Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Lovely Umayam


Lovely Umayum (MANPTS '13) represents Chile at NPT Preparatory Committee negotiations in Vienna, Austria.

September 21, 2012

Program: Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Undergrad: Reed College (Political Science, International Relations)

Fast Fact:  Lovely is a published poet and has performed her poetry nationwide. 

“I want to take part in the policy implementation process and be an advocate for good and novel ideas in the nuclear policy world.”

Lovely has always had a passion for making a big, lasting impact through serving communities. In high school, this manifested in social activism projects within her local community in Los Angeles on a range of issues from neighborhood safety to immigration policy. After studying political science and international relations in college, she realized that she wanted to make a difference in communities across the globe and decided that studying nuclear policy was a good place to start.

The Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program at MIIS gave Lovely the opportunity she was looking for to practice her analytical and interpersonal skills in various professional venues.  

“In just one year, I had the experience of drafting policy recommendations for nuclear policy analysts in a government laboratory and engaging diplomats at a United Nations conference in Vienna.  The MIIS NPTS program provides plenty of space to develop research ideas, but at the end of the day, it really pushes students to go beyond the brainstorming phase and just do.” 

Lovely appreciates the emphasis MIIS puts on language learning.  “I now have some advantage in a competitive job market by possessing the ability to speak three languages (English, Tagalog, Mandarin Chinese) and utilize them in the context of my nuclear policy research,” says Lovely. 

Last year, Lovely was able to attend a MIIS sponsored non-proliferation workshop in Beijing, China where she used her language skills to discuss Chinese nuclear policy.  She also had the opportunity to advise the Chilean delegation at the 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee. 

“To advise the Chilean delegation at the 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I've had.  My interaction with diplomats on nuclear issues tested my interpersonal skills, and it was also a great opportunity to showcase the nuclear-related knowledge I learned at MIIS. I was nervous, but confident since I felt prepared to answer questions, help negotiate, and write policy memos.” 

After graduation, Lovely hopes to work at a federal agency specializing in nuclear issues.

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