Building Character

Blog Post by: Caitlin Dobson

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If character is everything, our research team has it all. Two weeks before our departure to Indonesia we met to finalize our plans, answer last minute itinerary questions, discuss the content of our research, and take part in team building exercises. While the eight of us are all educated, well-traveled women, each of us brings something unique to the group, not only through our individual research focus but through our top character strengths. The success of this amazing opportunity depends on how well we work together as a team, to apply the range of what we have learned thus far throughout the Master of Public Diplomacy program, to make the most of our meetings with organizations spanning the spectrum of public diplomacy, and to contribute at our individual top potential.

To get to know us better as we begin digging into the substance of our research and exploring Indonesia’s current public diplomacy efforts, below is a measurement and description of each Research Team Member’s top strengths, as surveyed through VIA Institute on Character:

SORAYA AHYAUDIN

1. Fairness – Treating all people fairly is one of Soraya’s abiding principles. She does not let her personal feelings bias her decisions about other people. She gives everyone a chance.

2. Honesty – Soraya is an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living her life in a genuine and authentic way. She is down to earth and without pretense; she is a “real” person.

3. Teamwork – Soraya excels as a member of a group. She is a loyal and dedicated teammate, she always does her share, and she works hard for the success of her group.

4. Leadership – Soraya excels at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. She does a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.

5. Spirituality – Soraya has strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. She knows where she fits in the larger scheme. Her beliefs shape her actions and are a source of comfort to her.

 

NASHWAH AKHTAR

1. Spirituality – Nashwah has strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. She knows where she fits in the larger scheme. Her beliefs shape her actions and are a source of comfort to her.

2. Forgiveness – Nashwah forgives those who have done her wrong. She always gives people a second chance. Her guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.

3. Kindness – Nashwah is kind and generous to others, and she is never too busy to do a favor. She enjoys doing good deeds for others, even if she does not know them well.

4. Curiosity – Nashwah is curious about everything. She is always asking questions, and she finds all subjects and topics fascinating. She likes exploration and discovery.

5. Leadership – Nashwah excels at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. She does a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.

 

CAITLIN DOBSON

1. Leadership – Caitlin excels at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. She does a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.

2. Curiosity – Caitlin is curious about everything. She is always asking questions, and she finds all subjects and topics fascinating. She likes exploration and discovery.

3. Bravery – Caitlin is a courageous person who does not shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. She speaks up for what is right even if there is opposition. She acts on her convictions.

4. Honesty – Caitlin is an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living her life in a genuine and authentic way. She is down to earth and without pretense; she is a “real” person.

5. Fairness – Treating all people fairly is one of Caitlin’s abiding principles. She does not let her personal feelings bias her decisions about other people. She gives everyone a chance.

 

REBECCA HEYLIGER

1. Leadership – Rebecca excels at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. She does a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.

2. Love -Rebecca values close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom she feels most close are the same people who feel most close to her.

3. Fairness – Treating all people fairly is one of Rebecca’s abiding principles. She does not let her personal feelings bias her decisions about other people. She gives everyone a chance.

4. Forgiveness -Rebecca forgives those who have done her wrong. She always gives people a second chance. Her guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.

5. Curiosity -Rebecca is curious about everything. She is always asking questions, and she finds all subjects and topics fascinating. She likes exploration and discovery.

 

MICHELE JOHNSEN

1. Forgiveness – Michele forgives those who have done her wrong. She always gives people a second chance. Her guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.

2. Kindness -Michele is kind and generous to others, and she is never too busy to do a favor. She enjoys doing good deeds for others, even if she does not know them well.

3. Love of learning – Michele  loves learning new things, whether in a class or on her own. She has always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

4. Humor -Michele likes to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to her. She tries to see the light side of all situations.

5. Creativity – Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who Michele is. She is never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

 

MARIA CAMILA PORTELA

1. Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence – Maria notices and appreciates beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

2. Judgment – Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who Maria is. She does not jump to conclusions, and she relies only on solid evidence to make her decisions. She is able to change her mind.

3. Love – Maria values close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom she feels most close are the same people who feel most close to her.

4. Honesty – Maria is an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living her life in a genuine and authentic way. She is down to earth and without pretense; she is a “real” person.

5. Prudence – Maria is a careful person, and her choices are consistently prudent ones. She does not say or do things that she might later regret.

 

DANIELLE SAROYAN

1. Gratitude – Danielle is aware of the good things that happen to her, and she never takes them for granted. Her friends and family members know that she is a grateful person because she always takes the time to express her thanks.

2. Kindness – Danielle is kind and generous to others, and she is never too busy to do a favor. She enjoys doing good deeds for others, even if she does not know them well.

3. Hope – Danielle expects the best in the future, and she works to achieve it. She believes that the future is something that she can control.

4. Curiosity – Danielle is curious about everything. She is always asking questions, and she finds all subjects and topics fascinating. She likes exploration and discovery.

5. Perseverance – Danielle works hard to finish what she starts. No matter the project, she “gets it out the door” in timely fashion. She does not get distracted when she works, and she takes satisfaction in completing tasks.

 

FATANA TEMORY

1. Prudence – Fatana is a careful person, and her choices are consistently prudent ones. She does not say or do things that she might later regret.

2. Teamwork – Fatana excels as a member of a group. She is a loyal and dedicated teammate, she always does her share, and she works hard for the success of her group.

3. Gratitude – Fatana is aware of the good things that happen to her, and she never takes them for granted. Her friends and family members know that she is a grateful person because she always takes the time to express her thanks.

4. Love – Fatana values close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom she feels most close are the same people who feel most close to her.

5. Fairness – Treating all people fairly is one of Fatana’s abiding principles. She does not let her personal feelings bias her decisions about other people. She gives everyone a chance.

 

Coming from a program with such diversity, we are excited to see how our range of core strengths combine and contribute to this incredible research opportunity. In addition to our individual strengths we are collectively grateful and excited to be taking part in this experience, one that may prove a once in a lifetime opportunity. We look forward to sharing our journey with our MPD peers, faculty, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Annenberg International Programs, the Center on Public Diplomacy, our newly formed relationships throughout Southeast Asia, our supportive friends and families, and the overall public diplomacy community.

Next stop, LAX Airport!

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