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Kimberly Josephson
Photo Credit: The Walsh Exchange

March 2013

Senior Presents At Undergraduate International Relations Conference

Few conferences exist for undergraduate international relations (IR) students to share ideas and meet others studying in the field. Georgetown University’s Walsh Exchange is a research consortium in its second year designed to fill that void and give undergrads an opportunity to showcase their IR work.

CMU senior Kimberly Josephson not only attended the conference held March 22-24 in Washington, D.C. but presented at it. Josephson, a Hispanic Studies and International Relations and Politics double major within the Dietrich College, joined other IR students from programs such as Boston College, MIT, William and Mary and Georgetown to explore the broad categories of area and regional studies, international politics and security and international institutions.

“Kimberly Josephson is a creative thinker about international relations and human rights,” said Kiron Skinner, director of CMU’s Center for International Relations and Politics. “Her senior thesis crystallizes research, writing, and thinking that she has done throughout her time at Carnegie Mellon. Thus, she was an excellent CMU ambassador at the Georgetown conference. I am proud to have worked with Kimberly since her freshman year. I look forward to having other CMU undergraduates present their research at Georgetown in the future.”

Josephson presented her senior honor’s thesis, “Stolen Babies in Spain: Human Rights Abuses, Failures in Democracy, and Post-transitional Justice,” during the "Reactions to Regime Change" session. Her project explores the phenomenon of stolen children during the last 70 years in Spain and how the Spanish government was involved.

“Kimberly Josephson’s undergraduate thesis covers about 70 years of Spanish human rights abuses and provides an outstanding analysis of the abduction of babies both during the Franco regime and again during the 1970s,” said Silvia Borzutsky, teaching professor of social and decision sciences and Josephson’s thesis adviser. “Kimberly has done an outstanding job at documenting the two sets of events and analyzing them from the standpoint of both human rights polices and transnational justice theory.”

Josephson said the conference was an extremely positive experience and was well organized. “This was great for research, presentation and networking opportunities. I think international relations and politics students at CMU should apply to it every year.”

For more information on the Walsh Exchange, visit

To read the abstract for Josephson’s presentation, visit

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