30 October 2018

Quimberly Jasso, International Relations and Global Studies senior, is a Brumley Next Generation Scholar at the Strauss Center. Beyond the Scholars’ professional development class and other academic pursuits, Quimberly is working on her Liberal Arts Honors senior thesis, researching the interplay between authoritarian regimes, civil society, and NGOs with China as the case study.

For her Brumley Student Profile, Quimberly shares more about this thesis, her leadership roles in the Hispanic Business Student Association, and her experiences living in China:

Tell us a little about your senior honors thesis.

My thesis explores the relationship between an authoritarian regime and civil society, and then analyzes the role overseas non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play in that relationship. For my one-year thesis project, I will examine China for my case study. My minor is in Asian Studies and I chose China due to the nation’s legislation that placed stricter regulations on foreign NGOs. My thesis will question why the Chinese government felt stricter rules were necessary for NGOs and analyze the international community’s response before and after the regulations. This question is important to discuss in order to assess China’s motives and what this could mean for future laws restricting foreign influences.

How do you think your time in China changed you; let’s say perhaps your view on U.S.-China relations, or your view on the world in general?

Living with a host family and participating in local activities in China helped me develop an appreciation for Chinese culture. I also developed a better understanding of U.S.-China relations by experiencing the prosperous city of Dalian firsthand and connecting with the community by speaking their native language. I currently view U.S.-China relations as highly valuable, since both nations are economically interdependent and key players in the international community. My time abroad changed the way I view China’s value to the world and to the U.S. I grew up with stereotypes of China, but actually living there led me to view this nation in a more open-minded manner.

Can you tell us a bit about your role in the Hispanic Business Student Association?

The Hispanic Business Student Association (HBSA) has been a source of family and Latino empowerment since my freshman year. I happily served as a Chair for two years in different committees for HBSA. My first leadership position was in the College 101/102 committee, where I helped coordinate and execute 2 college events for 600+ middle and high school students. I presented to minority and low-income students about scholarship opportunities and motivated them to pursue their passions in college. My second leadership role was organizing the Scoring Careers annual event, which is a career fair meant to increase the number of Hispanic professionals in the workforce. My role in HBSA also helped build my leadership skills, which led to my participation in selective programs with Accenture and Goldman Sachs.

What’s your view on current U.S.-China relations, given recent developments such as our “friendlier” relationship with North Korea, or tariffs against China?

I view current U.S.-China relations as highly tense due to the aforementioned issues; however, I am optimistic about the future of their relationship. The U.S. wants a strong China and diplomatic ties in East Asia, but the rise of China has resulted in aggressive stances from Xi and Trump. Both leaders are no longer working together against a common threat, so they are consistently challenging each other from tariffs to human rights. Although tensions are high now, U.S.-China relations are more critical than ever and require careful diplomatic exchanges to ensure both global powers are on the same team.

Tell us about your favorite things you’ve learned in the Scholars’ class with Dr. Weaver and Mosser.

I loved learning about the process of thoughtfully researching evidence, especially in digging deeper about the source of data and the politicization of statistics. As I’m researching for my policy proposal in the Scholars’ course, Dr. Weaver and Mosser taught me to stay aware of research errors such as cherry-picking evidence or neglecting to question a sources’ validity. In class, I get to participate in research exercises to identify reliable data and collaborate with fellow Scholars to improve each other’s policy essays.

Thank you so much for sharing Quimberly!

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