SPIA undergrads get a voice in research

By: Shelby Steuart

“If we value the idea of peace, we have to fully incorporate women in both the public and private sphere,” concluded Charlotte Partrick, a senior majoring in International Affairs and women’s studies.

Partrick’s presentation, “Outcomes of Insurgency: Do Women Make a Difference?” was the finale of a panel of all female presenters, which discussed the role of gender in international violence. Presenting research for the first time, the other panelists investigated female participation in suicide terrorism and analyzed women’s roles in nationalist movements.

On March 29, 2019, SPIA hosted the first annual Undergraduate Research Colloquium to bring together faculty and students from across disciplines to celebrate their research accomplishments. Throughout the ten panels, undergraduate presenters discussed topics such as congressional process and procedure, religion and governance, and cybersecurity and finance.

Many additional budding researchers shared their findings and passion in the two poster sessions, which were perused by alumni, faculty, staff, and guests.

International Affairs faculty member Dr. Maryann Gallagher created the Colloquium after noticing a lack of events that bring together students of all three SPIA departments. “An event such as the Undergraduate Research Colloquium seemed ideal for building a sense of community across SPIA,” she explained.

She also affirmed the importance of starting research before graduate school, stating, “My hope is that participating in such an event empowers students to see that they have valuable contributions to make to the study of international and domestic politics, and to consider the policy implications of their work.”

The value of undergraduate research was also echoed by Dean Matthew Auer. “Undergraduate participation in research contributes to personal development, resilience, persistence, focus, goal orientation, and time management skills,” he asserted.

Gallagher added that the Colloquium was furthermore “a valuable professionalization opportunity for the students,” which could help advance their professional and academic goals.

Mary Craig Lindgren is a senior studying International Affairs and history. As a student in the Center for International Trade and Security’s prestigious Security Leadership Program, Lindgren hopes to secure a position in the development, policy, or research, of human rights issues, after graduation.

She found the Colloquium to be beneficial, despite planning a job outside of academia. “It’s cool to take everything you’ve learned so far and then to apply it to your own research, I really recommend it to undergraduate students,” she shared.

For more information visit the Colloquium’s page.