EPPS Researcher Forges Ties with Geneva University
Interdisciplinary Center to Explore Ramifications of Globalized Marketplace
Aug. 19, 2010
A recent grant from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation will help support a new research center and a partnership between the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences and the University of Geneva.
Dr. Maria Elena Labastida Tovar
Dr. Maria Elena Labastida Tovar, a lecturer in economics, will use the $10,000 seed grant to develop a new interdisciplinary research center that uses online tools to explore globalization and its effect on societies around the world.
As the first activity of the center, she took a group of seven undergraduate students from UT Dallas to Geneva this summer. They spent three weeks attending classes at the University of Geneva, as well as meeting with government and economic leaders affiliated with the United Nations and major international organizations that are based in the city.
“This was an excellent chance for the students to get broad exposure to global economic theory from the people who are making some of the important decisions,” said Labastida, who is finishing her PhD work at Geneva. She lectured in several classes at the university during the summer visit.
Labastida said her Atlas grant will enable development of a unique, student-oriented and web-based research program at UT Dallas. Beginning this fall, students will be able to watch online lectures from international academics and decision-makers, then share feedback with fellow students online through the new Center for Global Development, Technological Change and Entrepreneurship. The center is intended to expose students from a range of academic disciplines to economic and political ideas involving globalization of the marketplace.
The University of Geneva also has expressed interest in formalizing an exchange program with UT Dallas, said Dr. Rodolfo Hernandez, director of UT Dallas’ Office of International Education.
The collaboration with the University of Geneva will bring UT Dallas students new opportunities for exposure to a world-renowned university that is located at the heart of one of the most important international cities.
“From an international education perspective, this new program enhances our institutional portfolio of interesting and safe destinations for our students,” Dr. Hernandez said.
The Atlas Foundation is a non-profit organization that assists “intellectual entrepreneurs” who can develop effective programs to improve the climate for sharing ideas regarding how the market can also provide solutions to public policy problems.