The 2016 Albright Institute Wintersession is Wrapping Up, But Special Engagements Follow Later This Month

January 21, 2016
2016 Albright Institute Fellows constructed cantilevers using styrofoam and pencils

Foamboard and pencils were some of the first tools the 2016 Albright Fellows were given to expose them to the kind of problem solving techniques they’ll need to tackle the major issues facing the world today.

Though the “Building a Better World” activity, led by Amy Banzaert, lecturer in engineering, the Fellows got a taste of engineering design and prototype construction in the context of a team-building activity. Students were challenged to build a cantilever, as long as possible, using only 3 sheets of foam and 30 pencils. An introductory lecture provided the context, helping students to consider the role of technology in addressing global challenges.

The 2016 Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs Wintersession concludes today. For the past several weeks, the Albright Fellows have been learning from activities and from prominent speakers, including Wellesley faculty, alumnae practitioners, and thought leaders from external organizations.

“It really has been such an incredible experience. Never before in my life have I been surrounded by such inspirational and driven women who also happen to be my peers,” said Albright Fellow Cathleen McGovern ‘16. “Apart from being able to meet Secretary Albright, an incredible beacon of inspiration on her own, we engaged in conversation with powerful leaders across disciplines ranging from art to astrophysics to economics.”

Many of the talks the fellows attended are available on the Albright Website, including one given by Admiral Michelle Howard, Vice Chief of Naval Operations for the United States Navy. McGovern said she found Howard’s talk to be particularly memorable.  

“We had the honor of meeting Admiral Michelle Howard, the ground- and glass-ceiling breaking woman who accomplished many firsts in the navy,” McGovern said. “She reminded us the need to commit to the journey, have stamina, a sense of humor, a sense of self, and to always maintain connections in a network with other women. Her words are some I will never forget.”

Wintersession culminates in presentations to the Institute’s Distinguished Visiting Professor. who, for 2016, is Madeleine Korbel Albright ’59 herself. The presentations address topics in business, culture, education, environment, ethics, and gender.

The 2016 Wintersession maybe ending, but two special engagements will follow later this month. On January 31, the Albright Institute will host a public dialogue entitled “Addressing Global Inequality” and, on January 30 and 31, the Institute will host past years’ fellows, now Wellesley alumnae, for a reunion. The public dialogue is free and open to the public and will also be available via live-stream.

The Albright Institute brings a unique interdisciplinary methodology to addressing the challenges the world faces. During Wintersession, Albright Fellows begin a transformative process that takes them from campus, to summer internship placements at leading organizations around the world, and back. The Fellows will share their experiences during the annual Tanner Conference this fall.