A recent Bush School Capstone Project titled “Technological Threats: How Online Harassment of Female Political Figures Undermines Democracy” has been cited in a June 16 Presidential Memorandum from the White House. The citation was part of the announcement that President Joe Biden will sign a Presidential Memorandum establishing the White House Task Force to Address Online Harassment and Abuse, responding to the need for government leadership to address online harms, which disproportionately affect women, girls, people of color, and LGBTQI+ individuals. Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the task force.
The new Bush School capstone project was completed in Spring of 2022 by the Bush School student team of Madeleine Songy, Madeleine Pelton, Olivia Cretella, Areala Mendoza, Kathryn Hopp, Olivia Jackson, and Ailyah Banks. Dr. Valerie Hudson, University Distinguished Professor, George H.W. Bush Chair – Professor of International Affairs, and Director of the Bush School’s Program on Women, Peace, and Security, served as the team’s supervising faculty member. In partnership with the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, the report highlights research and policy on the intersection between online harassment, technology, women’s political participation, and democracy.
“Congratulations to our WPS Capstone team,” Dr. Hudson said. “This recognition is a reflection of the fine job this team did on the report.”
The concentration in Women, Peace, & Security Symposium (WPS) in the Department of International Affairs allows Bush School students and other interested TAMU graduate students to take courses and develop an emphasis in gender analysis as it relates to international affairs. During their final semester, Master of International Affairs (MIA) students participate in a capstone research course. These courses allow students to tackle a problem or project in the real world, often working in conjunction with a government agency or nonprofit organization. Designed to test the knowledge and abilities students have developed through their previous classes and experiences, capstones necessitate strong teamwork, careful research, writing ability and, often, a large amount of ingenuity in identifying ways to approach an issue or find a solution.