The inaugural SPIA Undergraduate Research Colloquium will take place on March 29, 2019 at the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. This event brings together faculty and students from across SPIA to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and the faculty that facilitate their research. Students may submit research projects completed (or currently taking place) as part of course work, CURO, internships, and independent research.

Undergraduate Research Colloquium Program

The event will include research panels and two poster sessions. The panel sessions will concurrently run from 9:05am-3:20pm and will be scheduled during the typical class schedule.

The schedule is as follows:

Poster Session I: 8:30am-9:30am

A Panels: 9:05m-9:55am

B Panels: 10:10am-11:00am

C Panels: 11:15am-12:05pm

Poster Session II: 11:30am-12:30pm

Lunch Reception for Presenters and Invited Guests: 12:15pm-1:15pm

D Panels: 1:25pm-2:15pm

E Panels: 2:30pm-3:20pm


Call for Papers & Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in being a part of the first SPIA Undergraduate Research Colloquium! Submissions are open to all SPIA undergraduates.

Instructions for Submitting Papers:

  1. Please send a document with the following information to
    1. Title of your paper
    2. An abstract (summary) of your research of approximately 250 words.
    3. Your SPIA major
    4. A brief (100 word max) explanation of whether this research was completed (or currently taking place) in a SPIA course, as part of a CURO project, an internship, or some other experience.
    5. Whether you wish to be considered for a panel presentation, poster session, or both.

The deadline to submit proposals is February 1, 2019.

Applicants will be notified by the end of February regarding their submissions.

Information for Participants & Questions

All SPIA undergraduates are encouraged to submit their research for presentation at the Undergraduate Research Colloquium. Students may submit projects completed (or currently taking place) as part of course work, CURO, internships, and independent research.

Students may apply to present their research as part of a panel or a poster session. If selected to present as part of a panel, students will prepare a 10-minute presentation of their research. Each panel will have three presenters, as well as a discussant who will discuss the three projects collectively, and a chair who will keep time. Students who are selected for a panel presentation will need to email a complete draft of their paper to the discussant by Monday, March 18, 2019.

Students may also request for their research to be considered for the poster session. Students who are selected for the poster session will be given guidelines about how to create a poster when they receive their acceptance. There will be two poster sessions taking place. One from 8:30am-9:30am and another from 11:30am-12:30pm.

Any questions that you may have regarding the event can be directed to Allison Vick at or Dr. Maryann Gallagher at

Information for Visitors

Thank you for your interest in visiting Athens for our event! The colloquium will be held at the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries located at 300 S Hull Street, Athens, GA 30605.

For more information on the venue: Special Collections Library

For off-campus visitors the Hull Street Deck provides visitor parking at an hourly rate. The deck has a parking meter on the third floor. Further parking is also available at the Tate Student Center Parking Deck also at an hourly rate. For library parking information please visit: Special Collections Visitor Parking

The library is located near Terry College’s Business Learning Community. For further information please consult the UGA Campus Map

Visitors who would like a tour of the Special Collections Library can contact Jan Levinson at (706-583-0213) to book a tour, or fill out the form online:

If you are looking for places to eat while you are in Athens:

Downtown Athens is about an 11 minute walk or a 5 minute drive away from the Library with several restaurants on Broad Street.

If you would like to stay on campus: the Tate Student Center (about a 9 minute walk) offers Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Niche Pizza, and Barberitos.

Or you can visit the Au Bon Pain in Amos Hall (about a 4 minute walk).

Detailed Program


2019 SPIA Undergraduate Research Colloquium

 March 29, 2019

Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library

 Panel A Sessions: Room 277

Panel B Sessions: Room 258


8:30am-9:30am Poster Session I

Ayah Abdelwahab “Health Outcomes & Electoral Data in Central America”

Monique Alavi “The Persecution of the Yazidis: An International Law Disaster”

Samantha Barnes “Restructuring National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) to Enhance National Security”

Kalli Hicks “Russian Proliferation of S-Series Missile Systems and its Implications in the World Order”

Melanie Mollard “The Paris Agreement: China’s Maneuvers Following America’s Withdrawal”

Julia Ricciardulli “The Potential for Unintended Political Impacts of Development Aid”

Alina Salgado “Hindered Human Rights & Democracy as Consequences of U.S. Foreign Military Training in South America: The School of the Americas


9:05am-9:55am Panel A

Far Right Due East: Political Extremism in the East

Chair: Dr. Alexa Bankert

Discussant: Jakub Wondreys

Hannah Griffin “The Nippon Kaigi: Examining the Influence of the Far Right on Shinzo Abe’s Administration in Japan”

Daniel Lanclos “Populist, Nationalist, and Authoritarian—But Not Right-Wing? Analyzing China’s Xi Jinping in the Framework of the Western Radical Right”

Elena Tothazan “The Rise of the Far Right in Poland and Romania”


9:05am-9:55am Panel B

Religion & Governance

Chair: Dr. Brittany Bramlett

Discussant: Alice Kisaalita

Stephanie Cannon “Cooperation Among and Between Religious and Non-Religious Non-Governmental Organizations”

Melissa Ge “Intersectionality and Media Coverage of LGBT Politicians”

Ellie McQuaig “Blessed Be the Tie That Binds: The Relationship Between the United Methodist Church and the United States Government”


10:10am-11:00am Panel A

Nasty Women: The Role of Gender in Violence

Chair: Dr. Jennifer White

Discussant:Stephen Bagwell

Mary Beth Dicks “Representation of Women in National Legislature and Female Suicide Terrorism”

Mary Craig Lindgren “Changes in the Focus on Women in the Kurdish Nationalist Movements: A Comparative Analysis of Iraq and Turkey”

Charlotte Partrick “Outcomes of Insurgency: Do Women Make a Difference?”


10:10am-11:00am Panel B

Congressional Process & Procedure

Chair:Allison Vick

Discussant:Dr. Anthony Madonna

JT Fagundes “The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974”

Caitlyn Kinard “The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001”

Zachary McDowell “The Social Security Amendments of 1965”

Kelsey Pruitt “The Equal Access Act of 1984”

Jaaie Varshney “The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act”


11:15am-12:05pm Panel A

On The Basis of Sex, Gender, and International Law

Chair: Dr. Leah Carmichael

Discussant: Annie Watson

Erin Hogan “Reclaiming Sex and Gender within International Law”

Alexis Manson “Pathways to Redress: How has UNSCR 1325 Affected the Inclusion of SVIC in Post-Conflict Resolutions?”

Ariel Scholl “One Phobia for Another: The Effect of the Rise of Islamophobia on Homophobia in the Far-Right”


11:15am-12:05pm Panel B

Women’s Rights & Representation

Chair: Dr. Cas Mudde

Discussant: Aaron Hitefield

Mary Payton Blackmon “The Use of Unilateral Direct Action to Affect Women’s Rights”

Amanda Gillis “How Surrogate Representation Relates to Refugee Legislation in the U.S.”

Julia Ricciardulli “Exploring the Role of Gender on Environmental Policy”


11:30am-12:30pm Poster Session II

Sarah Allen, Sabina Ashurova, and Michael Banks “Congressional Briefing Book: United States & Africa Foreign Relations”

Evan Barnard “The MEDEA Legacy: Collaboration and Global Environmental Security”

Zoë Bayer “The Costs of Humanitarian Inaction”

Margaret Beckley “Two-Fold Theory for Explaining the Olympic Gender Gap Disparity: What Explains the Rise of the National Olympic Committees?”

Alexis Boss “Executive Order 9066 v. Executive Order 13769”

Candice Lee “Looking at Economic Implications of Reunification between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea and U.S. Involvement”

Zoe Li “Competing Pressures: Tipping the Scales in the Prosecution of Rape & Sexual Violence”

William Schatzman “Pacted Transitions: How Balanced Factions leads to Successful Democracies”

Faiz Syed “The Bharatiya Janata Party-The Populist Radical Right”


12:15-1:15pm Lunch in Ballroom for Participants & Invited Guests


1:25pm-2:15pm Panel A

Democracy in Action: Preferences of the People

Chair: Dr. Charles Bullock

Discussant:Jason Byers

Margaret Beckley “A Longitudinal Study of the Spread of Democratic Voting in Metro Atlanta”

Samuel Driggers “The Framing of Sovereigntist Movements: A Comparative Analysis of the UK’s 2014 and 2016 Sovereigntist Referendum Campaigns”

Leyeama Johnson “U.S. Internal Immigration Migration: What Attracts Immigrant Ethnic Groups to Various Areas Around the United States”


1:25pm-2:15pm Panel B

The Fight For Human Rights at Home and Abroad

Chair: Dr. Molly Ariotti

Discussant: Matt Rains

Mennah Abdelwahab “Human Rights in Tamil Nadu: Analyzing Presence and Reporting of Physical Integrity Rights Abuses”

Hannah Kelley “Arbitrary Family Separation: A Theoretical Argument for Classification as a Crime Against Humanity”

Alexandria Pinckney “The History of Desegregation of Fayette County Schools”


2:30pm-3:20pm Panel A

Water, Food, and…Balance of Power: A Clash of Security Concerns

Chair: Dr. Megan Turnbull

Discussant: Josh Darnell

Elizabeth Carter “Making Water Work: A Public-Private Partnership for Water Security in Karachi, Pakistan”

Ivan Ruiz-Hernandez “An Analysis of Food Security and Food Sovereignty in Latin America”

Tricia White “Providing for the Common Defense: Assessing the Strategy of US-Russian Relations”


2:30pm-3:20pm Panel B

Cyber, Finance, and Security: The Relationship between Corporations & Government

Chair: Dr. Joshua Massey

Discussant:Brian Starks

Eleanor Goldin “Cryptocurrencies & Their Effects on Terrorist Finance & Money Laundering: Change to Current US Policy?”

Karan Jacob “Critical Interest Strategy: The Strategic Decision-Making Model for Government and Private Enterprise Conflicts as Viewed by Corporations”

Zoe Li “Policy Brief: Cybersecurity, Framing, and the SDGs”