March 2018 UPDATE from District 6220 2015-2016 Global Grant Scholar, Nicole (Nikki) Ostrand

Rotary District 6220
2015-2016 Global Grant Scholarship (GGS) recipient: 

Nicole Ostrand, Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Previous studies, degree, experience:

  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.; BS in Psychology; Certificate in Criminal Justice 
  • Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand; MA in Human Rights
  • NGO in India volunteer providing vocational training for women
  • People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights organization, India, volunteer
  • India- teaching English to Tibetan refugees
  • Uganda, Tanzania, and Thailand volunteer for a local organization promoting women’s health by
    • Providing health care services and information on women’s health issues; teacher of primary school 
    • Helping visually impaired children learn to write; coordinator of project that promoted the rights of
    • An impoverished and stateless refugee population in Southeast Asia.

GGS Rotary Area of Focus:  Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution

  • Place of Study:  University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
  • Studies & Degree: Doctorate in Migration Studies
  • Host Club: Rotary Club Shoreham & Southwick, Brighton, United Kingdom

March 2017 Update: (Note, Nicole is still in the process of completing her Ph.D. studies at the U. of Sussex.) 

During the 2016 and 2017 academic year I concentrated on organising and conducting research for my PhD thesis. This included doing interviews, researching government documents and making freedom of information requests. This will certainly help me in my future career goals (working at a migration/human rights-based N.G.O. or research institute) because it helped improve my skills in dealing with different people (i.e. doing interviews), organizing and structuring research projects and working independently - situations which I will find myself in at an N.G.O /research institute. I also attended a conference to present a co-authored paper. This was my first co-authored work and it taught be about collaborating with others. Attending the conference also helps me improve my network in the migration field.

Since October 2017 I have been working hard on writing-up my thesis. This involves meeting regularly with my supervisors to discuss my research. I have learned a lot through this process about how to frame and present clear arguments. I hope to submit my complete thesis for defence during the autumn term of 2018.  This month I will be presenting at another conference on research I conducted last year. I hope to get good feedback and bolster my network. In addition to this I have been working part time for my professor doing administrative work for the academic journal he runs. I also helped him organise a migration conference on campus, which brought together academics from Europe, North America and South East Asia. 

When I am finished with my degree I plan to work for a migration/human rights-based N.G.O or research institute with the goal of improving the living condition for vulnerable migrants and refugees.

District Governor

Steve Handrick
920-217-4232 (c)
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District 6220
Executive Assistant

Lisa VanderKelen
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