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Student Groups

Sigma Iota Rho, Beta Chi Chapter (The Honor Society for International Studies)

Sigma Iota Rho aims to promote and reward scholarship and service among students and practitioners of international studies and to foster integrity and creative performance in the conduct of world affairs. The goal of the IR Honor Society is to create a productive atmosphere of international relations on campus, in the community, and in the world at large through activities and initiatives related to international affairs.

The Tufts University Beta Chi Chapter of Sigma Iota Rho was selected as the recipient of the 2017 Chapter Spotlight Award. On May 4th, the Sigma Iota Rho National President, Dr. Frank Plantan and Senior Liaison Officer, Mark Castillo, came to Tufts to present the IR Program with the award. Dr. Plantan shares in his award letter:

"The Beta Chi Chapter visibly holds a number of events that stimulate undergraduate interest and involvement in international affairs. Of equal importance is the performance of its students, two of whom are published in this year's double-blind reviewed Journal of International Relations."

Eligibility requirements per the Constitution for Beta Chi Chapter include:

  • 3.30 overall GPA
  • 3.60 IR major GPA
  • Completion of seven (7) IR major courses
  • Completion of two upper-level courses
  • Active leadership or interest in IR

Members are selected once per year through an application process administered by the IR Program. Eligible students will be invited via email to apply. Members of Sigma Iota Rho may also serve as Sigma Iota Rho Officers on the IR Student Advisory Board.

IR Student Advisory Board

The IR Student Advisory Board is an elected representative student body who will take the lead in fostering an intellectual community for those interested in IR as well as to liaise with the IR Program's leadership and staff and to serve as a communications conduit as well as a sounding board between IR majors and core faculty members.

Members of the IR Student Advisory Board are to be comprised of elected Sigma Iota Rho officers and several elected at-large members of the IR student community. The election process will take place annually, before the start of the fall semester.

Student Advisory Board Fall 2017 Office Hours:

October 25 – December 6
Wednesday, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Mayer Campus Center, Room 219

Student Advisory Board Members 2017-2018:

Yasemin Bitlis (A'19), Thematic Concentration 1A, Europe and the Former Soviet Union
Yasemin Bitlis is a junior from Istanbul, Turkey, studying International Relations and French, and minoring in Economics. Yasemin is an executive board member and former vice-president of the European Students Association (ESA) and is also a member of Women in the Social Sciences (W*itSS). Yasemin is passionate about international affairs, especially European politics, and is studying abroad in Paris this semester at Sorbonne University.

Winnona DeSombre (A'18), Thematic Concentration 4, International Security
Winnona DeSombre is a senior double majoring in Computer Science and International Relations. She is the President of Women in Computer Science and Secretary of the Tufts Chapter of Sigma Iota Rho. She has worked at the Harvard Belfer Center Cyber Project and at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. Winnona currently works as a research intern at Recorded Future, focusing on threat intelligence in cyber security. Her paper, "Getting Harder to Catch: Analyzing the Evolution of China's Cyber Espionage Campaigns against the United States through a Case Study of APT1" was published in Sigma Iota Rho’s Journal of International Relations (2017).

Siddharth Divakaruni (A'19), Thematic Concentration 4, International Security
Sidd Divakaruni is a junior from Munster, Indiana, studying IR with minors in Sociology and Colonialism Studies. Concentrating in international security, he is most interested in using human and national security studies lenses to improve the human condition. He aims to make himself available to any prospective or current IR major who has questions or concerns about the program and opportunities outside of the classroom.

Eva Kahan (A'19), Thematic Concentration 1D, The Middle East & South Asia
Eva Kahan is a junior majoring in International Relations and History with a concentration in the Middle East. She is studying in Amman, Jordan for the 2017-2018 academic year to improve her Arabic and to research security sectors in the region.

Benya Kraus (A'18), Thematic Concentration 4, International Security
Benya Kraus, a senior, serves as the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate President and Treasurer of the Tufts Chapter of Sigma Iota Rho. She has held leadership roles with Amnesty International USA, including representing the US delegation at their annual governance meeting in August, 2017 in Rome. She currently serves as a Global Schools Ambassador for the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, where she works to bring education on sustainable development goals to local communities. She is completing a one-semester independent research project that explores urban design as a peace-building tool, with a special emphasis on Southern Thailand.

Hershel Tamboli (A'18), Thematic Concentration 2, International Economics
Hershel Tamboli is a senior majoring in International Relations with a concentration in International Finance and a minor in Linguistics. He is primarily interested in commercial diplomacy and aviation, having most recently worked at Boeing in their department of global trade. He also is a member of 3Ps, a Tufts student theatre organization, and of the South Asian Political Action Committee, for which he led a successful initiative to begin and develop a Hindi-Urdu language program at Tufts. He is honored to serve as VP of the Tufts Chapter of Sigma Iota Rho and hopes to use his role to strengthen the International Relations Program and improve the undergraduate academic experience.

Samuel Weitzman (A'18), Thematic Concentration 4, International Security
Samuel Weitzman is a senior majoring in International Relations and Philosophy. In addition to his position as President of the Beta Chi Chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, Sam serves as the co-director of Tufts ALLIES and as a sports editor at the Tufts Daily. He looks forward to engaging fellow undergraduates in the study of IR during his tenure as SIR chapter president.