SIT alumni shine at Notre Dame Human Development conference

Publication Date: February 24, 2020
Publication Location: Brattleboro, Vermont
Contact: Kate Casa  |

Senegal alumna takes home prize for outstanding research

Eleven SIT Study Abroad alumni presented undergraduate research at the 2020 Human Development Conference, Feb. 21-22, at Notre Dame University’s Keogh School of Global Affairs. Among them was SIT Senegal alumna Tyeesha Webber of Howard University, who was awarded the Rev. Ernest J. Bartell, CSC, Prize for Undergraduate Research on Poverty and Development for her research paper, The Phenomenon of Resilience and Resistance: A deeper look into the development of the informal sector in Sénégal.

A young woman smiles at a lectern featuring the University of Notre Dame logo
SIT Senegal alumna Tyeesha Webber of Howard University presenting her research at the 2020 Human Development Conference.

Webber participated in the fall 2019 SIT program Senegal: Global Security and Religious Pluralism.

Notre Dame's student-led Human Development Conference brings together students from around the world each year to share multidisciplinary, development-focused research. Two $1,000 prizes awarded at the conference recognize outstanding research on poverty and development. One prize is given to a Notre Dam student and the second to a student from another university.

This is the second consecutive year that an SIT student has earned the honor. Last year, Ernest Tan of Yale-NUS College received the award for his research on land use conducted while he was on an SIT Kenya program.

Ernest Tan, second from right, receiving the 2019 Bartell Prize.

“Once again this year, SIT students have proven their ability to produce exceptional, field-based research at the undergraduate level,” said Dr. Sophia Howlett, president of SIT. “We are immensely proud of these students, as well as the SIT academic and program directors and faculty advisors who helped guide them on their academic paths.”

The theme of this year’s Human Development Conference was “Development on the Move” Students were asked to focus on strategies tied to the dynamic nature of some of the most critical issues of the 21st century, including climate change, resource scarcity, and mass migration.

"These strategies include recognizing the importance of global institutions that are well-equipped to handle issues of transnational and intergenerational justice and policy. However, these strategies also must be underscored by attention to local contexts and insights drawn from grassroots community development efforts,” according to conference organizers.

SIT students who presented research at the conference were:

  • Kathrine Fulcher, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, fall 2019 Mexico: Migration, Borders, and Transnational Communities; Effects of Political Socialization on Perceptions Towards Central American Migrants
  • Bernice Leveque, Sewanee: The University of the South, fall 2018 Cameroon: Development and Social Change; Community Perceptions of Aid to the Informal Economy: A comparison of cases in rural Haiti and Cameroon
  • Cyrus Lloyd, Vanderbilt University, fall 2019 Jordan: Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East; The Effect of Tribalism on Political Parties
  • Cecil Millen, Denison University, fall 2018 Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development; Analyzing the Impacts of Conditions and Strategies Employed by the Mapuche and Zapatista Indigenous Movements on the Global Resistance to Neoliberalism
  • Crystal Ngo; Sewanee: The University of the South, fall 2018 Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation; Behavioral Analysis from Payment for Ecosystem Services: Carbon sequestration in Bois Joli, Haiti
  • Victoria Puglia, Lafayette College, spring 2019 Uganda: Global Development Studies; Humanitarian Assistance in Protracted Emergencies: Reconceptualizing the role of food aid in Adjumani, Uganda
  • Jessica Rosenblum, Washington University in St. Louis, spring 2019 Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy; HIV Among Migrants in Switzerland and the United States: A comparative analysis of the far-reaching consequences of migrant healthcare access
  • Maya Sterling, Vassar College, fall 2018 IHP: Social Innovation: Entrepreneurship, Design, and Development; Shifting the Development Enactment-Evaluation Parallel: The promise of grassroots organizations
  • Chenyu Wang, Haverford College, spring 2019 Argentina: Transnationalism and Comparative Development in South America; Regional Employment and Public Transport: A GIS-based comparative case study of accessibility to employment at local industrial park
  • Tyeesha Webber, Howard University, fall 2019 Senegal: Global Security and Religious Pluralism; The Phenomenon of Resilience and Resistance: A deeper look into the development of the informal sector in Sénégal
  • Jessica Winkler, University of Richmond, spring 2018 IHP: Human Rights: Foundations, Challenges, and Advocacy; Reconceptualizing the International Humanitarian Organization: IOM and UNHCR at Europe’s external gorders