Through the generosity of two donors, the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) is able to offer competitive Student Travel Grants for its students to continue work on their senior integrative project (SIP) by attending a conference or workshop, returning to the site of the internship to continue research or conduct interviews or by traveling to a site where primary materials are available. This unique opportunity gives students the chance to gather additional information that greatly helps to make the SIP an outstanding piece of academic research.
In 2015-2016, we awarded seven such grants.
Kevin Irakoze attended a conference,“Ethics of Immigration,” at the Mudd Center for Ethics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The conference addressed ethical questions of migration and immigration. Kevin is interested in the interrelations of immigration, homelessness and social policy so this conference was extremely beneficial and interesting for him.
Caroline Leonard, an international relations and Hispanic studies major, attended a conference, “VII Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Social Science in Medellin, Columbia.” Caroline’s senior integrative project is “Examining Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Processes in Colombia.” She completed her CISLA internship at the Colombian Agency for Reintegration in Bogotá. This conference brought together some of the most important and influential academics, public officials and researchers to discuss the major social problems facing Latin America today. Caroline reported, “I attended panels directly regarding the peace process in Colombia. Hearing experts in the field bring up some of the more controversial aspects and challenges of the peace process was extremely fruitful for me to hear. I was able to record the panelist’s speeches, as they were all in Spanish, so I can review them while I write my final paper. By the end of the day, I left the conference feeling unbelievably lucky to have been a part of a major convention on a topic I have studied for over two years.
Kamal Kariem, a double major anthropology and Slavic studies, completed his CISLA internship at the Russian Ethnographic Museum. His senior integrative project was “Narratives of Nationalism in the Russian Ethnographic Museum.” When he returned to Russia with the student travel grant, he was able to conduct further interviews and produce a photographic essay about his topic. Kamal was able to fill in information gaps in his research and complete a successful senior integrative project.
Claire Lingham, an East Asian studies major, interned in Yantai, China, at the Changyu Pioneer Wine Company and completed her senior integrative project on the topic of “China’s Rise in the Global Wine Market.” With her student grant she traveled to Napa Valley to interview winemakers and distributors to gauge their changing interest with the Chinese wine industry. The research she was able to complete was extremely helpful and added an important dimension to her SIP. Furthermore, she made some excellent contacts that might result in employment in the future.
Alexis Cheney is an English major. Her senior integrative project examines the representations of prostitutes in nineteenth century American and French literature and visual art. During the summer she interned at Equipes d’Action Contre le Proxénétisme. During her return to Paris she visited the exhibit “Splendor and Misery of Prostitution” at the Musée D’Orsey. She also met with Professor Mathilde Bertrand, a professor at La Sorbonne Nouvelle who taught a course on 19th century representations of prostitutes in literature. Alexis also met three Connecticut College alumni with established careers in Paris who shared their ideas of finding employment in Paris.
Jamie Moon is a psychology major. His senior integrative project examines the psychological parameters of sports fanaticism throughout the world. Jamie studied abroad both in Spain and in Cuba. He interned during the summer in Lima, Peru, at the Federación Nacional de Futbol Peruano. To gather more information for his SIP, he returned to Havana where he was able to conduct extensive surveys and interviews. This research let him see the completely different attitudes toward soccer in Cuba and in Peru. In Cuba, it is for fun and relaxation, but in Peru it is a means to escape poverty and there is great pressure to succeed.
Vladimir Chlouba is an international relations and economics double major. His summer internship was in Windhoek, Namibia, where he worked for the United Nations Information Center. His senior integrative project examined the impact of German investment on Namibia. With his grant he returned to Namibia to conduct additional interviews in the rural areas where the Nama ethnic group resides. These interviews will give him the data he needs to finalize his SIP.