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Luisina Kemanian-Leites

Children, Media, and Conflict Zones Lab
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Luisina Kemanian-Leites

Liberal Arts Major(s): International Politics
Minor: Arabic, Spanish, Middle Eastern Studies
Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Fall 2020

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

As an undergraduate research assistant in the Children, Media, and Conflict Zones lab, I conducted research on how children living in conflict zones can use different media to create change. I also studied how Sahrawi youth living in refugee camps in Algeria receive an education and how they often have to leave their homes at a young age to study abroad in order to complete their education.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Through my research, I have learned about different cultures that I had never been exposed to before. As a result, I have become more aware of different issues and potential solutions that are not often addressed, such as how to provide an education for children who live in refugee camps or how media may be used to help children of disenfranchised groups advocate for themselves in conflict zones.

Before working as an undergraduate research assistant, I had no interest in attending graduate school, but after this experience I have decided I would like to pursue a master’s degree.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

Before working as an undergraduate research assistant, I had no interest in attending graduate school, but after this experience I have decided I would like to pursue a master’s degree. I learned that a lot of important change in policy can be guided by research, particularly in the social sciences.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The College of the Liberal Arts has helped me in many ways. Faculty in the College have helped me develop my writing and research skills, which allowed me to apply to this experience. The College has also supported me by providing me with funding to work in the lab.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Through the honors curriculum of the Paterno Fellows Program, I was able to gain the reading and writing skills necessary to work in a lab. Additionally, the faculty I met through these courses provided me with advice and support as I searched for research opportunities and continued to provide support as I was working.

For more information on research opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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