Institute approves grants

Jessica Koch-Senior International Studies Major

Jessica Koch-Senior International Studies Major

Three McCaleb Initiative for Peace grants have been approved for the summer.

Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the Institute of International Studies, said four applications were received, but only three could be funded.

Normally, $6,500 a year is allowed for grants. An extra $7,000 was given to Missouri Southern by Margaret McCaleb this semester. Therefore, three, instead of the usual two grants could be approved.

Each recipient could receive upwards of $5,000.

“They (the proposals which received the grants) are very interesting and unique,” Stebbins said. “They are going to areas of the world where previous McCalebs have not gone.”

Indigenous rights in MexicoNetza Smith, junior accounting major, will be heading to San Cristóbal, Mexico. There, he will research the treatment of the indigenous people of the area by the Mexican government.

Many of the indigenous people want certain rights to carry on their traditional way of life. Smith said other countries have granted these and other rights to their indigenous people, but Mexico has not.

In his proposal, Smith will discuss what the people want and how they are to go about it.

“This (the movement for rights) is something that is known in Mexico,” Smith said. “It’s kind of controversial. It’s not really known outside of Mexico.”

The movement for the rights of the indigenous people started in the ’90s and only one conflict has occurred since its beginning.

Smith is interested in the subject because of what it means for the people in the area.

“Different members of the community are not tolerated,” Smith said. “They don’t just represent themselves, but they represent many different people around the country.”

Smith said one march on the capital started from Chiapas (a southern Mexico state) and ended in

Mexico City. During the march, more than one million joined the movement. Smith will visit the area for 10 days at the end of May and beginning of June.

Dr. Jeff Martinek, assistant professor of English, is Smith’s adviser for the trip.

“Netza is very knowledgeable and has a passion about this issue,” Martinek said. “He believes very strongly in social justice. It will be a difficult project.”

Martinek said he is not worried about Smith’s project.

“We are very confident in his (Smith’s) ability to handle himself,” he said.

Martinek will not accompany Smith on his project.

Border wars in EthiopiaBarbra Lukunka, senior international studies major, will be studying the peace efforts between Eritrea and Ethiopia. She hopes to interview top officials in the efforts. She will use her proposal to discuss the refugee situation and other people displaced by the conflict between the two countries over their border. Lukunka was in Ethiopia when the conflict started. She is looking to promote peace with her proposal.

“When you see these things (war, military actions), you don’t want to see them again,” Lukunka said. “You don’t want to see people to go through it.”

She said she had friends who were affected by the conflict. Some of her friends had to leave because of the fighting.

“Until you see people being carried away in big trucks, you can’t imagine what it’s like,” Lukunka said.

She was not sure of the exact times she will be visiting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Asmara, Eritrea, but she said it will be over a one-month period.

Dr. Ann Wyman, assistant professor of political science, is Lukunka’s adviser on the project. Wyman will not accompany Lukunka on the trip.

“She (Wyman) knows things about third-world studies,” Lukunka said. “She’s done studies in international relations.”

Lukunka said she has enjoyed working with Wyman.

“[Wyman] was the best person to work with,” she said.

Tibetan children’s villageJessica Koch, junior international studies major, will be heading to Dharamsala, India.

There, she and her adviser, Dr. Carolyn Hale, associate professor of communications, will interview top Tibetan officials.

The two have already set up contacts through the Dalai Lama’s sister, President Jetsun Pema. Pema is the president of the refugee areas.

In 1959, Tibetan officials were forced to move to India after China took over their homeland.

Koch said today there are at least two Chinese Communists living in Tibet for every native Tibetan still in the land.

Koch and Hale will be interacting with the Tibetan Children’s Villages.

Koch would like to focus on the factors involved in keeping the Tibetan conflict a peaceful conflict.

“Many Tibetans have not been in their homeland,” Hale said.

Hale said the research will also focus on the children who are growing up in the area given to the Tibetan officials by the Indian government.

“Will they (the children) be absorbed into India or the United States or will they make their way to England,” she said.

Koch and Hale have already confirmed several interviews with the general secretary Thupten Dorjee, TCV teaching faculty members, and some of the children of the TCV.

The pair plans to leave between May 16 and 20. The trip should be around a month long depending on the research and travel conditions.

They originally wanted to go to Tibet, but the U.S. government has placed travel restrictions on the area. Next, they thought to go to Nepal, but civil wars have broken out in the country. The plan was refocused to the ousted Tibetan government in Dharamsala.