Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

April 27 - May 1, 2015

Political Science Perspectives on Global Citizenship and Civic Engagement

Date: Monday, April 27, 2015
Time: 11:45am - 12:50pm
Location: Soiland Humanitites Center 120
Description: Since global citizenship and civic engagement are integral components of the Political Science program, this panel represents students working on projects that capture these components. All are welcome!

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Daniel Chell

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Haco Hoang
Mongolians in Los Angeles: The Impact of Social Capital on Cultural Retention and Self Identity

Mongolian immigration to the United States is a recent phenomenon. Formal ties between our two nations were first established in 1987. Political and economic liberalization in the early 1990’s have been citied as main causes for migration to the US along with education. Los Angeles’ Mongolian community provide a contemporary account of how cultural enclaves and institutions form and influence one another. Studying cultural retention and reasons Mongolians emigrated clarifies the intentions of Mongolians living in the US in regard to future plans to return to Mongolia or remain in the United States. Information collected can be used to improve immigration processes as well as develop community-building projects and events. Findings can also be compared to other immigrant communities in future research, potentially broadening the study’s applicability.  A variety of methods including an interview, online and in person site visits were used to collect relevant information. The study of Los Angeles’ Mongolians finds that cultural retention; through use of the Mongolian language and communal celebration of traditional holidays reinforces social capital. It also reveals that religious and civic organizations, which can reinforce social capital and cultural retention, remain relatively informal and unpredictable. Without cultural institutions to rely upon, language and culturally based networks remain the most unifying factors among the Mongolian community in Los Angeles. 

Christopher Otmar

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Michael Brint
Siloed Knowledge: An Analysis of Academic Disciplines Through Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programs

Since the early twentieth century, academic disciplines have been the dominating division of labor in higher education. These disciplines have created silos of knowledge—each with its own special vocabulary and favored method of inquiry. Interdisciplinarity attempts to bridge the disciplines while also breaking down the barriers that lead to isolated understandings and singular methodologies in research. While interdisciplinary initiatives are not a new concept, there has been a steady trend of increasing interdisciplinary doctoral programs in the United States over the past fifteen years. These programs include those such as, women’s studies, global studies, and history of consciousness. As hiring full time faculty positions at universities is often department based, many interdisciplinary doctoral graduates face challenges staying in academia after obtaining their degree. Through interviews, scholars from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and high education offered their perspectives on the culture and structure of the modern university that create barriers to these graduates. The goal of this study is to understand the challenges faced by interdisciplinary doctoral students as a reflection of the problems associated with dividing knowledge into silos within the modern university.

Halle Singh

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Michael Brint
Girl Catalyst: The Untapped Potential of Leadership in Young Women

The lack of women in leadership roles in all sectors and vocations should be of great importance to our culture. One of the reasons for this phenomenon is that young girls’ aspirations for leadership are negatively affected by society’s expectations of the “good girl,” causing them to avoid taking authoritative positions and cultivating their personal voice. While the promotion and encouragement of women to reach their highest potential in their current careers is critical in its own right, the importance of this study rests in how to combat the practice of socializing young women so that we can create opportunities for girls to develop leadership skills early on, enabling them to accomplish great things now and in their future.  The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between established leadership theory and current leadership development programs for young women in order to assess program validity and to recommend advances for future program development.