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2015 Global Perspective Grant Testimonials

Last summer, Stanford Global Studies awarded 12 grants to fund graduate student research abroad.

These grants, made possible by a generous gift from the Friends of Stanford University Foundation in Taiwan, “provide a valuable opportunity for students to enhance their research through fieldwork in an international setting,” said Norman Naimark, Director of Stanford Global Studies.

“This year, students tackled a variety of research projects around the world, from the history of Chinese pop art to energy reforms in India, demonstrating the diversity and global reach of our academic programs.”

Read the 2015 research projects below.

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Gabrielle Fulco

Center for Latin American Studies

“Thanks to the generous support of the Stanford Global Studies program, I was able to attend an international summer school held by Diálogo Global: A Center of Study and Investigation for Decolonial Dialogues, in Barcelona, Spain ... I acquired a comprehensive understanding of the history of global colonialism as well as theories of leading philosophers in the field ... These classes equipped me with another perspective to my work as a Latin Americanist, helping me in my pursuit to create inclusive solutions of international philanthropy and development.” 

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Jon Derman Harris

Center for East Asian Studies

“This summer reinvigorated my passion for Chinese art ... This time spent in Beijing and Hong Kong allowed me to make significant progress on my thesis research; I am investigating the genesis and history of political pop art in mainland China since 1979, with an emphasis on a particular artist named Wang Guangyi. Wang’s famous portraits of Mao in the 1980s began a now flourishing movement of political pop art that I was able to better understand through in-person interviews. I read through materials unavailable outside of China and visited museums, galleries, screenings, and panel discussions. I simply could not have done this research without SGS funding.” 

Emma Kelsey

International Policy Studies

“As an intern in Accion’s Latin America hub office in Bogotá, Colombia, I worked with their leadership team  to develop a new strategic plan for the region, and helped create a presentation to introduce the plan to  their CEO and Board of Directors ... At Stanford, one of my primary academic interests is impact evaluation and  measuring the effectiveness of development programs. I had the opportunity to delve into those interests this summer, as well as practical challenges such as organizational dynamics that influence buy-in to the evaluation process. I am grateful to SGS for their support, as this internship allowed me to directly utilize my studies in a practical setting.” 

Maria Garcia Lecuona

International Policy Studies

“Thanks to the generous support of the Global Perspectives Fund, from June 15 to August 31, 2015, I worked as a Short Term Temporary Consultant at the Doing Business Project Division of the International Financial Corporation (World Bank Group)… Through it, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about the key role the quality of land administration plays in development. I also got to know how the flagship report of the World Bank, the Doing Business report, is researched and written. In addition, I have been able to practice foreign languages and improve my written and oral communication skills… The internship also allowed me to network in Washington, improve my future career prospects, meet very interesting and friendly people, and attend enriching events and conferences.”

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Leah Nosal

International Policy Studies

“This summer, I researched power sector reforms in New Delhi, India between 1998 and 2002 ... I had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with representatives from the most important stakeholders in the reform process. For example, I met with key individuals in the governing party, including Mrs. Dikshit herself. I also met with the last chairman of the state utility board at the time, representatives from the state’s regulatory commission, former consultants who aided in designing the reform package, and union leaders who represented employee interests at the time ... This research project has unquestionably enriched my academic work with hands-on experience in the field.” 


Srihari Seshasayee

Center for Latin American Studies

“I have had a most fruitful and enjoyable time in Peru and Brazil, and interviewed many people who have helped further my research on India-Latin America relations, a topic that is rarely studied ... I met with  numerous businesspersons, diplomats, government representatives, journalists and scholars. Their perspectives have added great value to my research on how India interacts with Latin America, and how the region sees India through a strategic, business or cultural lens.” 

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Kona Shen

International Policy Studies

"Thanks to the Stanford Global Studies research travel grant, I was able to go to the UK to learn more about the social innovation landscape from entrepreneurs and industry experts...My main focus during the trip was to speak with local leaders about their views of the social innovation culture in the UK...The research I conducted has already helped further my studies on economic development as it relates to social entrepreneurship and I am looking forward to applying these lessons learned during my last year as an M.A. candidate in international policy studies."

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Nika Soon-Shiong

Center for African Studies

I conducted a photovoice project at the Baylor Center for Excellence in Gaborone, Botswana between July and September 2015. I worked through Finding the Leader Within, which is a year long life and work readiness program for out of school youth between the ages of 16 and 25… Photovoice is a group analysis method that combines photography with grassroots social action, commonly used in community development, public health, and education … Through photography, participants represented their environment in a way that was expressible to community outsiders. Between Sept 3 and Sept 18, their photographs were exhibited at the Sophie Lalonde Art Gallery in Gaborone. The next steps for this project are to examine themes that emerged in order to create more targeted programs and increase the understanding of ways that social pressures act on unemployed young adults.

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Shivshankar Vadivelalagan

International Policy Studies

“During my internship with  Dalberg Global Development Advisors in Mumbai, I worked on the Government of India and USAID partnership project to support financial inclusion in India through expanded payment acceptance networks. My project was to build business models that can increase digital payments in India. My project at Dalberg was extremely enriching and a very well rounded experience. In addition to learning about the financial inclusion landscape in India, the internship also helped me to learn the strategic consulting approach to tackling global development problems.” 

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Liu Yang

Center for East Asian Studies

“Thanks to the SGS Global Perspective Award, I got a chance this summer to concentrate on my research and embrace an opportunity to truly accept myself and challenge myself, which is such an unexpected treasure that I discovered…my research [was] on the Christie’s auction of two Chinese bronze zodiac heads looted from the Summer Palace in the 1860s. I spent most time of this summer searching through the relevant international legal documents and China’s legal documents.”

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Lucie Zikova

International Policy Studies

“In my summer research, I attempted to better understand the relationship between development aid, economic growth, and good governance…It seems intuitive that development aid is more effective in countries with good governance. States led by good institutions with a strong judicial system and uncorrupt government would employ aid capital in ways prosperous for their citizens. In countries with poor governance, international aid is too often misappropriated and wreaks more havoc.

In 2008, the Czech republic graduated from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) program. The economy has improved but challenges remain in the sphere of governance. Although the situation is not unique, development agencies such as EBRD continue to overlook the importance of good governance.”