-digital marketing, which is crucial in my current job.

    Malta - I absolutely love Malta and am in fact settling down here. For all the students out there hesitating, I tell them one thing. You have to live it to believe it. The best is to just dive right into it, it will definitely be one of the best years of their life.

    There are not many countries in the world with such low criminality, sun 360 days a year and sea and beaches all around, such is only Malta'.

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