The University of Texas at Austin
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Stefany Quirico

Stefany Quirico
Economics and International Relations and Global Studies

Stefany’s undergraduate research topic is Conditional Cash Transfers and Women’s Empowerment.

“Learning to tackle large-scale projects individually is a valuable skill that I’m thankful to take with me as I graduate from UT.”

Faculty Supervisors: Dr. Stephanie Holmsten and Dr. Wendy Hunter, Government

Briefly describe your research project.

I’ve always liked to think of my research project as interdisciplinary, for it is an attempt to meaningfully combine my two majors: International Relations and Economics. The project examines the potential of conditional cash transfers, welfare programs that transfer cash to poor families contingent upon their investment in the human capital of their children. The project complements existing literature about the empowerment of women as a state-led approach to overcome development issues, and sheds some light on the role of women and the role of the state in overcoming worldwide development issues.

What was the most rewarding part of your research experience?

By far the most rewarding part of my research experience has been the opportunity to compile what I’ve learned in multiple classrooms into a cohesive research project. I feel as though, through this research, I’m finally harvesting what I’ve sowed throughout my undergrad career here at UT.

How has participating in research affected your undergraduate experience?

Participating in research has taken my undergraduate experience to a whole different level. This project has challenged my writing skills more than ever before, and has given me the impetus to reach out to all the amazing resources that our distinguished university has to offer.

Do you think getting involved in research will be helpful to you in the future? If so, how?

Definitely. Since my research project was carried out independently, I’ve learned a great deal about self-discipline. It can get difficult to push through when you don’t have a research partner or professor watching you every step of the way. Yet, learning to tackle large-scale projects individually is a valuable skill that I’m thankful to take with me as I graduate from UT.

What advice would you give to incoming and current students about getting involved in research?

Start early and try to have a lighter schedule for the semester(s) that you plan to get involved in research. I