Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Student Advisory Council

The Watson Institute’s Student Advisory Council is an essential bridge between the faculty and staff of the Watson Institute and the Brown undergraduate community. The council is designed to engage a diverse set of student insights and experiences to help guide the Institute’s policies, programming, and climate. While ensuring the expression of student perspectives at Watson, it also enables the Institute to offer perspectives on its mission and direction. 

Who We Are

WSAC members

Fall Semester Council Chair: 

Shantal Hernandez ’23, International and Public Affairs


2021-2022 Watson Student Advisory Members

  • David Castillo-Moreira ’24, International and Public Affairs and Economics
  • Jerry Chen ’23.5, Business Economics, International and Public Affairs 
  • Kimberly Collins ’22, Public Policy and Africana Studies 
  • Katie Goldenberg ’23, International and Public Affairs
  • Armeen Golshan ’23, Economics and International and Public Affairs
  • Daniel Halpert ’23.5 , International and Public Affairs 
  • Olwyn Kells ’23, International and Public Affairs and Slavic Studies 
  • Annette Lee ’23, International and Public Affairs
  • Finn Lowden ’22, Public Policy and Economics
  • Alexandra Ali Martinez ’22, International and Public Affairs, Latin American and Caribbean Studies 
  • Hai Ning Ng ’23, Anthropology 
  • Daniel Poloner ’24, International and Public Affairs
  • Laila Rodenbeck ’22, Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and Economics
  • Shilpa Sajja ’23, International and Public Affairs and Economics
  • Carina Sandoval 
  • Andrew Steinberg ’22, International and Public Affairs
  • Irene Sung ’23, Political Science and International and Public Affairs 
  • Ronald Yuan ’23Science, Technology, and Society
  • Sally Zhang ’23, IAPA and Comparative Literature 

Current Projects

Student standing at a podium speaking with a hand raised

Fall 2021 Student Speaker Series 

When: November 18th at 7pm EST

Where: Joukowsky Forum (155), 111 Thayer Street  

The goal of this conference is to provide a platform for Brown undergraduates to share their academic work in areas they are passionate about. In this year's series event, three chosen applicants will discuss the following topics of their choice:

Ashton Lam ’22, International and Public Affairs (Development Track), Economics - Climate Change: Catalyst and Contributor of Human Security Threats Among Vulnerable Populations 

Asa Turok ’24, Political Science - How to Join QAnon

John Lin ’23, Health Systems and Policy, Biology - Price Transparency in Health Care: Problems and Solutions


IAPA DUG Community Fellows Mentorship Program 

When: November 21, 2021 at 11:59PM EST

Where: Enjoy a beverage (on Watson!) at your favorite coffee shop while talking with your mentor/mentee 

This program matches underclassmen (Fr/Soph) with older students (Ju/Sen) for academic and professional advising as it relates to International and Public Affairs. We encourage all who are committed and passionate to apply! Students from other concentrations are invited to participate and a broad range of experiences and topic interests are welcome! Undeclared students can also participate as mentees.

Purpose

SRH Starr Plaza

The WSAC is composed of Brown undergraduate students from all class years representing the various concentrations, organizations, and extracurricular interests that relate to the mission and purpose of  the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. The mission of the WSAC is to engage Brown students fully in the life of the Watson Institute to enhance the students' curricular and co-curricular experiences and to strengthen the Institute itself.

Examples of this include, but are not limited to:

  • Making recommendations on curricular reform of Watson-related concentrations.

  • Providing feedback and suggestions on Watson student grant opportunities. 

  • Planning, sponsoring, and scheduling virtual events.

  • Recommending events, speakers, and panels of value to the undergraduate community.

  • Providing reflections on Brown’s and Watson’s diversity-and-inclusion values and policy implementation.

  • Spearheading initiatives to improve undergraduate peer and faculty advising systems.

  • Offering input on the design, content, and publishing of Watson’s websites, social media platforms, and e-Newsletters.

Leadership

A panel of students sit together in Kim Koo Library

Constituted under the guidance of the Watson Institute’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Student Advisory Council is convened by the Associate Director of the Watson Institute, with meetings attended regularly by Watson’s Director of Communications and Outreach, Communications and Events Coordinator, Manager of Academic Programs, and Program Manager, Master of Public Affairs Program. Members of the Watson Diversity and Inclusion Committee are always welcome to attend.

Students interested in joining the Council may apply at the beginning of the fall semester via a written application published and publicized digitally by both Student Advisory Council members and Watson administrators. Students will be asked to answer questions regarding their experiences at Watson and their vision for improving the undergraduate experience as it pertains to the Institute.

The WSAC is a student-led organization. Officers are responsible for directing meetings, overseeing agendas, and organizing the Council to work most efficiently and effectively. All members have the opportunity to become officers, regardless of their class-year or tenure in the group.

Frequency

A student listening to music works on his laptop

The Council is meeting in-person during the 2021-22 academic year on the third Tuesday of the month at 12 p.m. between September and May.

Recruitment and Membership

Students listen intently to a speaker

In early September of each year, the Watson Institute posts announcements in Today@Brown to seek student membership. The Institute encourages applications from all undergraduate students who have some tie to life at Watson, whether as concentrators, employees, participants in study groups, or those who regularly take part in the Institute’s public events. A sub-committee of the Watson Diversity and Inclusion Committee then selects the participants.

Student members serve voluntarily for an entire academic year, with membership annually renewable throughout students’ undergraduate years.

Staff Involvement

Ed Steinfeld laughing

The WSAC is convened by a group of Watson administrators seeking the guidance of students with regard to the Institute’s strategic planning. While these staff members are essential components of the WSAC’s functioning, meetings are conducted both with and without staff present in order to ensure that everyone has a chance to comfortably voice their opinions.

Meet the Staff Advisors 

Relevant Links

A student works on her laptop

Spring 2021 Archive

People raise Brown University pendants in the air

TEDxBrownU partnered with the Council to provide a platform for students to share their experiences and educate the wider Brown community. The theme of the speaker salon was nature. Undergraduate students and alumni were encouraged to apply with theme-related issues and/or ideas. Chosen speakers then worked with the curation team to polish each idea into a talk.


The speaker salon was held virtually on April 8, 2021:

Watch the event recording here.