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MAIS Students and Alumna Present at Graduate Liberal Studies Symposium

Two students and one alumna of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) presented at the Sixth Annual Graduate Liberal Studies Symposium, held this year from June 23-24, 2012 at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Accompanied by department interim chair, Dr. Susan G. Carter, the students had the opportunity to present their work and share ideas as well as engage in discussion with graduate students from other schools.


Nancy Hiett Gibson, Junk for Jesus – The Commodified Gift: Donation in a Global Economy

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promote the donation of used medical equipment and excess medical supplies as delivering needed goods to provide healthcare to the developing world. The reality is that much of what is received is broken, obsolete or inappropriate. These "donations" have financial and environmental costs associated with them that are paid for by the recipient organizations and the citizens of the receiving countries. Using a theoretical framework of neoliberalism, I deconstruct the notion that donated used medical equipment maintains its life-saving status at the end of its lifecycle, and propose a policy that will allow recipient countries and organizations to make a cost-benefit assessment that includes the end-of-life environmental disposal costs of donated medical equipment.

Jennifer M. Ortiz, Strange Fruit: How the Labor Movement, Communism and a Photograph Wove a Song

The American Communist Party, the anti-lynching movement, a Jewish schoolteacher, and Billie Holiday are an unlikely compendium of people and events; but in 1939, their paths intersected, creating a legacy that would continue to express itself years later. This convergence resulted in a "common consciousness" that made it possible for this varied cross-section of American culture to traverse.

Jean Richardson, '12, In Your Own Hands: Personal Integrity and the Individual's Experience of Work Life

Deep systems thinking and philosophic principles underlie the agile project management framework which has been test over the last 10 years in industry. This framework know as Scrum has contributed to the recovery of character in the workplace while simultaneously improving organizational execution and improving the lot of the individual. Using the emergence of white collar crime over the last two decades as a backdrop for discussion, I focus on knowledge leaders and workers in complex organizations and how application of this framework results in a more authentic personal freedom than many workers can lay claim to in today's workplaces.

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