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Mathematics major Crystal Taylor ’03 (Hyattsville, Md.) is investigating the often complex relationship between the public and private sectors in an intensive research project this semester and is also conducting an independent study on the potential impact of globalization.

As an EXCEL Scholar, Taylor is collaborating with Gladstone Fluney Hutchinson, dean of studies.

“The EXCEL project investigates the premise that the partnering of private finance with the government sector is an underutilized approach to addressing urban blight in American cities,” explains Taylor, who is minoring in both economics & business and French. “Central to this idea is identifying the underlying symbiosis between the attraction and use of private finance, the acculturation of market values, and the sustenance of economic initiatives in urban environments. We intend to demonstrate that in bringing together of these key ideas, and in improving our understanding of the underlying behavioral factors of this complex relationship, sustainable and productive partnerships between the public and private sectors can be forged.”

Taylor says that she wanted to be involved in this project because she’s interested in urban renewal and public and private sector partnership holds important promise for future urban renewal projects.

Her research builds upon knowledge that she gained from internships with Goldman Sachs & Company in New York. During summer 2000 she worked in the financial management department of the fixed income, currencies and commodities division. Last summer she worked in the urban investment group.

Hutchinson is also serving as the adviser to Taylor’s independent study on “International Public Finance and Political Economy.”

“The goal of this study is to analyze the potential impact of globalization on the role of government and public expenditure and finance decisions across a range of countries,” says Taylor.

Next month, a dozen Lafayette students will present research at a Lafayette symposium on globalization, joining former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and award-winning author and journalist Naomi Klein at the event.

Taylor says of working with Hutchinson, “As a professor he brings both a strenuous work ethic and a wealth of knowledge of the issues to the table. As a mentor he is enthusiastic and forward thinking. I cannot imagine having a more dedicated mentor on my team.”

“This sort of in-depth study involving economic, political, as well as philosophical issues, while certainly different from my major area of concentration at the college, was right up my alley as far as interest and enthusiasm were concerned,” she adds. “And the opportunity to attend and contribute to a major conference on the issue was one that I could not dream of passing up.”

“Lafayette is a wonderful place for students to reach out and accomplish great things,” says Taylor. “I cannot imagine another small liberal arts college where such resources would be available for an undergraduate student to step out of his or her major area of concentration to do meaningful research-oriented work with well qualified professors in other areas of interest.”

A graduate of Northwestern High School, Taylor is a participant in the McKelvy Scholars program, which brings together students of high academic achievement and promise to reside in an historic off-campus house and share in intellectual and social activities.

She has served as a member of the Lafayette College Trustee Committee on Financial Policy. “I found this to be an extremely rewarding experience wherein I was able to be a part of the creation and implementation of real life financial policy initiatives,” she says.

Last fall, Taylor studied abroad in Dijon, France, and has served as fitness supervisor in Kirby Sports Center.

After graduation, Taylor plans to continue her studies in the area of applied economics, focusing on public policy and urban planning.

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Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship. Crystal Taylor ’03 and one of her Lafayette research mentors, Gladstone Hutchinson, dean of studies.

Categorized in: Academic News