The Burdick Global Scholars Program helps UCSB students rise to the challenges of our global society by extending the study abroad experience beyond the classroom. Each yearlong cohort consists of UCSB faculty and a group of students who work closely with a visiting collaborator--a scholar, activist, or creative who is rooted in the research site area.
Throughout the year, the Burdick cohort conceptualize a research project, participate in a practicum, and organize scholarly programs in preparation for travel to a global research site. They then share their research findings at UCSB and beyond through conferences, publications, policy briefs, e-journals, or podcasts. Since 2020, our Burdick projects have focused on water scarcity, the carceral state, and environmental justice, with research projects in South Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.
The Burdick Global Scholars Program was conceived through dialogue between the SOSC Dean’s office and key AGI faculty affiliates and staff. The program continues to evolve, with each Burdick cohort shaping and refining their own approach to collective global research. The program is supported by UCSB alumnus Charles Burdick who explained: “In today’s political climate, people are challenging the idea of globalization. To be part of a campus that supports the cross-border exchange of ideas is pretty special and I’m very pleased to be part of that in a very small way. The more we understand our differences, the more we understand that in the end we’re all the same.”
Professor Satyajit Singh (Political Science) led a project on Water and Climate Change in India. Water scarcity impacts about one million people in India every year, where over 50% of the population does not have access to clean water. Working in collaboration with WaterAid India, this Burdick cohort carried out research in eight localities across India.
The Global Carceral States project is directed by Professors Lisa Hajjar (Sociology) and Terrance Wooten (Black Studies), in partnership with Dr. Basil Farraj (Birzeit University). Working with a group of UCSB graduate and undergraduate students, their research project examines carcerlism in the US, Middle East, and Latin America.
Led by Drs. Javiera Barandiaran (Global Studies), Tristan Partridge (UCSB) and Maite Salazar (iBio-Chile), this project asks how a new constitution in Chile proposed to confront climate change-related challenges. In July 2023, this Burdick cohort visited several rural communities around the capital city to examine how they are being impacted by water scarcity and melting glaciers, and what constitutional change could mean for them.
Led by Jaime Alves (Black Studies) with global partners based in Cali, Colombia, Jan Grill (Universidad del Valle) and Sonia Mirna Quiñonez (Casa Cultural El Chontaduro), this project fosters dialogue between community activists, emerging scholars, and students to explore new venues to challenge and re-imagine the colonial landscapes of cityscapes.