Grad Student Wins US State Department Wonk Tank Competition

Millicent Smith, a graduate student in journalism at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will spend her summer in a paid internship with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, after winning a national wonk tank competition sponsored by the US Department of State.

Millicent Smith

Millicent Smith, a graduate student in journalism, will spend her summer in a paid internship with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

Last fall, UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy was selected as a partner in the State Department’s Diplomacy Lab program. The lab enables students and faculty at universities across the country to study issues of worldwide importance and foster the next generation of foreign policy leaders.

Smith developed her proposal, “He for She for Delhi,” as part of a team in Journalism and Electronic Media Professor Catherine Luther’s international journalism class. Her teammates, Abhijit Mazumdar and Charlie Burris, supported her submission for the competition.

Delhi, the capital of India, has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Smith’s study looked into the functioning of the Delhi police. It included recommendations for new media and community engagement strategies that might be used by the police force to contain gender-based violence, corruption, and terrorism, as well as strengthen ties with its citizens.

On April 1, Smith, along with three finalists from Yale, Florida International University, and the University of New Mexico, made in-person presentations to State Department officials in Washington.

Smith’s winning presentation is available to view online.

“Diplomacy Lab is a wonderful opportunity for students and faculty to assist our US diplomatic corps through research, analysis, and creative problem solving,” said Nissa Dahlin-Brown, associate director of UT’s Baker Center. “Millicent represented UT, the College of Communication and Information, and the Baker Center quite well, and we are extremely proud of her.”

 

CONTACT:

Nissa Dahlin-Brown (865-974-8681, nissa@utk.edu)

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)