“Everything comes down to shipping,” LeBlanc says. “The maritime industry is vital for development, particularly for the nations of West Africa. It is a complex business and requires collaboration among many different stakeholders. The problem of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea highlights the need for political and economic integration to ensure that the importing and exporting of goods can occur without security risks, as well as added delays and costs to these developing countries.”
A few months after her Faculty Research Day award, LeBlanc went on to present a paper on the associated topic, “Port Infrastructure and Maritime Security Risk in West Africa,” at the New England Political Science Association’s 2014 Annual Meeting. She is currently working on her thesis and expects to graduate in May. Before coming to UB, LeBlanc earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies in the Great Books from St. Anselm College and a M.S. in Higher Education and Leadership from Kaplan University.