Three promising undergraduate students at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) have been selected as recipients of competitive fellowships offered by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Minahil Mahmud Khan (SFS’26) and Michelle Hadebe (SFS’25) were awarded the year-long Education and Social Justice Fellowship (ESJ) for 2024. They were selected from among a field of undergraduate students across all Georgetown campuses. Under faculty guidance, they will dedicate three weeks over the summer to field-based research that builds their knowledge about the deep connections between poverty and education.
The prestigious ESJ scholarship is awarded annually by the Berkley Center and the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Undergraduate student research fellows have conducted impactful research projects in 42 countries since the program’s establishment in 2010.
For Minahil, being selected in her second year was an honor, giving her a head start in putting her coursework in research methods in social justice to good use.
"The overall theme this year is post-genocide reconstruction through education and we will be traveling to countries, such as South Africa and Bosnia, that have emerged from conflicts and have learned from what they went through. It's an opportunity to explore what happened at the site of social injustice and perhaps play a role in truth and reconciliation, she said, explaining, "Academics can step in to expose the truth of what’s happening by doing research, having conversations, and collecting narratives.”
Renee Vongai Mutare (SFS’24), building on her distinction as a 2023 ESJ fellow, has found further success this year by earning a coveted place in the Berkley Center’s Human Fraternity Fellows Program. An international economics major at GU-Q with a passion for social justice, Renee will work to identify barriers to inclusivity on campus, determine existing positive initiatives, and build solid solutions that could be practiced at GU-Q and other universities across the globe.
“As an ESJ fellow, I was taught to pursue social justice in all spaces and that all stories are important and deserve to be heard,” Renee said. “The Human Fraternity Fellows program builds on this by creating a proposal for students by students, furthering the efforts of interreligious dialogue and social justice in our different communities.”
Renee shared her research experience during her year-long fellowship at the Global Social Justice Research Symposium in September 2023, alongside GU-Q ESJ fellow Pragyan Acharya (SFS’24). The annual symposium is a meaningful opportunity for undergraduate student researchers at Georgetown to nurture their unique academic voices as part of a holistic education that prepares them for service to humanity.