As of July 1, 2015, the PhD Excellence Initiative, with generous support from the Sloan Foundation, is pleased to welcome its second research fellow, Mbalou Camara. Mbalou joins the Initiative from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where she graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science, Economics, and Global Studies, and minored in Spanish and International Affairs. As an undergraduate, Mbalou participated in four International Model United Nations Conferences located in Washington, D.C., and New York City; she also volunteered with the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Youth Project as a student coordinator. Mbalou first began conducting independent research as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar during her junior year and used her findings as a platform for field work while studying abroad in Córdoba, Argentina. During her time at UMBC, Mbalou was an active a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honors Society as well as the Omicron Delta Epsilon International Honors Society in Economics.
Q & A with Mbalou Camara
Having studied economics, political science, and global studies all together, I also understand that now is the best time to translate my multidisciplinary background into a narrower focus. My time in the Ph.D. Excellence Initiative will allow me to explore my interests in economics while also improving my ability to collect and analyze large data sets through hands-on work. I plan to use this next year to clarify exactly where I fit in the field of economics so that, after gaining this valuable experience, I can embark on a doctoral path with a clear sense of direction.
HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard
The Post-American World: The Rise of the Rest by Fareed Zakaria
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
And for Spanish-speakers, Veo veo by Gabriela Bustelo
Quoted & Quotable
“Refusing to deal with numbers rarely serves the interests of the least well off.”
-Thomas Piketty in Capital in the Twenty-First Century
For other quotable wisdom, data points, and observations, you can find Mbalou Camara on these social platforms:
Giving back to the community at least once a month—whether it be by volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating old books and clothes to a nearby shelter, or offering homework help to young students at an after-school program. Nowadays, it’s too easy to get wrapped up in our own busy lives and overlook how fortunate we really are. Making community service a priority is one of the best ways to remain optimistic and feel connected with our greater communities.
About the Ph.D. Excellence Initiative
In 2014, the Ph.D. Excellence Initiative welcomed its first participants under the generous funding of the Sloan Foundation. In July 2014, the first Ph.D. Excellence Summer Workshop united the wider Peer Network and provided a forum for sharing research, methodology, and support. Interested in Applying to the Initiative? Go to Application Info (PDF). For updates, follow @PeterBlairHenry and #PhDExcellence