Undergraduate sociology major wins award at 2nd Annual World Congress on Undergraduate Research

July 15, 2019

Undergraduate sociology major wins award at 2nd Annual World Congress on Undergraduate Research

Blond woman wearing black jacket standing in front of presentation board holding small award

In May, undergraduate double major (International Studies and Sociology) Jamie Wise traveled to Germany to attend the 2nd World Congress on Undergraduate Research. Jamie was awarded the best research project in the category of Politics, you can read more details about her work, award, and experience below.

Congratulations to Jamie and her faculty advisor Professor Hollie Nyseth Brehm. 

My name is Jamie Wise, and I am an American student at the Ohio State University in Columbus. My research seeks to better understand the role of religion in the pursuit of justice and reconciliation after mass violence, focusing on the Gacaca courts after the 1994 Rwandan genocide as a case study. I was presented with one of the World CUR 2019 awards in my research theme, Politics. 

Describe your research project.
My study relies on qualitative analysis and in-depth interviews conducted with participants in Gacaca and religious leaders in Rwanda. I had the opportunity to travel to Rwanda to do field work for this project, and I will never forget the generosity of my host family and Rwandan colleagues, who taught me so much. I am passionate about this work, because it is through learning the lessons of the past that we can ensure sustainable peace in the future. 

Describe the feeling you had when you received the award.
I was so grateful to receive this award and to have the chance to raise awareness about the challenges communities face after mass violence. I wish that my interviewees could have been standing up there with me accepting the award – they deserve all the credit, working for justice the past 25 years and having the courage and openness to share their stories.

Experience in Germany and Oldenburg.
World CUR 2019 was my first time in Germany. I will always remember trying currywurst and schnitzel, dodging bikes in the streets of Oldenburg, and touring old town Bremen. I hope to visit again someday soon!

Presentation at the Congress
I loved presenting at the World CUR 2019 poster session! I met so many students and researchers from such different backgrounds – some from Rwanda, some who had traveled there, and others who had never even heard of the genocide. Everyone brought their own unique perspective, which made for fascinating discussions and feedback on my project.

What impact do you think World CUR 2019 will have on your future career?
World CUR was one of the highlights of my undergraduate career. I was able to network with other young scholars from around the world working on similar issues, like human rights and refugee issues. I am using the award grant to support my next research project on memorialization and the aftermath of genocide in Cambodia. I plan to continue conducting research and sharing it with the world!