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Task Force 2022: Q&A with Yelyzaveta Ismatullayeva ’22

March 22, 2022

In winter quarter 2022, over 100 international studies and global and regional studies seniors and several juniors completed the Jackson School’s Donald C. Hellmann Task Force Program, a capstone course that involves 10-weeks of research, writing and group collaboration on a current global issue. Student-led and guided by faculty, the program culminates during Task Force Evaluation Week, when each Task Force presents to an external, senior-level foreign policymaker. 

Yelyzaveta Ismatullayeva

Yelyzaveta Ismatullayeva

Name: Yelyzaveta Ismatullayeva
Expected to graduate: Spring 2022
Degree: International Studies

Task Force: Global Trends in Energy and Emissions: Key Points for Policy Decision-Making

What has been your favorite Task Force experience?
Y.I.:My favorite part about any learning process is to be exposed to new ideas and challenge my perspectives. The Task Force was the best place to do exactly that. I had an opportunity to deconstruct the myths around subject matter, to analyze the problem from multiple angles and, the most exciting part, put myself in the shoes of a real policymaker.

What key skills do you think the Task Force program gives you?
Y.I.: Task Force program is a real-life opportunity to see how the policy world operates. It combines both research-collecting skills that all the International Studies students have cultivated for years, with an ability to compact and relay that information in a comprehensible way. It is an opportunity to meet driven, passionate and extremely talented peers and work hand-in-hand with professional experts (both TF professor and evaluator).

What impressed you about the Task Force Evaluation Day itself?
Y.I.: Personally, for me the Evaluation Day itself was bittersweet. First, it was an exciting time that wrapped up our hard work, but it also meant saying goodbye to a close group of talented peers. Also, the topic of our Task Force overlapped with the dramatic events that unfolded in my native country just a few weeks before our presentation. Both the research and the Evaluator’s opinion were unanimous – the conflict in Ukraine would shift the energy dynamics in the world and would prolong the fossil fuel dependency even further. As a person directly affected by this war and a person who is deeply concerned for the environment, I was torn by the reality of things and took it close to heart. However, it is not the only reason why I will not forget the Evaluation Day. It might have been a painful reality to grasp, but it provided me with a strong sense of how the world worked. The discontent I felt made me realize how important it is to be well-informed and to be able to compromise in the ever-changing world.