Impact Stories: Petra Mikulasova

Dear Friedman School Donors,

My name is Petra Mikulasova and I’m a candidate for the Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance (MAHA), May 2012. I am thrilled I can express my profound gratitude to you for the wonderful opportunity and experience your generosity is affording students like me. Petra1

I always wanted to be a humanitarian and was able to follow my dream by working for the United Nations, most recently in Darfur and Afghanistan. During those years, however, I realized that in order to serve those in need better, my own sense of humanitarianism, my goodwill and determination were not enough. I needed theoretical and academic support to compliment and put in perspective my practical experience. Humanitarian assistance is a profession and the Friedman School and Feinstein International Center at Tufts University understand that.  They have designed the MAHA program as a one-of-a-kind multidisciplinary curriculum across a variety of departments, allowing me to get a broad picture of issues driving the humanitarian action. 

Here I am, three months into one of the most fun and fulfilling educational experiences of my life. The Friedman School’s approach to comprehensive education enables me to take courses in nutrition, food security and agriculture, water management, urban planning, public health, and international humanitarian and human rights law, all of which are disciplines directly or indirectly affecting humanitarian assistance. Sure I feel confused and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of available knowledge and the realization that I will never know it all, but at the same time this is so deep, challenging and enjoyable. Coupled with the available extra-curricular activities such as interesting seminars, student clubs and activities… I may never want to leave here!

What I appreciate the most, however, are the Tufts faculty and student body. The professors are not only leaders in their academic fields; they are also practitioners, researchers and innovators in those disciplines. They bridge the divide between academia and the real world and as a student, I find this priceless. Meanwhile, the student body is bright and diverse. Tufts students truly share a world of wealth in knowledge, experiences and expertise among them. In fact they are all teachers to me in their own unique way. I have said on numerous occasions that I do not fear the future of the world if the future will be under the leadership of Tufts students.

That is why I am so proud yet humbled to be part of the Friedman School experience. Being able to get a top-notch education from one of the best universities in the world, especially one that understands the importance and specialty of humanitarian assistance as a discipline, is a dream come true. This dream, however, would never have been possible without you, the donors and friends of Friedman School. Thank you for the opportunity and the confidence. I am excited to return to the field at the end of the MAHA program and apply my new knowledge and skills. And certainly pay it forward!

Sincerely yours,

Petra Mikulasova

Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance, Candidate May 2012

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