Next semester a new intercollegiate conference at Georgetown will channel D.C.’s cultural focus on international relations and politics.
The Walsh Exchange, which is being spearheaded by Georgetown students, will provide undergraduates with an opportunity to discuss and promote the most recent research in foreign policy. Jon Askonas (SFS ’13) developed the idea for the conference about a year ago in order to foster a stronger intellectual community at the university and establish a forum through which undergraduates can present their own research.
Since then, the Walsh Exchange Steering Committee, comprised of two co-chairs, Askonas and Colleen Wood (SFS ’14), and seven coordinators, have organized the conference, which will be held April 13-15. Shuo Yan Tan (SFS ’12), long-term development chair of the Carroll Round, and Lucas Stratman (SFS ’12), president of the SFS Academic Council, as well as the International Relations Club, have been instrumental in the planning process.
Wood is excited about what the Walsh Exchange means for Georgetown and its reputation as a hallmark institution in the world of foreign affairs.
“It only makes sense that the university with one of the top-ranked international relations programs in the country would host a research conference where undergraduates can engage with new ideas and new research in the field,” she said.
The format of the Walsh Exchange closely resembles that of the Carroll Round, an international economics and political economy roundtable conference held annually at Georgetown. Its purpose and content, however, are very different.
“International relations, at its core, is very different from international economics, and our conference structure will reflect that with more active dialogue and exchange of abstract ideas, backed up with research,” Wood said.
The conference will feature a keynote speaker, to be announced at a future date, to reinforce the messages of the conference and demonstrate what a career in international relations entails.
Students are invited to play an active and participatory role in the Walsh Exchange through the submission of research papers, which can include works in progress or complete senior thesis projects.
Even for those students who do not participate directly, the Walsh Exchange hopes to be a resource based on the nature of the dialogue it will bring to campus and the long-term research that it hopes to inspire, according to Wood.
“I firmly believe that all students at Georgetown can benefit from this conference and the ideas it promotes,” she said. “All students wishing to work on research projects and all students wishing to engage in intellectual life on campus can benefit from what the Walsh Exchange has to offer.”