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Falvey Scholars 2021: Annelise Laughlin

Annelise Laughlin


Welcome to part 3 of a 7-part series featuring the 2021 Falvey Scholars. Read more about them every Monday and in the upcoming issue of Mosaic: the Library’s bi-annual publication.

Falvey Memorial Library is honored to announce the 2021 Falvey Scholar award winners. We will showcase the research of our eight young alumni on the blog and in the fall issue of Mosaic.

Sponsored by the Library and the Center for Research and Fellowships, the Falvey Scholars program recognizes outstanding undergraduate research at Villanova University. Award winners are selected from a pool of candidates generated by applications submitted by a senior Villanova University student or a group of students working on a senior project together with the recommendation of the advisor to the senior thesis or capstone project completed for academic credit.

View the 2021 Falvey Scholars Awards virtual booklet.

Falvey Scholar: Annelise Laughlin

Hometown:  Reno, Nevada

Other Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Alexander Von Humboldt Medallion for Excellence in Geography, Gamma Theta Upsilon (Geography Honors Society), Faith and Learning Scholars

Project Title: “Spatial and Temporal Study of Drought and Violence Incidence in Darfur, Sudan”

Faculty Mentor: Francis A. Galgano, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Learn about Annelise’s research in her own words:


Tell me about your Falvey Scholar Award-winning research project.

I researched the connection between climate change, specifically drought, and violent conflict in Darfur, Sudan. It can be hard to prove causality because so many other elements factor into conflict, but an extreme climate event like long-term drought could intensify or catalyze conflict by straining competitive resources, and that’s what I wanted to study in Darfur.

How did Falvey Memorial Library support your research?

I was developing my final research project into an ArcGIS Storymap, and Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian, taught me how to use the software to make a Storymap. She helped me take my project from a plain poster to an interactive, multimedia presentation that could be hosted online.

Storymaps can be a little finicky, so Erica was a great resource in helping me choose a platform that would suit my project well, as well as troubleshoot any issues I had with my project.

What impact did this project have on you?

The climate/conflict connection is an interesting thing because it can play out differently around the world. One place might experience drought, another might have an extreme hurricane or tornado, and all those things could disrupt security or social structures in a way that causes conflict. I think if I kept studying climate and conflict, I’d be interested to apply similar methods to other climate-related events around the world.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to be working as a business analyst at a civil engineering firm after graduation.


Shawn ProctorShawn Proctor, MFA, is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.





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Last Modified: June 7, 2021

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