Two of our students, alongside one of our professors have been working on a research project titled “Analyzing Political Rhetoric during War: A Case Study of the Conflict in Ukraine.” Junior Jessica Case studying international affairs with a European concentration and Junior Nathanael Hines studying political science/pre-law have been working with Dr. Bibek Chand who is their research mentor and recently submitted their manuscript for peer-review to the “London School of Economics Undergraduate Political Review” journal. They presented their paper at the International Studies Association – South conference in Atlanta.

Jessica and Nathanael’s research focuses on the analysis of political rhetoric during times of war, but more specifically the use of political rhetoric during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. When asked about her research Jessica said, “We used NVivo, which is a computer analysis software, to sort and distinguish words and phrases from the statements into different thematic categories. The data was sorted in the categories of supportive, neutral, and hostile based on their attitudes towards Ukraine.” 

Jessica and Nathanael worked with Dr. Chand, as their research mentor who said “It is not an easy process but doing research is a wonderful way of exploring an area you are interested in. I wanted to provide that type of experience for my students at UNG. There are ample number of opportunities for undergraduates, which is why I highly encourage my students to pursue these avenues. They are great ways to network and strengthen your vocational training, especially as you apply for graduate schools or jobs. I strongly believe that skills that one garners from these processes greatly add to their growth as individuals.” 

To conduct this research, Jessica and Nathanael were granted the 2022-23 CURCA Student-Faculty Collaborative Mini-Grant which is designed to provide undergraduate students with the necessary materials to complete their undergraduate research and creative projects. CURCA, Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activates, works to offer conference travel grants, mini grants, and research pitch competitions.  

When asked about what the application process for the CURCA grant was like, Jessica said “[t]he process of applying for and being granted a CURCA grant was very simple. The CURCA office was incredibly helpful with outreach and getting quick answers during the application process. I would definitely recommend to anyone thinking about applying for a CURCA grant to do it because the whole process has been worth it!” 

Nathanael said that the CURCA application process was “relatively straightforward [and] [t]he application required us to know what (research topic), how (methodology), and when (timeline) we were going to research.”

Congratulations to Jessica, Nathanael, and Dr. Chand on a great job well done! We are excited to see where this research takes you! 

[Author: Orla Fennell; IA’23]