GSPIA professor Dr. Müge Kökten Finkel has been awarded the John C. Mascaro Faculty Fellowship. The John C. Mascaro Faculty program is designed to enhance the University of Pittsburgh’s mission of interdisciplinary excellence in sustainability research and education.

This fellowship aims to explore the creation of a bridge between the University of Pittsburgh Honors College and GSPIA's International Development Program in the form of an International Development Policy Badge (IDP). The badge exposes qualified and interested students to policy-oriented, applied research on the Sustainable Development Goals. It implements an intentional pairing of Honors College and GSPIA students, and brings in local and international experts to inform student-led research. This will establish a link between undergraduate and graduate school training focusing on Sustainable Development Goals, enhancing the institutional commitments of the Mascaro Center, the UHC and GSPIA.

Dr. Finkel was named to the fellowship position along with Dr. David Fraser, a Scholar Mentor in the University Honors College. 

Dr. Müge Kökten Finkel is the Director of the Masters in International Development Program and a faculty member at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and the Co-Director of the Gender Inequality Research Lab (GIRL) at the University of Pittsburgh. Her expertise includes gender and development, poverty and inequality, and Japanese politics. Previously, she worked as a Social Development Specialist for the MENA Region at the World Bank. Since 2015, she has worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to analyze global trends in gender equality in public administration. Dr. Finkel holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Virginia.

Dr. David Fraser is a Scholar Mentor in the University Honors College. His areas of research interest include implicit learning, the effects of stress on memory and cognition, and the neurophysiological basis of post-partum depression. He was previously a faculty member at a small liberal arts college where he was director of the honors program and taught neuroscience, biology, and scientific literacy. At Pitt, he focuses on mentoring, teaching, and building undergraduate programs that help students move across traditional academic boundaries. Dr. Fraser holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Northwestern University.

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