Fall Semester of NGTC Student Fellows Program Culminates in Five Successful Group Projects

Mon, 01/03/2022

            The Nebraska Governance and Technology Center (NGTC) is proud to announce that the fall semester of the NGTC’s Student Fellows Program was a resounding success, with five student groups completing a diverse range of projects, ranging from a “Safe Space” for warm, comfortable discussion of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, to a short story entitled “Starfall” about a future in which a natural phenomenon triggers a failure of satellites in near-Earth orbit, leading to untold calamity. Along the way they enjoyed a “Tie-Dye Party,” a luncheon with NGTC Faculty Fellows, and a resume and personal statement review, among other events and professional development opportunities.

            Izuchukwu Mbaraonye (College of Business) and David Ornelas (College of Journalism and Mass Communications) collaborated on a project examining how technology companies that develop innovations that are likely to be realized in the medium- to long- term tend to invest heavily in political lobbying to mitigate risks that their future technologies will be subject to aggressive regulatory regimes. Their collaboration resulted in a beautiful, compelling visual presentation of their findings – viewable here.

            Paige Ross and Alicia Christensen of the University of Nebraska College of Law and Ece Baskol of the College of Business finished their semester-long research into Section 230 of the United States Communications Decency Act by holding a Section 230 “Safe Space;” taking an afternoon to create a creative, cozy space in the law school student lounge where students, staff, and faculty could stop by to discuss any questions they might have about the controversial act, recently featured prominently in the news.

            Mitchell Clark of the Colleges of Engineering and Arts & Sciences and Morgan Armstrong of the College of Law took their research into the challenges of regulating low-Earth orbit in a creative direction,  crafting a short story entitled “Starfall” about a future in which a catastrophic magnetic anomaly (known as the South Atlantic Crisis) knocks out a significant portion of Earth’s satellites, leading to economic damages in the tens of billions of dollars and precipitating an international geopolitical crisis. In Act II, an imminent shift of the Earth’s magnetic poles culminates in an even more catastrophic loss of Earth’s orbital infrastructure, leading a father and daughter to race to flee Earth for “The Lost Colony” before the full calamity ensues.

            Jeffrey Owusu-Ansah (College of Law) and Mei Fong Looi (College of Business) collaborated on a project exploring restrictions on online speech in other countries, and how they are applied to American media platforms. As well as holding a poster-presentation on the issue, the duo developed a website that explores the issue generally, as well as through the lens of three specific countries – the United Kingdom, India, and Thailand – viewable here.

             Bogac Canbaz and Garrett Wirka (College of Engineering) and Josh Lee (College of Law) collaborated on a project exploring issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, including an analysis of relevant Nebraska law addressing the issue, and an examination of high-profile accidents involving self-driving vehicles and the causes behind those collisions.

            Looking forward to the spring semester, the student fellows will collaborate on producing episodes of the NGTC’s podcast, Tech Refactored, on the set of topics they researched in the fall. They will also have an opportunity to participate in a number of activities with the Faculty Fellows, further enhancing opportunities for networking and professional development.

Tags: Fellows

NGTC Student Fellow Headshots