The Global Social Development Innovations celebrated the launch of its brand new research center with proper fanfare: a symposium featuring globally renowned experts in their fields. GSDI was officially launched during a welcome dinner Oct. 11, followed by two separate symposiums Oct. 12 and Oct. 13. The event was open to the public, representing the center’s commitment to making research accessible to everyone.
GSDI fulfills the University’s role as a global research institution and aims to address global social issues by engaging in interdisciplinary research. Gina Chowa, who serves as the director for GSDI, has witnessed the project come to life. In 2015, she received permission to begin planning the center, and construction started the following year. Now that the center is built, Chowa has a platform to partner with other researchers in North Carolina, in the United States and around the world.
“The chancellor says that this University is for the public by the public,” Chowa said. “So our center is exactly that. But, for us to be a global University, we have to be thinking about the word ‘global,’ because what happens in North Carolina does not end at the borders of North Carolina.”
One key feature the center offers is a public data hub with compiled research from GSDI. Chowa said students can use this as a resource or become involved with the center as research assistants and associates.
“Part of our mission is to train the next generation of scholars,” said Chowa. “Apart from just saying that, we consider ourselves as a lab. Students watch us as we work so that they can do it in a way that is culturally competent.”