The call for applications for the Education and Social Justice Project Summer Research Fellowship 2017 opened on Friday, September 16 and closed on Friday, October 21, 2016. 

The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs and the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service (CSJ) administer the Education & Social Justice Summer Research Fellowship. In early 2010, the Berkley Center and the CSJ created the Education and Social Justice Project to engage students and build knowledge about the deep connections between global challenges of poverty and education. Only through better access to education will the world’s poor be able to seize opportunities in an increasingly global economy. While policy analysts have documented the widespread failure of governments to meet this imperative, we still know relatively little about successful local efforts led by religious communities to advance economic and social development through education.

Undergraduate student research fellows spend three weeks conducting interviews on best practices at the intersection of education and social justice. During the preceeding spring, fellows are supported in their submission of an IRB application, trained in interview techniques, and prepared for field-based research in their specific sites. Local hosts are Jesuit-led institutions doing innovative educational work in support of underresourced communities. During three weeks of fieldwork, fellows conduct between 12-20 interviews. They submit a 20-page report for peer and faculty review upon their return to campus, as well as excerpts of interviews. They present their research in a recorded public forum and their final reports are published in print and online. The research fellowship funds travel, lodging, meals, and includes a $1,500 stipend.

Competitive applicants are in strong academic standing and specifically interested in international education research. Adaptability and flexibility are important characteristics, as fellows are typically placed in contexts with simple accommodations. Serious applicants should visit the project webpage to read past fellows’ reports and watch their research presentations.

How to apply: Email application materials as attachment(s) to with the subject heading “ESJ Fellowship: Your First Name Last Name”. Each application document should be a DOC(X) or PDF and be called your name followed by the type of document (ex. resume, transcript, etc.). 

A complete application includes:

  1. applicant’s resume, including global experiences and language proficiency;
  2. applicant’s updated unofficial transcript (screenshot is acceptable);
  3. applicant’s personal statement of no more than 250 words. The statement should not be a research plan, but rather a description of the applicant's interest in the program and related skills and experience.
  4. contact information (email address and phone number) for two references, one of whom must be a Georgetown University professor. Please state your relationship to/how you know these references.

Finalist interviews will be held in November 2016; finalists and required to submit a writing sample and a scan of their passport. Applicants must be in good academic standing and enrolled in the Spring 2017 and/or Fall 2017 semester. Applicants can be studying abroad during Spring 2017 and/or Fall 2017. The 2017 Education and Social Justice Summer Research fellows will be announced in early December 2016. No late applications can be accepted.

Serious applicants are highly encouraged to attend an information session at the CSJ (130 Poulton Hall): Monday, September 26 at 8:00pm; Thursday, October 13 at 9:00pm; or Monday, October 17 at 8:00pm.

Past Fellows

Mary Breen (F'19)Photography of Mary Breen

Mary Breen is a junior in the School of Foreign Service, pursuing a major in Science, Technology and International Affairs with a concentration in Security Studies. Beginning in high school, Mary discovered her passion for tutoring adult immigrants in English as a Second language in her hometown of Ambler, Pennsylvania. At Georgetown, Mary has been able to delve deeper into this important work as a tutor for the DC Schools Project at the Center for Social Justice (CSJ). Mary participated in the 2016 Magis Kino Border Immersion (KBI), an alternative break trip to the Arizona-Mexico border that explores the complexity and importance of immigration through CSJ and Campus Ministry. Mary was an Associate Editor for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs and also serves as a project team member of the Georgetown Speechwriting Advisory Group, which offers communication consulting to local non-profits. As an ESCAPE retreat leader, Mary helps new students reflect on the college transition and experience. A member of the inaugural class of the SFS Undergraduate Scholars Program, Mary conducts research and interviews for the Center for Latin American Studies.

Nick Na (F'18)Photography of Nick Na

Nick Na is a senior in the School of Foreign Service, majoring in International Political Economy with a certificate in International Development. Nick found his passion for international education in Clarkston, Georgia, through a high school refugee tutoring ministry in which he worked with youth from Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Bhutan, and Nepal. During his high school summers, Nick also engaged the Navajo community in New Mexico in education advocacy. At Georgetown, he is involved in the DC Schools Project which partners with DC’s immigrant community in English-language learning access. Nick is a 2017 Education and Social Justice Fellow and conducted research in Sydney, Australia.

Harshita Nadimpalli (F’18)Photography of Harshita Nadimpalli

Harshita Nadimpalli is a senior in Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, class of 2018, majoring in international politics with a concentration in international security and a certificate in religion, ethics, and world affairs. She spent the spring 2017 semester studying in Lisbon, Portugal. On campus, she has worked the past three years at the Center for Social Justice for the After School Kids program as a mentor and coordinator. At the Berkley Center, Harshita previously worked as a research assistant. She is a 2017 Education and Social Justice Fellow and conducted research this summer in Mozambique.

Anastasia Sendoun (COL'18)Photography of Anastasia Sendoun

Anastasia Sendoun is a member of Georgetown College class of 2018, majoring in Government and Spanish. Originally from Chicago, she became interested in education after working with the DC Schools Project, a Center for Social Justice program that engages with DC’s immigrant community to provide tutoring and English-language access. During the summer of 2016, she had the opportunity to intern at the DC State Board of Education where she was able to learn more about education policy-making at both the local and federal level. Her passion for social justice work and international affairs led to an interest in international education research. During summer 2017, Anastasia conducted research in Ukraine through the Education and Social Justice Research Project, a program of CSJ and Berkley Center.


Carolyn Vilter

Carolyn Vilter is pursuing a major in Political Economy. She is passionate about education, accessibility, and immigration policy, interests which arose in high school when she began volunteering as an English as a Second Language tutor in the suburbs of Philadelphia. At Georgetown, she is a member of H*yas for Choice and a Carroll Fellow; she has also served as a research assistant at the Center for Social Justice and a coordinator for the Kalmanovitz Initiative’s Immigration and Labor Project. During Spring 2016, Carolyn was an intern with the State Department in Tijuana, Mexico in the Political/Economic Section of the United States Consulate.

Jonathan Thrall

Jonathan Thrall is a pursuing a major in Culture and Politics and a certificate in Religion, Ethics and World Affairs. Born and raised in Paris, France by American parents, Jonathan is passionate about the concepts of Identity and has crafted his major concentration around the themes of power, narrative and national identity. A longtime French tutor and aspiring academic, Jonathan has grown to appreciate the role of education, broadly defined, in shaping perspective and self-awareness and its potential as an agent for social change or, alternatively, an instrument of political power. In addition to his native English and French, Jonathan is fluent in Italian and Arabic; during the Summer and Fall of 2015, he studied abroad in Morocco and Jordan. He is currently a research assistant to Professor Yvonne Haddad of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

Sarah Jannarone

Originally from South New Jersey, Sarah Jannarone is an American Studies major and an Education, Inquiry and Social Justice minor in the College. After taking a gap year with City Year, an AmeriCorps program that strives to end the dropout crisis in America’s inner cities, Sarah discovered her passion for social justice within education. Now involved with Learning Enterprises, a nonprofit organization that sends international volunteers to 13 different host countries in order to teach the English language, she became interested in international education specifically. She hopes to study International Education after graduation, with a focus on social justice.

Khaliyah Legette

Khaliyah Legette is pursuing a major in American Studies and minor in Education, Inquiry, and Justice. Originally from New Jersey, she discovered her passion for education while serving as a tutor to elementary and middle school students while in high school. Her passion for international education grew after serving as a Project Ambassador for One World Youth Project, through which she taught a global curriculum with partner schools in Turkey, Guyana, Kosovo, and Pakistan to sixth graders in a DC public school. During summer 2015, Khaliyah was in Cape Town, South Africa tutoring and mentoring students through a program called OneHeartSource. Khaliyah is currently the Education Chair for the Georgetown NAACP, and a Project Manager Fellow for One World Youth Project.

Mariam Diefallah

Originally from Egypt, Mariam Diefallah is currently living in Doha, Qatar and is studying at the branch campus of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. As a member of the class of 2017, Mariam is majoring in Culture and Politics and pursuing the Certificate of Media and Politics, a collaborative program between both GU-Q and Northwestern University. Mariam’s interest in the relationship between education and social justice started when she was a student at a government-owned, Arabic-speaking public school in one of the impoverished neighbourhoods in Giza, Egypt. After travelling to Sri Lanka as a participant of a community engagement program to study themes of education and conflict-resolution, her interest increased. She was motivated to intern during the summer of 2015 at Teach for Qatar.

Past Education and Social Justice Summer Research Fellows
Year Name Location
2010 Ryan Covington Nairobi, Kenya
2010 Brian Dillon Manila, Philippines
2010 Cindy Chuck Santiago, Chile
2011 Deven Comen Mumbai, India
2011 Conor Finnegan Johannesburg, South Africa
2012 Shea Houlihan Gulu, Uganda
2012 Charlotte Markson Montevideo, Uruguay
2012 Lisa Frank La Paz, Bolivia
2013 Sarah Baran Buenos Aires, Argentina
2013 Annie Dale Battamban, Cambodia
2013 Nicholas DiRago Lima, Peru
2013 Elisabeth Lembo Krakow, Poland
2014 Kendra Layton Dhaka, Bangladesh
2014 Adam Barton Brazil
2014 Elizabeth "Hopey" Fink Ougadougou, Burkina Faso
2014 Gianna Maita Managua, Nicaragua
2015 Sabrina Khan Dakar, Senegal
2015 Nico Lake Gautemala
2015 Dana Drecksel South Korea
2016 Carolyn Vilter