Elena Mieszczanski of GW to present research at Notre Dame Human Development Conference

Elena Mieszczanski posing for a photo at the equator in Uganda.
February 22, 2019

Please see the below press release published by SIT Study Abroad about GW student and study abroad alumn Elena Mieszczanski.

February 6, 2019
Contact: Kate Casa  802.258.3527

Elena Mieszczanski of GW to present research at

Notre Dame Human Development Conference

Elena Mieszczanski, a political science and international affairs double major at The George Washington University, is among 60 students chosen to present their undergraduate research Feb. 22-23 at the prestigious Human Development Conference at University of Notre Dame. Mieszczanski is one of 12 student presenters who are alumni of SIT Study Abroad programs.

The annual student-led conference is sponsored by Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. This year’s theme is “Engaging with Empathy: a preferential option for the poor in development.”

Mieszczanski, of Chelmsford, Mass., is scheduled to complete her BA in May 2020. With a concentration in international development and a minor in economics, she studied abroad in fall 2018 on SIT Uganda: Global Development Studies. At Notre Dame, she will present her research on “Schooling Silence: Sexual Harassment and its Presence and Perception at Uganda’s Universities and Secondary Schools.”

“I knew going into my study abroad that I wanted to research something related to gender and development. My fall study abroad term was going on during the Kavanaugh hearings in the U.S., something that, for me at least, stirred up a lot of anger and frustration about the way survivors are treated globally,” said Mieszczanski.

“The whole uprising against sexual harassment and sexual violence has been very focused on Hollywood and western media, but I wanted to examine it within the context of Ugandan schools, something that is not as widely talked about. This ended up being the core motivation for my paper. My study abroad experience definitely focused my interests around the intersection of development, politics, and gender, and my research was a huge part of that,” she said.

 “SIT is proud of the alumni of our programs who will participate in this important conference, as well as the students from across the country and the academic spectrum who will have the opportunity to share their development-focused research,” said SIT President Dr. Sophia Howlett.

Independent research is central to SIT’s Study Abroad’s immersive, semester-long programs, Howlett noted. SIT research projects require original fieldwork, a final presentation, and a formal research paper. “Students step beyond the boundaries of a traditional classroom to analyze the critical issues shaping communities around the globe,” she said.

SIT Study Abroad is an accredited study abroad provider offering semester and summer programs for undergraduate students. Each year, SIT sends more than 2,000 students from more than 250 colleges and universities on programs in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as comparative programs on multiple continents.