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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Geography


Holly Smith Awarded Bilinksi Fellowship

Ph.D. student in Geography awarded grant from the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship Program to support her research.

Holly L. Smith was announced as one of the 2017-2018 Bilinski Fellowship awardees. Ms. Smith is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography. Prior to studying Geography at the University of South Carolina, Holly earned her B.A. in Intercultural Communications from Eastern University and her M.A. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. Her dissertation, “Ammani Youth: Urban Experiences, Regional Changes, and Uncertain Futures,” explores how youth living in the “eye of the storm” in Amman, Jordan, are experiencing geopolitics in an urban setting dramatically impacted by the consequences of the Arab Spring. Her research is inspired by living in Tunisia immediately after the Jasmine Revolution and witnessing nascent youth movements challenging entrenched state power in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. By using ethnographic methods she first illuminates daily experiences and dreams from the often over-looked perspectives of Urban Youth in the Middle East, which she then juxtaposes with narratives about youth in the region using critical discourse analysis. More broadly Holly’s research interests include the Urban Geographies, Social Geographies, and Youth Geopolitics. While at USC Holly discovered her passion for teaching and was awarded an “Outstanding New Teacher” award by her department. Holly is most grateful to the Bilinski Foundation for the privilege of being able to focus exclusively on completing her dissertation.