Blogs from the Field

Faculty Research PGSA Luncheon a Success


The Payson Graduate Student Association (PGSA) sponsored a faculty research presentation on Monday, March 4th highlighting the work of Payson domestically and abroad. The purpose was to enable  students to become more familiar with Payson's projects and affiliated organizations while identifying opportunities for research assistance, internships, and potential career paths.

Presenting faculty members and research topics included:

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Investing in Sustainable Cities - November 8th, 2012


Thanks to sposorship from the Payson Center, I attended the “Investing in Sustainable Cities” conference hosted by the Tulane School of Architecture Masters in Sustainable Real Estate Development Program, along with Presidio Graduate School, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University, and the University of Denver Daniels College of Business on Nobember 8th, 2012. This blog post includes my notes from the event.

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Investing in Sustainable Cities Conference


Thanks to a grant from the Payson Graduate Student Association, I was able to attend the recent Investing in Sustainable Cities Conference hosted by the Tulane School of Architecture’s Sustainable Real Estate Development program. The conference addressed an array of topics from city regulation and planning to ‘green’ finance, food systems and resource management. Speakers included representatives of the Urban Land Institute and U.S. HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, environmental engineers, community organizers, ‘green’ builders and developers, financial managers, architects, urban and regional planners, as well as a number of scholar-practitioners from Harvard, MIT, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Denver. The theme driving the day’s conversations was, “How can community and regional development work toward the sustainable ‘triple bottom line’ of people, planet, prosperity?”.

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A Report from the Global South International Studies Conference (GSISC)


The first Global South International Studies Conference (GSISC), organized by the International Studies Association (ISA) Global South Caucus, took place on the Mediterranean campus of the Institut d'Études Politiques (Sciences Po) in Menton, France, November 29-December 1, 2012. The conference theme was “Sharing Insights and Ideas: Theorizing, Teaching, Research and Publishing on the Global South” and was a pioneering ISA effort to target and showcase developing region scholars and their work. The conference had 55 presentations and over 100 attendees from 25 countries and over 40 universities and research institutes. Though small, the event offered significant diversity in terms of geographic, institutional and thematic representation. Research concentrations were divided between international relations policy and international development issues with scholars from institutions in both developed and developing countries.

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Trip to Jaffna with the Lion's Club


June, 16 2012

On this date Dr. Samarasinghe and I travelled by bus with the Senkadagala Lions Club to dedicate the construction of two bus stops in Jaffna. The bus stops were a joint project between Senkadalaga Lions Club (Kandy) and Chavakachcheri Lions Club (Jaffna) as a sign of friendship following the civil war. Jaffna was one of the worst affected areas of fighting during the civil conflict between government and LTTE forces. The drive from Kandy to Jaffna allowed us to see the country’s geographic transition from mountainous highlands to the flat dry coastal regions of the Northern territory. Lion Anada Jayawardane, who has 38 years of agricultural experience in the private and public sector, was able to describe annual yields, annual water fall and types of crops grown in the areas travelled through. Lion members discussing their experiences vacationing in Jaffna as children was a highlight of the trip. Access to Sri Lanka's Northern territory was restricted or limited for the last 30 years and for most of the Lion members this was their first time visiting Jaffna since the 1980's. In Jaffna we were able to spend time with Chavakachcher Lions Club members discussing the current conditions of the city and its reconstruction. Even after years of fighting and destruction the city of Jaffna produces some of the island's highest G.C.E. O/L and A/L student scores.

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May 21, 2012 Kandy, Sri Lanka


Research officially started Monday May 21st with visits to several sites that would serve as bases of support over the next three months.  Dr. Samarasinghe has an extensive social network within Sri Lanka that has proved essential to gaining access to information and key informants in various positions of the countries’ educational system.

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