This semester, the students in the Diplomacy Cohort will complete a research paper on a topic of their interest. Working with advisors from the School of Diplomacy, such as Dean Halpin and Dr. Gokcekus, each student will argue the historical and present-day implications of different conflicts across the world. These topics range from civil strife in Nigeria to the European Union. The differing array of topics chosen by the Diplomacy students reflects their varied interests, and possible career aspirations.
Francesca Clever, who has lived in Germany, Brazil, and most recently, New Jersey, is majoring in Diplomacy and Economics with minors in French and Journalism. Her research will investigate the current state of Nigeria and the people that call Nigeria home. Currently Nigeria is ravaged by organizations such as Boko Haram, which cause chaos and disrupt the democracy recently created in Nigeria. Nigeria became a democratic state in 1999, and it has since experienced many growing pains. Francesca is mainly interested in the detrimental effects that the current food shortage has had, specifically on women. She will also be researching the religious and cultural influences in Nigeria and the extent to which they influence the crisis. UNICEF and other organizations are having trouble assisting the suffering people as most aid finds its way back to the terrorist organizations they are trying to defeat.
Another student, Mia DiPaola of Wall, New Jersey, who is majoring in Diplomacy and Classics and is looking to minor in Political Science, will be researching the extent to which the European Union has brought peace to Europe. Due to the current peace among Europe nations, the centuries of conflict experienced by the continent are often forgotten. Tension in Europe led to both World Wars, but, since the creation of international governmental organizations (IGOs), conflict in Europe has drastically decreased. Mia will be focusing mostly on Western Europe, the change in norms, and different peace theories. Through her research, Mia is hoping to get a clearer picture of the effects IGOs have on stability at the state and international level and if the EU has proven itself to be a worthwhile institution.
Though their research spans a multitude of topics, a common theme among the research, at this stage, is an interest in the roles of citizens and the effects of decisions on society. The Buccino Leadership Institute holds Civic Engagement as one of their seven key pillars and feels it is vital to becoming an exemplary leader and member of society. This value has not been lost on the Diplomacy students, who have been drawn to investigate the civic engagement while still in the early stages of researching their various topics.