Students may apply for the Dietrich College Senior Honors Thesis Program. The Senior Honors Program is an opportunity for the college's most accomplished and promising seniors to work independently, with the close guidance of a faculty member, in the design and completion of a year-long scholarly or creative project.
The following Global Studies seniors are currently pursuing a Dietrich College Senior Honors Thesis:
Lucy Pei, DC '16
Thesis Title: English as a Second Language in the Pittsburgh Public Schools
Thesis Advisor: Susan Polansky
Thesis Abstract: The number of English language learners (ELLs) in public schools is increasing rapidly, and soon ELLs will comprise nearly one out of every four public school students in the United States. The education of ELLs is typically supplemented with English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and programs. A variety of stakeholders are involved in the education of ELLs. In my thesis, I plan to use interviews and observations to solicit the perspectives of students, teachers, and administrators on their goals and expectations of ESL, and analyze these perspectives to determine the amount of correspondence between the different stakeholders. This analysis will be conducted in the context of the national ESL landscape, and I will make suggestions based on best practices that have been published in prior research.
Chloe Thompson, DC '16
Thesis Title: Militancy and Nationalism: A Comparative Case Study of Hezbollah and the PIRA
Thesis Advisor: Colin Clarke
Thesis Abstract: This paper compares the development of the Lebanese organization Hezbollah with the development of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) to analyze the ways in which militant movements can be nationalistic movements. Hezbollah began as a military organization designed to resist the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, which began in 1982. Today, Hezbollah is still an active militant group, but it is also a successful political party within the Lebanese government. The PIRA was another iteration in a long line groups and movements associated with the Irish Republican Army, and began as militant group responding to the failed civil rights movement for Catholics in the 1960s. Eventually, it also developed a very successful political arm, known today as Sinn Fein. However, in 2005, the PIRA disarmed. The way force and social action interact to become political power is unique in each of these groups. This paper will examine this relationship, as well as why the PIRA chose to disarm, and why Hezbollah may never do so.