Aliou Gambrel

Aliou Gambrel

Project title: They Crowd Our Land 

Project description: Migration, as experienced between contemporary West African nations, coincides with an era of international foreign aid. Despite the “development” of nations such as Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, The Gambia and Guinea, migration that is increasingly irregular and informal, intensifies. This is apparently counterintuitive. 

With a focus on contemporary Senegal, my thesis questions whether the presence of foreign aid in economic development should be reconsidered. Furthermore, I survey the non-economic impacts of development and foreign assistance, as experienced by its recipients, working to amend the location ownership in aid. Through a combination of land use analysis, psychologically-based correlational study, and ethical consideration, I will assess the complexities of aid in order that evaluation of development programs be expanded. Not only is review of the historical impacts of foreign aid consequential to our present, its study will describe our increasingly interdependent future. 

Most important accomplishment:  I’m not sure that I have a greatest accomplishment yet, but I am very proud of my partially grown cow, and my ability to be (what I hope is) a good friend, student, and son. My most important accomplishment is on its way. 

Reflections on the College Scholar Program:  This program has made me somewhat fearless in my study, and has given me community. I am now able to consider classes ranging from applied economics (AEM) to architecture, relating them all to the considerations of my study.. This ability to weave my study into a pattern, which suits my interests, has meant a change to the ways in which I engage with the borders of academia, seeing them less as barriers and more as paths. 

If I am frank, the community of the program is its true benefit. In our focus on the self in study we often lose the ways in which community, and its acknowledgement and engagement shape who we become as thinkers. From passionate critiques, to the exploration of different technologies, the students, faculty, and advisors involved in this program make it what it is. This is not taken lightly, and will continue to influence my work throughout and beyond my time at Cornell.