Sample Projects

Harley-Davidson (Public Relations, Marketing, Vietnam and Southeast Asia)
With Harley-Davidson Saigon as the client, GLC students – working in conjunction (on-line) with students and professors from Nha Trang University (Vietnam) – conducted two research projects.  One group of GLC & NTU students researched how H-D Saigon might enter the rental and touring market in Vietnam.  Another group researched issues concerned with how this iconic American brand is perceived in Vietnam – and how American Harley enthusiasts view H-D’s entry into the Vietnamese market.  In order to gather data, students visited H-D dealers (including H-D Saigon), conducted focus group sessions, and administered surveys.  At the end of the semester, GLC students travelled to Nha Trang for two weeks to meet their Vietnamese teammates in person, to finalize their research, and to make summary presentations for the managers of Harley-Davidson Saigon.

RAND Corporation (Policy and Decisionmaking Research, Middle East, Religion, Culture, Peacebuilding)
Working in conjunction with visiting students and professors from Lebanese International University (LIU), GLC students researched the implications of the Arab Spring for US foreign policy towards this region.  With the RAND Corporation as the client, this project examined the US’s different policies towards a number of key countries —including Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait and Yemen.  By building a blog and by developing educational programs for the local community, GLC and LIU students explored the potential impact of the Arab Spring revolutions on the US's political and security initiatives with some of the most significant regional actors.  The blog and the educational outreach initiatives engaged a wide range of individuals in cross-cultural dialogue, enabling all involved to have a better understanding Middle Eastern culture and relations with the United States.

Biotechnology Commercialization (Germany, Biotechnology, Public Diplomacy) 

Working with a group of clients, sponsors, and partners that included the German Embassy (DC), the German Center for Research and Innovation (NYC), and the Edison Biotechnology Institute (Ohio University) GLC and visiting Leipzig students researched two interrelated questions. “What are the commercialization opportunities for biotechnology in Southeast Ohio and in Saxony (Germany),” and “How does the ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’ – found in the USA, Ohio, Athens, and at Ohio University – compare with similar systems in Germany, Saxony, Leipzig, and at Universitaet Leipzig?” After initial research was completed, the GLC and Leipzig students traveled first to the to the German Center for Research and Innovation in New York City to both present their research and get feedback from GCRI staff members.  They then presented their research findings to senior members of the Edison Biotechnology Institute at Ohio University.  And finally, many GLC students traveled to Leipzig, Germany to again present these findings to US diplomats and others in Leipzig.

Microfinance and Poverty Alleviation in Africa (Communication, Culture, Development, Microfinance, Awareness-building)

This award-winning project has GLC students working in conjunction with students from the University of Liberia's (West Africa) Microfinance Research and Training Programme (MRTP).  GLC and MRTP students research successful, and failed, microfinance initiatives in Liberia, and in countries other than Liberia.  Examining and analyzing "lessons-learned" from these programs, MRTP and GLC students consider the applicability of these microfinance programs' strategies to the current Liberian context.  Students collaborate using a variety of media, including video-conferencing (provided to the Liberian students by the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia).

Marriott International (New Media, Public Relations, Marketing, various countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia)

In order to make recommendations to Marriott International on the prevalence, impact, and effectiveness of "new media" (blogging, podcasting, cell phone messaging, IMing, YouTube, Flickr, etc.), students first investigated the current state of new media in the USA.  Using this information as a benchmark, they then looked at the effectiveness of this media in the UK, Germany, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, India, Mexico, China, and Japan.  Students then visited and spoke with executives in Public Relations firms, conducted focus group sessions, in order to learn more about the current usage of such media – and to think about the future.  At the end of the project, students traveled to Washington, D.C. to present their proposals to executives at Marriott International World Headquarters.

Japanese Teahouse & Shinto Shrine (Public Relations, Aesthetics, Local Government, Community Service, Culture and Religion)

In order to develop an appropriate background understanding of context, students first researched the interrelationships between Japanese Buddhism, Shinto (the native religion of Japan), the "tea ceremony," and the Japanese aesthetic concept of wabi sabi ("beauty of things imperfect; sad beauty").  Thus grounded, the teams worked in conjunction with local community leaders, the State of Ohio's Office of Multicultural Affairs and International Relations (Office of the Governor), JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) and JASCO (Japan Association of Central Ohio), in order to save a Japanese Teahouse & Shinto Shrine which were brought to Ohio just after World War II.  Projects included public relations, awareness-building campaigns, and historical documentation.

Transatlantic Relations (Germany, Public Diplomacy, Foreign Service)

GLC students followed, and subsequently analyzed, President Obama's "First 100 Days."  Collaborating with students from Leipzig University, students prepared documents sufficient to advise German and American policy makers and diplomats (in Germany) on preparing a German-American policy summit focusing on a "New Transatlantic Agenda" (paying special attention to German - American financial, security, and environmental, etc. issues.).  After initial research was completed, students traveled to Leipzig in order to finalize their research.  Students presented these findings to US diplomats and others in Leipzig.

Harvard University Pluralism Project (Religion, Leadership, Culture, India & USA)

Working in conjunction with visiting students from India, GLC students documented (in the form of case studies ) leadership issues in a Hindu community in West Virginia. Students researched Hinduism and Indian culture. For their primary research, students spent a weekend at this community, talking with members, participating in or observing religious rituals and listening to classical Indian music. Final documents (case studies) were submitted for inclusion in Harvard University's Pluralism Project.

Embassy of Poland (Economics, Politics, Government, Eastern Europe)

Working in conjunction with the Embassy of Poland and the State of Ohio's International Trade Division, GLC students researched ways in which the State of Ohio and Poland could build economic bridges.  This research required students to develop a detailed understanding of, among other things, the Polish economy, import and export regulations, international trade fairs, technical industries and sectors.  Students from the Collegeof Entrepreneurship and Management at Nowy Sacz Business School in Poland joined the project and assisted GLC students with their research.  The teams then traveled to Washington D.C. to present their proposals to the Ambassador, counselors, and other VIPs at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

Postwar Reconstruction in Iraq (Science & Technology, Public Policy, Health, Environment, International Cooperation)

Working with partners in the Iraqi Ministry of Environment and engineering students in the Department of Environmental Engineering at Al-mustansiriya University in Baghdad, GLC-Iraqi student teams assessed the potential threats to public health and the environment from the use of depleted uranium munitions and other spent depleted uranium war materials in recent conflicts in Iraq.  Research on how the threat is currently defined and what domestic and international actors are involved in problem identification and potential problem remediation was presented to the Ministry of Environment in Iraq for review. GLC students also engaged in educational outreach about this issue to the Ohio University community.