Witnessing China’s Development

David LunaBefore coming to China I knew the U.S.-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. I also knew engagement with China is critical to addressing almost every regional and global challenge we face.  Working in the Political section allowed me to be part of that engagement and see firsthand the intricacies of diplomacy and attain a better understanding of U.S. and Chinese foreign policy. Prior to arriving in Beijing I took Professor Suisheng (Sam) Zhao’s course, “Politics of China’s Modernization,” where we examined China’s role in the international system and debated scenarios for China’s future trajectory. It was fascinating to witness China’s development along with its challenges up close, especially through a diplomatic purview.

One of the things that made Beijing so exciting was the importance of the work, the access, and the audience. There is a tremendous thirst back in DC and the wider policy community for what Embassy Beijing produces. It felt rewarding to see such an interest in what I was contributing to. The highlight of the summer was serving as the control officer’s aide for National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s visit.  My experience also made me feel somewhat more optimistic about the U.S. – China relationship. There was not the constant cynical and overly sensational coverage of the relationship that permeated news coverage back in the U.S., albeit reticent Chinese State media had something to do with this.

David Luna

– 2014 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow

– MA Candidate in International Security, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Expected 2016


Denver: #6 most ________ city in the country. What’s your guess?

active? True, we are outdoorsey people -Colorado actually ranks #1 in the country.

As we wrap up week 9 of 10 in our fall quarter our students are up to their eyeballs in final papers, presentations and exams.  Rest assured students, if you have to be stressed out, according to this recent ranking, Denver is a great place to find solace. Check out this article about America’s Most Relaxed Cities where Denver, CO ranks #6 in the country.

Here are the metrics used to determine these rankings:

To pinpoint the cities where stress is lowest, we examined the country’s largest 40 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas, measuring them on six metrics that are closely correlated with stress, or that result from stress. First, we used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to score metros based on their unemployment rates–lower unemployment ranks a city higher on our list. Then we used data from the 2008 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, to look at several other data points, including how many commuters spend an hour or more in traffic on the way to work, and the average weekly hours people spend at work. Metros where commuters have more free time away from these stressful activities rank higher.


Since physical health is closely tied to emotional health and stress, we also ranked metros on health factors, including whether most residents had any access to health care and how they rated their overall health, using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, because exercise is proven to reduce stress, we scored cities higher if more residents reported getting any kind of workout in the past month, using CDC data.

Congrats Denver!
Another great reason to earn a degree here at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in relaxed Denver, CO. 

Nicole Vilegi
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
Josef Korbel School of International Studies