Regan Day

Regan Day, Undergraduate student, political science, marketing, business analytics and information systems

Decodes dynamics of peace negotiations

“Regan is an amazing student and one of the best that I have worked with at Iowa…Regan has used her experiences and story to help students understand what research is and how to get involved in it.” – Brian Lai, associate professor

West Des Moines, Iowa

Faculty mentor/advisor:
  Brian Lai, PhD, associate professor and chair, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

What is your degree program and anticipated graduation date?
I am majoring in Political Science, Marketing, and Business Analytics & Information Systems and will graduate in May 2024.

Please describe your research:
My research focuses on analyzing attempted peace negotiations in global civil wars spanning from 1980 to 2010. By coding for various elements, including who participated, what topics they discussed, and the ultimate outcome of these peace processes, we aim to dissect the elements that determine the success or failure of these negotiations. Through this analysis, we gain crucial insights into the intricate dynamics at play during peace talks in global civil conflicts.

In simple terms, why does this research matter?
Civil wars inflict devastating harm on individuals, families, communities, and entire societies. By understanding the various elements of peace negotiation attempts by region, we can predict when violence is likely to occur during a negotiation attempt and decipher what factors influence the outcome. Discovering the components that contribute to successful peace negotiation attempts will lead to more effective conflict resolution strategies and improved diplomatic efforts, ultimately fostering more peace and harmony globally.

How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research?
I became interested in undergraduate research at the University of Iowa after taking a First Year Seminar that focused on political science research. I joined this team during the second semester of my freshman year – it was one of the best decisions I’ve made!

How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa?
Getting involved with research has opened many doors to life-changing opportunities, both on and off campus. Learning how to think and work as a researcher has provided me the tools, connections, and leadership skills to be successful in internships and student organizations. Additionally, I am proud to serve as an OUR Ambassador, where I get to advocate for the importance of undergraduate research at the University of Iowa. Ultimately, my involvement within research has greatly contributed to my success at Iowa.

What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation?
Upon graduation, I aspire to combine my three degrees by going into political communication with a specialized focus on data and analytics. I’m still deciding where I want to land since there are many institutions where this type of work occurs, but I’m excited to make a positive impact in these areas of interest in the future.

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