Student Spotlights: Caitlin Garrabrant and Katerine Mamay

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Caitlin Garrabrant and Katerina Mamay

 How did you decide on the topic of your research?

Our professor was studying transparency and we were also interested in debt forgiveness.  We decided to study the relationship between the two variables as part of our freshman proseminar.

How did you become involved in research?

We were enrolled in Professor Vreeland’s research proseminar in the SFS.

What was your favorite part about the research process?

Our favorite part was engaging with others in our class to talk about different projects and give and receive feedback.

What was the most challenging part of the research process?

As freshmen, we had to learn how to use Stata to analyze our numerical data.  We also had absolutely no experience presenting research.

What was the most unexpected part of the research process?

We actually started studying the opposite effect (how transparency affects debt forgiveness) and realized that it would be more interesting to study the effect of conditionality in debt forgiveness on transparency.

How was Georgetown able to support you during the research process?

Professor Vreeland was our mentor during the class and has continued to support us after the semester ended.

The Georgetown University Undergraduate Research Symposium, and the university as a whole, is committed to fostering interdisciplinary, intellectual dialogue. What is one experience that you have had at Georgetown that reflects this commitment?

The class we were in combined economics, international relations, and statistics.  This was our first semester at Georgetown and the proseminar was a crash course in all of these subjects.  The small group setting allowed us to engage in discussion and learn from our peers as well as our professor.

Describe your research in one sentence.

Does conditional debt forgiveness incentivize increased government transparency?

What is your advice for other undergraduates who are interested in pursuing research at Georgetown?

Continue with research even when it doesn’t have results on the first try.  We worked throughout the semester to get significant findings and better analysis of our data.


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