CPAf graduate student joins international masterclass & conference

A doctoral student of the College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf) participated in the international masterclass and annual conference of the Development Studies Association (DSA). These events were held via virtual platform on June 24-25 and June 28-July 2, respectively. 

Jesselle S. Laranas, PhD Development Studies (Education and Development), was among 15 students who joined this year’s PhD student masterclass. The masterclass is an avenue for PhD students to receive feedback on their doctoral projects from experts outside their home institutions. Other participants were graduate students from different universities such as the University of Greenwich (England), University of Szeged (Hungary), and University of London. 

The participants presented their ongoing research and received feedback from their co-participants and an assigned mentor who is a professor at leading development studies institutions in the UK such as Institute of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, University of Bradford, and York St. John University. 

Laranas, who belonged to a group mentored by Prof. Prathivadi Anand of the University of Bradford, presented her proposed dissertation topic titled “Agri 4.0 Readiness among Philippine Research and Development Organizations.” 

“I received suggestions on what development issues I can focus on and what methodologies can still be done to analyze the results of my research,” she shared. 

The event provided an opportunity for graduate students to solicit comments and suggestions to improve their research. According to Laranas, “it also exposed [us] to what graduate students from other universities are doing and are going through in their research.” 

“It was also a good chance to establish new networks with graduate students and professors who have the same areas of interest,” she added.      

The DSA masterclass is part of the DSA Conference 2021, which was also attended by Maria Kristina G. Alinsunurin, a faculty member at CPAf. Themed “Unsettling Development,” the annual conference encompassed how multiple pressures influenced the line of thinking, areas of interest, and provided impacts on progressive social change, in line with the provision of researches and studies of interest, including COVID-19, climate change, populism, demands for racial justice, and the rise of new powers.  Specifically, the conference covered these three general themes: global environmental justice, global inequalities, and global methodologies. 

The DSA is a 40-year old, UK-based organization that caters to those who study, research, and teach global development issues.  In recent years, the organization has expanded its membership among academics and researchers from other parts of the world including Laranas, a recent member and Alinsunurin, who has been a member since 2019. (Maria Francesca O. Tan)

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