Every year, The University of Texas at Austin’s President’s Award for Global Learning is awarded to visionaries who seek solutions to global problems. Students and faculty collaborate with international partners to give students the opportunity to receive a global education while also earning course credit.
This fall, two of the seven selected teams featured students and faculty from the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations.
It’s no easy feat to receive the President’s Award.
First, students must form a team of two to four members, all from different majors. Additionally, they must also find a faculty lead and two faculty mentors from different departments to complete the team. Next, students must select one of seven approved regions for the project to be located. Lastly, the project proposals must align with one of the three topic areas: entrepreneurship, social impact or expanding existing research.
Advertising senior Rebecca Chen is part of the Ghana team, which also features faculty team member Meme Drumwright. Associate Professor Lucy Atkinson is a faculty member as part of the Southwest Asia team.
Stan Richards School faculty Lucy Atkinson (left) and Meme Drumwright
The Africa team will explore the influence of colorism on media and businesses in Ghana, and the Southwest Asia team will focus on waste management in Cambodia.
The Ghana team will be analyzing the effects of colorism during the Summer of 2019, and will continue to study the effects at UT until Spring 2020. The project will be analyzing and comparing the effects of colorism in Ghana and comparing that data with the effects of colorism in Austin. There will also be four advertising/public relations classes involved in understanding this research proposal, which will be taught by Moody’s College of Communication professors Lee Ann Kahlor, Matthew Eastin and Galit Marmor-Lavie.
The Southwest Asia team will be spending their efforts looking for proper solutions on waste management in local areas of Cambodia. There are many organizations seeking to resolve this issue nationwide, however the solutions are short-term and lack cultural sensitivity. This team will be focusing on educating schools on waste management and creating awareness for appropriate methods of waste disposal.
Two finalists are selected per region in the Fall semester and must submit a project proposal. The finalists also receive a $25,000 grant from the university to cover project expenses and additional costs. The projects allow students to travel to their designated countries and dive deep into their research proposals to give students a hands-on experience in understanding research efforts, as well as providing them with a once in a lifetime experience.