Spring Semester Ends With Academic Showcase

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Melissa Hannequin ’13 and
Dr. Terry-Ann Jones

Last month, several enthusiastic International Studies students presented their hard work and talent at Fairfield’s annual poster session for undergraduate research. The Research and Creative Accomplishments Symposium, organized by the Office of Academic Affairs in BCC 200 on April 25, featured innovative projects and to research papers, from students of all academic disciplines.

The International Studies Program was represented by some outstanding research projects produced in IL courses. Some of these projects were primary field based research where students like Melissa Hannequinn, a Sociology and International Studies double major, placed a great effort on presenting on the impact of globalization on Developing Economies, Cultures and Politics. Melissa presented her International Studies senior capstone research project that focused on the cultural anthropology of Nicaragua and Tanzania, particularly on issues and challenges faced by such smaller nations and how they are more susceptible to market penetration by capitalism and outside culture.

Amber Ashman, an International Studies major, also focused on Nicaragua for her research. Her main objective was to identify the effect of post-revolution on the street children in Nicaragua. Amber interviewed young Nicaraguan children about their daily lives. She learned that most of the children took jobs at a very young age to help their families financially.

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Amber Ashman ’14

Amber also spent significant time at the ‘Associacion Las Tiasde Leon’ or ‘The Aunts Association of Leon,’ which is a NGO run by local women, who are helping rehabilitate such children, helping them with their education and giving them a loving home. When asked what were the obstacles she faced while doing her research she mentioned it was getting honest responses from the government on their role in helping such children, that the picture they painted was misleading from the real scenario.

While there were projects focusing on the cultural and economic issues in Latin American countries, there also were interesting topics like ethnic cleansing and internal conflicts around regions in Africa and the Middle East. Students from Dr. Suzanna Klaf’s section of IL 50 showcased projects, which highlighted conflict intervention and women’s empowerment in Africa and the Middle East.

Overall, the event created a really good platform for students to share their experiences whether in the field doing research or learning about world issues. It definitely is a good platform for future students to figure out what field they could take up for future research or paper. Events like these open up doors to engage the students in a spirited environment to work with teams but above all enjoy a cultural and informative exchange.

This post was authored by Karishma Chand Thakur, International Studies Graduate Assistant

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