Global Development Studies

An undergraduate interdisciplinary program with a focus on social justice, sustainable economic development, public health, global interconnection, and public service.

GDS Capstone Theses

Expand the accordions below for Capstone titles of GDS Alumni

CLASS OF 2021

Student Name Title of Capstone Thesis
 Andrea Dilao Rodrigo Duterte’s “War on Drugs”: a Critical Analysis of the Relationship Between Philippine Security and Development
 Annie Heath Combatting Obstetric Racism
 Bethanie Fletcher-Perez The Role of Information and Ideas in Reshaping the Narrative in Venezuela: How Venezuelans Maneuver the Maduro Regime’s Seized Sectors of Society to Reclaim Their Voices Through Acts of Resistance
 Bezawit Bogale Participatory development and sustainable community engagement through the lens of localism (Podcast)
 Charlotte Houghton Education in India and Bangladesh: A Comparative Analysis
 Clarissa  Shelley Revolutionizing American Public Education: Incorporating Social Justice and Non-Traditional Pedagogy
 Cristina Zarhloul Maternal Death Rates in the United States (Podcast)
 Dina Tekaalem Mental Health and Awareness within the Eritrean Diaspora
 Francine Mananzan Museums, Objects, and Discourse: Rethinking the Space Between Artists and the Public
 Frank Valdez Reimagining Community: Centering Impacted people in knowledge making (Multi-media website)
 Hira Azher Parwa: A podcast exploring South Asian American diasporic identities and how they relate to abolition and transformative justice
 Jasmine Mao Today and Tomorrow and the Day After: Creating Spaces of Care and Wellbeing in an Uncaring Place
 Jennifer Flores Latinx Urbanism: An Analysis of Contributions, Support,and Hindrances
 Jieying Huang The Asian American Experience then and now: as seen through the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II and anti-Asian sentiments during the COVID-19 pandemic
 Katie  Timothy FOOD INSECURITY AND CULTURE: UNDERSTANDING THE NEED FOR CULTURAL SECURITY IN PLANNED REFUGEE CAMPS
 Lillian Saunders  Social Determinants of Health as Barriers to Preventative Care for Migrant Populations in Harris County, Texas and Hennepin County, Minnesota 
 Melissa Perez The Effect of Eugenics on Black Women (Essay and Podcasts)
 Morgan Wolf To what extent and under what conditions can community-building partnerships benefit local residents?
 Noor Samee When the Soul Speaks: a Music Activism Album
 Nyles Rome Reforumulating Reparations: The Underdevelopment of Black Bodies in the Unites States
 Oliver Gerbig Oliver's Opinions: Covid 19 in Taiwan and the US (Podcast)
 Payton Souders Disposable: The Intersection of Solid Waste Management and Gender in India
 Roma Chitko Race, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the School to Prison Pipeline: The Intersection of Systemic Inequality and Criminalization of Youth
 Sara Rizvi Gentrification and the Changing D.C. (Website) 
 Sonya Pandey A Closer Look at Domestic Workers in Nepal: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
 Sydney Suarez Saving White Cubans in Service of Civilization: Racialized Capitalism and Moral Politics of Death in US-Cuba Relations
 Walter  Sharon What Do You Stand For: Cultural Development Theory and Models of Public Monumentalism
 Zhuang Lin Social and Cultural Reproduction through the Lens of Racial Segregation and Economic Disenfranchisement in Charlottesville

CLASS OF 2020

Student Name Title of Capstone Thesis
Alex Spratley The Fundamentally American Project: Settler Colonial Violence Against Indian Women
Anna Brotman-Kras Domestic Fantasy, Disguised as Attainable Truth: Performance in Activism & Domestic Labor
April Corwin In Defense of Public Education:A Personal Reflection & Comparison of Social Movements Against Privatized Education in the United States and Chile
Ariana DeLaurentis Unearthing the Global Food Struggle Through a Place Based Politic: The Need for Food Sovereignty at Bellair Farm in Charlottesville, Virginia
Blake Hesson  Communities of Care: A Cross-Cultural Study of Indigenous 2SLGBTQ HIV/AIDS Health, Healing, and Community Prevention
Carlin Smith  Arts, Culture, and Transnational Solidarities as Vehicles of Change Collaborative Development between Makhanda, Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia
Chandler Collins Reclaiming Attention in the Attention Economy
Charlotte Brake  Exploring the Significances of Sexual Assault Across Cultural Contexts: Lessons for Engaging in International Development Work
Charlotte Scharfenberg Native Youth, Public Schools, and Trauma: Exploring the Potential of School to Heal
Clara Sophia Camber  Reviving the American Chestnut: Intersections of Ecological Intervention
George Moss Sustainability, viewed by a 21-year-old college student: how to proceed in a world where it is not a subject, yet essential to continue living as a species
George Perry  The New Wave: Healthcare Technologies and Their Impact On Development
Iqra Razzaq A modern pandemic, a global prison: Tracking the Geopolitical Life and Narrative of COVID-19 from China to the Rest of the World
Johntrell Bowles Myopic Planning: Assessing the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program and Spaces for Community Action
Julia DiFabrizio Decolonizing Education: How We Can Begin to Reimagine and Subvert the Classroom to Include All Students
Kelvin Thukha A Case for Benevolent Dictatorships:  Installing Soft Authoritarianism & State-led Economy in South East Asia using the Singapore Model
Kristina Colevas STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE IN AID: A MULTIAXIAL APPROACH TO EXPLAINING THE CURRENT OCCUPATION OF HAITI
Maame Esi Eghan Change and Continuity: Assessing the Past, Present and Future Implications of Pre and Post Colonial Land Tenure Systems in Ghana
Madeline Walker  IMAGINING FUTURES: DECOLONIZING THEATRE PRACTICE AND THEATER BASED TECHNIQUES IN PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
Mahlet Haile The Progression of Women’s Health and Safety In East Africa. A Comparative State Case Study Analysis: Evaluating Public Health Policy Proposals In The Region Over The Last 50 years.
Makayla Whitehurst Lessons on Education Quality, Access, and Equity: An Exploratory Look at Uruguay’s Schooling System
Marwah Shuaib Digital diasporas and desi identity: examining artistic explorations of bi-hemispheric belonging 
Mercer Craighill A Simple, Yet Wicked, Problem: Homelessness in Charlottesville
Natalie Romero Land, Deceit, and Development
Renae Meana Asian Americans in the Liberal Arts: Livelihood vs.Passion The Privileges, Sacrifices, and Compromises Behind Studying What One Wants to
Ruth Rosenfeld The Neoclassical Model of Immigration: A Battle between Capitalism and Nationalism in Immigration Policy
Sarah Carter Rojava, Radical Agriculture, and Anarcha-Feminism in the Middle East and North Africa: Women’s Role in Decolonizing Agriculture in the Face of Climate Change 
Veronica Sirotic GENDER DISCRIMINATION, LABOR, AND LAW: How judicial policymaking in the mid 20th century defined the body