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Participants gather for a group photo at the ODU Graduate Program in International Studies’ Annual Graduate Research Conference. College of Arts and Letters

Graduate Program in International Studies:Graduate Research Conference

20th Annual Graduate Research Conference

Friday, March 4, 2022

Registration & Submissions are Free

Register Now

Important Dates

Friday, February 4th, 2022: Online Registration Closes

Friday, February 11th, 2022: (Undergraduates) Deadline for Final Paper

Sunday, February 13th, 2022: (Graduates) Deadline for Final Paper

Monday. February 28th, 2022: Copies of Accepted Participants' Presentations Due

Friday, March 4th, 2022: Conference Day

Conference Theme: “Time of Uncertainty”

The Graduate Society for International Studies (GSIS), in collaboration with the Graduate Program in International Studies (GPIS), is pleased to announce the 20th Annual Graduate Research Conference that will take place on Friday, March 4th 2022 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Intellectual and professional development and growth are at the heart of graduate education. GPIS strives to provide engaging and rewarding experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. The Graduate Research Conference brings a variety of graduate experiences together by allowing emerging scholars to present research papers in a professional setting while receiving valuable feedback from faculty and peers. This multidisciplinary conference is designed to serve as a discussion forum and a platform for students interested in looking deeper into complex social and political puzzles to exchange ideas.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Simon Serfaty

He began his academic career at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1968, where he was soon named Political Science Teacher of the Year. After 20-some years at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC, he joined Old Dominion University in September 1992 and retired in June 2020 as Professor and Eminent Scholar Emeritus, with the Faculty Recognition Award for his contributions to the academic, professional, and personal success of students during his final Spring semester. Over the years, he led the Johns Hopkins Center of European Studies in Bologna, Italy, the Johns Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) at SAIS, and the European Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), where he was named the first Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Geostrategy and Security Studies (now emeritus). He has also served in a variety of other think tanks such as German Marshall Fund, the Institut Français de Relations Internationales (IFRI), the Rome-based Istituto of Affari Internazionali (IAI), the Brussels-based Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN). A guest speaker in nearly 50 countries around the world, Serfaty has written nearly 100 essays for leading journals on both sides of the Atlantic, and authored 15 to 20 books and anthologies including, in the fall 2021, America in the World from Truman to Biden; Play it Again Sam (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2021) and Un monde nouveau en manque d'Amérique (2014, 2021). A naturalized US citizen (1965) born in Casablanca, Morocco, Serfaty was named (2008) Knight of the Legion of Honor, France's highest civilian honor.

Guest Speaker

H.E. Dr. Fernando Llorca-Castro

Ambassador Llorca has long dedicated himself to serving Costa Rica through various capacities and has over 12-years of experience in international development throughout Europe. Previously, Llorca held prominent positions in major transnational organizations as a health policy advisor, a medical and research manager, and a primary care medical practitioner in Spain and in Costa Rica. Moreover, Llorca also worked as a registered medical disability analyst in the United Kingdom. In 2014, he was appointed by ex-President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera as the Deputy-Minister of Health, shortly thereafter becoming the Minister and the Steward of the Health, Nutrition and Sports Sector in Costa Rica where he established private and public safety regulations and best practices policies. Amidst the crisis of the largest public pension system in Costa Rica, he was asked to take on the role of Executive President of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS)-- the most important healthcare provider in the region that manages an annual budget of over 6.5 billion dollars.

Given his extensive experience in developing social and health policy, financing healthcare services and insurance options, Llorca intends to apply his knowledge as he fulfils his new role as ambassador.

He holds an Advanced Studies Diploma in Political Economy from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a Master of Science Health Policy, Planning and Finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) both from the University of London. He also holds two Masters (MA) in Health Care Management as well as Health Economics and Pharmacoeconomics from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona. He was trained in Costa Rica as a medical doctor, and has had full license to practice medicine in Costa Rica, Spain and the United Kingdom.




8:30 - 9:00 am


Newport News

8:30 - 9:00 am

Light Refreshments

Newport News

9:00 - 9:15 am

Opening Remarks

Newport News

9:15 - 10:45 am

Panels I / II

Potomac River / James River

10: 50 - 12:20 pm

Panels III / IV

Potomac River / James River

12:35 - 1:35 pm


Newport News

1:40 - 3:10 pm

Panels V / VI / VII

Potomac River / York River / James River

3:15 - 4:45 pm

Roundtable Discussion

Newport News

4:45 - 4:55 pm

Award Ceremony

Newport News

5:00 - 5:10 pm

Closing Remarks

Newport News

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