Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service
Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service

Education and Social Justice Summer Research Fellowship

The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching & Service (CSJ), and the Office of Mission & Ministry together administer the Education & Social Justice 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 people living in poverty 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 sustainable community development and social justice through education. The Office of Mission & Ministry joined this collaboration in 2024.

Undergraduate student research fellows spend three weeks of summer conducting interviews on best practices at the intersection of education and social justice. Local hosts are Jesuit-led institutions doing innovative educational work in support of under-resourced communities. 

During the preceding spring, fellows are supported in their submission of an IRB application, train in interview techniques, and prepare for field-based research in their specific sites through the 1-credit Pass/Fail course, UNXD 230 Education and Social Justice Research Methods. During three weeks of summer fieldwork, fellows conduct between 12-20 interviews and receive a 1-credit tuition scholarship to take UNXD 231 Education and Social Justice Fieldwork. In the fall semester, after completing data collection, fellows take UNXD 232: Digital Scholarship through which they create an engaging online report of their findings. They present their research in a public forum and their final reports are digitally published. The research fellowship funds travel, lodging, meals, and includes a $1,500 award.

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.

For over ten years, Georgetown students have been making an impact through the Education and Social Justice Fellowship. Read more about the last decade of ESJ here.

How to apply in Fall 2023 for the 2024 Fellowship

The CSJ Fellowship is open to all GU undergraduates, including Hoyas at GU-Qatar and the School of Continuing Studies. The application cycle is now closed. The application deadline was 5:00 PM ET on Friday, October 27, 2023.

Current and Past Fellows

Minahil Mahmud (GU-Q’25)

Minahil is a Pakistani student majoring in International Politics. She leads the Georgetown Debating Union and has been an active member of the debating community in Qatar and Pakistan. She was ranked as the best speaker at national university tournaments in Qatar! Minahil is also a peer tutor at the GU-Q Writing Center and started the Women’s Swim Club. In the fall of her sophomore year, Minahil traveled to South Africa to study post-apartheid peace and reconciliation as part of the Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace program. Moving forward, she plan to complement her studies with social science research. She enjoys long drives, hiking, trying new cuisines, and visiting independent bookstores.

Michelle Hadebe (GU-Q’25)

Michelle hails from a township called Mamelodi in Pretoria, South Africa, and is currently majoring in International Politics and minoring in African Studies at Georgetown University in Qatar. She is deeply passionate about education, social justice, and Africa. Michelle explors her passions by organizing educational and social justice programs through the Black Students and African Students Association, of which she serves as co-president. When not at university, she teaches summer camps in under-resourced parts of South Africa. She enjoys reading African and Afro-Caribbean literature and traveling the world.

Julianne Meneses (CAS’25)

Julianne is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Justice and Peace (JUPS) and Spanish. She is a first-generation Filipino-American, and she explores her identity and serves others by studying the intersection between immigration and social justice. Julianne serves as the JUPS Student Program Assistant and volunteers with the DC Schools Project for migrant adults in Washington, DC. She plans to become an immigration lawyer or conduct international research related to the field. Julianne studied abroad in Barcelona last summer!

Evan Bianchi (CAS’25)

Pragyan Acharya (GU-Q’24)

Pragyan (GUQ ’24) is a Nepali student with a major in International Politics and minor in Education, Inquiry, and Justice (EDIJ). He is a Qatar Foundation Merit Scholarship recipient and serves as a Director of Debate Network Nepal (DNN). He coaches the Nepal national team for the Worlds Schools Debating Championship, leads the GU-Q Debating Union, and has judged the Semi-Finals of the World Universities Debating Championship and the Grand-Finals of the Asian Universities Debating Championship twice. Pragyan focuses his studies the relationship among conflict, education, and transitional justice. He interned at the Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) Directorate of Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and is currently part of a project, supported by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), researching the Education City multiversity initiative. He enjoys road trips, trekking, Nepali music, and Newa cuisine.

Renee Vongai Mutare (GU-Q’24)

Renee Vongai (GUQ ’24) is an International Economics major, born and raised in Zimbabwe. She serves as the co-president for Georgetown’s Black Students Association and has been an active member of the university’s African Students Association. She is passionate about social justice issues, especially race and women’s empowerment. She strives to create an open dialogue on campus while promoting inclusivity and diversity. Renee participates in marathons in and around Doha and is involved in the Track and Field Club. She has volunteered to provide first aid resources to special needs communities in Qatar and with  vulnerable communities in her hometown, Gweru. Her hobbies include cooking, binge-watching Netflix shows, and restaurant hopping.

Molly May (COL’24)

Molly May (COL’24) is pursuing a major in Sociology with minors in Statistics and Education, Inquiry and Justice. She is from Long Island, New York; while NYC is her home city, she loves all that DC has to offer. Molly serves as the Director of Operations at GU Votes and aims to enhance the voting culture on campus. She has been active in the CSJ since her freshman year as a Team Leader with Jumpstart. Molly loves working with young children and exploring equitable and effective educational practices that place care at the center of classroom spaces. Her favorite times are the morning drives past the Tidal Basin on the way to her preschool classroom sites. Molly hopes to pursue social science research that focuses on education and community engagement. When not in school, Molly is a competitive Highland dancer and enjoys hiking around DC and beyond.

Sarah Craig (SFS’23)

Sarah is a junior in the SFS majoring in Culture and Politics and minoring in Italian and Creative Writing. As a first-generation student from Metro Detroit, Sarah has found community on campus with both the Community Scholars Program and the Georgetown Scholars Program (GSP). On campus, she works with the GSP Student Board to advocate for visibility and equity for FGLI students on campus. She also serves as the Opinion Editor for The Georgetown Voice, where she often writes about education and mental health. Sarah is a strong believer in students prioritizing their mental wellbeing and is interested in analyzing higher education through a disability studies perspective. In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading, bullet journaling, and rewatching her favorite TV shows.

Vikki Hengelbrok (C’23)

Vikki (COL’23) is a Justice and Peace Studies major, minoring in Psychology. She is German-American but has spent most of her life living in Panama City, Panama. On campus she is on the board of Hoyas Inspire Language Learners(HILL), a club whose purpose aligns with her passion of working with kids and encouraging multiculturalism from a young age. She has worked alongside immigrant teachers to help discover and ease the barriers they face when trying to work in DC Public Schools and she currently holds a position as a program assistant at Georgetown’s BMW center for German and European Studies. Some of her favorite past times are playing the guitar, cooking with her mom and watching really bad reality TV.

Kartikeya Uniyal (GU-Q’23)

Kartikeya Uniyal (GU-Q’23) is an undergraduate student at Georgetown’s campus in Qatar, where he studies International Politics. Hailing from India, Kartikeya is deeply passionate about designing low-cost educational interventions for public schools in India to make 21st-century skills accessible, attainable, and enforceable. He was selected for the Clinton Global Initiative University fellowship in 2019 where he worked on building a Commitment to Action to make education equitable. He launched Access Labs, an education technology non-profit in 2021 and is currently working with the Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford to design a peace education curriculum. At GU-Q, he works in the Office of Student Life to develop student programs and design communications for the student body. In his free time, he enjoys watching football (soccer), teaching, and discussing Indian politics.

  • Ryan Covington — Nairobi, Kenya
  • Brian Dillon — Manila, Philippines
  • Cindy Chuck — Santiago, Chile
  • Deven Comen — Mumbai, India
  • Conor Finnegan — Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Shea Houlihan — Gulu, Uganda
  • Charlotte Markson — Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Lisa Frank — La Paz, Bolivia
  • Sarah Baran — Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Annie Dale — Battamban, Cambodia
  • Nicholas DiRago — Lima, Peru
  • Elisabeth Lembo — Krakow, Poland
  • Kendra Layton — Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Adam Barton — Brazil
  • Elizabeth “Hopey” Fink — Ougadougou, Burkina Faso
  • Gianna Maita — Managua, Nicaragua
  • Sabrina Khan — Dakar, Senegal
  • Nico Lake — Guatemala
  • Dana Drecksel — South Korea
  • Mariam Diefallah — Rwanda
  • Sarah Jannarone — Slovenia
  • Khaliyah Legette — Kenya
  • Jonathan Thralll — Jordan
  • Carolyn Vilter — Mexico
  • Mary Breen — Dominican Republic
  • Nicholas Na — Australia
  • Harshita Nadimpalli — Mozambique
  • Anastasia Sendoun — Ukraine
  • Brittany Fried — Zambia
  • Mayeesha Galiba — Rome, Italy
  • Grace Koehl — Madrid, Spain
  • Erin Luck — Bogota, Colombia
  • Mackenzie Price — Dublin, Ireland
  • Allison (Ally) Ross — Thailand
  • Amber Stanford — Lima, Peru (virtual)
  • Gabby Villadolid — San Franciso, California (hybrid)
  • Rohil Kulkarni and Tierra Hatfield — Nepal (virtual)
  • Henry James — The Bronx, New York
  • Tommy Teravainen — Boston, Massachusetts
  • Yazmin Munoz — Richmond, Virginia
  • Katherine (Kat) Woodard — Bethlehem (virtual)