UD Student Fellows Present Research on Human Rights

A gift from alumnus Peter McGrath has allowed six faculty members to conduct and publish research in human rights and social justice that promotes human dignity and alleviates suffering. The work of these six McGrath fellows has utilized research efforts of undergraduate and graduate students, allowing those students insight into issues such as genocide, poverty and other human rights issues. Several of these McGrath Student Fellows presented their yearlong research projects at the 2013 Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium. These projects showcase interdisciplinary perspectives from sociology, anthropology, political science, visual arts and English.

Findings on Human Rights Research from the UD Student Fellows

Political Science, Presentation-Independent Research

STUDENT RESEARCHERS

Mary C Alwan, Darlin Blanco-Lozano, Daniel L Dashewich, Coral V Flamand Mendez, Erin L Gahimer, Beatrix B Heynig, Allison M Varricchio, Molly R Winslow

FACULTY ADVISORS

Alexandra Budabin, Simanti Dasgupta, Natalie F Hudson, Glenna Jennings, Theophile J Majka, Tereza M Szeghi Dempster

The Impact of Female Peacekeepers on Culture and Gender

Political Science, Presentation-Independent Research

STUDENT PRESENTORS

Mary C Alwan, Allison M Varricchio

FACULTY ADVISOR

Natalie F Hudson

ABSTRACT

With the changing nature of armed conflict today, the lines between perpetrator and victim, peacekeeper and combatant are often blurred. However, men are still seen as the primary participants in the peace process and post-conflict reconstruction. With the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, the international community started to recognize women’s important impact on international peacekeeping and conflict resolution. As signatory states seek to comply with its mandate, UN member states are working to increase the number of women participating in international peacekeeping missions and some have even been deploying all-female formed police units within these broader operations. India and Bangladesh are two of the states that have adopted this progressive peacekeeping approach with their respective units in Liberia and Haiti. This decision appears rather anomalous, since their state and local policies reinforce cultural norms of gender inequality in both the public and private spheres. This research aims to discern why India and Bangladesh engage in gender-progressive peacekeeping initiatives when their domestic policies reinforce traditional and oppressive gender roles.

Photogeologic Altars

Visual Arts, Presentation - Capstone Project

STUDENT RESEARCHER

Darlin Blanco-Lozano

FACULTY ADVISORS

Judith L Huacuja, Glenna Jennings, Nathaniel C Smyth

ABSTRACT

My work brings geologic and photographic specimens into dialogue through the use of spatial relation and material culture. I am using found geologic and photographic specimens to analyze the concepts of death, as understood through Buddhist practice. My installation Photogeologic Altars, consists of metamorphic rocks alongside Albumen Prints and Tin Types. Fossils are the burial grounds for many organisms including humans; they naturally record the lifespan of the specimen, culturally gravestones record the timeline of a life. Through my Altars, I am imagining the ceremonial release of the spirit of my photographed subjects. Here I am treating them as forgotten beings, fossilized by the photographic medium. The individual pieces are placed on the ground forcing the viewer to lower their body in order to appreciate the work. This resembles the experience of walking through a cemetery and excavation site; alike. I am interested in the ephemerality of death and the cultural obsession with recording the existence of individual life through the image making. This installation also addresses my practice as intrinsically process-based with an inseparable attention to materiality and an intellectual response to light as a transformative medium. The photogeologic installation Photographic Altars, treats photographic and geologic specimens as records of light and existence. This installation is a materialization of my contemplations on the lived experience, cultural fabrications and humanity’s position within the universe.

The Role of Non-State Actors in Congo

Political Science, Presentation - Course Project, 13 SP POL 431 P3

STUDENT RESEARCHERS

Grace F Blumberg, Daniel L Dashewich, Jordan A Powers

FACULTY ADVISOR

Alexandra Budabin

ABSTRACT

This panel presents research around the role of non-state actors in human rights in Congo. The actors examined include private military firms, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations.

Words and Revolution: Female Political Awakening in Julia Alvarez's "In the Time of the Butterflies"

English, Presentation - Honors Thesis

STUDENT RESEARCHER

Coral V Flamand Mendez

FACULTY ADVISOR

Thomas L Morgan

ABSTRACT

I examine how Julia Alvarez’s female protagonists undergo a political and feminist transformation during the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, I draw connections between the typical structure of a coming-of-age novel and the development of a political identity and agency.

Refugees in Dayton: The Job Search & Employment Experience in their New Home

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Presentation - Capstone Project

STUDENT RESEARCHER

Erin L Gahimer

FACULTY ADVISORS

Theophile J Majka, Leslie H Picca

ABSTRACT

Within the last several decades, the number of refugees in the world has dramatically increased putting pressure on Western nations to address this issue. The United States, along with other developed nations, participates in refugee resettlement efforts to assist refugees in integrating into their homes. Self-sufficiency through economic adaptation is of central concern to individual resettlement agencies, as well as to the broader U.S. refugee resettlement program. The present study examines the concept of incorporation of recent refugees into local institutions in Dayton, Ohio. Specifically, it focuses on institutional incorporation in the economic sector through a two-part examination of refugees’ experience with the job search and their experience in the American workplace. The exploration of this topic relates to the broader issue of the accessibility of mainstream institutions in the community for refugees and how this affects their integration. Through collaboration with Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, approximately a dozen refugee study participants from a variety of ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, and languages are identified as research subjects. Through qualitative, semi-structured interviews, participants share their experiences related to the job search and the American workplace. The qualitative interviews explore the challenging and rewarding aspects of the American employment experience of these newcomers in relation to such factors as English proficiency, past work experience, and credentials earned in the country of origin. The research also explores how refugees are reconstructing their idea of self in their new host society and, specifically, how this identity reconstruction is played out in the refugees' workplace setting.

Development: The Politics of Humanitarian Assistance

Political Science, Presentation - Independent Research

STUDENT RESEARCHER

Beatrix Heynig

FACULTY ADVISOR

Natalie F Hudson

Resettled: Bhutanese Refugees in Dayton, Ohio

Political Science, Presentation - Independent Research

STUDENT RESEARCHER

Molly Winslow

FACULTY ADVISOR

Natalie F Hudson

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Human Rights Center

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Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2964

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