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Graduate Research

International Studies Program | SPPAIS

Graduate Research

UW may be a small school by the standards of major research universities, but you wouldn't know it by the number, quality, and range of experiences reflected in our MA students' accomplishments and research activities. Students have access to numerous sources of financial aid to conduct internationally-focused research.

Some of our graduates who traveled to foreign locales to perform thesis research are profiled on this page:

Past MA Research/Field Work Examples:

Maame Hagan's research took her to Ghana's burgeoning oil industry where she conducted research on oil company activities. This study is significant as it explores oil company activities from a bottom-up perspective by critically examining the position of the community vis-a-vis new oil development.

Shuping Zhang depicted the unsustainable impacts of High-speed Rail (HSR) on nearby communities based on a case study in two communities nearby the Shanghai-Hangzhou HSR. After the rail construction, the land use in the affected areas has gradually transferred from agriculture dominance to transportation oriented. The process produced unsustainable impacts in regard to social equity, economic security, ecological integrity, and community livability.

Dimitri Tskitishvili's interest in foreign policy, particular Russian foreign policy toward post Soviet states, has led him to his study intending to compare policy toward Georgia and Lithuania from 1988-1994. He is also comparing policy-making processes and specific policies during the Soviet period and the early years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Lindsay Olson's broad research interests relate to sustainable local food systems, which brought her to Peru where she spent time with subsistence farming communities in the Cusco district, who are taking steps to ensure their food security from climate change and socio-economic pressures through local knowledge and native crops.

Manjusha Jones conducted ethnographic research in the Northern districts of India, Rajasthan and Delhi. She spent 5 months collecting data, working with and learning from Jain women of the Svetambar and Digambar sects of Jainism in all stages of training; from women who are training to become Jain nuns to women who are fully ordained. She was able to see both their public and private performance of their renunciation. As a result, Manjusha was able to see how the way the women would put on their clothes and care for them was a gendered performance of Jain renunciation.

Andrea Gooder's research interests are memory in Germany, human rights theory and the politics of humanitarian intervention. She spent 5 weeks in Frankfurt am Main and Berlin, Germany, gathering archival newspaper, news magazine, and public polling data, specifically looking for unsolicited news sources such as letters to the editor, editorials, and other opinion pieces.

Jennifer Cheddar spent two months in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in the summer of 2012 working to understand the hardships faced by Dominican women of Haitian ancestry. Although these women are the second and sometimes third generation born in the Dominican Republic, they are unrecognized by the government and thus lack citizenship, a human right the United Nations classifies as fundamental. While there, she partnered with a local NGO, the Community Service Alliance, who gave her the opportunity to understand the greater context of poverty for women in general in the nation.

Rahimjon Abdugafurov contributed to the improvement of Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations by offering alternative discourses in the field. He travelled to Uzebkistan in the summer of 2012 to do his research.

Tara Busch worked as a research fellow at the Kazahkstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research in Almaty, Kazakhstan in summer/fall 2010 to study the role of NGOs in the creation of civil society in this post-Soviet republic. Tara received funds from the A&S Saunders/Walter Fund, a Cheney Fellowship, a Social Justice Research Center grant, and an Arts and Sciences Scholarship Award. She graduated in December 2011 and continues her work in Kazakhstan with NGO's.

Anne Spear returned from her Peace Corps service in Burkina Faso. During her Peace Corps service she studied the impact of Mothers' Associations which encourage mothers to be involved in their children's education. Her work was funded through the A&S Saunders/Walter Study Abroad Fund and the Social Justice Research Center.  

What in the World? - Global & Area Studies Field Work

The "What in the World" program highlights the fieldwork that International Studies Master's students did for their MA thesis projects. The students' work illustrates the kind of exciting and innovative projects that International Studies' students typically complete for their degree. The latest event was held during the Global & Area Studies Centennial Summer Series in the Centennial Branch Library and also featured our former graduate student Alyssa Kaelin

Origin of Military Conflicts in the Russian-Georgian War

Ievgen Avramenko (MA International Studies, August 2014)
For his research Ievgen Avramenko was interested in talking to political decision-makers seeking to explain the factors that contribute to the origin of military conflicts. His research in the Republic of Georgia explored the background reasons and incentives that contributed to the 2008 Russian-Georgian War.

"What in the World" International Fieldwork by graduate student Hope Dewell Gentry

A video by graduate student Hope Gentry detailing her research project in Japan
Hope presents her international research project conducted in Japan in the summer of 2013
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Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)-766-6484


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