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February 27, 2014

Twelfth Annual Graduate Research Conference Explores Global Challenges

morenews6-lgKeynote speaker Desmond Dinan

The Old Dominion University Graduate Research Conference last week drew 34 students from nine institutions to present papers exploring the theme "Dynamics of the 21st Century."

The annual conference - which is in its 12th year - attracts graduate students from colleges and universities along the East Coast and beyond to present research in the fields of history, political science, humanities and international studies. In addition to ODU students, a diverse group of presenters attended the Feb. 21 event from Virginia Commonwealth University, George Washington University, Georgetown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, among others. Their papers covered a range of topics, from Chinese foreign policy to environmental politics.

"We are always pleased with the professionalism and diversity that our conference attracts," said Regina Karp, director of the ODU Graduate Program in International Studies (GPIS). "This year, in particular, the participants' papers especially impressed the panel chairs. Conferences such as this highlight the talents of young scholars across disciplines and exemplify the culture of research we value so highly on our campus."

The conference luncheon featured a keynote address by Desmond Dinan, the Jean Monnet Chair in European Public Policy at George Mason University. ODU College of Arts and Letters Dean Charles Wilson offered welcoming remarks. Also attending were Provost Carol Simpson and Marcelo Siles, executive director of international programs.

Three papers were chosen as top prizes at the conference:

Craig Browne, Georgetown University, "Rethinking Sectarianism: Identity, Nuance and the Syrian Conflict"

Marie Mahoney, Regent University, "U.S. & Iranian Relations: Is There a Bend in the Rocky Road?"

Yingying Wu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "Trade Negotiations on Fisheries Subsidy within the World Trade Organization."

The conference format allows scholars to present a research paper in a professional setting and receive feedback from faculty and peers. Faculty members from GPIS and the departments of Political Science and History chaired this year's panels.

ODU sponsors of the 2014 conference included: the Graduate Society for International Studies, the College of Arts and Letters, the Student Government Association, Student Engagement and Enrollment Services and the Office of Leadership and Student Involvement.

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