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Best of Curo 2007

Humanities and Social Sciences

Macroeconomic reforms and InDIA’s exposure to the 1997-1998 east asian financial crisis


Balaji Lakshmi Narain

Faculty Advisor: Dr. William Phillips

The University of Georgia

Despite, or perhaps because of, the volume of evidence on the issue, contemporary policymakers and economists are sometimes divided as to the causes of India’s 1991 balance of payments crisis, and the role the resulting reforms may have played in India’s economic performance during the East Asian Financial Crisis.  The focus of the paper is first to determine the sequence of events that led to the balance of payments crisis that prompted Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and Finance Minister Singh to take action.  This crisis will be compared with previous macroeconomic crises in India’s history to show how the 1991 economic disaster arose purely from poor policymaking.  The paper will examine the sweeping reforms enacted after 1991 and will finally show how the gradualist approach to these reforms limited India’s exposure to the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1998.


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Christopher L. Maclean

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Paula Schwanenflugel

The University of Georgia

Preschool children growing up in poverty have fewer opportunities to practice complex language skills, and, as a result, enter Kindergarten linguistically and academically disadvantaged. To learn how to enhance oral language skills within this population, a ten-week intervention was employed using children attending lottery-funded universal prekindergarten classrooms serving low-income preschoolers. Experimenters, who met twice a week for 10 weeks with pairs of students, engaged children in a total of 500 minutes of cognitively challenging conversation. Pre- and post-test language sampling included the use of guided conversation, speech stems and the narration of a word-less picture book. Mean length of utterance at the word level (MLUw) was used as a gross measure of oral language ability. Results were compared with a control group, matched at pre-test on Expressive Vocabulary Test scores. Experimenters provided cognitively complex input by elaborating on child speech including imitation, extension, expansion, recast, repetition, clarification and open-ended questions. Findings indicate that children made greater gains in MLUw as a function of the intervention and displayed significantly higher MLUw posttest scores than children in the control group. Results suggest that providing an additional 500 minutes of complex input can promote language development in academically disadvantaged children.


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Ashley Wilkinson

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stephen Shellman, Department of International Affairs

The University of Georgia

A few months after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accused the Chinese government of using the War on Terror as an excuse to crackdown on the Islamic, Central Asian ethnic group in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province known as Uighurs. Some of these Uighurs are nationalists who would like to split off from China, and according to the Chinese government, they sometimes use violence to promote their cause. This project sought to test the truth of the human rights groups' assertion through monitoring the rhetoric the Chinese government used to describe the separatists. The language employed by Chinese officials, as quoted by the Agence France Presse and the Deutsche Presse Agentur, was examined, as well as all descriptions by the Chinese state-run newspaper Xinhua. Though before the War on Terror began the Chinese government usually described the Uighurs involved in the conflict as “separatists,” after the Chinese government overwhelmingly portrayed them as “terrorists.”


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Under the rug swept: rural punjab women in ecotone of urbanization


Aqsa Mahmud

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Fausto Sarmiento, Department of Geography

The University of Georgia

The case study examines urban expansion in traditionally agricultural areas of Pakistan and its effects on the functions of rural Punjab women. Expansion of industrial activity into peripheral areas of Pakistan’s Punjab creates a buffering zone which resides between two economically different regions. This mediating area features an inter-mixed economy, in a continuum inclusive of traditional farming practices and industrial employment. Hitherto, rural Punjab women exist as an invisible factor to family income, functioning in domestic roles and as farming aides. This role is changing with the introduction of inner-city norms and an industrial climate. Industrial expansion promotes alternate economic opportunities for women and urban growth increases awareness in health and education sectors. Data collected through house call surveys shows female participation primarily in the informal economy. Industrial presence and the growth of urban housing offers work options for women and allows for multiple income-earners within a household. Interviews with health personnel stress the importance of women’s role in health education of rural areas. Women are the primary patients at Basic Health Unit facilities and are important in community awareness campaigns. As more schools open in the area, effort is exhibited to obtain formal education for both genders and provide female teachers, one of the few formal economic activities with female participation. This study concludes the alteration of gender-role activities among rural Punjab women as a reaction to urban expansion; the Punjab women case study can also be applied to better understand the dynamics of farmscape transformation in peripheral regions of developing countries.


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Robert B. Lindell

Faculty Advisor: Dr. David S. Williams, Honors Program

The University of Georgia

Given the steady increase in the Hispanic population in the US, the need for Spanish-speaking medical professionals is growing. In light of the current lack of bilingual physicians, our healthcare system relies on medical translators to bridge the language gap that hinders patient care. However, due to sheer patient volume and the economic burden of highly-skilled, full-time translators, hospitals are struggling to effectively treat Hispanic patients. In response to this current limitation of our medical system, I authored A Field Guide to English/Spanish Medical Translation. This forty-page booklet is designed as an active reference for physicians and volunteers with limited exposure to Spanish. Organized by body systems and organs, the booklet emphasizes technical vocabulary, important verbs, and practical diagnostic questions for each section. After nearly six months in Peru and Spain studying medical Spanish, the challenge of authoring this guide was to identify the terminology essential to patient care. Drawing on my own clinical experiences, I have included only vocabulary with direct clinical significance. Technical jargon has been discarded in favor of accessible layman’s terms. In all possible cases, I have selected widely accepted medical terms, minimizing the effect of regional language variations. Though many exhaustive guides to medical Spanish exist, this booklet is unique for its incredibly brief and highly targeted treatment of the entire body of medical Spanish. Due to its unique approach, this booklet has the potential to achieve widespread acceptance and impact the quality and nature of medical care for the Hispanic population.


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Lindsey Thomas

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ervan Garrison, Department of Anthropology

The University of Georgia

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is the most remote archipelago of distant atolls in the world. Despite their small size, these islands have harbored shipwrecks for hundreds of years. Site formation process is the study of how a ship goes from being a highly organized machine whose purpose is to stay afloat to a scatter of artifacts on the bottom of the ocean. Every environment and type of ship undergoes a different site formation process. Site formation process is crucial to understanding the archaeological site, and can help archaeologists determine the path that a ship took as it wrecked. This is an ongoing study aimed at determining the unique characteristics of a wooden shipwreck in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This paper is based on fieldwork conducted during a 2006 NOAA Hollings Program scholarship and research conducted through University of Georgia CURO Independent Research courses. The scholarship allowed the author to join the annual field research cruise to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on board the NOAA ship Hi’ialakai. To develop/apply a site formation theory to any particular region, it is necessary to use information about both the environmental conditions of the area and information about shipwrecks themselves. Information about environmental conditions in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands was obtained from oceanographers that study the region, and the historical information about four shipwrecks (the Pearl, the Parker, and the USS Saginaw, and an unidentified fishing vessel) was obtained through fieldwork conducted by the author. Each site was mapped in as much detail as possible, and by combining this information with historical details about the shipwrecks and information about the environment, it was possible to gain a better understanding of site formation processes for wooden shipwrecks in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.


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THE ARTS - Drawing and Painting


THe Marriage of Expression and Design


Hsuan Ju Susan Fang

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Christopher Hocking, Departments of Studio Foundations and Drawing & Painting

The University of Georgia



As an art student, I’ve long admired the works by the great Expressionists, from Beckmann to de Kooning, and as a design student I’m deeply captivated by contemporary graphic design and illustration, yet very seldom had I combined the two worlds. The goal for the CURO Summer research was to marry two of my inspirations. Expressionism and graphic illustration, creating works that incorporate elements and principles from the two styles. With the art world changing and our visual culture growing, I feel that a crossover between the two worlds is inevitable, if not already present, which makes the research that much more important in furthering my artistic ambitions.


My work was achieved through the technique pentimenti. By layering loose and improvised curvilinear lines and then covering it with a thin layer of paint, I am able to create a ghost image from which another layer is based, and create a painterly surface. The process of building and blocking out layers allows for me to find the medium between the depth of Expressionism and the flatness of graphic illustration. The act of making improvised lines forces me to think about the composition as both expression and design, in which I edit my own brushstrokes for the sake of aesthetic unity.


I have a strong attraction to the chaotic canvas, with clustering bold line work and letter stencils, but in keeping with a design mentality I wanted to find a way of controlling the chaos. By limiting and controlling my color palette and adding in areas of solid color I am able to achieve an environment of controlled chaos.



THe Face of Costa Rica


Comusina Celan Hardman

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Joseph Norman, Department of Drawing & Painting

The University of Georgia



In eight months, I became intertwined with the vibrant culture of Costa Rica; visitors cannot help but appreciate the subtle differences of the various regions in both the landscape and the people. Costa Rica is said to be the harmonious meeting of opposites; the meeting of flora, fauna, and bird life from both the northern and southern hemispheres, but also, a harmonious union of the ideas of different groups in Costa Rica. The population of Costa Rica is an interesting combination of old traditions and new ideas spiraling together to create a group who spends hours preparing gallo pinto for twenty unexpected extended family members, but also those who are fascinated with the microwave and the ipod. Like the United States, Costa Rica has become immune to the growing development and the booming tourism industry; they accept the necessity to learn English and the McDonald’s located directly beside historical monuments as part of their world. Through a series of journal entries, sketches, interviews and paintings, I wove together the unique personalities that represent Costa Rica, the faces who make a country whole. I captured the stories of those who are initially hidden from view in the tropical paradise. Their stories are told through pictures and words; the story of a man with a long white beard who traveled to parque central everyday for thirty-five years to play games with children; the story of a unorthodox female artist who traveled the world just to return to Costa Rica to open a gallery of her own; the story of a family of Nicaraguan immigrants who took the yearly pilgrimage to Cartago to observe Costa Rican traditions. These are the people of Costa Rica who are found in a landscape trying to find a balance between development and preserving the natural beauty that brings over a million tourists a year. Each painting and sketch contains brilliant colors that reflect the animated nature of Costa Rica; the layers of circles and squares represent the many pieces that make up not only the image but also the country. My hope is to use the interest evoked by my paintings to bring awareness to the results of development in Costa Rica and keep a visual record of a previously more tranquil society. My work helps to capture and preserve pieces of Costa Rica that will continue to change and possibly disappear under the hands of outside influences within the next decade.



Hand to Mind Coordination


Cassie L. Hester

Faculty Advisor: Prof. Susan Roberts and Prof. Alex Murawski, Department of Graphic Design

The University of Georgia



Doodle, as defined by Webster's Dictionary, is "a rough drawing made absentmindedly." Doodling is a brain-storming methodology. The notion of churning out solutions whilst scribbling may seem like wishful thinking, but I find that it relaxes me and allows my brain creative freedom. Compositions, imagery and patterns are often the result of my "absentminded" endeavors. Other times, words and concepts are evoked through this meditative practice.



It's Lonely out here


Matt Howell

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Alex Murawski and Prof. Susan Roberts, Department of Graphic Design

The University of Georgia



In art, as well as life, we should all strive for clarity whether it is clarity of image on the canvas or clarity of mind when facing adversity. In artistic endeavors the final piece is what one sees as the artist’s lucid vision but it is not, it is a crystal representation of viewer’s perception. As soon as the artist completes a work for display it no longer belongs to them, it is a limpid mirror that we all own and use to look into ourselves.



THE ARTS - Graphic Design


Year of the Boar Calendar


Roman Alvarado Benitez

Faculty Advisor: Prof. Susan Roberts, Department of Graphic Design

The University of Georgia



Graphic Design differs from Fine Art primarily in the immediacy of its communication. Although subtlety is a great asset and in soften employed in my own designs, my goal is usually to communicate efficiently.


This calendar was designed for self-promotional purposes and employs the simple idea that 2007 is a year of the boar in Chinese astrology. The more important aspects of this poster are the influ­ences of modernist and pre-Hispanic American design. My goal was to create a composition that showcased the essential geometry of an image and entertained the viewer without excessive decoration.


The primary image was first abstracted free-hand from a photograph. The resulting image was scanned and imported into Adobe Illustrator where it was further simplified. The striations were added last and are meant to follow the planes of the original image.





Rachel Egger

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Susan Roberts, Department of Graphic Design

The University of Georgia



This piece of work began as a mission to come up with an idea for a restaurant that would have a particular environmental concern and to design its menu with this concern in mind. My personal interest in reducing the negative impact of the automobile developed into Plasse, a hypothetical restaurant with a casual atmosphere that would promote bike riding and alternative transportation in general. The name Plasse, which rhymes with “toss,” was derived from the Norwegian word for space and ground. I chose this language because Norwegians are known to have a deep interest in enjoying and preserving the environment.


I began designing the menu with many photographic ideas in mind, but after weeding out many of them I decided to work strictly with Adobe Illustrator to create simple vector graphics from scratch. I wanted the piece’s imagery to have a clean feel, which led to its white space, limited color palette, and simple representations of bikes and roads. I took the dotted line and carried it throughout the menu to draw together the text and bicycle parts. For the cover I decided to carry this road theme a step further by actually making the word Plasse abstractly create the dotted line effect over a black background.


Once the menu cover and interior were finished, I designed a few promotional items for patrons to use at Plasse and possibly take home with them, including a design for a water bottle. The bottle would fit in a bicycle’s bottle holder and could be filled with any drink at a discounted price. The dotted line and simple color scheme were carried throughout each piece to bring them together under the Plasse brand.






Carol M. Herbert

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Susan Roberts, Department of Graphic Design

The University of Georgia



Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize winner, a poet, and a champion of the “everyman”. He wrote poetry for the masses so that everyone could enjoy the beauty of words. Pablo Neruda used words to unite “the community of man”.


This menu was designed for a restaurant modeled after the ideals of Pablo Neruda, hence the name NERUDA. The concept of the restaurant was a place where intellectuals and creatives could mingle and mix, enjoying food and drink from all over the globe. In the spirit of Pablo Neruda, this restaurant would donate a certain percentage of its proceeds to literacy foundations around the world, in the hopes of spreading the gift of words.


The visual concept for this menu came simply from the pages of a book. I used photographs I took for the background visual. I wanted the letters of the identity to reference these pages. I used the repetition of lines to bring the typography out, as well as the geometry of the letters to add color in an unexpected way. This line motif is repeated on the interior spreads, as well as the geometric shapes created by the letter forms. My hope in doing this was to have a literary feel in the design.


To me design is about incorporating conceptual and visual elements--the symbols and the form--to create a balanced harmony with purpose. It’s about seeing what is not there and creating anew. When I approach a design problem, I am always keeping these principles in mind. I look at the elements that need to be involved and try to create a scenario of harmony through balance. I try to look at the thing with an abstract eye and see if the composition and color are pleasing. I think of the main point I am trying to make, and then try to show it in an intelligent way. I focus on the negative space--the underlying ideas we don’t actually see but which in fact communicate the message--and try to bring them to light.




THE ARTS - Metalwork


Flavor Of Jude



Nikki Couppee

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Rob Jackson and Prof. Mary Hallam Pearse, Department of Jewelry & Metalwork

The University of Georgia



This piece is based on my interest in the portrayal of Catholic Saints, Byzantine mosaics and contemporary cult figures. In Flavor of Jude, Saint Jude is transformed into Flavor Flav with the blending of Flav’s unique characteristics onto the patron saint. Jude is depicted in a blue background typical of mosaics, but capped with Flav’s signature Viking hat. Jude’s pendant of Jesus is replaced with Flav’s clock which also emphasizes the different time frames the two come from. The brooch is framed in a Palladian window signifying the importance of the patron saint. Made using Cloisonné enameling techniques and fabricated with metals such as silver and brass.



Poppy Reliquaries and Tissue Ring


Laura Wood

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Rob Jackson and Prof. Mary Hallam Pearse, Department of Jewelry & Metalwork

The University of Georgia





My recent works reflect themes of memory and preciousness. Containment of the memory is a way for me to exemplify the importance of the object within. I pull inspiration for my work largely from my surroundings. 




Poppy Reliquaries were inspired by the poppy plant that grows throughout Italy. While living in Tuscany over the summer of 2006 I noticed the life cycle of these plants. While the plants were alive they were bright blooms and as they began to die their brightness would subside and they would eventually loose their petals, stiffen and turn beautiful colors of brown. The fragile poppies would remain until the weather took its toll. I wanted to give these plants a home for which I could protect and cherish them. The poppies remain a lasting memory of Italy.


Tissue Ring also alludes to a memory. This piece was created to embody the characteristics of my mother and grandmother who often carried tissues on hand. The tissues were used for anything from blotting lips to blowing noses. I chose to honor this childhood memory. The tissue housed inside this piece evokes the memory and the ring is a means to contain a precious moment in time.




THE ARTs - Other FOrms




Creative WRiting

Brittney Inman

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Judith Ortiz Cofer

The University of Georgia


During the Fall semester of 2006, I was privileged to participate in Dr. Judith Ortiz Cofer’s intensive creative writing course, which sanded my writing into a raw, original shape. Under her expert guidance, I wrote a variety of creative non-fiction pieces, which I was proud to present at the CURO 2007 Symposium.


As I wrote each piece, I selected true experiences and true people from my life and entwined and expressed them in an artistic way to capture particular themes, characters, and moments.  Writing these works was reminiscent of putting the pieces of a puzzle together; I endeavored to connect various pieces of my life to create meaningful designs. 


Among these creative non-fiction works is “Broken Face and Cinnamon Spice,” told from a young woman’s perspective. This piece reveals the intrusion of the madness of reality in an individual’s orderly, daily life, and the response that follows that chaos. I think that exposing how a character responds to an uncomfortable, unpredictable situation depicts a fascinating aspect of human nature.   


My hope is that these glimpses of meaning, crafted from life’s clutter will evoke a feeling or change within the reader, whether it is subtle, nameless, or ephemeral.


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Soldier Series



Chandler Leathers

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Michael Marshall and Prof. Stephen Scheer, Department of Photography

The University of Georgia



The images are photographed using a 4x5 toyo field camera. I have been photographing UGA's Army ROTC members since the Spring of 2006 in an effort to put a face on our armed services. I feel that too often with media coverage that we forget that the UNITS and branches often casually discussed contain individuals who have chosen to put their lives on the line for causes sometimes that are not seen as black and white. Also, these individuals are not just in a day-to-day job, it is a lifestyle that requires a 24hour commitment whether though training, or picking up roots at the drop of a hat. I realize that it is a personal choice and there are a lot of benefits, but there are only a select few who have the discipline and will power to do the things they do.





Fabric Design

Kerry Jones

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Andrea Trombetta, Department of Fabric Design

The University of Georgia



These three garments serve as these three women’s uniforms. They are extensions of themselves, they are explanations of themselves. Each garment was created specifically for each hand-picked woman, and fitted to her body. Exaggerated hips on the pant, the short and the skirt emphasize the importance contemporary America places on both body image and fertility. This piece relies on the investigation of discomfort within society due in part to changing, as well as ever-present, gender roles and the impossibility of avoiding judgment throughout our lives. Photographs of steel parts in repetitive positions are the subject of the imagery, though abstracted. Grey cotton was screen-printed with these images using various shades of grey pigment. This dulled palette provides a somewhat blank, though still visually stimulating, canvas for the added details to express the personality of each individual piece and of each individual wearer. The women used as models resemble each other greatly, adding to the feeling of a blank canvas waiting to be dug into. Every garment has accents of red, orange or yellow; the colors of fire. These accents represent the inner audacity stifled by society’s desire for the grey exterior; the audacity bubbling right beneath the surface of the women adorned with the pieces. The women are literally bound in a space by VHS tape, creating a visual representation of their tension due to inequality, expectations, abnormality, psychoses, whatever each woman feels, whatever any human being feels.



Conversations with God



Patricia Lynn Rhudy

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. Ted Saupe and Prof. Sun Koo Yuh, Department of Ceramics

The University of Georgia



I make small figures out of clay. When I start working on a piece, I only have a very rough concept about what it’s going to look like or even what emotion I choose to evoke. I work quickly and responsively with the figures, using my eyes and then my mind. If I like the placement of an arm, a leg, or the tilt of a neck, I keep it. If I don’t, I change it. I make art that I relate to. If I like it, if it somehow speaks about something real inside of me, then maybe someone else can relate to it as well.



THe Caddo Bateau



Lindsey Thomas

Faculty Advisor:  Prof. R. G. Brown, Departments of Sculpture and Studio Foundations

The University of Georgia





I am not an artist in the traditional sense. I study Maritime Archaeology, which could be considered a different type of art. The construction of the Caddo Bateau, a flat bottom fishing boat from Lake Caddo in Texas, was built so that I could gain a better understanding of small boat construction. This process will help me analyze future archaeological sites with a better understanding of the subject matter.




The Caddo Bateau that is currently under construction will likely be built of cypress and mulberry, though that is dependent upon the availability of materials. The first step in constructing the boat was to draw the plans. Those plans were then converted into a scale model. The fifteen-foot boat was shrunk down to a thirty-inch cypress model. This model was built as a way to prepare for the construction of the larger boat and to work out any issues with the directions in advance. 


The Caddo Bateau was chosen as the type of boat to be built because it was small enough and simple enough to be feasible for a first-time boat builder to complete, while still offering several characteristics found in larger boats, such as plank construction and supporting knees. Ideally, by the end of construction I will be able to analyze shipwreck sites with a builder’s eye rather than just a student’s. 




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