Major(s): Media Communications, Political Science
Minor: Information Systems
Title: Informal Resettlement of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Cartagena, Colombia: A Visual Exploration and Oral History.
Describe your project: My research project is about understanding the nature of IDPs, their resettlement process to urban areas, and their living conditions in their new settlements. I used two research methods during my field-work to withdraw evidence to analyze and answer my project questions.
Who is your mentor for your project? Dr. Felipe Filomeno, Political Science.
How did you find your mentor? I took Dr. Filomeno’s POLI 361 – Comparative Political Analysis class and thought he was a good candidate due to his research background.
How did you become interested in this project? I have done journalistic independent projects in the past about similar topics but after taking several political science classes, I wanted to conduct an interdisciplinary project using social science theories and my visual art skills. At the same time, I really wanted to know more about IDPs in general and the different types of migration.
What has been the hardest part about your research/What was the most unexpected thing about being a researcher? The hardest part about my project has been transcribing the video-interviews because my subjects did not speak Spanish fluently. I did not expect to be planning every single activity or action throughout my research, however, this has also helped me to be more organized with my research deadlines.
What has been the most rewarding part? The chance to travel to Colombia, South America to interview IDPs in Nelson Mandela, Cartagena, and experience a new culture.
How will you disseminate your research? I intend to present my research at URCAD 2020, and hopefully publish a paper about my project findings.
What is your advice to other students about getting involved in research? Research something you’re passionate about, educate yourself on the topic, become an expert on the topic, find an issue on the topic, study the issue closely, formulate an idea and make a proposal.
What are your career goals? After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in photojournalism to have the opportunity to continue to study and research more issues like this one around the world.