Faculty Spotlight: Brigitte Zimmerman
Brigitte Zimmerman, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Global Studies, has proven herself to be a skilled researcher as well as a talented professor having recently won an award for teaching excellence. The Student Undergraduate Teaching and Staff Awards identify those instructors who provide excellent instruction and influence, both inside and outside of the classroom. Although there were many highly-qualified nominations this year, Professor Zimmerman shone a little brighter than some of the other candidates.
In addition to influencing the lives of her students, Zimmerman has recently completed field work in Malawi for two projects on the politics of foreign aid allocation.
One project examined how elected officials make decisions about which sites in their constituency should receive development projects. Preliminary results indicate that providing even brief information about the distribution of need can reduce the politicization of aid.
The other was one of the first studies to examine the role of African traditional leaders (chiefs) in foreign aid allocation and their propensity to engage in corruption in aid projects. Preliminary results indicate that corruption is greatly reduced with a low cost follow-up phone call to inquire about the status of the development project.
Zimmerman plans to share these findings regarding efficient and effective solutions to perversions surrounding foreign aid in a series of policy briefs.