Students display work at Diplomacy Lab Symposium

Zoe Spilker • April 20, 2017
From left, Zach Watt, Bria Maxey, Remy Bonett and Kyle Gelfand present their team project during the poster session. (Gena Asher | The Media School)
From left, Zach Watt, Bria Maxey, Remy Bonett and Kyle Gelfand presented their team project during the poster session. (Gena Asher | The Media School)

A class of Media School students joined seven others at IU to display and discuss their work this semester with the U.S. State Department at a symposium April 12 in the Indiana Memorial Union.  

Assistant professor Julien Mailland’s Global Media Issues class has been participating in the U.S. State Department’s Diplomacy Lab project this semester, researching answers to “How is technology changing international relations and diplomacy today?”  

During the symposium, they heard about other Diplomacy Lab classes at IU and showed their own work during a poster session.   

“It makes sense for The Media School to be included because we know new media,” Mailland said. “Our research on new media technology adds value.” 

The U.S. State Department’s Diplomacy Lab is a collaboration with students and faculty experts at universities across the country to solve problems through research and analysis. In addition to The Media School, the School of Global and International Studies, School of Public Health and School of Public and Environmental Affairs participated. The program will continue at IU in the fall.  

Students presented and answered questions about their projects following the keynote address. (Gena Asher | The Media School)
Maddie Welch explained her team’s work to Media School undergrad studies director Jim Kelly. Four teams of Media School students presented their work during the symposium. (Gena Asher | The Media School)

At the symposium in the Solarium, students were welcomed by SGIS Dean Lee Feinstein, then heard a keynote from Michael Hamburger of Geological Sciences. A student from each class gave a synopsis of the projects, then the crowd moved to the poster sessions, where students answered questions about their projects.   

In Mailland’s class, the 26 students had divided into groups, each with a specific task to address around five general topics relating to public diplomacy: language and travel, communication infrastructure, entertainment, new media platforms and social media. 

Senior Nadia Ibrahim said projects include everything from new ways to engage people in politics through social media to providing global internet. 

At the end of the semester, students will turn in three-page magazine feature stories based on what they learned and proposed. Mailland will submit those to the state department for possible publication.