Zach Thapar is working with Professor TJ D’Agostino of the International Education Research Initiative. They are currently finishing up a publication submission with another student entitled, “The Roots of Freedom: Antebellum Black Catholic Education in New Orleans.” The project examines the first school in New Orleans to educate people of color, the Ursuline Academy, and how the school has shaped the trajectory of black, Catholic, and women’s education in New Orleans since the 18th century. In addition, Thapar will be working with Professor D’Agostino on a project that seeks to examine the impact of Indiana’s voucher program on racial and socioeconomic integration in schools. He is also working on an international development studies capstone project, which examines current collaboration and solution-sharing practices among nonprofits.
In the summer of 2019, Thapar spent five weeks in Trujillo, Peru, working with nonprofit Vive Peru on a multitude of public health and education measures. At the same time, he conducted exploratory research on socio-emotional learning for disadvantaged children in the Señor de los Milagros community of Trujillo. Last summer, Thapar interned in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, working with experts on topics including U.S.-U.K. relations, international law, and Middle East politics.
On campus, Thapar is a member of the Sorin Fellows through the Center for Ethics and Culture and the Tocqueville Fellows through the Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government.
As a member of the International Scholars Program, Thapar's research largely focuses on international education and school choice policy. Outside of ISP, his research interests include American foreign policy, national security, social entrepreneurship, and global development.
Thapar's current research surrounds two main projects. The first, in its final stages, examines the impact of early Catholic schools in New Orleans on education for people of color. The second studies the efficacy of Indiana's voucher program, particularly as it relates to racial and socioeconomic integration.