CONF.795 – Refugee and IDP Issues Analysis (Spring 2014)
(1) “This class exceeded my expectations. The pre-course reading material gave an excellent overview of the primary issues with respect to refugees and IDPs. The pre-course readings also prepared me for course instruction and group discussions. Case study brought the class together and enabled us to cover a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. Unbelievably, in three short days, we covered a tremendous amount of ground. I feel I have accomplished my objectives. You are an energetic professor and clearly very passionate about your area of expertise. Refugee and IDP issues analysis is definitely a critical aspect of conflict and conflict resolution missing from the S-CAR core curriculum. This course should be adopted by the school and adapted to a 3-credit course” (Brad Davis, US Army).
(2) “This was the best course I have attended so far. Your use of relevant and live examples did not only impart knowledge but also increased my interest in the course. I am glad I chose the course and I think I will do my Dissertation in it. Thank you very much for the knowledge you gave me. You are sure an expert in refugee and IDP issues. You have interested me in the subject I wish it can be expanded to a full 3 credit course. There is so much to learn about refugees and IDPs” (Aloysius Naris, State Dept).
(3) “I would like to thank you, Dr. Rajput for a very informative and enlightening course. Honestly, I didn’t expect that I would find a course about IDPs and Refugees appealing. Now I understand the challenges, issues, significance, and legal framework for Refugees and IDPs phenomenon. I don’t know how in three days you increased our knowledge about the dynamics, positions, and policies about this important issue. Please add me to your email list so that I can attend any lecture you might give in S-CAR or any other avenue” (Aleia Hanan,S-CAR).
(4) “The instructor, Professor Rajput, was incredibly well-informed on IDP and
Refugee issues and had conducted relevant field studies to share with the class, making
the concepts and frameworks the course is based on tangible to the students. The classes
were well organized, informative, and connected to real life examples” (Ann Rohrhoff).
(5) “We cannot be effective practitioners or scholars in CAR without understanding the IDPs and refugees challenges. Every conflict has collateral damages and displaced people. This means that this class, CONF 795-002, should be offered not as a pilot or special topic, but as part of the broader curriculum. Professor Rajput’s personal research on IDPs and refugees gives her the authority to inform or educate us on the issues. She brings a remarkable insight. The class is interesting and interactive because she creates an active environment and allows those with first-hand experiences to not only react on her comments but bring their knowledge and analysis on the class materials” (Claudine Kuradusenge).
(6) “The course was fantastic; I gained a better understanding on the complete issues that affect Refugees and IDPs. The course taught me the proper research methodology and diagnostic tools I will need to conduct an accurate investigation in the IDP and Refugee communities. An overall stimulating course while only three days profoundly opened my eyes on this important issue that I would recommend all SCAR students to enroll in this course. Professor Rajput, was an amazing instructor for the simple fact that she was responsive to our needs” (Adnan Hurreh).
(7) “The daily blog posts and in-class case studies analysis allowed us to apply what we were learning in a real-world setting. The topic is very relevant to the S-CAR program – IDPs and refugees are common to conflicts (past and present) around the world. Additionally, this course is a great way to learn and practice research methods (something I believe S-CAR needs more of!) I strongly suggest the course be extended to an entire semester so future students get a better grasp of the material and research methods. It was helpful to have a professor who had recently returned from the field that could share her experiences. I was able to better grasp the concepts and understand the nuances of refugee and IDP issues through the Professor’s experiences” (Ashton Callahan).
(8) “This course was eye opening and reaffirmed the career path I would like to take, as well as why I chose to study conflict analysis and resolution. What I liked most about Professor Rajput was her knack to explain such a thorny, complicated issue in such simplified ways. She engaged with her students not only during lecture but also outside of the classroom. She created a welcoming community in the classroom where all questions were welcomed at any time. What also helped was hearing her on-the-field stories; she is one of the few professors I have encountered that can explain the material and share personal stories and tie it all together (she can paint the whole picture). It helps tremendously when real life stories from the instructor’s perspective are brought into the classroom” (Nida Ansari).
(9) “I definitely have a foundation now for future study. It was especially beneficial for me how Professor Rajput gave examples from her own research and methodology to explain how to apply the models and frameworks we studied; working with such a complex issue, her input made the possibility of finding solutions seem tangible. I wish that the course could have been a three-credit course, which would then discuss more about how not assisting refugees or IDPs or not finding durable solutions for them can lead to future conflicts or repeat conflicts. What I enjoyed most about this class was how it tied my whole time at S-CAR back together” (Kaitlyn Stovall).
(10) “I think I really learned a lot of applicable skills and knowledge to round out my time at S-CAR. It was clear that Professor Rajput was extremely knowledgeable on the class topic. I think her anecdotes and fieldwork experience provided dynamic and useful context for the class as we explored the topics during our class sessions” (Hillary Bullis, State Department).
(11) “This class is amazing. Thank you for all the valuable time you invested in your research. It has been a rewarding start to the school year just learning so much from you. This course is very important as it relates to the field of CAR. While it is important to understand why conflicts occur, it is even more important to know how to understand its devastating results; this is about peace-building” (Joseph Yarsiah, State Department).
(12) “Dr. Rajput has done the field of conflict analysis and resolution a big favor by exposing the issue of refugees and IDPs issues and concern through her valuable research in Asia. I think she did a very thorough investigation of the issues of refugees and IDPs in Kashmir and reflected that in a very entertaining, challenging, yet encouraging way for us students. She also share lights on being a good researcher and what it took to get the job done. She is very knowledgeable on the subject and was able to cover a lot in three classes. It felt like an entire semester worth of information. She is passionate about her work and very proud of her research. As a former refugee myself, I felt proud listening to a lecturer who brought so much light and attention to this issue from the field of conflict analysis and resolution. I am sure I share the sentiment of many of the other students if not all when I say it was a weekend worth of time and knowledge” (Joseph Yarsiah, State Department).
CONF.101 (Conflicts and Our World) taught in Fall 2014.
Kelsey Greenland – Major: Geography
Throughout this semester, Conflict 101 was a joy to attend, it was always fun to go to class and listen to the lectures, other students input, stories from Professor’s own experiences and the guest speakers.
Professor Rajput is an amazing teacher. She always makes her students her first concern which is a huge comfort especially for a 100 level course. She delivered each lecture very well and was open to any questions and always stressed the importance of each theory and gave great examples. It was also very interesting to be able to hear about her own experiences with her work with refugees and displaced people, the World Bank as well as the other countless threads of knowledge she gained through her work. Also, Professor Rajput walked into class everyday giving off the attitude that she was truly happy and excited to be there with us. It is a very contagious attitude so when your professor comes across as happy to be there it makes it easier for the students to become motivated and come to class.
Chandler Jenkins – Major: International Politics
This course was especially interesting to me given my major, different CAR techniques were very applicable to the peace building work to which I plan to professionally dedicate myself in future.
Professor Rajput, was an extremely gracious, encouraging and knowledgeable professor. I learned so much from her not only in terms of her real-life work experience and the information she disseminated to us, but also through her professionalism and the skill that emanated from her presentations and lectures. I appreciate when professors make their presentations available to students. I felt that Professor Rajput was extremely supportive in the fact that her aim was to help every student gain a good grasp of material. She made it clear that if anyone needed additional help she would make time to help them succeed. I was very fortunate to have her as a professor and as someone I feel comfortable reaching out to if I need a recommendation letter in the future.
Ruthann Clay – Major: History
I would not have learned as much as I did or enjoyed the class as much had Professor Rajput not been my teacher. It was obvious that she was passionate about what she was teaching and cared about her students’ success. I enjoyed hearing her personal stories and experiences at the World Bank, in Sudan and Kashmir. It added depth to the conversations. She was always available by email and timely in her response.
Travis Frazier – Major: Government and International Politics
Dr. Rajput’s teaching style worked extremely well for this class, and provided many ways to learn the material. Her experience with displaced persons allowed for a unique view into the consequences of a major conflict and provides the student with first-hand account of real life problems. By exposing the student to all types of conflict, Dr. Rajput enabled us to make decisions about further pursuing educational and work opportunities.
Ian Gray – Major: Marketing
I was appreciative that Professor Rajput brought in examples from real world problems to help reinforce the basic models used in class. My class was extremely lucky to have been able to learn from Professor Rajput. Her delivery of the material was particularly interesting because of the real world examples drawn from her research and work at the World Bank. It was nice that she was able to connect her experiences in Sudan, Kosovo, Kashmir to the class material.
Tylia Turner – Major: Communications
In most classes you just sit there and the professor lectures at you, in this class we had discussions with Professor Rajput which was stimulating. Professor Rajput did an amazing job teaching this class. I enjoyed her delivery of the materials and how enthusiastic she is about teaching the young minds about the conflict field.
The way professor Rajput explained the content on the power point was very engaging. I was really thrilled when the Professor shared stories of real life situations that she encountered and how she used certain conflict resolution techniques in that situation. Professor Rajput is very well traveled and respected and I learned a lot from her. She was very understanding of certain personal issues that sometimes arise but she would still make sure you got your work done. I feel like she genuinely cares for her students.
The Professor explained that by attempting to solve a conflict, before analyzing it, you are tempted to pick sides and not do justice. I think this lesson had the biggest impact on me. Overall this class was amazing and I learned so much I can’t wait to continue my conflict analysis journey!
Pricella Cruz – Major: Conflict Analysis & Resolution
Professor Rajput is very organized and laid out clearly what was expected of us. It was nice to have guest speakers come to my Conf. 101 class; I had never had any guest speakers come to any other of my GMU classes before.
Professor Rajput took great pride in her students, and to be honest this made me feel very special; her devotion is very much appreciated. She was professional at all times, always helpful in addressing any additional questions that I had asked. When delivering her presentations she always provided examples, excitingly some from her field experiences, which helped me to grasp the material easily. I feel confident of continuing my journey in this field. Professor Rajput also taught us about internally displaced people and how they have to adapt and continue with life after they had been forced out of their own community because of conflict and how this may start new conflicts.
Ellen Chadbourne – Major: Conflict Analysis and Resolution
I was a little worried when our original professor could not be our teacher for the semester, but I am very pleased at how this semester turned out with Professor Rajput. I greatly enjoyed her lectures every class and found her real life illustrations fascinating. Professor’s stories of her own career have inspired me to continue with this major and pursue a similar path. She covered everything that I will need to continue and be successful in my studies.
Mike Chauncey – Major: Conflict Analysis and Resolution
I initially registered for this course as a trial to determine if it would be a course of study that would keep my interest, challenge me, and make me think creatively to solve complex question, this course met all of those requirements. I had my reservations about the course initially due to our original professor being held in Liberia and not able to make the scheduled start date, but that was more of a blessing in disguise. I am glad that the department brought in Professor Rajput to take over.
Victoria Truong – Major: Global Affairs
I enjoyed this course very much, solely because the field interests me a lot. I liked the fact that the instructor had plenty of research experience in the field, as it reassured me that she was knowledgeable about what was being taught. I was thoroughly impressed by how quickly I got responses through email, since most professors do not respond until a few days later. The syllabus laid out clearly what was expected of us.
Jeremy Nelson – Major: Conflict Analysis and Revolution
I feel that Conf. 101 with Professor Rajput was a defining moment of my academic journey ahead. Professor Rajput was one of the most influential instructors I’ve had. This course was different from any other class that I am taking at GMU. Professor Rajput is well qualified to teach this course with her real world experience and her education. She showed a lot of trust in us, when during the ELA activity; she chose to have minimal influence in how our activity was going to shape. This allowed our group to experience the problem-solving for ourselves. I feel confident in moving forward in this field.
Enrique Carrero – Major: Undeclared
I really enjoyed the manner that this course was taught in because I learn best when a Professor has a power point presentation that goes along with readings. Professor’s lectures were very insightful and very relevant. She encouraged us to engage in class discussions. With the guest speakers, students got the opportunity to meet other professionals in the field.
Professor was genuinely interested in helping students with understanding the course better. Professor Rajput has an extensive career background and that showcases through her teaching methods. She also created a safe environment for students to ask questions and voice their opinions. Communication between the professor and the students was an aspect of the class that I really appreciated.
Courtney Metcalf – Major: Communications
I enjoyed Professor Rajput’s teaching style, and how easy it was to follow along with her presentations. I enjoyed how she was able to simplify the material covered in the textbook, which is important for a 101 level course. Furthermore, Professor Rajput was extremely accessible and professional, I enjoyed talking to her and learning about her research. She was very willing to share her experiences with the class, and oftentimes that was how I associated the material, with her life experiences.
Sabrina Bath – Major: Conflict Analysis and Resolution
Dr. Rajput, was assigned to teach my class in the middle of the semester, she took over in a very professional and respectable way. Starting with her field work, it was extremely relevant to all the information we were learning, on every topic covered, she was able to share a personal story of a trip she went to, for example, Sudan, Kosovo or Kashmir. It gave us a real world context of everything we were learning. Dr. Rajput always made sure that students were comfortable with the material and understood text and assignments. She is very quick with responding to emails and gives helpful feedback on assignments. Dr. Rajput has definitely aided in advancement of my academic journey.
Will Vinson – Major: Undeclared
My instructor was incredibly professional and clearly experienced in the material. The instructor was easy to reach and responded in a timely matter. The instructor’s lectures were coherent and enriching. The Professor was clearly interested in the well-being of students and treated each student with respect.
Andrew Capparelli – Major: Global Affairs
Professor Rajput’s research was extremely relevant to the course and, frankly, really impressive. If we asked her for clarification, she handled the issue quickly and thoroughly. I learned how to analyze a conflict and plan an intervention. I like to help people with their interpersonal conflicts so terms like mediation and framing issues, can apply to what I will confront.
Noor Naveed – Major: Criminology Law and Society
I thoroughly enjoyed this semester with Dr. Rajput. She was very clear and informative about the assigned material and its delivery. This was my first conflict class and it informed me not only about the conflicts about the world, it informed my about places I didn’t know about (Kosovo, Kashmir etc.) The class format was very clear and responsive to our needs.
Professor used examples from her research and that made the concepts and theory easier to understand. Dr. Rajput was always responsive to any email and responded with respect and a clear response.