2016 IAC Graduate Essay Awards

2016 IAC Graduate Essay Awards

Students who had submitted abstracts for the IAC graduate conference submitted 10-15 page papers by January 1st, 2016 to be evaluated by Ivan Allen College faculty judges. Authors of the three top papers each received $1500 in travel funds. Below are biographies and abstracts of prize winners in 2016.


2016 Prize winners

 leading-edge-bio-schmidJon Schmid (International Affairs) 

Jon Schmid is a Ph.D. student in the Science, Technology and International Affairs program in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Jon is a Georgia Tech Presidential Fellow, a Coca-Cola Fellow and a Sam Nunn Security Fellow. He conducts research on the determinants of national innovative productivity, economic development and international political economy.


photo_rahulpathakRahul Pathak (Public Policy)

Rahul Pathak is a doctoral candidate in public policy at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and a research assistant with the Fiscal Research Center at Georgia State University, Atlanta. Before joining the Andrew Young School, he worked as a Research Associate at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Rahul’s principal research interests lie at the intersection of public finance and social policy. He also conducts research on international development topics with a focus on governance and institutional reforms. For more information, please contact: rpathak3@gsu.edu

The Anatomy of Collaboration in International Development Management: Comparative Insights from Nigeria and Ghana (First Prize)

Abstract: Collaborative approaches are increasingly common in international development practice. Such collaborations pose distinctive challenges based on inter-member resource disparities, inadequate infrastructure in much of the developing world, the role of donors,unstated hierarchies, and cultural differences. While the nature of North-North collaboration is fairly well specified in the organizational behavior and business literature, there has been little research focusing on the North-South collaborations that are common to contemporary development practice. With this gap in mind, we use a mixed methods research design to develop and test a conceptual model of collaboration in a development setting. The model is validated against two international development projects: technology-enabled election monitoring campaigns in Nigeria and Ghana. Our results show that while traditional approaches of conceptualizing collaboration provide significant insight into our empirical cases, additional factors should be considered when studying collaboration in an international development context. Specifically, we find that resources like donor financing, human capital, communications infrastructure, and local knowledge affect collaboration processes and outcomes in a North-South setting.


liYin Li (Public Policy)

Yin Li is a PhD candidate at the School of Public Policy where he specializes in science & technology policy and economics of innovation. His research projects focus on the learning and innovation strategies of high-growth firms in the areas of emerging technologies and regions and how such strategies are shaped by broader institutions and policies. He is especially interested in nanotechnology innovations, ICT industries, and emergence of China as an innovation powerhouse.

Li’s research has been published in policy and management journals, including Technovation, The Journal of Technology Transfer, and Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. He has also contributed book chapters to a recent book, Zhou, Lazonick and Sun eds., China as an Innovation Nation (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Using web mining to understand Triple Helix innovation partnership at micro level: application to US green manufacturing sectors (Second Prize)

Abstract: While broad “Triple Helix” frameworks of industry, government and university collaborations have the potential to enhance innovation and economic development at macro-levels, at the micro level of actors it should not be assumed that such relationships are uniform in character or outcomes. To better understand the micro-level dynamics of Triple Helix, particularly from the perspective of small and medium-sized enterprises, this study probes the micro-level characteristics and impacts of external enterprise relationships. Novel website-based Triple Helix measures are introduced that extend the analytical scope beyond customary indicators (such as patent analysis or entropy measures) to include communication and coordination among all three helices at the level of individual firms. This approach is used to explore the micro-level characteristics and impacts of industry, government and university relations for small and medium-sized enterprises by analyzing a subset of more than 271 U.S. green goods small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. We compare the website-based measures with case study results to authenticate the method. A panel data regression model is then employed to analyze the simultaneous impacts of various combinations of industry, government and university links on firm sales growth (2008-2011), with controls for region, scale, and application domains. The ability of website-based indicators to distinguish the impacts of different mixes of Triple Helix relations is demonstrated. The results show that relationships with all three helices have a positive total marginal effect on firm sales growth, although enterprise relationships with just one or two Triple Helix actors have mixed growth effects. The implications of these findings are discussed.

(Note: A revised version of this paper has been published as Li, Y., Arora, S., Youtie, J. and Shapira, P., 2016. Using web mining to explore Triple Helix influences on growth in small and mid-size firms. Technovation. DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2016.01.002)


img_7121Renee Shelby (History and Sociology)

Renee holds a Presidential Fellowship in the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Institute of Technology. Originally from rural, Lansing, Kansas, she has earned a M.A. in sociology and public health at Georgia State University and a M.A. in sociology from Georgia Tech. In 2012, she was selected as Outstanding Graduate Student and served as an Urban Fellow in the GSU School of Law 2013. Before beginning the HSOC Ph.D. program at Georgia Tech in 2015, she taught Social Problems and Introduction to Sociology at Georgia State University, and was awarded Excellence in Higher Education by the GSU Center for Instructional Innovation.

Her research is situated the intersections of history of medicine, feminist criminology, and law. By taking a critical perspective, her work illuminates the relationship between cultural values and institutional responses to sexual assault, and aims to provide mechanisms to support victims of sexual violence. Her research has been published in the academic journal Criminal Justice Studies, Sociation Today, and Oxford University Press.

For more information, please visit Renee Shelby’s website: http://pwp.gatech.edu/reneeshelby/

Whose Rape Kit? Aims, Realities, and Justice (Third Prize)

Abstract: Since the introduction of the rape kit in 1978, the role of forensics in prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence has accelerated. Reshaping what is considered a viable legal case, increasingly, victims must have a ëgoodí rape kit for their rapists to be prosecuted. Although evidence, and especially DNA evidence, created with forensics is held as the gold standard, rape kits have created a crisis for the criminal justice system, as evidenced by the immense rape kit backlog, and the cost of processing them. Much scholarship has focused on those who collect rape kits, sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), rather than the rape kits as a technological artifact and intervention. To date, no scholarly examination of the rape kitís origins exists limiting analysis of the rape kitís effect over time. In this paper, I conduct a socio-historic archaeology of the rape kit uncovering its histories at the intersections of science, law, and culture. First, I trace its origins as a technological intervention by feminist activists and uncover its developersí stated aims. I then assess the rape kitís effect on arrest trends by analyzing longitudinal arrest and victimization data. Lastly, employing both STS and feminist conceptions of materialization, I suggest normative cultural views of sexual violence interact with discourses of science and technology to complicate the perceived objectivity of the rape kit, and its capability to achieve social justice. This analysis offers productive insights for ongoing State policy discussions.


 sooa leeSooa Lee (History and Sociology)

Sooa Lee is a doctoral student in the School of History and Sociology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She earned her BA in the School of International Liberal Studies at Waseda University, Japan and first MS in Modern Japanese Studies at Oxford University, UK.  After completing her first MS degree, she has worked at one of national R&D labs in Korea and come to understand that science and technology should also be understood in the social context.  She has recently submitted her master’s thesis on “A Multi-dimensional Approach to (South) Korean International Research Collaboration,” and earned her second MS in History, Society, and Technologies Studies at the School of History and Sociology, Georgia Tech. She has also conducted research on the impact of export controls and other regulations on the practice of research by Korean graduate students and faculty in the engineering schools at Georgia Tech.  Using ethno-sociological approach, her current research interest focuses on assymetric international research collaborations among developed and developing countries.

A Multi-dimensional Approach to (South) Korean International Research Collaboration (Third Prize)

Abstract: As globalization is no longer a neologism, researchers in the field of scientific inquiry form international collaborations to expand their knowledge and applications. However, despite the popularization of collaborative efforts, the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI 2013) and the Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP 2014) have indicated that the globalization of science and technology in Korea is relatively weak compared to its overall level of innovation. While existing analyses of the subject focus on limitations in the current classification and evaluation systems of government-funded international collaborative programs, this paper incorporates micro-level perspectives on the problem. From an analysis of interviews with scientists who work for national materials and mechanical research institutes in Korea, this study will describe the micro-level aspects of social barriers associated with international research collaboration.


img_0968-1Mario Bianchini (History and Sociology)

Mario earned a B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study; a school that did not have traditional majors, rather concentrations. As such, Mario concentrated on the manifestation of Nazi guilt in both Eastern and Western German literature. He also studied German at Freie Universität Berlin through a German Academic Exchange Service grant. After graduating from NYU, Mario joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as a PhD student in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science where he recently earned his M.A.

Mario is largely interested in studying East German history of science and technology. More specifically, he is interested in investigating East German technological culture. He is currently involved in a project investigating how East German model train sets became one medium of marketing the East German technological future. He has also studied post-war German economists and their inability to see economics as a political endeavor. He speaks fluent German, and is currently engaged in learning Russian.

Human Economics: Germany, Economists, and the Cold War (Third Prize)

Abstract: The generation of economists operating in Germany during the 1960s was granted a seldom seen opportunity: the chance to participate in the rebuilding of the German science of economics. Yet despite this rare power afforded to a group of individuals, no real study of them exists. Instead, studies of Cold War German economics often operate in terms of massive political checkpoints, analyzing the Marshall Plan or pondering the fall of the Berlin Wall. In doing so, such studies overlook the threads that make up the tapestry. A fuller study of economics demands an understanding of the individual lives that influence and shape it, as science is inevitably inflected with the values of its creators. As such, this paper takes up the individual lives of these economists as the object of study by analyzing a series of interviews with postwar German economists, hailing from both the East and the West, to better understand how their lives were affected by the Cold War. In this paper, I investigate a trend to invite German economists to study at American universities during the 1960s as well as the political implications of these invitations. Those who studied at American universities often returned to Germany mirroring American beliefs, while offering the United States a glimpse into their own style of economics. Furthermore, I describe what the dominant American economic theory was at the time and why that theory was apt to convert others. This study concludes with a discussion of how economics’ status as an apolitical science made it all the more susceptible to American political influence. In this way, this study braves a fuller understanding of the economies along the literal frontlines of the Cold War.