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Diplomatic Academy Students Initiative (DASI)

Team 2019-20

DASI is here to represent students’ interests and concerns to the DA administration, including the Director, the Head of the Academic  Administration, and the House Administration. We are here to help students as much as possible with any issues they have. We help manage the DA’s student committees and societies, work with the administration to improve conditions for students, and represent the student body in meetings.

We organise weekly DASI meetings (open to all students) and a ‘General Student Assembly’ every term. We aim to promote student involvement in DASI and DA life at every level, and we value your participation as members of the student body! The DASI Committee is made up of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Elections for DASI Committee positions are held every year at the end of the third term. Each role is outlined in the DASI Constitution. The DASI also includes the course speakers, who are elected representatives of each course (and each year) at the DA in elections held at the end of October.

© privatVictor van de Poll: DASI President, 2019-20

Background information
Position at DASI: President
Nationality: Netherlands
Previous Education: BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences - Leiden University College, Leiden University

Brief description
As a child my family and I moved a lot from place to place. In doing so I learned the value of a warm and welcoming international community, and that having such a thing requires effort and dedication. At my previous education at Leiden University College we found the importance and benefits of investing in community and what that can do for an institution. Now at the DA, I am a strong proponent of developing DASI and the DA community.
As DASI President it is my role to give a face to the society to external organizations and to give policy direction to our presidium internally. Together with “Team DASI” we will be trying to match your expectations and our ambitions as set out in our policy book 2019/2020. I want to set an example to everyone by being committed and working hard for the benefit of our student community. It is my hope that our collective work will move you to invest a bit of yourself in the DA and leave better than when you found it.

© privatBrigitte Gerstmann: DASI Vice President, 2019-20

Background information
Position at DASI: Vice President
Nationality: Austria
Previous Education: MSc Earth Sciences - University of Vienna; BSc Earth Sciences - TU Graz

Brief description
Most of my life as a teenager and young adult was shaped by living abroad and making international friends. However, I decided to start my academic career back home in Graz -- the sunny south of Austria, where I also grew up. With the ambition to understand planet Earth, I enrolled in Geosciences and soon discovered how useful natural sciences and technology can be: not only in understanding our world, but also in making it a better place. As cheesy as it sounds, this thought finally brought me to the DA and the ETIA programme, where I currently experience a perfect blend of disciplines that meet my ambitions and passion for intercultural exchange.
As Vice-President of DASI, I aim at creating a welcoming atmosphere to all students. As part of my mandate, I manage our 19 societies and committees that include the entire spectrum from Culture, over Gender Equality, and Finance to Sports. As I see excellent opportunities to discover hidden talents and release creative potentials in these clubs, I cordially invite everybody to become an active member of our vivid student body -- thereby contributing to what makes the DA such a great place..

© privatMarissa Miller: DASI Treasurer, 2019-20

Background information
Position at DASI: Treasurer
Nationality: USA
Previous Education: BA in International Studies, Cert. African Studies - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brief description
I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin but always knew I wanted to be a part of a larger world picture. This is what influence my decision to study International Studies in Madison and go on to intern with the US Department of State in London. My experience abroad helped me realize the type of work and life I wanted to pursue. After completing my BA, I was determined to continue my studies, and this brought me to the Diplomatic Academy.
At the DA, I have had the opportunity to pursue an all-encompassing education while simultaneously being able to concentrate on research topics that are more focused and of the most interest to me. Combined with the diverse and close-knit student body -- something I did not get at a larger university - I could not have asked for anything better. I look forward to representing fellow students as part of DASI this year.

© DA/Peter LechnerMatteo Natlacen: DASI Secretary, 2019-20

Background information
Position at DASI: Secretary
Nationality: Austria
Previous Education: BA in History, University College London

Brief description
Having been born and raised in Vienna, I figured it was time for me to leave by the time I turned 18, leading me to pursue my undergraduate studies in history in the United Kingdom. The three years I spent abroad were some of the most transformative, but also the happiest of my life and I am glad to say that my DA experience has been equally as enjoyable so far. My time abroad had definitely exposed me to the challenges that come with studying in a completely new environment, but also the great opportunities that come with it. Thus, I see the role of DASI to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience studying and living at the DA.
As secretary of DASI I am primarily working to communicate with you, the students. This can be anything from our weekly newsletter to a private conversation or a beer at the bar. More likely than not our communication will be slightly lopsided due to me spamming your mailbox, but if there is anything you would like to discuss I will always have an open ear.