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Nelson Student Research Symposia

The purpose of the Nelson Student Research Symposia is to recognize and share high-quality undergraduate research related to international and global topics.

The Symposia enabled what previously were stand-alone Nelson Institute Conferences to partner with the Engaged Citizen Experience effort to promote a university wide discourse of global intercultural topics.

2021 Nelson Student Research Symposium 

As in past years, the Global Citizen Forum will feature the Nelson Student Research Symposium, giving Drake University students the opportunity to share their research. The 2021 Global Citizen Forum will be held March 3-5, fully online. More information about the conference can be found on our webpage

The 2021 theme is International Perspectives on Racial Justice. While research presentations that support the theme are encouraged, all global topics from any academic discipline are welcome. 

Schedule for Friday, March 5, 2021

All times listed are in Central Standard Time (Des Moines, Iowa)

Welcome by Professor Jimmy Senteza, 8:45-8:55 AM

Professor Senteza is the Director of the Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs

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Session 1.1 COVID-19, 9:00-9:55 AM

Jadon Ohnemus
The determination of various health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adam Koch
Want to Save Lives? You Need the Right Style: Political Leader Style and its impact on COVID-19 response.

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Session 1.2 Espectros estatales, societarios e individuales de justicia racial en América Latina (en español), 9:00-9:55 AM

DaShaun Payne
Una relación construida por conexiones inesperadas.

Brittany Freeman
El silencio de una sociedad: los peligros del estigma en reconocer el trauma de las personas.

Declan Merbeth
El lado oscuro de cuentos para niños.

Avery Van Den Berg
Las diferencias en fecundidad entre mujeres indígenas en México.

Elizabeth James
¡Berta vive!

Maddie Topliff
La violencia contra las activistas medioambientales indígenas de América Latina.

Holly Santman
El medio ambiente y la fuerza de leyendas.

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Session 2.1 Global Health & COVID-19, 10:00-10:55 AM

Katie Lajoie
Covid-19 and Specific Vulnerabilities of Indigenous Populations

Nadia R. Treichel
The Right to Health: Inequality within Global Healthcare Systems.

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Session 2.2 International Human & Civil Rights, 10:00-10:55 AM

Madeleine Leigh
"A vicious cycle of violence and discrimination”: how rioting can be a valid form of political protest against systemic violence.

Avery Grace VanDenBerg
Human Rights vs. Civil Rights: International Perspectives on Racial Justice in the U.S.

Anna Richardson
Racial Justice and Human Rights.

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Session 3.1 World Politics & COVID-19, 11:00-11:55 AM

Lauren Low
US Presence in Israel and Palestine.

Jazmine Guzman
The United Nations Climate Change Initiative and Race Vulnerability.

Emma Torry
Effectiveness of Coronavirus Disease 19 Lockdowns: A Cross-Regional Comparison.

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Session 3.1 International Human & Civil Rights, 11:00-11:55 AM

Sharon Mamuya
Forced Migration

Beatrice I. Kearns
Forced Sterlization and International Human Rights.

Elijah Rockhold
Contesting the state through the spatial components of protests: A comparative analysis.

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Poster Session, 12:00-12:30 PM

Ella K. Field
Comparing urban planning around stream ecosystems ​across diverse communities: lessons from Des Moines and Jakarta.

Meredith S. Miklos
Measuring Accessibility of Central Iowa Trial Near Fourmile Creek Community Center

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Student Research Highlights from the 2020 Symposium

Global Health & Medicine

  • Niyongere, Jenna. Global Barriers to Generic Antiepileptic Medication Use. 
  • Michalec, Robyn. Mental Health and Belonging: An Analysis of Syrian Refugees and the Trauma They Face in Greek Refugee Camps. (Mental Health and Belonging)

Society & Culture

  • Wildman, Ashley. British Identity and Culture.
  • Nixa, Alex. Accessing Nepali Women’s Legal Pathways.
  • Max Brown, Emily Hanna, Brenna Molnau. Case Study in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: An Analysis of Socio-cultural Indicators.

Cultura y sociedad (en español)

  • Martin, Josie. La influencia dañina de La Llorona en el papel de las madres mexicanas.

Transnational Perspectives

  • Acosta, Aileen. The Relationship Between Undocumented Students and Urban Education through Immigration Policies.
  • Topliff, Maddie. The True Americanization of Mexico: U.S.’s facilitation of domestic and international gun violence. (The Americanization of Mexico)
  • Rivas, Enrique. Reproductive Politics: Guatemala & U.S. Transnational Adoptions.