Catharina Brunner Lopez is a senior from Madrid, Spain, and Vienna, Austria majoring in business analytics and global affairs. She works with Professor Jeffrey Bergstrand, maintaining the NSF-Kellogg Institute Data Base on Economic Integration Agreements. The database indexes the degree of economic integration between nearly every pair of countries in the world for every year starting in 1950-2021. Prior to working with Dr. Bergstrand she also assisted Professor Ilaria Schnyder von Wartensee with the Humanitarian Corridor Initiative, which brings to light the authentic experiences of refugees seeking asylum in Italy. The project aims to evaluate the integration of refugees from various countries from Africa into Italian society over a five-year period, focusing on the role of religion, faith, and dignity. Through this work she published two interview podcasts, published as Encounters episodes, where she explored the legal and cultural obstacles refugees face when integrating into a new country.
Catharina is writing her capstone essay for her European studies concentration within the global affairs major. Given her interest in the economic and monetary integration initiatives of the European Union, her capstone discusses the viability of the Euro as a single currency and investigates the applicability of the Optimal Currency Area theory to the Eurozone.