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IDPP Celebrates Inaugural CIDP Convocation Ceremony and New Student Cohort

Inaugural CIDP cohort post convocation ceremony pose for group photo with presiding facultyThe Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) proudly celebrated the inaugural convocation ceremony for degree candidates in the Master’s in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) program on 14 August 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. The degree program is the world's first virtual Master's in disability policy and is offered by American University's School of International Service (SIS). IDPP partner Mahidol University hosted the ceremony, which preceded the IDPP’s Second Annual Advisory Board Meeting and kicked off the official launch of the 2012 Residency for the second incoming student cohort.

Seven of the ten inaugural students in the CIDP program participated in the convocation ceremony. ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the UN Ambassador Luis Gallegos, IDPP Executive Director Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, The Nippon Foundation (TNF) Executive Director Mr. Shuichi Ohno, and American University Vice Provost Ms. Violeta Ettle were a few of the special guests who addressed degree candidates, family, friends, and IDPP partner representatives. 

The convocation ceremony comes one year after SIS offered admission to the inaugural students, who have been supported by fellowshipsIDPP Board Members post for group photo following the board meeting. from TNF. Specifically, TNF provides up to 15 full fellowships per year to students, with a preference given to those from the ASEAN region who are blind or visually impaired; deaf or hard of hearing; and mobility impaired.

The Second Annual Advisory Board Meeting welcomed members of both the IDPP Advisory Board and Executive Committee, which include representatives from each IDPP university and outreach partner organization. The meeting provided an opportunity for the IDPP to welcome and introduce several new universities to its global network, including State Islamic University Sunan Kalijaga; Universitas Gadjah Mada; Hanoi School of Public Health; and the Graduate Academy of Social Sciences/Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. Meeting participants also discussed new strategic plans regarding the future of the IDPP.

10 August marked the start of the second annual CIDP residency for the new incoming cohort. Students flew into Bangkok from Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Nigeria, Ghana, and the United States. An international faculty introduced this diverse group of students to the pedagogy and cyberinfrastructure tools used to facilitate the program. Faculty chats focused on ASEAN affairs, U.S. academic culture, cross-cultural communication, research methods, and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

IDPP Cohort are introduced to technology used to implement the CIDP program.Students also had the opportunity to meet with disability and public policy-focused international organizations, including the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia-Pacific (UNESCAP) and AGENDA: the General Election Network for Disability Access. Students also enjoyed Thai culture through cultural site visits and cuisine. On 12 August, students began the first of a series of workshops on an overview of technology and cyberinfrastructure.

To follow incoming CIDP students throughout the 2012 residency, follow @aseanidpp and use #CIDP and #IDPPResidency. To access a recap of the inaugural CIDP convocation ceremony, follow @aseanidpp and search #2012CIDPgrad.