By Anthony DiFlorio
Since assuming the position of dean at the School of Diplomacy and Internationals Relations in July 2013, Dr. Andrea Bartoli has infused its academic and professional culture with an abundance of vibrant ideas and creativity. As a peace and conflict studies specialist in theory and practice, effective, collaborative communication is at the core of his vision for the school.
Born from the desire to foster an open, interactive community between students and administration, the Diplomacy United Leadership and Communication Exchange launched in September 2014.
DULCE—a play on the Spanish word for “sweet”—serves as the ideal forum for students to interact with one another and the Dean, faculty and staff of the School of Diplomacy. Comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students, many representing the numerous student organizations on campus, DULCE meets monthly to discuss a wide range of topics relevant to the Diplomacy community.
The group provides an outlet for all constituencies of the School to work collaboratively and share feedback on school policies, events, student leadership, professional development and more. DULCE is open to all Diplomacy students and participation is encouraged.
As Gwen DeBenedetto, Director of Marketing and Communications at the School explains, “DULCE is all about coming together to maximize the strengths of our Diplomacy community at Seton Hall—undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff.”
Gwen knows the value of effective communication, especially in a niche community like the School of Diplomacy. “To meet the needs and interests of current students, I’ve seen the group host speakers on campus, launch new organizations such as the Women of Diplomacy Leadership Program, and facilitate enhanced collaboration between existing organizations,” she said.
“Thus far, the discussions and actions have been limited to those who are available to attend meetings in person. This semester however, the group will be playing more with ways to participate virtually.”
Dylan Ashdown, a double master’s degree candidate in diplomacy and international relations and strategic communications, has been the point person for all things DULCE-related.
From leading monthly discussions to coordinating emails between students and administration, he has worked tirelessly and seen the group bring strong ideas and a greater sense of community to the School.
He explained that one of DULCE’s major successes was bridging the gap between undergraduate and graduate students at the School of Diplomacy.
“One of the big things that got created in order to solve that was the Facebook page. It’s for anyone that wants anything School of Diplomacy related. Events going on that might not make E-news,” he noted. “We have over 130 members right now, from undergrad, grad students, and even some alumni.”
DULCE typically meets on the last Friday of each month, unless otherwise specified.
All students who are interested in attending the forum and sharing ways to improve our School can email Dylan at email@example.com.