2015 Global Studies MA Summer Grants
The Chancellor’s Global Education Fund made it possible for Global Studies to award small grants to seven MA students to support summer fieldwork, course work, and internships.
The Global Studies MA Summer Grant enabled me to carry out an internship at the UNC Center for Civil Rights (CCR), an organization that provides legal assistance to marginalized communities by means of impact litigation. My duties at CCR included researching and analyzing policies and practices in relation to education and the environment and how they resulted in discrimination, as well as gathering evidence to prove such discrimination. Working at CCR allowed me to have first-hand experience in U.S. human rights law practice and thus gave me a different perspective on enforcing such rights. I believe that I gained valuable experiences at CCR and internalized different strategies that can be employed to strengthen human rights protection in my own country. Furthermore, the internship strengthened my research and writing skills. For my capstone project I plan on looking at impunity for human rights violations by leaders in Africa and the role it plays in perpetuating conflict. After graduation I plan on returning to South Africa and working in human rights, either directly in legal practise or in an organisation that focuses on human rights implementation and enforcement.
Sarah Miller Frazer
This summer I took advantage of support from a Global Studies MA Summer Grant to intern for the Governance and Economic Development Division (GEDD) of the International Development Group at RTI International, an independent, nonprofit institute that provides research, development, and technical services to government and commercial clients worldwide. Through the internship, I gained new skills in evaluation practices, learned more about the field of evaluation and furthered my experience with the field of international development. For my capstone project, I plan to focus on evaluating strategies for supporting female entrepreneurs in developing countries, or measuring women’s economic empowerment. After graduation, I’m interested in working as a monitoring and evaluation officer for a sizable development organization or working for a consulting firm specializing in results management and monitoring/evaluation.
The Global Studies MA Summer Grant funded an internship with REDES-AT (Social Ecology Network-Friends of the Earth International) in Montevideo, Uruguay. REDES-AT is a non-profit organization that works from the perspective of social ecology on issues at the nexus of social justice and environmental justice. During my internship I collaborated with the Commerce and Investment working group in analyzing corporate strategies for dispute settlement with the Uruguayan state, and exploring alternative investment instruments to foment regional economic integration in South America. I gained valuable skills during my internship, including enhancing my academic writing in Spanish. Most importantly, the internship at REDES-AT provided me with foundational knowledge for my capstone project. I plan to investigate diversity in investment treaties between China and South America, taking into consideration the importance of global value chains. The relationships I cultivated, and knowledge I gained during this internship will greatly facilitate this project.
Sijal Abderhim Nasralla
With funding from the MA Summer Grant from the Curriculum in Global Studies I began my on-the-ground research and filming of the CNNC (Center for New North Carolinians) Ashton Woods Community center for immigrants and refugees, located in a low-income neighborhood in Greensboro, North Carolina. Money was used to pay for interpretation services and cover travel expenses for myself and participants. Without the funding I would have been entirely ill-equipped to pay much needed interpreters a fair compensation for their time ($15 per hour). I am working on an investigation of refugee experiences of labor and collective organizing in Greensboro, NC. After graduation I hope to keep developing public outputs through film, music, visual media, and curricula that address inequity and power while searching for more macro or international employment that addresses healing in post-violence contexts.
Anna Katharina Reussner
The research I am developing aims to explore the relationship between high school physical education and physical activity in young adults. A Global Studies MA Summer Award supported first step of research, conducted this summer in Germany and focused on the German physical education system. Being there allowed me to access existing German literature for an accurate depiction of the German physical education system. In particular, I was able to study commonly perceived goals and benefits of physical education in high school as part of national, state-level and school-specific regulations. I also successfully recruited a first round of interviewees (active or former physical education teachers). The interviews so far show an emphasis in German education on the right technique in a respective sport and focus on a fun application of the acquired technical skills. Teachers do not typically incorporate the teaching of concepts such as a healthy body image or activity level into their lessons. A generally higher integration of activity into the students’ daily lives can be found in special schools, such as those for the mentally handicapped, than in the regular Gymnasium or Realschule.
This summer I took advantage of support from a Global Studies MA Summer Grant to take SOWO884: Leadership in Nonprofit Organization in the School of Social Work. I completed several assignments that provided me with valuable knowledge and experience, including an in-depth case analysis of diversification of NGO leadership and an assessment of organizational capacities for local NPO Nourish International. Through the class, I gained both a theoretical understanding behind certain leadership practices in nonprofit organizations and experience with hard skills that improved my leadership abilities. For my capstone project, I plan to focus on nonprofit organizations working in the intersection of gender, religion, and development in Albania. After graduation, I am interested in working as a project manager or analyst for Research Triangle Institute.
Mattie C. Webb
This summer I used support from a Global Studies MA Summer Grant to travel to La Serena, Chile to teach English and complete a Spanish immersion program with the nonprofit organization, A Broader View. I also used my time to conduct surveys in order to research the country’s current education debates. Through my volunteering, studying, and researching abroad, I gained new skills in the Spanish language, learned more about the culture of a very geographically diverse country, and furthered my research on education as a means of economic development. Most notably, this was my first time abroad and I am incredibly thankful for the generous support from Global Studies. For my capstone project, I plan to focus on how education contributes to economic development and how country-specific historic inequalities have prevented progress in this realm. The Chilean example shows what can happen when severe economic inequality is reflected in education systems. After graduation this spring, I would like to work at the U.S. Department of State.