Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Primary Investigator for Research on organization’s responses to migration in Spain, Alexis Mahanna, poses for a photo in the Office of Research by Undergraduates in Gilmore Hall on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. Mahanna won the Inaugural Undergraduate Library Research Award for her use of library resources while preparing her thesis before conducting research in Spain.

Riley Davis, The Daily Iowan

Following a University of Iowa Homecoming Royalty win, Hawkeye senior Allexis Mahanna was recently awarded the first UI library research-based award for her efforts in and out of the classroom.

Mahanna received the Undergraduate Library Research Award for her global health studies thesis, which explored how organizations in Barcelona and Catalonia, Spain, handled migration influxes. The research aims to understand the country’s requirements in regard to what was occurring and whether government policy reflected public opinion.

A double major in global-health studies and ethics and public policy, Mahanna began exploring research-related opportunities during her first year at the UI, focusing on biochemistry before transitioning into human rights.

“I have always been really interested with refugee policy and refugees in general — that’s just been a long-standing issue that I’ve become interested in and I’ve been working on for the majority of my undergraduate career,” Mahanna said. “What I find interesting is the different opinions about migrants and why those opinions shift.”

Following a financial gift stemming from the Stanley Research Award in February, Mahnna spent the summer in Spain, interviewing locals and politicians about Barcelona’s claim as a “refugee city,” a label meant to protest Spain’s closed borders.