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Josef Korbel School of International Studies

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Graduate Research and Performance Summit Fellows

By Philip Gassert, MA Candidate

DENVER—Feb 23, 2015—Two graduate students at Josef Korbel School of International Students took part in the second annual Graduate Research and Performance Summit on January 30, 2015. Kaylee Dolen and Matthew Bloise took advantage of the event to discuss their areas of greatest academic interest and discover what their fellow graduate students are working on. 

Dolen, an International Studies major, has long held an interest in Vietnam and has applied that interest to her studies at Josef Korbel School. 

“Whenever I’m taking a class, I’m thinking how does this apply to Vietnam, how does this apply to Southeast Asia,” Dolen said. “I’ve had a lot of good case studies about things happening in Southeast Asia that have been very helpful because I’m trying to learn more about the area as a whole and not just Vietnam.”

Dolen saw the research summit as an opportunity to gain an outsider’s perspective on her own work, as well as to gain valuable experience presenting her research. “I really just wanted to get more experience presenting my work in front of a larger audience, especially an audience that wasn’t specifically focused on international relations, so they could maybe bring up things I hadn’t thought of,” she said.

Bloise, an Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration major, also saw the research summit as an opportunity to learn from the perspectives of students in different graduate programs. In addition, he wanted to learn more about the work being done by graduate students outside of Josef Korbel School at the University of Denver. 

“51% of DU students are graduate students, but they’re kind of sequestered.” Bloise said. “They don’t talk to each other across disciplines, the way you would in undergrad.” 

Both Dolen and Bloise presented their research to the “Politics and History” panel of the research summit. Presenters were given ten minutes to present their research, followed by a short question and answer session along with feedback from those in attendance.

Bloise presented work he had done for a paper he wrote on the United States opening relations with China in 1972 for his US Foreign Policy course. “The idea behind it is that you get students from different disciplines together, present papers and topics based on their areas of research, and get a cross-pollination of ideas,” he said. 

Dolen presented her work on the repression of human rights in Vietnam, with a specific focus on the repression of media in the country. “Dr. Avant gave me some good feedback, thinking about the different human rights in Vietnam,” she said. “How some rights the government has been good at securing, and other rights they have not been good at securing. The unequal application of human rights is something I’m going to be looking at, moving forward.”

Both students spoke to the benefits that came from having participated in the event.

“I didn’t have a lot of expectations for what was going to happen. I was pleasantly surprised. spent some time looking at psychological research, research related to politics and gender. You could peak into someone else’s worldview and see what they’re spending their time with,” Bloise said. 

Students with questions regarding future research and performance summits can email duresearchsummit@gmail.com .