Reflections from Working in the HTRL: Kocha

During my last few weeks of fall semester at Millikin University, I was provided with the opportunity to attend Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) final conference in Washington D.C. Throughout the conference, I presented the research I was working on to representatives from the U.S. Department of State, students from different countries, and the World Learning staff (which oversees my UGRAD scholarship program). Through this experience I once realized how important it is to shed light on the issues that are neglected such as human trafficking. I firmly believe that working on Research with Dr. Dean at Human Trafficking Research Lab was one of the highlights of my exchange to the United States. Besides learning research design, specifics of the field, and content analysis of the data matrix, I acquired knowledge of the human trafficking culture and current trends in Russia. 

As an International Relations and Political Science major my professional objective is to examine behavioral patterns that influence policy outcomes and the implications they have on communities. The Human Trafficking Research Lab at Millikin allowed me to observe statutes and policies contributing to the problem of human trafficking instead of preventing it and hence ponder on the possible solutions. The crucial importance of the HTRL is encapsulated in providing evidence-based, empirical case analysis for academia and the community at large. The opportunity to carry out research along with an experienced scholar such as Dr. Dean is a privilege that political science students at Millikin are granted and a unique opportunity at the bachelor’s level. 

As I already mentioned, working on research and being able to become part of academia in a meaningful way is what political scientists are working toward. Me being able to do so, and do it with a person that has immense experience in research and publishing is an achievement of great proportions. I hope that I will be able to use the acquired knowledge and disseminate it among my associates in Georgia. 

Kocha Changelia

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