Past Andretta Fellows
Kerry O’Donnell (COL’23)
An Island, Entire: Oral Histories and Cultural Resiliency on Maine’s Outlying Islands
Kerry is a Culture and Politics major with an intended minor in Disability Studies. Her passion for rural accessibility and experience growing up in “Vacationland” have informed much of their Georgetown experience. Through the Andretta Fellowship, Kerry will scrutinize the role of memory and oral history in sustaining vulnerable outlying island cultures off the coast of Maine. By centering research on Monhegan Island – a remote community 12 miles out to sea, boasting a population of only 60 – the project will compare surviving island cultures with that of “ghost islands,” some of the dozens of year-round island communities that have disappeared in the past century. Relying on lived experience and respecting islanders’ singular local knowledge systems, this mixed-methods research will interrogate how these communities can use a sense of “islandness” to forge a temporal relationship between past and present, in addition to stewarding the islanders’ established relationships between person, land, and sea.
Julia Jackson (COL’22)
Path Building: Examining Connection and Narrative at the Rocky Mountain Land Library
Julia is an Anthropology major with intended minors in Arabic and Environmental Studies. Her interdisciplinary interests and love for the outdoors have sept into her life at Georgetown and future goals. As an Andretta Fellow, Julia will conduct interdisciplinary research centering on the Rocky Mountain Land Library (RMLL) near South Park, Colorado, in order to better understand the processes by which this land becomes a subject of narration and how such narration encourages/discourages inclusivity in access to outdoor spaces. At the land library, layers of history, culture, and meaning interact. The project will focus specifically on a proposed path which is controversial, as it is planned to cut through an area known as Red Hill, which has archaeological and cultural significance. Through interviews with stakeholders and participant observation, she hopes to better understand the nature of space at the RMLL, and how such a nature influences physical, social, and spiritual accessibility.
2020 (postponed until Summer 2021 due to COVID-19)
Bailey Steinhauer (COL’21)
Nutrition and Type 2 Diabetes Education in the Kigali Community
In Rwanda, malnutrition has overtaken undernutrition as the chief concern when it comes to issues of dietary health. Type 2 Diabetes is an increasing health concern among Rwandan health practitioners, and the general lack of education surrounding the nutritional harms associated with packaged and highly processed foods is exacerbating the problem. The goal of the Bailey’s research project is to find the baseline of Diabetes understanding in a community in Kigali. Through mixed methods, Bailey will gather a better understanding of the way Kigali residents of the community served by a local non-profit understand diabetes. This information will be used by the non-profit organization for grant writing.
Chelsea Hernandez (SFS’20)
Raíces en Riesgo: A Case Study of Urban Gardens in Mexico City
According to estimates by the National Forestry Research Institute of Mexico, there is approximately 33.1 km2 of green space in Mexico City. Among Mexico City’s sea of cars and concrete, this 2.2% of the total area is evolving and growing. This research case study established greater contextual understanding of both grassroots and institutionalized measures being taken in Mexico City to combat pollution, health concerns, and stagnant social economy, through the development of urban gardens or “Huertos Urbanos.” This study sought to better understand the varying levels of success and support found in each “Huerto.” Through interviews, survey data, and working in “huertos” alongside members of the community, Chelsea engaged diverse members of the community and how urban gardens have supplemented their daily lives.
Jake Dyson (COL ’19)
Play as Pedagogy: Playing as a Tool for Teaching Social Justice
Jake explored the way educators and community leaders use play as a tool to teach and instill social justice values in children. The study specifically addressed play as a component of pedagogy, and examines the way that sports, games, classroom instruction,and play spaces interact to influence the way play is utilized in education systems. Throughout his study, Jake conducted interviews with elementary school children and their guardians, educators, and community organizations. In addition, he drew observations and reflections about play’s role in pedagogy through participatory research in a summer Jumpstart program in Washington, DC. Jake compiled a list of “best-practices” for stakeholders that work with children, emphasizing the ways play can be incorporated as a tool to teach and create social justice values.
Austin Rose (COL’18)
After the journey: Integration of migrant children in the United States
United States and Mexico
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a form of legal relief and pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrant children in the U.S. who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both of their parents. The system that surrounds SIJS seeks to identify and safeguard the “best interest” of vulnerable immigrant children. Yet, the SIJS system often falls short in ensuring the best interest of the children who it is designed to protect. Drawing from a series of interviews with immigrant youth, their adult sponsors, attorneys, judges, and community stakeholders, this report identifies flaws and gaps in the SIJS system and recommends a set of reforms that will help to address those issues.
Read Austin’s case study, In the Child’s Best Interest: The State of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Recommendations for Reform.
Clara Mejía (COL ’17)
Transcending Fronteras: Art, activism, and immigrant narratives across the Mexico-United States border
Anti-immigrant rhetoric has made it increasingly challenging to transcend mental borders and approach undocumented immigrants with a humane lens. Following the Andretta fellowship’s principles of environmental stewardship and social justice, this research project explored how undocumented immigrants experience the art found in their communities as it relates to their journey crossing the border. The project showcases elements significant to LatinX culture in the United States by focusing on topics such as Mexican-American culture, immigrant labor, and the ChicanX movement. The research project report showcased immigrant narratives and art present in the barrios of Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles, and Oakland, California. The report provides a deeper understanding of immigrants’ journeys, identities, culture and art.
Adam Barton (COL ’16)
The Promise of Full Education in Brazil: Community Conceptions of Mais Educação
In 2007, the Brazilian government introduced an education policy designed to increase national educational achievement and attainment. Dubbed Mais Educação (“more education”), this program extended the academic day in select schools from the traditional four- or five-hour day to a seven-hour day consisting of before- and after-school extracurricular activities such as marching band, handball, and community gardening. Seven years had gone by since the rollout of Mais Educação began, and yet little research exists studying program implementation outside of its impact on standardized student achievement metrics. The aim of Adam’s research was to understand the psycho-social dimensions of Mais Educação program implementation across various levels of school stakeholders — that is, how students, parents, teachers, and administrators conceived of the program’s value in light of their beliefs about the greater purpose and promise of education. Following a grounded ethnographic model of inquiry by immersing himself for six months in a rural public school in the southeastern city of Valinhos, Adam developed a theoretical framework regarding discursive values orientations in extended day programming: future orientation and present orientation. Through this paradigm, the present-oriented community valuing of Mais Educação was broadly found to diverge from the future-oriented community valuing of education, thus leading to a perceived lack of programmatic efficacy and uneven community buy-in. Ultimately, Adam’s research pointed to the need for increased community involvement in the educational planning process through explicit discussions of communal educational priorities.
Elaine Colligan (SFS’15)
Gender Conceptions and Environmental Vulnerability: A Case Study in Djernda, Senegal
Using a Participatory Action-Research approach and a gender lens, Elaine explored how gender relations shape fisherwomen’s unique vulnerabilities to environmental degradation in the traditional Wolof village of Djernda, Senegal. In assessing and documenting vulnerabilities to climate change, deforestation, and coastal erosion, Elaine sought to empower a core group of fisherwomen as co-researchers to generate knowledge about environmental degradation and its impact on community well-being, and to brainstorm solutions. The outdoor activity proposed, a tour of the mangrove forest that is spiritually and practically important to the community, encouraged renewed interest in preserving these environmental resources. In accordance with the Andretta Fellowship’s principle of social justice, this research project took as its driving focus the empowerment of a socially and environmentally vulnerable group, fisherwomen on Senegal’s coast, for their own well-being and the well-being of their community.
Mashal Shah (COL’14)
The Khwaja Seras: Pakistan’s Endangered Minority
This project focused on the transvestite community in Pakistan. Mashal spent her summer traveling around Pakistan to examine the marginalization of this transgender population in Pakistan. She interviewed members of the Khwaja Sera community, lawyers, human rights activists, and government officials on the status of human rights within the transgender community. Mashal focused her research on: (a) the different ways Pakistan’s transvestite population have been marginalized; (b) past efforts, at both the local and national levels, that have been undertaken to address the concerns of the transvestite community; (c) the various ways these past and present initiatives have been blocked or faced difficulties in implementation; and (d) specific policy recommendations that would best help integrate transvestites into Pakistani society.
Galen Weber (SFS’13)
Governing an International Common Pool Resource: Lessons from Caribbean Fish Stocks
In many parts of the world, overfishing has decimated marine life. This is an increasing concern in the Caribbean, where fishing provides a livelihood for some of the Western Hemisphere’s most impoverished communities. Galen’s research focused on ways that local fishing communities can work with national governments to protect fish stocks. His work builds off research by Elinor Ostrom showing that small, local groups are often better resource managers than national or supranational authorities. For his research, Galen travelled to fishing communities in five different Caribbean nations: Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Saint Lucia, the Dominican Republic, and Belize. Through interviews and outings with fishers and fish sellers, Galen collected perspectives on fisheries governance and studied the arrangements used by Caribbean fisherfolk organizations to monitor and regulate their own fishing levels. Fisheries legislation is still nascent in much of the Caribbean. Galen’s research findings argue for a system of resource governance based on national networks of local fisherfolk organizations.