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Global Studies Newsletter Summer 2018

2018 Global Studies Commencement Ceremony

On May 13, 2018, Global Studies celebrated our graduating BA and MA students. We look forward to following all the future successes in the various journeys and pathways that lie ahead for each of our graduates.

The students pictured above were recognized during the ceremony (Pictured from Left to Right): Allyson Barkley, 2018 Douglas Eyre Award for Excellence (best senior honors thesis); Caitlyn Carpio, 2018 Anne Scaff Award for Service to the Curriculum and the Internationalization of the University; CJ Alfonso, Undergraduate Student Speaker; Sofia Farah, Graduate Student Speaker.

Message from the Chair, Milada Anna Vachudova


As the new semester draws near, we are reflecting on the accomplishments of the last academic year, and on the promise of all of our students, especially our graduates. We have seen how much thoughtfulness, creativity and dedication they have invested into all of their pursuits on campus. We hope studying at Carolina has fostered curiosity, empathy, a sense of purpose, and an appreciation for diversity and for collaboration across the globe that will enrich their lives, careers and communities forever. We feature here stories about our students and faculty, and their commitment to academic excellence, public service, science, social justice, research and innovation that are at the heart of our university. Our students are also taking part in some of the most consequential policy debates of our time — for example, one our Global MA students, Mohammed Eid, has published this summer an article in the Raleigh News & Observer about the pivotal role of a United Nations agency in his journey from Gaza to our campus. You can read his op-ed here.

2018 Global Studies Graduating MA Presentations



Global Studies held a reception on Friday, April 27, 2018 for our graduating MA students. The event also featured student presentations of thesis and capstone projects.

Many thanks to all who attended and helped us celebrate the third cohort of Global Studies MA students.

Pictured (from Left to Right): Kristina Juergensmeyer, Leah Valtin-Erwin, Chenai Kadungure, Sarah Daniels, Sofia Farah, Sarah Wentz, Izzy Vega, Rachel Epps, Omar Santillan, & Vesta Davis.

Graduating MA students not pictured: Sophia Ashley, Tara Di Cassio

Senior Honors

Congratulations to our graduating seniors who completed senior honors theses this year! We are so proud of the dedication, persistence, academic excellence, and intellectual curiosity displayed by these students throughout each stage of the thesis process.

Pictured (from Left to Right with thesis title):

Morgan Pratt: “Safer in a Country at War? An Investigation into Why Colombia’s Displacement Crisis is a Largely Internal Phenomenon

Olivia Jackson-Jordan: “The Problem of Erasure: Indigenous Organizing Beyond the Zapatistas”

Allyson Barkley: “Building Walls and Breaking Laws: An Analysis of the European Union’s Failure to Address the Migrant Crisis”

Global Studies Launches Global Studies Student Association (GSSA)!

On September 25, 2017 the Curriculum in Global Studies hosted a welcome event to give Global Studies students a chance to engage with one another and learn about our new Global Studies student group, the Global Studies Student Association (GSSA). The GSSA was formed to foster community, dialogue, collaboration, and service among Global Studies majors as a means of putting their globally oriented learning and interests into practice on campus and beyond. Click here to read more about the event and support the ongoing efforts of the GSSA.

Global Studies in London!

In May, some of our first year MA students participated in a research collaboration with their peers from King’s College London. To read more about the KCL collaboration and our 2017-2018 First Year MA cohort.

Course Spotlight: Qualitative Research Methods for Professionals

In Fall 2017, students in Global Studies 490: Qualitative Research Methods for Professionals worked with the Town of Chapel Hill to apply the qualitative research skills they learned in a professional context. Under the supervision of the course instructor Hannah Gill, they conducted interviews with immigrant and refugee organization staff as part of the Chapel Hill Building Integrated Communities program, a multi-year community planning process that helps North Carolina local governments to successfully engage with local foreign-born, refugee, and Hispanic/Latinx residents in order to improve relationships, enhance communication, and promote newcomers’ civic participation and leadership in local government. Students learned about the experiences of local residents from many different regions across the globe, and connected with alumni from the Global Studies Curriculum who were participating in the project. The course involved workshops and a field component, providing students with practical experience designing and implementing qualitative research projects. The final work of the research was to submit recommendations to the Town of Chapel Hill to implement as outreach to newcomers.

Summer MA Internship Spotlight: Chenai Kadungure

Chenai Kadungure, a second-year Global Studies MA student & Rotary Fellow, spent two months last summer working with The Change Institute, splitting her time between Greensboro, NC and Barbados.  The Change Institute is a Global Leadership Training and Travel Exchange Program for Youth aged Grades 9-12. Founded by Social Designs, this two-week long study abroad program allows youth from Greensboro, NC travel to Barbados to learn about culture, conflict resolution, sustainability, food justice, and equity. In Greensboro, Chenai used a digital platform to create a blueprint for the recruitment of future students. In Barbados, she worked as a representative for The Change Institute and helped their partner organization, The Sojourner Foundation, develop a plan to gain exposure and run an internship program of their own. Read more about Chenai’s internship here.

Faculty Spotlight: Banu Gökarıksel

Professor Banu Gökarıksel, Associate Professor in the Geography Department and the Curriculum in Global Studies was awarded the 2017 UNC Chapman Family Teaching Award! The Chapman Teaching Awards were established to honor distinguished teaching of undergraduate students.  The award carries a stipend of $10,000 to be used over the period of 2 years and a semester-long faculty fellowship at the Institute of Arts and Humanities.  Click here to read more about Professor Gökarıksel’s accomplishments.

Faculty Spotlight: Liesbet Hooghe

Professor Liesbet Hooghe, the W.R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Political Science and adjunct Professor in the Curriculum in Global Studies, was named the Daniel Elazar Distinguished Federalism Scholar for the Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Section of the American Political Science Association for 2017. She and her long-time co-author, Professor Gary Marks (also at UNC), received this award in recognition of their general contributions to her field of study. To read more about professor Hooghe’s accomplishments, click here. 


Featured Alumna: LaChaun Banks ’10

LaChaun Banks received a BA in in International Studies, now the Curriculum in Global Studies, with a concentration in global economics, trade, and development in 2010. She received her MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Executive MBA program in October 2017.  As an undergraduate, she studied in Hong Kong at the Chinese University. Her major in Global Studies and her study abroad experience helped to prepare her for her current role in Economic Development as the Associate Director for NCGrowth. Read more here.


Featured Alumnus: Sasha Seymour ’15

Sasha Seymore graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, with a double-major in Global Studies and Economics and a minor in Business Administration from the

Kenan-Flagler Business School. After graduating from UNC, Sasha received a George J. Mitchell scholarship to study Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University Belfast, where he studied the legacy impact of post-conflict NGOs working in shared education and played for the Belfast Star Basketball Club. Sasha currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and works as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. Read More Here.

Featured Alumna: Silviya Nitsova ’17

Silviya Nitsova received her MA in Global Studies in May 2017. Before coming to UNC, she received a BA in European Studies from Sofia University (Bulgaria), an MA in Political Science from Leiden University (Netherlands), and spent time working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bulgaria.  During her time with the Global Studies Curriculum, she began researching the role of political and business elites in the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and she continues her research as a PhD student in Political Science here at UNC. Click here to learn more about Silviya.


Alumna Receives Scoville Peace Fellowship

Global Studies is proud to announce that alumna Kate Hewitt (’17 MA) received a Scoville Peace Fellowship for 2017-2018!

She earned a dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Philosophy from Gonzaga University in 2013. Hewitt is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for Farsi, the Gesa Continuing Education Scholarship, and served as a teaching assistant for GLBL 210: Global Issues and Globalization in her first year in the Global Studies MA program.

She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2017 from the Global Studies MA program with a concentration in Global Politics. Her Master’s capstone, “Profits and Proliferation: The Role of Economic Elites in Starting and Stopping Nuclear Weapons Programs,” introduced a new theory for understanding why countries pursue nuclear weapons and begins to explore more nuanced takes on ways to deter these pursuits. As a Scoville Peace Fellow, Kate worked at the Brookings Institution with Robert Einhorn and Steven Pifer in the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative on issues related to: the Iran nuclear deal, North Korea’s nuclear program, and strategies for reducing incentives for countries to obtain/pursue nuclear weapons, and focused on how to ensure that Iran continues to find the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to be its best option. Upon completion of the fellowship year, Kate has been hired to serve as a Research Assistant at the Brookings Institution to continue this line of research.

To read more about Kate and the Scoville Peace Fellowship program, visit this page.