Humanitarian Action

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Program Overview

In response to the increasing number, scope and intensity of humanitarian emergencies, the field of humanitarian action has grown dramatically over the last 25 years, along with diverse career opportunities. This minor complements students’ other fields of study in arts and sciences, business, engineering, and nursing with the concepts, theories and skills to discern individual and collective responsibilities to respond to humanitarian needs at home and around the world. This unique interdisciplinary minor prepares students to learn, reflect and respond to humanitarian needs; advance moral commitments and ethically grounded action; serve as men and women for others; and alleviate human suffering and protect human dignity.

The program includes faculty with expertise in an array of disciplines including ethics, engineering, health, history, economics, management, and international affairs.

Students minoring in humanitarian action have opportunities to prepare for humanitarian action through the Humanitarian Action Club which raises awareness on campus about humanitarian issues and builds strategies for responding to humanitarian crises. Fairfield’s club is a member of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) which encourages collaboration amongst network members and hosts a biennial skills-building conference for undergraduate students of Jesuit universities.

Requirements

Students have the option of choosing from one of three foundational courses in ethics, history and politics that introduce humanitarian action. Each course covers the core material through different disciplinary approaches.

In addition to one foundational course, students must complete four elective courses. These electives are divided equally among context and analysis and skills and methods. Context and analysis courses focus on international organization, global public health, gender, war, peace, genocide, human rights, global security, historical perspectives on contemporary crises, border politics, migration, refugees and climate change.

To satisfy the two remaining electives in skills and methods, students may choose from a range of courses in such fields as anthropology, communication, management, law, information systems and grant writing. Elective offerings also include courses in international operations of non-profits, engineering, and field research courses in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Students may substitute one skills and methods elective requirement with the successful completion of a humanitarian action internship.

Students may double-count one context and analysis elective and one skills and methods elective from another major/minor. With the director’s approval they may substitute an alternative course for the skills and methods requirement.

The culminating experience for the Humanitarian Action minor is the Capstone Seminar.

Credits
One (1) Introductory Course

Choose one (1) of the following
:
POLI 2472: Politics of Humanitarian Action
HIST 2270: History of Global Humanitarian Action
AETH 2272: Ethics of Humanitarian Action
3
Two (2) elective courses in Context and Analysis 6 (3 each)
Two (2) elective courses in Skills and Methods 6 (3 each)
One (1) Capstone Course 3
Total 18

Course Offerings

First Year OR Sophomore Year Choose one of the following:
POLI 2472: Politics of Humanitarian Action
HIST 2270: History of Global Humanitarian Action
AETH 2272: Ethics of Humanitarian Action
Sophomore Year One course in context and analysis and one course in skills or methods
Junior Year One course in context and analysis and one course in skills or methods
HA Capstone – if all other requirements are fulfilled
Senior Year Complete any remaining electives
HA Capstone
POLI 2472 Politics of Humanitarian Action
HIST 2270 History of Global Humanitarian Action
AETH 2272 Ethics of Humanitarian Action
AETH 2276 Ethical Dimensions of Global Business Practices
AETH 2293 Ethics of War and Peace
ANTH 2015 Refugees and Culture
ECON 2140 Health Economics
ENGL 1130 Literature of the Holocaust
HIST 2274 Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Global Crises
INST 1051/POLI 1104 Introduction to International Relations
INST 2481 International Human Rights
PUBH 2240 Introduction to Global Public Health
POLI 2252 African Politics
POLI/INST 2471 United Nations Security Council Crisis Simulation
POLI 2473 Humanitarian and Disaster Response Field Training
POLI 2475 Climate Change: International Policy and Politics
POLI 2478 International Law
POLI 2479 Threats to Global Security in the 21st Century
POLI 2480 Border Politics
POLI 2481 International Human Rights
POLI 2258 Political Violence
POLI 4303 Gender, War and Peace
SOCI 1150 Introduction to International Migration
ANTH 3700 International Research Practicum
ANTH 3710 Anthropological Research Methods
COMM 3324 Crisis Communication
ENGL 1839 Grant and Proposal Writing
HUAC 3980 Humanitarian Action Internship
LCST 3301 Justice and the Developing World
MGMT 4350 International Law
MGMT 4370 Managing Non-Profit Organizations
RLST 2335 Liberation Theology
HUAC 4999 Humanitarian Action Capstone

Life After Fairfield

In response to the increasing number, scope and intensity of humanitarian emergencies, the field of Humanitarian Action has grown dramatically over the last 25 years, along with the paths for professional development and diverse career options.

Recent Fairfield alumni whose studies focused on humanitarian action have pursued careers in the field and graduate studies at leading institutions.

Learn how Fairfield's Career Services can support your post-graduate goals, and how our tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Stag Spotlight

Emma Cannon ’14

Peace Corps Volunteer
Learn More About Emma
A JUHAN fellow at Fairfield, Emma double majored in international studies and Spanish with a focus on Latin America. Emma was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala for two years, where she worked in support of the Healthy Schools Project, a national initiative that aims to improve basic health and hygiene in primary school students in rural Guatemala. She received the JUHAN Humanitarian Citizenship Award in 2014. She currently works at University Research Co., LLC (URC) & Center for Human Services (CHS) Support Zika Response activities in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador and Jamaica. She is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.

Klevisa Kovaci ’14

Youth Assembly, United Nations
Learn More About Klevisa

Klevisa is an international development consultant and currently working for Youth Assembly at the United Nations, a program of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation. She has engaged in international organizations and work in France, Indonesia, India and China. She worked in UN Women in Kosovo and the Permanent Mission of Albania to the UN. Her specializations include democratization, gender and sustainable development. Klevisa has dual Master's degrees from Columbia University and Sciences Po Paris in International Affairs and Development. She graduated from Fairfield University, majoring in International Studies, Politics and French.

Julianne Whittaker ’12

Fulbright Scholar
Learn More About Julianne

Julianne worked in the Humanitarian field in Jordan after completeing an English Teaching Assistantship Fullbright in that country in 2013 and is the founder and co-director of the Amal Foundation which provides university scholarships for Syrian refugees in Jordan. She completed her Master's in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University in 2017. After graduating, she was a Catholic Relief Services (CRS) International Development Fellow in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza and currently works for CRS as Livelihoods Program Manager in Iraq.

Learn More

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