Lechartre Wins Second Place in Shaheen 3MT Competition

Kellogg Doctoral Student Affiliate Joséphine Lechartre won second place in the annual Shaheen Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which took place yesterday evening. She was one of nine finalists competing for $4500 in prize money.

Lechartre is a PhD candidate in political science and peace studies, through the Department of Political Science and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs. She is a research affiliate of the Kellogg Institute's Notre Dame Violence and Transitional Justice Lab (V-TJLab) who specializes in the study of transitional justice policies, civilian victimization in wars, and post-conflict political behavior.

Her presentation was based on part of her doctoral research. Her full dissertation investigates how the survival decisions that civilians make amidst genocide condition the emergence of new political cultures that drive political participation after the end of violence, using Guatemalan indigenous communities as a case study. For the competition, she focused on Guatemalan refugees who fled genocide and spent 14 years in refugee camps in Mexico. 

She showed that the refugees that became active participants in the administration of their camps developed strong democratic political cultures, whereas those who only had limited input in camp affairs did not and experienced social dislocation. 

“This has important consequences,” explained Lechartre. “The first group is today highly active in democratic politics, whilst the second group has remained marginalized, with lagging economic development and with levels of social dislocation leading to a rise in criminality.”

“3MT is such a wonderful opportunity for graduate students, and we’re so proud of Joséphine for her work and success in the competition,” said Kellogg Assistant Director Denise Wright, who manages the Institute’s graduate student programs, remarking that it is especially challenging for a social scientist to advance to such a level. “The exercise of distilling one’s research into such a short presentation, the experience of presenting before a large audience, and the opportunity to share one’s work so broadly are all really invaluable for doctoral students.”

“Overall, preparing for 3MT has been a very rewarding experience,” shared Lechartre. “I have learned professional development skills that will enhance my networking abilities by communicating my research in a short, effective manner, and gained more confidence in public speaking, which will enhance the quality of future job talks and public-facing activities.” 

She also won $1,500 in prize money.

Sponsored by the Graduate School, Graduate Student Government, and the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development at the University of Notre Dame, 3MT is an academic competition that challenges graduate students to explain their research to a broad audience in three minutes or less, offering the broader community the chance to learn about cutting-edge research at the university.

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, is an interdisciplinary community of scholars and students from across the University and around the globe that promotes research, provides educational opportunities, and builds partnerships throughout the world on the themes of global democracy and integral human development.