M.A. IDEC Newsletter #1

Volume 1, Issue 1                                                                                                                                                     Spring 2011

Welcome from Professor Katz, MA IDEC Co-Director

Dear IDEC Students and Alumni,

     Welcome to the first edition of our newsletter!  Now that we have the luxury of our very own Admin. Director – the amazing Barbara Pena – we hope to be able to use this as a way of building networks among current and past students and keeping in touch with our alumni.

     In this first issue of our newsletter, we are very happy to highlight and update you on some of our IDEC alumni and what they have been doing since they’ve graduated. We also introduce to you our “IDEC Alumni Mentors”, a new program that we have just begun and that we hope will be a helpful resource to current students, especially 1st year IDEC students who are beginning to formulate their summer field research thesis. IDEC mentors are our alumni who have volunteered to be accessible to current IDEC students via email for any general or specific questions; e.g., summer field research advice. Click on the Alumni Mentors and see the advice that they offer, their email contact and other information about them.

    We encourage our current students to touch base with them and take advantage of their hindsight and experience. The question posed to the mentors was: What do you wish you would have known as a first-year student that you know now?!”  

     IDEC continues to grow and prosper thanks to the energy and creativity of all of our students. In the past two summers research teams collected data in Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, India, Rwanda, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Bolivia, Malawi,Thailand, Brazil and Ethiopia and we expect another terrific round of Masters Projects presentations in the Spring 2011.

 In summer 2011, we are looking at possible fieldwork in Ecuador (to study the potential for the introduction of an index crop insurance program among small farmers), East Africa (to look at the impact of Heifer International’s program of donating livestock to rural households), and West Africa (to research conflicts between herders and farmers).  Professor Cassar is even trying to recruit some students to go to Italy with her to study the impact of the Mafia on social trust (she assures us everyone will be perfectly safe)!

 We hope you like the new newsletter -- please send in your own submissions, anything you think other IDECers would like to know about.

 Best Wishes to All and a Happy New Year!

Prof. Elizabeth Katz

Upcoming Events

    The 2011 Pacific Conference for Development Economics (PACDEV) will be held at the University of California, Berkeley on Saturday March 12, 2011, from 9:00am to 5:30pm.

     This will be the 8th annual PACDEV conference. A catered lunch, continental breakfast, and coffee and snacks will be provided. Registration fees will be the same as last year: $20 for students and $40 for post-docs and faculty. 

Hello Alumni & Current Students!

    We encourage you to submit items for the newsletter about yourself or events in the field that you feel may be of interest.  It's easy! Just complete and submit the Update Us Form (find the form at left sidebar) to us!  ...and if you would like to suggest a name for this newsletter, please do!  Send your suggestion to bpena@usfca.edu by March 1, 2011.