First Impression: Rio goes Dilmais!

"We are all Dilma."

“We are all Dilma.”

I arrived in Rio de Janeiro just two days after the first round of the presidential election. Incumbent President, Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers’ Party (Partido dos trabalhadoes) and Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira) had just beat out Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Brasileiro) to move on to the second round. The second round took place one week ago on October 26, with Dilma holding onto the presidency. 

That period between the first round and the second round served as my introduction to Brazil. While we are often taught in the US to avoid discussing politics with new acquaintances, nearly everyone I talked to between my flight, settling into my apartment, the Terra dos Homens field site in Mangueirinha, and getting fresh fruit juice at one of the local markets seemed eager to know my opinion on the election.

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The First Year Out: Avoiding the Sad Desk Lunch

I’m a recent graduate of the MPP program here at Sanford and am currently working as an education policy analyst in Raleigh. Prior to attending graduate school, I was a middle and high school teacher. While I’ve held down other internships and part-time work, my current role is my first full-time desk job and the experience has been illuminating. I wanted to share some of my reflections on post-graduate life and the things I’ve learned so far!

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Medicaid Expansion and Health Insurance Uptake, In Two Maps

The New York Times just published an article detailing changes in newly-insured people through the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. 

Since passage of the ACA, people have become insured for a variety of reasons. Some gained insurance through expanded Medicaid coverage. The below map is from The Advisory Board Company and shows states that accepted and denied the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.

The two maps do not coincide perfectly, but there are some correlations. Check out Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia in relation to their non-Medicaid-expanded neighbors. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Maine look similar on the first map for apparently different reasons.

What patterns do you see?

Ayotzinapa: 30 days and counting…

“September 26, 2014 massacre in Iguala, Guerrero, six people dead, 19 wounded, and 43 disappeared students from the Rural Normal School Ayotzinapa”

I have been trying to write this article for more than two weeks, trying to figure out how to feel and what to think, how people in Mexico feel. As I read local newspapers I notice everyone back home is shocked and indignant about the recent events in the state of Guerrero (a level of indignation that has not been seen since the massacre of students back in 1968). In a country where forced disappearances have unfortunately become a regular part of daily news, the case of Ayotzinapa stands out as particularly outrageous.

Without a doubt, one of the hardest things about being a foreign student is not being able to express support and to join closely in demanding that the authorities resolve the case. For sure, there is a certain feeling of guilt. Particularly, fellow students of Mexico at Sanford and I wished we were in Mexico on October 8th for the massive walk in solidarity to the #Ayotzinapa case.


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NC Legislators Hold Q&A with Sanford Students

Here at Duke, North Carolina House Representatives Rick Glazier (D–Cumberland), Grier Martin (D–Wake), and Chuck McGrady (R–Henderson) recently joined students to discuss policy in practice. They spoke candidly of their experiences in the NC political system, the challenges they face in office, and fielded questions from an audience of professors and students.

(L-R) NC Representatives Grier Martin, Rick Glazier, and Chuck McGrady address an audience of Sanford students and professors.(L-R) NC Representatives Grier Martin, Rick Glazier, and Chuck McGrady address policy in practice at Sanford.

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Duke Kunshan University–A Bold Innovation

When Duke students attended their first classes on Monday, August 25, in Durham, another set of Duke students were doing the same thing more than 7,000 miles away. Nearly five years after it was first introduced to faculty, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) held its first classes this fall in Kunshan, China.

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“Duke Kunshan University is a bold project to drive innovation in Chinese international education,” said Liu Jingnan, DKU’s designated chancellor, at the opening ceremony, according to a press release. “It represents a real chance to explore new models of higher education in China and sets an example for other Sino-international cooperative schools.”

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