Caitlin Harrison (‘18), received funding to complete her Honors Capstone entitled Refugees Welcome? Why Governments Decide to Accept or Reject Refugees. She focused on whether or not public opinion plays a role in governments’ decisions to accept or reject refugees. Caitlin used the Syrian refugee crisis as a case study and analyze the responses of the United States, Germany, Jordan, and Hungary to the crisis. Her project looked at differences between policy elite opinion (researchers, journalists, public officials, NGO workers) and mass public opinion to see how the attitudes of each group affect policymakers’ decisions.
Doing an Honors Capstone gave Caitlin the opportunity to travel the world and gain valuable research experience. Because of the Crown Award and other grants, she was able to conduct interviews in Washington, D.C., Berlin, Germany, and Amman, Jordan. She worked on her research while studying abroad, and credits monthly phone calls with her advisor, Professor Lamis Abdelaaty, with helping her stay on track and make progress on her capstone.