Student-Scholar Partnership (SSP) List

Fall 2020

woman and student looking at papers
The Heroine’s Journey and Beyond: Envisioning and Supporting Sustaining Life and Change Narratives
  • Nancer Ballard, WSRC Resident Scholar

  • Savannah Jackson, Student

The Heroine’s Journeys and Beyond project identifies and articulates post-gendered life arcs that encompass features of both The Hero and The Heroine Journeys and values struggle as much as achievement and ongoing/ incomplete journeys as much as the reaching of destinations. The project includes an enduring short-form multi-media website-blog platform that has received more than 98,000 views from visitors in over ninety countries. See

The Alt Right and Contemporary Paganism
  • Helen Berger, WSRC Resident Scholar

  • Rachel Judson, Student

This project is an examination of the response of the majority of contemporary Pagans, who are politically liberal, feminists, and environmentalists, to a subset within their religion that is helping to populate and provide symbols and rituals to the alt-right. The Scholar’s research focuses on the activities of the alt right, its use of Heathen symbols and images, and the responses of contemporary Pagans. The Scholar and Student  would work together to monitor online sites, read relevant news articles and academic sources, organize the data, and think through conceptualizing this work for publication.

South Korean Feminism and Activism in the US Camptown Military Sex Industry
  • Yuri Doolan, WSRC Affiliated Faculty

  • Yoo Ra Sung, Student 

This project uncovers, through archival Korean language documents, the hidden histories of activism and resistance among camptown women working as entertainers and prostitutes for the US military in South Korea since 1945. It distinguishes between the efforts of the sex workers themselves and those of broader South Korean nationalist and feminist movements against US militarism, which often are at odds with each other. While the broader movements utilize and appropriate camptown women's struggles as human evidence of US imperialism in South Korea, the sex workers themselves are not so interested in dismantling the US military empire, and have historically invested in action that improves their daily lives and conditions instead, such as the abolishment of venereal testing and quarantine facilities (colloquially known as the "monkey house"). This project traces how these women's own concerns have shaped the current state of politics and feminisms in camptowns, culminating to an ongoing lawsuit first filed against the South Korean government in 2014 for helping the US military to detain, test, and treat military prostitutes against their will.

"Grandparenting, Faith and Multiculturalism" Book Project
  • Ruth Nemzoff, WSRC Resident Scholar

  • Eliana Padwa, Student and Caroline Greaney, Student

Using Jewish and other ancient texts to explore current family relationships, this book will tackle the problems and opportunities of long-distance grandparenting. Uniquely, this book will have the voices of all three generations: the grandparents, the parents, and the grandchild. Exploring grandparenting as a dynamic and varied stage of life, this text will allow grandparents space to grow as individuals. Few pieces of literature discuss multifaith and the experience of grandparents adjusting to a multicultural world. This book will close this gap through anecdotes from grandparents worldwidee and discussion of multifaith and multibackground families in America.

"Take Charge of Your Medical Practice" Curated Newsletter Fostering Learning and Leadership
  • Nance Goldstein, WSRC Resident Scholar

  • Michelle Cheng, Student

The newsletter, “Take Charge of Your Practice”, fills an urgent, compelling need for physicians who are also leaders. They face radically different challenges and possibilities after COVID ravaged healthcare and in a world that expects more and better in inclusivity and equity. The newsletter curates the best articles from respected medical journals on the newly necessary leadership capacities for healthcare.  The research and stories in this newsletter offer insights into how other physicians have re-invented their practices, while also giving time-constrained physicians access to new ideas, information and opportunities. The newsletter aims to spark ideas for how to shape practices and their futures so they can thrive.

National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine: C-Change Research Project
  • Linda Pololi, Resident Scholar, Senior Scientist, WSRC Resident Scholar

  • Kacy Ninteau, Student

Description: The National Initiative on Gender, Culture and Leadership in Medicine& — known as “C-Change” for culture change — is seeking an intern to help prepare and evaluate a Mentoring and Leadership program at Brandeis for medical school faculty. The student will be supporting C-Change research projects including the Mentoring and Leadership Institute.

Fostering Young Women's Leadership: Promoting and Practicing Initiative
  • Phoebe Schnitzer, WSRC Resident Scholar

  • Haley Sousa, Student


The act of “Taking initiative”, a central component of leadership skills, is one that may present particular challenges for young women. By way of outreach and creating bonds between the WSRC Scholars and Brandeis undergraduate organizations, this project plans to develop and offer individual and group interventions designed to strengthen this crucial component of young women’s leadership capacity. In the initial phases of the project, the Student will serve as Ambassador to various campus groups addressing issues of importance to young women. The Student will interview campus organization leaders to ascertain concerns and help structure a variety of activities designed to foster initiative. With the close collaboration of WSRC Scholar Edith Coleman Chears Ph.D., a recognized professional in Organizational Leadership , the project will put in place a program of group and individual mentoring, which can be implemented remotely by way of teleconferencing techniques. Self-evaluation, description of leadership initiatives, and ratings of the supportive activities will provide assessments of the project. 

Documenting Transgender Activist Biography in India
  • Gowri Vijayakumar, WSRC Affiliated Faculty

  • Inaara Gilani, Student

Through this project, we are working with Akkai Padmashali, a transgender activist based in Bangalore, India, to support her as she documents her life as an activist. Compiling her journeys through NGOs, activist organizations, and transnational feminist networks, as well as through her personal experiences of family, motherhood, and citizenship, makes clear how the personal is deeply intertwined with the political.


Women and Children First: The Remarkable Life of Dr. Susan Dimock
  • Susan Wilson, WSRC Resident Scholar

  • Megan Catalano, Student

Though her name lives on in Roxbury's Dimock Street and in the Dimock Center that still straddles that road, Susan Dimock's (1847-75) important story has been essentially unknown in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To her contemporaries in Boston of the 1870s, however, she was known as a strong, selfless pioneer in American medicine — among the first group of physicians to provide professional health care by, and for, women, and one of the finest, most respected surgeons (male or female) in Massachusetts. I am working on the first full-length biography of her life.
Cascading Research Group: Graduate SSP's
Building on the success of the interdisciplinary Cascading Workshop last year, the WSRC is sponsoring the Cascading Research Group, 2019-2020. The CRG acts as a forum to present work-in-progress and exchange ideas about empirical projects. Brandeis faculty and WSRC Scholars work with graduate student SSPs to explore the literature, research design, and findings.
Cascading Research Group: Cascading and Resilience through the Prism of Intersectionality
  • Karen V. Hansen,  Director of the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center and Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  • Samantha Leonard, Graduate Student


Defining cascading as the process of falling from a particular social location in ways that precipitate additional declines, the project asks: what are the social, structural, and familial conditions that accelerate or minimize this widespread and poorly understood phenomenon? How do kinship, social networks, race and gender, employment status, and access to public resources, for example, act as mediating forces in the onset, duration, or prevention of cascades? This project maps the networks and processes that can either turn a triggering event into a plunging spiral or activate a set of economic and social responses that foster resistance and resilience.

Cascading Research Group: The Relationship to Wealth and Health Inequities: Addressing the Needs of Women of Color and Their Children
  • Tatjana Meschede, Senior Scientist and Senior Lecturer, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
  • Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson, Visiting Associate Professor UMass Boston; Visiting Scholar, Heller School  for Social Policy and Management
  • Gabrielle Hibbert, Graduate Student

Description:   This study will examine the reciprocal relationship between wealth and health for women of color and impacts on the well-being of their children. Central to this research will be the exploration of the role of gendered racism on the relationship between maternal health disparities and wealth disparities among women of color in their reproductive age group, and their impacts on the well-being of their children ages 0-18. We propose gendered racism as an intervening variable, explicitly underscoring the role of a specific type of racism that partially drives inequality in America, and may exacerbate the relationship between health and wealth inequities. 

Cascading Research Group: Gender Differences in Enslavement in the Roman World
  • Bernadette Brooten, WSRC Affiliated Faculty and Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies, Emerita
  • Eric Blum, Student
Description:   We know that persons could enter slavery in the Roman world through war, being kidnapped, indebtedness, being sold, selling oneself, or being born to an enslaved mother. Can one establish gender differences in any or all of these categories? The Latin word for enslaved person "serva/-us" refers to the common military practice of killing conquered men and "saving" the women and children, which certainly points to a gender difference, although military practice was likely more complex than that. For a person in dire straits, selling oneself into slavery may have seemed to be the only option for survival. Would the possibility of prostitution and sexual exploitation have hindered women from doing so? Because enslaved males were also subject to being prostituted and sexually exploited, this would not be a strict gender divide. Do we find evidence in the ancient sources that female children were sold into slavery more frequently than male children? Which pre-slavery circumstances varied by gender in a way that may have rendered individuals differently susceptible to enslavement?

We will examine sources from the Roman world (1st–4th C. CE) to try to get closer to answering these questions. They will include: high- and popular-level literature, papyri, inscriptions, and legal texts. The challenge of trying to answer such questions for this period and region is the dearth and fragmentary nature of the sources. Scholars of ancient history have learned to be both judicious with the sources and creative in their methods.

I am particularly interested in how early Christians became either enslaved or slaveholders, but that took place within the Roman world as a whole, which means that I need to examine these phenomena in the whole of society.
Cascading Research Group: "Technology Dependence: The Risks of Cascading for Home Health Aides"
  • Debra Osnowitz, WSRC Affiliated Faculty
  • Sarah Halford, Graduate Student
Description:   This study examines the work experiences and daily lives of home health aides with special attention to the role of technology in controlling and facilitating their work. The principal source of data for this project will be qualitative interviews. Other data may include documents that home health aides exchange with clients and staff at the agencies through which many work.  This study should ultimately contribute to a broader understanding of the dynamics of a low-wage feminized occupation, for which the workforce is disproportionately composed of women of color.