Skip to Content

Lina Lechlech/ Alyssa Sperry – Global Oregon International Research Awards

Two International Studies Graduate Students have won Global Oregon International Research Awards from the UO Global Studies Institute!

International Studies M.A. students, Lina Lechlech and Alyssa Sperry, were selected to receive graduate research awards, which will help to fund each of their International Studies M.A. thesis projects.

Lina’s project “Sexual Violence and Restorative Measures in South Africa: Achieving Legal and Social Change for Survivors” was awarded $2000 by Global Oregon.

The Awards Committee said of Lina’s work, “The number and quality of applications was exceptional and the decision was difficult, so it’s a real mark of your achievement and promise to have been selected.”

With this award, Lina will be going back to Cape Town, South Africa this summer to conduct fieldwork.

Lina writes, “I plan to interview women who are survivors of sexual violence and who have accessed legal and medical services, to analyze the current way these systems work, through the lens of survivors. More precisely, I am focusing on Sexual Offences Courts (SOC) and Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCC).

These are both government initiatives that were implemented in the 1990s, around the democratization of the country: the former is a form of specialized courts that deal with sexual offences, and the latter are integrated one-stop rape management clinics. The theory and intention behind these models is great and very laudable, but in practice they are flawed (from issues of mismanagement, to their spatial implementation, to lack of adequate material or trained personnel).

I will take a survivor-centered approach, and analyze these flaws – identifying ways that SOCs and TCCs could be improved based on survivors’ needs.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Alyssa Sperry’s project, “Just a Little ‘Salty’: The Cultural Identity and Significance of Salt in Present-Day Jamaica,” won a $1000 Global Oregon International Research Fund award.

The Awards Committee said of Alyssa’s work, “The number and quality of applications was exceptional and the decision was difficult, so it’s a real mark of your achievement and promise to have been selected.”

With this award, Alyssa will be going back to continue her research in Jamaica this summer to conduct fieldwork for her M.A. thesis.

Alyssa writes, “I plan to return to Jamaica to understand identity formation in connection to salt among the many culture(s) that make-up the island’s demographics. I will be focusing on Rastafarians, farmers, fisher-folk, urbanites, and other sub-groups.”

Alyssa has been seeking out funding to support her research, and this newest grant joins three other recent awards:

*The George and Conni Slape Award of $1000, *The International Studies Clancy Thurber Award of $300, *A UO Graduate School Special Opps award of $1000 in support of her co-leadership of an educational program on foodways in Jamaica this summer and present at the World History Association Conference in Puerto Rico.

– – – – –

Congratulations, Alyssa and Lina!