PhD Student Rayane Alamuddin Awarded Soros Grant

PhD Student Rayane Alamuddin Awarded Soros Grant

Rayanne Alamuddin

Rayane Alamuddin, a rising third-year PhD student, was awarded the Open Society Foundations' Global Supplementary Grant for 2011-12. The grant, commonly referred to as the Soros after its founder and chairman George Soros, will support her doctoral studies and research in the Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP) program. 

The Open Society Scholarship Programs offers supplementary grants to students from select countries of Southeastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Mongolia, the Middle/Near East, and South Asia. The purpose of the program is to enable qualified students to pursue doctoral studies in the humanities and social sciences at universities in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle/Near East, and North America.

Before joining HDSP, Alamuddin completed a BA and MA in psychology from the American University of Beirut, and she went on to teach undergraduate psychology courses and work for the International Medical Corps in her home country, Lebanon.

She is currently involved in two separate projects with her advisers, professors Dan McAdams and Lindsay Chase-Lansdale. “Dr. McAdams and I are exploring how emerging adults talk about episodes when older adults have tried to pass on virtues or life values to them, and how various aspects of their narratives are related to their well being at large and levels of civic engagement,” Alamuddin explains. In her work with Chase-Lansdale, she has been involved in the development of an evaluative study assessing the impact of a dual-generation education program on low-income families in Oklahoma.  

“I am currently outlining my dissertation research plans, and hope to combine my two interests by conducting narrative research with vulnerable adolescents or young adults. I aim to explore how their aggregate life experiences and specific education-related experiences influence their identities, life opportunities, and family lives. My hope is that this research will help contribute to policies or programs pertaining to the education of vulnerable youth and adults and improving opportunities for young families at large.”

Alamuddin says her research interests have been largely inspired by her experiences and work in psychoeducational programming in the aftermath of the July 2006 war on Lebanon. “The need for better research, programs and evaluations pertaining to families, work and education, and the need for mixed methods research that includes participants’ voices led me to HDSP and my current work,” she says.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 5/6/12