Healy Hall at Georgetown University featuring trees with fall foliage

Student Programs Annual Report

The following report captures the achievements of Berkley Center students this year and highlights our contributions to the Doyle Engaging Difference Program. Scroll down or use the navigation at the top of the page to discover highlights from teaching, learning, and researching at the center from the past year.

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The Berkley Center offers a number of ways for students to get involved with the work of the center, including participating in fellowship programs, taking courses and conducting research through the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, and working as student assistants. 

Our approach to student programs at the Berkley Center is grounded in the Jesuit value of caring for the whole person (cura personalis), a central tenet of the Georgetown University education. Programs are animated by the center’s mission of bringing together scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and students to seek a more just and peaceful world by deepening knowledge and solving problems at the intersection of religion and global affairs.

Upon completing any Berkley Center program, students should be able to:

  • 1

    Demonstrate global awareness, particularly interreligious and intercultural competencies, by engaging in discourse and practice on matters of political, religious, social, economic, and racial differences.

  • 2

    Demonstrate analytical abilities and the ability to clearly articulate well-researched issues through academic and professional mentorship of research and digital scholarship.

  • 3

    Illustrate interdisciplinary knowledge integration and intellectual curiosity in traditional and experiential learning spaces.

Cross on top of Copley Hall at Georgetown University

Doyle Engaging Difference Program

Shaping our student engagement mission is the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, which is now in its second decade. The program began with a generous gift and accompanying vision from William J. Doyle (C’72, former chair of the Georgetown University Board of Directors) to see Georgetown University lead the way in creating learning spaces that equip Hoyas to authentically and constructively engage differences, ultimately enabling them to repair communities at the local, national, and global levels. The following report highlights our contributions to the Doyle Program as part of our collaboration with Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship

Learn more about the Doyle Engaging Difference Program.

Student Programs: A Year in Numbers

Students Taught

Center faculty taught courses across the Georgetown campus, from the College and the School of Foreign Service to Georgetown Law.

REWA Minors

The Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs program offers a minor for Georgetown Main Campus undergraduate students administered through the Berkley Center.

Doyle Seminars

This year, the center supported Doyle Seminars on a wide range of subjects—from Dante in popular culture to Black churches and ecumenism.

Education and Social Justice Fellows

Over summer 2020, student fellows conducted research on Jesuit educational initiatives in Nepal, Peru, and the United States.

Doyle Global Dialogue Students

The Doyle Global Dialogue provides a platform for Georgetown students to reflect on interreligious and intercultural engagement while studying abroad.

Student Assistants

Student assistants are integral to the work of the center, where they contribute to faculty research projects and support communications and outreach efforts.

Teaching at the Berkley Center

Berkley Center faculty bring years of scholarly and professional experience to the classroom, teaching in seven departments across the university while conducting research projects at the center. The center also supports the Doyle Seminars program, which provides undergraduate instructors with dedicated funding to develop inclusive pedagogies and engage diversity and difference in and beyond the classroom.

Teaching in the Pandemic

Teaching in the Pandemic Slider

Healy Hall at Georgetown University with sun flare
Berkley Center Faculty Tackle Tough Questions in First-Year Seminars

The COVID-19 pandemic presents major challenges to undergraduate learning, especially for first-year students who are just entering university life. In fall 2020, Berkley Center faculty helped new students build the intellectual skills and community necessary to thrive at Georgetown by teaching first-year seminars on subjects ranging from contemporary literature to global development. 

Read more about first-year seminars taught by center faculty.

Laptop on table next to coffee mug
Religion and World Affairs Virtual Course Modules

In response to the pandemic, the center developed a curated collection of 12 curricular modules that draw on open-access articles and multimedia sources to support online learning in higher education. The collection assembles Berkley Center expertise on the role of religion in several critical areas, including development, globalization, literature, politics, and global health.

Explore the virtual course modules.

Jocelyne Cesari speaks at Copley Hall at Georgetown University

Berkley Center Faculty

Our faculty seek to educate the whole person and encourage informed citizens who will go on to live out the Jesuit ideal of interreligious understanding. Senior fellows are trained in a wide range of disciplines—including public policy, history, development, political theory, literature, and law—and hold academic appointments across the university. Several of the center’s faculty previously worked outside of academia as senior officials in organizations like the U.S. Department of State and the World Bank.

Learn More about Berkley Center Faculty

Hear from Our Students

Hear from Our Students Slider

Kalina Majercak

My research at the Berkley Center allowed me the opportunity to deeply explore topics which are not only particularly relevant in our contemporary globalized world but also fall outside of my own course of study at Georgetown, enhancing my learning outside of the classroom. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities and support which I receive from the Berkley Center in enriching my education and providing me the tools and network for professional development that will aid me in the course of my career at Georgetown and beyond.

Kalina Majercak (C’21)

Amber Stanford

Participating in mentored research at the Berkley Center has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my Georgetown undergraduate career. As a fellow in the Education and Social Justice Project, I have been able to combine my academic passions with real-world applications. In addition, my work as a research assistant has allowed me to explore the intersection of religion and politics, while also inspiring me to further study these topics in graduate school. These opportunities have enabled me to use my research skills outside of the classroom and make a difference in the lives of others as an undergraduate student.

Amber Stanford (C’21), 2021 Marshall Scholar

Masked Georgetown students in a classroom on campus

Doyle Seminars

Doyle Seminars, sponsored by the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, offer instructors the chance to enhance their course with experiential learning through invited guests, outings to local museums or performances, and film screenings coupled with an intensive focus on student research projects. Smaller classroom settings provide a focused learning space for exploring national, social, cultural, religious, moral, and other forms of difference, and deepen student learning about diversity and difference through enhanced research opportunities.

Learn More about Doyle Seminars

Doyle Seminars: A Year in Numbers

Guest Lectures

Doyle Seminar Highlights

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Students in Performing Migration participate in a cooking class via Zoom
Performing Migration

Performing Migration, a Doyle Seminar taught by Devika Ranjan (SFS’17) in spring 2021, explored the social and political issues of modern migration through the lens of performance studies. Students in the course combined critical and creative approaches to tell the story of migration, centering the voices of migrants as part of a final performance project. 

Read more about the Performing Migration seminar.

Julia Watts Belser
Judaism and Gender

Students used gender as a prism for investigating Jewish cultural formation and tradition in late antiquity and the modern era as a part of Judaism and Gender, a Doyle Seminar taught by Berkley Center Senior Research Fellow Julia Watts Belser in fall 2020. The course focused on topics ranging from disability and trans Jewish theologies to contemporary feminist midrash.

Read more about the Judaism and Gender seminar.

Students Reflect on Doyle Seminars

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Amina Sadural

It was really challenging and engaging to talk about the politics of performance and the power dynamics of telling stories that are not your own. Telling stories that are not your own is going to become inevitable, so how do we do it ethically?

Amina Sadural (SFS’22), Performing Migration Student

Sarah Kurzweil

I enjoyed writing the research paper for this class because it encouraged interdisciplinary thinking. It allowed me to think about this theology class in the context of my art history major.

Sarah Kurzweil (C’21, G’22), Judaism and Gender Student

2020-2021 Doyle Seminar Faculty

2020-2021 Doyle Seminar Faculty Slider

Molly Borowitz
Molly Borowitz

Assistant Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

In the Political Status of the Amerindian Subject (SPAN 307), Borowitz explored the debates around the intellectual capacity and political status of the Amerindians in the Spanish Empire through various historical, religious, and legal texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Francesco Ciabattoni
Francesco Ciabattoni

Term Professor in Italian Literature, Department of Italian

Students in Dante’s Afterlife in Popular Culture (ITAL 383), taught by Ciabattoni, read selected cantos from Dante’s Divine Comedy and explored its rewritings and adaptations in popular and global cultures including literature, comics, cinema, rock/pop songs, television, and the visual arts.

Maureen Corrigan
Maureen Corrigan

Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism, Department of English

Corrigan’s Writing to be Heard (ENGL 288) considered crucial questions of elitism, identity politics, and the balkanization of popular discourse in relation to the role of the public intellectual. Students explored selected moments in twentieth-century American cultural criticism, as well as the practice of writing accessible yet rigorous criticism.

Beverly Goines
Beverly Goines

Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Theology

Designed as an introduction to ecumenism and its relationship to Protestant Black churches, the Black Churches and Ecumenism (THEO 049), taught by Goines, examined the mosaic of the American pluralist religious scene by honing in on the different ethical approaches that exist within the ecumenical movement.

Leo Lefebure
Leo Lefebure

Matteo Ricci, S.J., Professor of Theology, Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Lefebure’s Christian Theology in Asia (THEO 146) explored the issues of religious diversity that Asian Christians face and examined how Christian theologians in Asia interpret Christian faith in relation to many different religious traditions, as well as differing religious, political, societal, economic, and social challenges.

Robert Patterson
Robert Patterson

Professor, Department of African American Studies

In Black Equity, Black Equality: Race and Racism in the Criminal Justice System (AFAM 406), Patterson examined anti-Black racism within the criminal justice system to consider whether racial equity within the criminal justice system is even possible, focusing on how anti-Black racism governs law, policy, and policing.

Devika Ranjan
Devika Ranjan

Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Performing Arts

Ranjan’s Performing Migration (TPST 235) explored questions of borders, nationalism, and security made real through performative acts. Through a combination of classroom discussion and hands-on performance work, students considered the social and political issues of modern migration.

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò

Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy

In Global Justice/The Environment (PHIL 435), Táíwò focused on an ongoing, deeply contentious, and quickly moving subject: climate change, and accordingly, climate justice. Students conducted collaborative research projects on relating community-scale climate action to global-scale climate targets.

Michelle Wang
Michelle Wang

Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History

Students in Wang’s Asia/America (ARTH 469) examined art and design produced by people of Asian descent in the Americas, broadly defined, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day through a transnational lens. The class foregrounded labor, capitalism, U.S. imperialism, and war as defining characteristics of Asian American art.

Julia Watts Belser
Julia Watts Belser

Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Senior Research Fellow, Berkley Center

Belser’s Judaism and Gender (THEO 066) examined how gender has shaped Jewish culture and religious practice throughout history. Students explored the construction of gender in the rabbinic period and considered modern transformations in Jewish life.

Faculty Reflect on Doyle Seminars

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Devika Ranjan

In a world where borders are highly securitized, migration is much easier for some. This course intends to think about migration from the perspective of the migrant and the performances that the migrant has to do to try to surmount those barriers—from visa interviews to airport screenings.

Devika Ranjan (SFS’17), Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Performing Arts

Julia Watts Belser

When you examine Jewish tradition through a gendered lens, you see how thoroughly traditional notions of Jewish learning and practice place masculinity at the center. In this course, we are looking for ways this androcentricity has been contested and how women and trans and queer folk have articulated their own forms of Jewishness.

Julia Watts Belser, Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Learning at the Berkley Center

The Berkley Center administers the Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs minor, which offers students the opportunity to reflect on faith and ethics in international affairs, religion and politics, and religion in history and culture. Learning at the Berkley Center extends far outside classroom walls through the global experiences of the Doyle Global Dialogue and our collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Metal globe sculpture against blue sky in New York City

Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs Minor

The Berkley Center administers the Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs (REWA) minor, which offers students the opportunity to reflect on faith and ethics across three thematic areas: international affairs, politics, and history and culture. REWA students take five courses and a capstone seminar to foster engagement on salient issues at the intersection of religion, ethics, and world affairs.

Learn More about Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs Minor

REWA Alumni Outcomes

Stay in Washington, DC
Pursue Graduate Programs
Enter Government, Research, or Consulting
Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J.

REWA Capstone Seminar

Rev. Drew Christiansen, S.J., taught the REWA capstone seminar in fall 2020, focusing on the challenges that xenophobia and illiberal democracy pose to faith-based and human rights advocacy. Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., taught the capstone seminar in spring 2021, exploring how ethical and religious forces help frame and respond to issues of global concern. REWA capstone students presented their research during the Virtual Spring 2021 REWA Student Symposium poster session.

Explore the digital poster session.

Graduating REWA Students

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Hallie Bereday
Hallie Bereday (C’21)

Thesis: “Climate Change, Resources, and Refugees: The Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh”

My paper examined the extent to which climate change, economics, and environmental degradation played a role in Rohingya migration, advocating that international law expand to protect refugees impacted by any of these aspects. 

Read more about Bereday’s project.

Rayna Chandra
Rayna Chandra (C’21)

Thesis: “The Decline of Democracy, Secularization, and Minority Rights in India”

I attempted to answer whether India’s fundamental pillars of democracy, secularism, and the protection of minority rights will fade as a direct result of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rise to power and the accompanying force of Hindu nationalism.

Read more about Chandra’s project.

Brenda Coromina
Brenda Coromina (SFS’21)

Thesis: “Our Lady of Charity: Agency, Resistance, and a Multicultural Cuban Identity”

My paper examined the historic role of Our Lady of Charity in Cuba across different populations, including those of Afro-Cuban, mixed-race, and white descent—as well as revolutionaries and more recently, exiles. 

Read more about Coromina’s project.

Sari Cureton
Sari Cureton (SFS’21)

Thesis: “The Role of the Catholic Church in the Rwandan Genocide and Post-Genocide Reconciliation”

In this project, I sought to answer three core questions: What was the role of the Catholic Church in the Rwandan genocide? How has its role affected the Church’s post-genocide reconciliation efforts? What can be learned from this case about the influence of religious institutions in both conflict and conflict resolution? 

Read more about Cureton’s project.

Amerisa Kyriazis
Amerisa Kyriazis (C’21)

Thesis: “Should Faith-Based Organizations Be Involved In Relief Aid?”

My project explored the role of faith-based organizations (FBOs) as responders to the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, asking broader questions about the ways in which FBOs can ensure that aid is universal, impartial, and compliant with the humanitarian imperative all while maintaining their religious characters. 

Read more about Kyriazis’s project.

Lily McGrail
Lily McGrail (C’21)

Thesis: “The State of Persian Jews in Iran”

In my REWA project, I explored how Persian Jews view their relationship with Israel, and how Jewish communities practice their religion in Iran despite efforts by the government to stunt the religion. I also examined how the actions of the Iranian government square with teachings of religious freedom in Islam.

Read more about McGrail’s project.

Caroline Moffatt
Caroline Moffatt (SFS’21)

Thesis: “Bodies and Churches and Political Tools”

I examined the different ways in which the Catholic Church approaches the issue of abortion in South Africa and in the United States, suggesting how issues of religious controversy might be more informed by political—rather than religious—context.

Read more about Moffatt’s project.

Kathryn Murphy
Kathryn Murphy (C’21)

Thesis: “The Role of Religion in Authoritarian Governments in Eastern Europe”

My paper explored how the leaders of three prominent Eastern European countries—Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine—have employed religion as a means of propagating their parties’ platforms and amassing popular support. 

Read more about Murphy’s project.

Alejandra Rocha
Alejandra Rocha (SFS’21)

Thesis: “Theologizing Rape: The Islamic State’s Sexual Slavery of Yazidi Women”

In my REWA project, I aimed to address two questions: How did ISIS select and interpret sacred texts to theologically rationalize sexual violence? How did ISIS use rape, sex, and power over women for recruitment? 

Read more about Rocha’s project.

Sam Shapiro
Sam Shapiro (SFS’21)

Thesis: “The Scourge of Sectarianism in the Modern Middle East”

My project studied the roots of sectarian conflict in the modern Middle East, examining how much of it is theologically or politically derived, and how novel a challenge it is. It also examined measures that could be taken to bridge the gap between sectarian rivals, focusing on issues from regional economic cooperation to religious diplomacy.

Read more about Shapiro’s project.

Hear from REWA Alumni

Hear from REWA Alumni Slider

Colin Steele

I was part of the first class of REWA students, and the program was perfect for me at that time. It allowed me to back-door a lot more philosophy and theology classes into an SFS curriculum, and that has served me extremely well over time. I remember writing then, and still believe now, that ethics is an essential practical bridge between religion and world affairs—after all, anyone working in a multicultural, multiconfessional world is going to have to wrestle with ethics.

Colin Steele (SFS’12)

Kari (Coffman) Sahan

REWA was one of the best experiences of my time at Georgetown. I didn't discover the Berkley Center or REWA program until my junior year, and then I quickly made sure I took enough classes to get the certificate. The classes I took for REWA were among the best I experienced at Georgetown, and they shaped my thinking of world affairs. I especially enjoyed the small class sizes, which made for excellent discussion.

Kari (Coffman) Sahan (SFS’12)

Mikaela Ballon Carneiro

As a major in international economics, concentrating on finance and commerce, the REWA program definitely shaped my undergraduate experience. The program helped me focus my passion on macroeconomics, as it gave me the opportunity to explore the ethical components of those topics in greater depth. More importantly, though, I think the program provided the chance to see challenging situations that are extremely relevant to our world today through the unique vantage points at the intersection of religion and world affairs, making all of its classes truly exceptional.

Mikaela Ballon Carneiro (SFS’20)

Jared Ison

My REWA classes were among the most rewarding and memorable classes from my undergraduate experience. The small class sizes and direct engagement with some of the world's leading scholars on these issues was incredibly rewarding. I also found the curriculum to be flexible in allowing me to tailor the REWA courses to fit my interests.

Jared Ison (SFS’17)

Masked Georgetown students study at a table on campus

REWA Alumni Network

Our growing alumni network connects young professionals with students in our curricular programs, allowing the Berkley Center to continue fostering these relationships and building meaningful mentorship into our model.

Explore the alumni network.

Ariel view of Qatar

Doyle Global Dialogue

The Doyle Global Dialogue (DGD), part of the Doyle Engaging Difference Program, connects Georgetown students who are studying abroad and provides virtual platforms for them to reflect and engage in thoughtful dialogue on their experiences. This past year, DGD participants explored the challenges and possibilities of intercultural exchange during the pandemic, and the global diversity of the cohort allowed for rich reflection across lines of difference.

Learn More about Doyle Global Dialogue

DGD Student Reflections

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Adeen Rizwan Malik
Adeen Rizwan Malik


“The experience of living as a Pakistani in Qatar has taught me that religious differences do not only manifest in the practice of different religions but are also heavily affected by the history and dominant ideology of each place, even in the everyday practices of the same religion.” 

Read Malik’s full reflection.

Renee Vongai Mutare
Renee Vongai Mutare


“I have taken away so much from the process, looked at things through finer lenses than I did before, and I’m continuing to do that. DGD is a wholesome experience, one that I keep recommending everyone to do because of everything that we learn while doing it.”

Read Mutare’s full reflection.

Temur Khujametov
Temur Khujametov


“The contribution of other DGD participants to the fruitful discussions was vital in terms of its impact on the formation of my cultural understanding. As I reflect on the past four months, I had a great opportunity to learn more about intercultural and interracial differences while exploring the experiences of DGD participants and my own.” 

Read Khujametov’s full reflection.

Lina Darwish
Lina Darwish


“When I started the Doyle Global Dialogue program, what I thought of as norms were mainly vague concepts and ideas from both Egypt and Qatar, considering I was raised in both countries…What I used to consider ‘different’—and how that slowly changed into the acceptance of differences—became clearer to me.”

Read Darwish’s full reflection.

Reporter taking notes

Pulitzer Center International Reporting Fellowship

As a continuing element of our longstanding partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Berkley Center provides one Georgetown student with an international journalism travel grant each summer. The grant supports a student to pursue a journalistic project that investigates the religious dimensions of an international issue, bringing to light what is often overlooked, untold, or misunderstood.

Learn More about Pulitzer Center International Reporting Fellowship
Exterior of the Hazratbal Shrine in Kashmir

2021 International Reporting Fellow

Taha Kaleem (SFS’22) is the 2021 Berkley Center-Pulitzer Center international reporting fellow. His project explores Sufi shrines as sites of interfaith peacebuilding in Kashmir, highlighting the ways in which religion impacts how the local population deals with conflict and trauma on a daily basis.

Read more about Kaleem and his project.

Researching at the Berkley Center

The Berkley Center collaborates with Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service to support Education and Social Justice fellows, in a model of mentored research echoed throughout the center. Student assistants and visiting graduate researchers at the Berkley Center play a critical role in supporting the work of scholarship at the center.

Masked students in Kathmandu, Nepal

Education and Social Justice Project

The Education and Social Justice (ESJ) Project provides Georgetown students summer research fellowships to explore the intersection of education and society. A collaborative project with Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service, ESJ fellows are trained to conduct qualitative, institutional review board-approved research. Fellows spend three to four weeks conducting community-centered, interview-based fieldwork. Final case study reports by ESJ fellows analyze educational trends worldwide, showcase the relationship between Jesuit institutions and social justice around the world, and provide critical insight that helps local communities to improve their programs.

Learn More about Education and Social Justice Project

This map highlights the 39 countries in which our Education and Social Justice fellows have conducted their research projects. Learn more about the 2020 fellows and their projects by clicking on the countries highlighted in red. 

Meet Our 2020 ESJ Fellows

Meet Our 2020 ESJ Fellows Slider

Tierra Hatfield
Tierra Hatfield


Kathmandu, Nepal

Hatfield examined the educational impact of COVID-19 on the Partnership in Education (PiE) program at St. Xavier’s College in Kathmandu, Nepal. Her research, conducted in partnership with Rohil Kulkarni (SFS’21), focuses on socioeconomic hardships, especially the lack of access to online connectivity, and how the PiE program sought to address the digital divide.

Rohil Kulkarni
Rohil Kulkarni


Kathmandu, Nepal

Kulkarni examined the educational impact of COVID-19 on the Partnership in Education (PiE) program at St. Xavier’s College in Kathmandu, Nepal. His research, conducted in partnership with Tierra Hatfield (G’22), focuses on socioeconomic hardships, especially the lack of access to online connectivity, and how the PiE program sought to address the digital divide.

Amber Stanford
Amber Stanford


Lima, Peru

Stanford partnered with the University of Antonio Ruiz de Montoya (La Ruiz) in Lima, Peru, to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts students, faculty, staff, and the larger community. Her research aims to better understand how La Ruiz is responding to this global health crisis and what effects those choices are having on the university and its community.

Gabby Villadolid
Gabby Villadolid


San Francisco, California

Villadolid worked with her high school alma mater, St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in San Francisco, California, looking at their Magis Center for Equity and Inclusion. Her project is focused on assisting the Magis Center, along with other Jesuit service-related bodies, in centering racial justice in their programming, as well as spotlighting communities who have benefited from Magis Center programming.

Postdoctoral Researchers

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Veronika Kusumaryati presents a paper via Zoom
Veronika Kusumaryati

On November 17, 2020, Veronika Kusumaryati, who holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University, gave a public talk exploring the rise of anti-racist protests in West Papua and their relation to global #BlackLivesMatter movements, as well as the connection between Blackness in West Papua and political movements in Africa and the Americas.

Watch the event recording.

Healy Hall at Georgetown University

Student Assistants

Berkley Center student assistants are integral to the work of the center, helping us achieve our mission through their contributions to faculty research projects, as well as their support of communications and outreach efforts. Our student assistants are given meaningful, content-rich work that develops knowledge and skills that make them strong candidates as they seek internships and enter the job market.

Learn More about Student Assistants
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