Zachary Kelsay: researcher and problem solver


Global and International Studies and History

Describe your research in a few sentences that we can all understand:

“I am analyzing the transformation of the Cuban private sector and the challenges created by recent economic stratification in light of the government’s socialist political goals. Finding ways to resolve problems and offering policy options is the most exciting part of doing research.”

What did you learn by participating in the Undergraduate Research Seminar?

Using imagery to simplify intricate concepts can be useful for communicating ideas efficiently. I really like how interdisciplinary the seminar was and allowed me to explore research in other fields.

Give your research advisor a shout-out:

"Brian Lagotte is the GOAT and has been inspiring my research for the last three years."

Why did you choose your major (majors)? And how do they complement each other? 

I chose international studies because it encouraged a balance between several different fields including language studies. Within GIST, I have had the opportunity to take classes in economics, anthropology, and Spanish which later helped me specialize on my research interests. I chose History because its provides a lot of context for international events and history professors tend to be exceptional researchers and writers.

What has been your favorite class at KU? And why?

“Economic Anthropology with Dr. Jane Gibson because it allowed me to better understand the relationship between people and economics and provided a more comprehensive lens for understanding economic trends.”

What is the benefit of being in the KU College alongside students studying sciences, arts and humanities?

Students have diverse specializations and perspectives to raise the level of conversation.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

I plan to attend KU Law and continue researching through my legal education.

What motivates you?

Fear… just kidding. I really like to accomplish at least one thing every day so that I feel like I am making effective use of my time.