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Conference on Global Affairs

Nelson Institute for Diplomacy & International Affairs - Undergraduate Conference on Global Affairs

The purpose of the conference is to recognize and share high-quality undergraduate research related to international and global topics.

2016 Conference Highlights:

The 2016 Conference on Global Affairs took place on April 8-9, 2016.

Activities included:

  • a crisis simulation supervised by former U.S. Ambassador Ken Yalowitz and former White House Director of Global Engagement Brett Bruen,
  • a dinner social featuring international appetizers,
  • a keynote "National Security and Women's Insecurity" by Valerie Hudson, University of Texas A&M,
  • panels featuring presentations of student research on global affairs (see below),
  • a closing luncheon address by visiting Global Practitioner Peiqin Zhou, Nanjing University.

2016 Student Panels

Topic: Problems and Cases in Political and Economic Development

Haley Barbour
Presentation Title: “Societal Implications of Bare Branches: China and India”

Greg Gonzalez
Presentation Title: “Mexican Economic Policies and the Underlying Forces of Corruption”

Cecilia Panella
Presentation Title: “When the Statesman Surpasses the State: Gamal Abdel Nasser, Realism, Liberalism, and the Evolution of the Significance of Pan-Arab Sentiment, 1952-1970”

Topic: Issues in the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa

Kara Anderson
Presentation Title: “’Cubs of the Caliphate’: The Systematic Recruitment, Training, and Use of Childr

Mollie Clark
Presentation Title: “The Case for a Unified Jerusalem

Taylor Donaldson
Presentation Title: “Religion, Law, and Society: Liberationist Theologies within Islamic Feminism

Hannah Grafelman
Presentation Title: “A Two-Fronted Approach to Combatting Daesh

Topic: Issues in the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa

Morgan Daves-Gehrls
Presentation Title: “The International Court of Justice, Globalization and the Evolution of International Law”

Jeff Konrad
Presentation Title: “Global Currency Hedging in Global Investment Portfolios

John Wingert
Presentation Title: “Selling Death: Marketing and Counter-Marketing in Global Tobacco Cessation

Cody Frost
Presentation Title: “Zainichi Koreans within Japan”

The 2016 Best Presentation Award was given to Haley Barbour, Drake University.


2015 Conference Highlights:

The 2015 Conference on Global Affairs took place on April 10-11, 2015.

Activities included:

  • a group simulation in U.S. foreign policy facilitated by Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli
  • a keynote address "Political Islam: What the West Can Learn from Its Own History" by noted scholar John Owen
  • Student panels
  • a closing luncheon with Iowa Representative Zachary Nunn. Zachary Nunn was formerly Director of Cybersecurity Policy at the National Security Council, White House.  (Nunn's topic was "Inside the National Security Council.") 

2015 Student Panels

Topic: External Intervention and Political Change

Michelle Avrutin, George Washington University
Video: Michelle's presentation
Paper: “The EU and Ukraine: Possibilities for Accession”

Allison Smith, Beloit University
Video: Allison's presentation
Paper: “International Actors in Ukraine’s Revolution to Democracy from 2004 to 2014”

Adam Smith, Drake University
Video: Adam's presentation
Paper: “Children of the Caliphate: The Threat Posed by the Islamic State School System”

Topic: Corruption, Political Institutions, and Civic Identity

John Wingert, Drake University
Video: John's presentation
Paper: “Corrupting Emerging Democracies: A Review of the Literature”

William Heaston, Drake University
Video: William's presentation
Paper: “Agency and Inertia: Organizational Theoretic Perspectives on Procurement Corruption in the United Nations”

Nathan Leys, George Mason University
Video: Nathan's presentation
Paper: “Profitability Through Superior Firepower: Defense Industry Election Spending After Citizens United”

Cecelia Panella, Drake University
Video: Cecelia's presentation
Paper: “How Much Will This Arm Go for on the Black Market? An Expansion on Snowden and the Mass Production of the Modern Citizen”

Topic: Transnational Flows of People and Ideas

Michael Hoyt, Drake University
Video: Michael's presentation
Paper: “The Humanitarian Crisis of 2014: Realist and Constructivist Views of International Migration”

Taylor Donaldson, Drake University
Video: Taylor's presentation
Paper: “Sex Trafficking in the Balkans”

Madeline Geobel, Drake University
Video: Madeline's presentation
Paper: “From the Eyes of the Little Guys; Exploring Family Farming in Cameroon”

The 2015 Best Presentation Awards were given to Allison Smith, Beloit University, and William Heaston, Drake University.

Allison Smith, Nelson Institute best presenter 2015William Heaston, Nelson Institute best presenter 2015

2014 Conference Highlights:

The First Annual Nelson Institute Undergraduate Conference on Global Affairs was held on April 11-12, 2014 at Drake University.  The 2014 Friday Night Keynote speaker was Todd Sechser, University of Virginia, on "Crisis Bargaining and Nuclear Blackmail: Should We Be Afraid of an Iranian Bomb?"

2014 Saturday Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Jerry Gallucci, Diplomat-in-Residence, Former Foreign Service Officer and UN Peacekeeper, spoke on "U.S. Policy on Russia and Ukraine."

2014 Student Panels

Topic: Globalism, Nationalism and Identity‌

Amanda Lawnicki, Beloit College
“Papa, should I tell you what I think of this exhibition, I would cry.” 

An Analysis of Visitor Impression Books at the Bosnian Historical Museum in Sarajevo

Danny Hodorowski, Beloit College
The Faces Behind the Flags

Football-Hooliganism's connections to Civil-Society in Moscow

Joshua Duden, Drake University

The Changing Citizen in a Globalized World

Emily Grant, Central College
Finding a Balance Between the Old and the New

The 2nd Generation’s Struggle to Understand and Preserve the Tai Dam Culture

Topic: International Political Economy

Hannah Shell, Drake University
Institutional Quality as a Determinant of Capital Flows

Erin Hassanzadeh, Drake University
Surviving the Sueneng

William R. Heaston, Drake University

Towards an Institutional Model of Organizational Corruption Controls: The Case of FIFA

Topic: Nation, Gender, and Human Rights

Jeffrey Ding, University of Iowa
An Altruistic Approach to Human Rights Policy

Alex Shaner, Drake University
The Unnoticed Right: The Aspiration of Self-Determination and National Identity

Jordan Payne, Drake University
Gender and Peru’s Shining Path

The 2014 Best Presentation Awards were given to Emily Grant-Central College and Hannah Shell-Drake University.