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Public Policy Honors Thesis Program

Class of 2023 Honors Thesis Papers

Welcome to the Public Policy honors thesis page. The projects presented here are the result of a year-long process begun by our honors students in January of 2022. These students have produced 20 projects that cover topics as diverse from The Cannibalization of Lottery Revenues through the Expansion of Online Sports Betting to An Undeniable Link: The Impacts of Immigration Policy on the American Agricultural Industry. Students have done everything from interviewing policy experts, crunched databases, and analyzed Tweets. The result is an important array of studies that are both though provoking and intellectually rich. We recognize their hard work and dedication, and thank their thesis advisors for helping students complete their projects.

Deborah Ades – The Geopolitics of Sanctions: Assessing the Impact of Global Geopolitics on U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Gabrielle BattleSetting the Standard: Meeting the Needs of Sex Trafficked Black Girls in the State of California

Allison BunkerDocumenting Dystopia: An Audio Documentary Approach to Amazon in Seattle

Peter ConnollyThe Battle for Chips: Semiconductors Crucial Role in AI Development and its Implications for U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Nicholas DattoNet Impact: The Relationship Between Internet Access and Voter Turnout Across U.S. Elections and Parties

Devan DesaiUnequal Burdens: Disparities in Baseline Low Back Pain at an Academic Health System

Sabene FigueroaThe Mental Healthcare Access Crisis Among the Homeless Population

Kyle GrayNegotiating with “Terrorists”: When is Diplomacy an Effective Way to End a Conflict?

Dana GuggenheimImpact of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Zika Virus Recommendations on Cord Blood Unit Eligibility and Utilization in a Large Public Cord Blood Bank

Alex HoffmanSecuring the Right to Work: The History and Future of Job Guarantees 

Finn HossfeldUsing Media to Understand Public Discourse on Carbon Capture, Storage, and Utilization Technology: A Qualitative Frame Analysis of US Media Coverage of the Petra Nova Project

Gautam IyerRemembering… and Forgetting: What Durham Communities Decide to Remember About Themselves, and How They Do It

Dan KingThe Impacts of Immigration Policy on the American Agricultural Industry

Payton LittleThe Health Policy Puzzle of Gender Affirming Care: Healthcare Policies In North Carolina as a Case Study

Katherine LoBueAn Evaluation of the Durham DEAR Program: Comparing Participant and Staff Perspectives

Leah Markbreiter Social Connectedness, Altruism, and Vaccine Behavior: Improving Policy for Future Pandemics

Alanna MillerSegregating Opportunity: The Deprivation of Resources in Durham County’s Racially/Ethnically Concentrated Areas of Poverty

Mary Monti No Such Thing as a Textbook Case: Comparing Interstate Differences in High School Civics Education

Vaneesha PatelPlanning for Better Communities: Exploring the Relationship Between New Urbanism in Comprehensive Plans and Social Capital

Rachel ProudmanMarginalized and Monitored: Analyzing Reproductive Health and Digital Surveillance in the United States

Taalin RaoShah Cheaper & Cleaner? A Case Study of Boston’s Community Choice Electricity (CCE) Program

Leah RoffmanExploring the Distribution of Utility-scale Renewables and Anti-renewable Legislation in the U.S.

Hailey RossTalking Trash: Evaluating Pay-as-You-Throw (PAYT) and Compost Contamination on the Front Range of Colorado

Jonathan Schachter The Cannibalization of Lottery Revenues through the Expansion of Online Sports Betting

Tri Truong The Birth of a New China: How the U.S. – China Trade War Affected the Economy and Foreign Policies of Vietnam in 2016 – 2020

Neha VangipurapuHindutva at Home: Long-Distance Hindu Nationalism in the Indian American Diaspora

Past Honors Thesis

Class of 2022

Class of 2021

Class of 2020

Class of 2019

Class of 2018

Class of 2017

Class of 2016

Class of 2015

Class of 2014