CONWAY, Ark. (December 16, 2013) –Kyle Wicks, a junior international relations
major from Conway, was recently awarded a Student Undergraduate Research
Fellowship (SURF) by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
The SURF award,
valued at $1,250, will support his project “Conflict and
Connectivity,” which will be his senior thesis topic as well.
Wicks will study the impact of Internet access on social
revolutions. The project is motivated, in part, by the events of the Arab
Spring and the impact that Facebook and Twitter had in helping dissatisfied
citizens organize to effectively challenge authoritarian leaders across the
region. He plans to perform both statistical analysis and conduct fieldwork
research in Rwanda and Ghana with the support of SURF.
“The SURF fellowship will allow Kyle to travel to Ghana and
Rwanda, two countries that have heavily improved their access to Internet
technology in recent years,” said Hendrix politics and international relations
professor Dr. Kiril Kolev, Wick’s academic advisor and research supervisor. “He
will interview government officials to get their perspective on the role of Internet
access on the ability of citizens to organize and push for greater political
empowerment more effectively.”
Wicks was also selected to go on an Odyssey trip to Rwanda led
by Hendrix politics and international relations professor Dr. Daniel Whelan,
which will also contribute to his research efforts.
Founded in 1876, Hendrix
College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education.
For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and
Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S.
News and World Report. Hendrix is
featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will
Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s
The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of
America's Top Colleges, and
the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United
Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.