Daniel Grafton is a recipient of the Academic Year 2014-2015 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
The support of the academic year long Center for Global Studies FLAS award has allowed me to study issues surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis and reach a high-level of proficiency in Turkish. Last fall, I studied the economic costs and benefits to Turkey of hosting Syrian refugees. In the winter, I researched how the humanitarian aid regime and refugee assistance is increasingly leveraging private sector resources to provide services to refugees. Finally, this quarter, I am taking a closer look at food aid, and how food security in Turkey and Jordan affect refugees residing in those countries. As a concurrent student at both the Evans School of Public Administration and the Jackson School of International Studies, I have been studying these issues from a policy as well as a critical social scientific perspective. Learning Turkish these past three years has been invaluable. I received the academic year FLAS award last year as well, and together with a summer FLAS award in 2012, I have reached a level of proficiency where I am now able to read in-depth Turkish news articles and reports on issues surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis. I plan on returning to Istanbul this summer to further hone my language skills and reach a professional level of proficiency. After the summer, I hope to work in the non-profit or public sector either in Turkey or in Washington, D.C., specifically on refugee assistance or international development more broadly.