Wednesday, June 17, 2015


The following post was written by Jackie Wolf. Jackie recently graduated from UMSI and is currently in India participating in the Global Information Engagement Program.


That’s my title and I’m sticking to it.  Sitting in our hotel room in Kolkata with my roommate and teammate Anjuli it’s not hard to come up with a thousand reasons why GIEP was a good idea, but it is a little difficult for me to remember my original reasons for applying to the program 6 months ago, long before I had any idea of what project I would be working on, who I would be working with, or where I would be located.  When I looked back on what I wrote on my application it turns out that my goals consisted of: learning how to scope and craft solutions to problems and people that are several thousand miles away, working with people with very different backgrounds than myself (both group mates and clients), wanting to travel to India, wanting to work on impactful projects that dealt with information access, and wanting to continue the transition of shifting my perspective from thinking nationally to globally.

It’s good to know that my reasons then closely mirror my reasons now except they have been refined even further. I’ve lived through the joys and frustrations of working with communities and individuals in different countries and time zones, and understanding that even though we are speaking the same language doesn’t always mean we are using the same words in the same manner or even talking about the same thing!  I can say though, that it has been fantastic to finally put faces to the voices I have only heard over Skype and that now that we are “on the ground” I’m even more excited about our project than I was on the epic 40 hour plane ride to India from Ann Arbor.