Six students from the Leadership Studies program attended the Human Development and Capabilities Association conference, which was held at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. from September 10 through September 13, 2015.
The conference theme this year was “Capabilities On The Move: Mobility and Aspirations.”
Five of the students presented their current field-based research projects on health and well-being in the Arkansas Delta. Each student presented an individual paper within the study’s context that focused on health disparities, generational poverty, food security, functional literacy and youth development.
Two students presented their respective dissertation work on girls’ education in Niger and environmental leadership in Rwanda.
All of the students and attending faculty were able to see some of their academic and research idols present new ideas as well as debate current theory, as well as attend a multitude of paper sessions from international researchers who look to improve well-being and human agency around the world. They particularly enjoyed plenary sessions with Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, founders of the Capability Approach, and James Heckman and Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureates in Economics.
When students and faculty have opportunities to attend conferences, such as HDCA, they acquire a deeper appreciation for their classroom knowledge and field-based research. They begin to realize that becoming a scholar and leading through research and service can be life-fulfilling.