Pritha Hariharan was born in India and has now lived in the United States for 23 years, where she now calls Kansas City home. Pritha joined the IRC in September 2017 and has attended several events as a member and has presented as a discussion leader for a Lexicon: Bite-size Language Intros event, in which she taught Hindi. She has worked for Unbound for five years, where she has the pleasure of serving as the international program director for Asia and Africa, and previously the regional director for Asia. Pritha's favorite part about her job is the opportunity to get [...]
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Claire E. Bishop joined the International Relations Council as a member this past October. She joined the IRC in hopes of making new connections with people who share interest in global perspectives, international relations, world history, and global affairs. Claire currently serves as the Executive Director and COO at American Public Square at Jewell, where the organization focuses on improving the tone and quality of public discourse in the Kansas City community. She also has previous experience working with a global nonprofit based in Kansas City, called Children International, where she served as the senior executive in marketing. Claire is [...]
As an international student barely spending less than eight months in the United States, I was beyond nervous to face a bigger and unfamiliar crowd, Midwest Model UN conference, which was far different from my small college. MMUN is an academic event/forum held annually that provides an insight on how the UN operates as well as promotes a deeper understanding of issues in connection to humanitarian, cultural, social, economic, legal and political problems that exist all over the world. By attending this program, delegates learn and develop leadership, research, public speaking, debating and so many other skills relating to diplomacy. [...]
Kevin Holland is a newer member of the IRC, joining in April of 2020. Kevin works for Lockton, headquartered here in Kansas City, where he helps clients with insurance, risk management, corporate commercial insurances, health insurance for employees, and retirement. His role with the KC multinational team means he spends significant time outside the U.S., helping with the needs of his clients' businesses. His current role is to develop new relationships to ensure his clients have access to the best resources. Kevin has been interested in international work for a long time and has travelled extensively both personally and for [...]
Letitia Harmon has been a member of the IRC since 2014 and has served as a conversation leader for the IRC's News & Views program series. Letitia's academic career began at University of Washington in Seattle where she studied International Relations. Since then, from Kuwait, where she worked to address penal code reform to support women, to education programs in a refugee camp in Kenya and work in India and Nepal, Letitia has supported human rights efforts around the world. Letitia has been generous with her time in a volunteer capacity, as well. Besides contributing to the International Relations Council, [...]
I went to Washington from the heart of the Midwest from Kansas City, where I've named my car Dorothy and where, as you know, we don't really have swamps, real or fabled. I, like many other student interns, had no idea what to expect last summer. I researched and I prepared, but when I arrived on the doorstep of Washington I really only knew just how badly I wanted to excel. I was set to intern at the Association of Diplomatic Studies & Training (ADST), a nonprofit which records the oral histories of diplomats and their family members, facilitates the [...]
Mental health professionals with the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the European Union's Mental Health Europe, have similarly emphasized the importance of maintaining good mental health and positive wellbeing to better cope with the current COVID-19 threat, and the uncertainty it's creating for the future. But, the mental health professionals have a prescription for us to assiduously follow during these trying times: Take periodic breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories about COVID-19, including on social media, as hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting Get plenty of exercise and sleep Make time to unwind Engage [...]
Ever listen to someone's future plans and think to yourself, "Wow, they're out of their mind"? That's what I thought when Dylan told me that he was going to go to Vietnam to teach English for a year. I remember telling him "Wow man, you're crazy." At that point, I was drowning in my own thoughts of what I would do come graduation, but I could tell you with 95 percent confidence that traveling to Vietnam was not in the cards for me. Graduation came and went and I was working during the summer as an intern in New [...]
It is safe to say that taking a solo trip abroad is a daunting, yet rewarding experience. It is a challenge I decided to take following graduating from undergrad. While traveling abroad alone is not unique as more and more recent graduates seek similar travel experiences, one particular encounter I had while walking in Germany has stuck with me ever since. I was in Freiburg, Germany as one of my stops on my trip. While looking to do touristy things as any good tourist does, I heard of a gondola which takes riders up a hill in the Black Forest [...]
Kansas City and Hannover, Germany are two of the world's great hubs of jazz, both declared UNESCO Cities of Music. The connection doesn't stop there, Kansas City and Hannover are linked as Sister Cities. The Sister City Association of Kansas City supports and promotes communication, cooperation, and understanding for innovative programs which bring people together through tourism, education, music, and cultural awareness on the international level. We organize cultural exchanges between Kansas City and sister cities by hosting some interesting events. Last year's "Wunderbar Together" campaign celebrated the year of German-American friendship. Films and programs highlighted German icons past and [...]