Former Student Affiliates

Engaging students in the process of field research lies at the heart of the Pluralism Project. Throughout the Project’s history students have contributed as affiliates, summer interns, and staff members. These contributions run the gamut, from initial fieldwork on religious diversity in Boston, to the development of On Common Ground; from their work on convenings and special events to the creation and ongoing content development of Below is a historical list of student affiliates and their research topics and/or presentations. For a time, the Pluralism Project, thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation, was able to offer stipends for student affiliates to pursue summer research.

Today, some of these former students, like Jeff Wilson, have gone on to pursue careers in the academic study of religion; others, like Greg McGonigle are religious leaders; still others have taken different paths entirely.

Former Student Affliates

Michael Allen
“Oriental” OrthodoxIn general, orthodox means having a “correct opinion or outlook” and is a term used by people in many religions who claim authority for traditional views and forms of their religion. ChristianityChristianity is the religious tradition of Christians: those who confesses faith in Jesus Christ, follow the path Christ taught, and gather together in the community of the church.: The CopticThe Coptic Church is the ancient and still vibrant church of Egypt, an autonomous Christian church which dates its origins to Mark the Evangelist in the first century. It continues to be led today by a patriarch called a Pope; its liturgical life is condu..., Ethiopian, Armenian, Syrian, and Indian ChurchesThe term church has come to wide use to refer to the organized and gathered religious community. In the Christian tradition, church refers to the organic, interdependent “body” of Christ’s followers, the community of Christians. Secondarily, church ... in America
Harvard Divinity School

Celia Arch
Hindu and Jain TemplesEach Jain temple is regarded as a replica of the assembly hall miraculously created by the gods for Mahavira upon his enlightenment. Hence, in entering a temple, a Jain has the sense of approaching the spot where a living Tirthankara sits in omniscient co... in Atlanta, GA
Georgia State University

Eric Barbee
Mapping the Religious Diversity of Arkansas
Harvard Divinity School

Abbas Barzegar
The Dynamics of the Colorado Muslim Community: Pluralism as Seen Through the Study of Five Organizations
University of Colorado, Boulder

Marcia Beauchamp
Uses of the Building Bridges of Understanding Curriculum
California Institute of Integral Studies

George Bogden and Erin Biel
The Role of Religion in the Integration of Iraqi Refugees in New Haven, CT
Yale University

Michel Boudreaux
Ethnic Tibetan Buddhists and Indian Shi’ite Muslims in the Twin Cities, Minnesota
Augsburg College

Lori Calmbacher
Mapping Typologies of Interfaith Structures in the United States
Barnard College

Sarita Cargas
Attitudes Towards Interfaith Survey
Oxford University

Maribel Valencia Castillo
HmongAn indigenous people of Southeast Asia. Shamans: A Journey to the Spirit World

Marguerite Kate Cauble
The South Indian Christian Community and Mapping in Houston, Texas
Harvard College

Ruth Craig
Elat Chayyim and the Jewish RenewalJewish Renewal refers to a wide variety of contemporary Jewish movements that emphasize Jewish mystical spirituality, Jewish visionary reform, Jewish social conscience, and Jewish participation in tikkun olam, the “repair of the world.” Movement
Harvard College

Erin Ehmen
The Buddhist Community and Mapping in Madison, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Jessica Falcone
Hindutva and VedantaVedanta means the “end of the Veda” and refers to the Upanishads, those teachings which investigate the nature of the soul and ultimate reality and which are the last part of the Vedic corpus. The term also designates the philosphical system of classi... Go to Camp: VHP and Chinmaya Summer Camps in the Washington D.C. Area
Cornell University

Beverley Foulks
Mapping Religious Communities and Interfaith Collaboration in San Diego
Harvard Divinity School

Anisha Gade
Telugu Associations in Wisconsin
American University

Daniel Glade
Mapping the Multi-religious Diversity of the Quad Cities: A case study in Asian religions outside major metropolitanA Metropolitan is the title given to a bishop, used especially in the Orthodox family of churches today. areas
Illinois Wesleyan University

Sarah Therese Hader
Mapping the Multi-religious Demography of Milwaukee for the Milwaukee Pluralism Project
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Shiraz Hajiani
IslamIslam in Arabic literally means “submitting” or “submission.” One who submits or surrenders his or her will to God is called a Muslim. While the whole of God’s creation is described as being inherently Muslim, human beings must choose whether to... in America Conference
Harvard Divinity School

Melinda Haley
The Role of the Great StupaA stupa is a dome-shaped structure that serves as a reliquary and memorial to the Buddha and other Buddhist worthies. Originally these structures were hemispherical mounds of stone or brick, surrounded by a low fence. In East Asia, the superstructure abov... of Dharmakaya at the Rocky Mountain ShambhalaFormed in 1973 by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shambhala Vajradhatu is a worldwide organization with its headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, two other main centers in Boulder, Colorado and Marburg, Germany, and more than 100 meditation centers around the w... Center in the U.S. Buddhist Community
Drew University

Chelsea Hanson
Mapping Religious Diversity in Idaho
Connecticut College

Omar Haque
Muslim Communities in Rhode Island
Harvard Divinity School

Kate Holbrook
Mapping Religious Diversity in Utah
Harvard Divinity School

Iza Hussin
The Politics of Women’s Worship: Space, Activism and Interfaith Horizons in American Islam
Georgetown University

Scott Hyslop
Mapping Religious Diversity in Montana
Montana State University

Brannon Ingram
Mississippi -Mapping the Muslim Communities
Reed College

Tonushree Jaggi
Apna Ghar: Domestic Violence and Reaching Out to Chicago’s Faith Communities
Harvard College

Zahra Jamal
Embodying Ethics, Performing Pluralism: Volunteerism among Ismailis in Houston, TX
Harvard University

Jason Ananda Josephson
Soka GakkaiSoka Gakkai was founded in Japan in 1930 by an educator named Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. Soon after its founding, it became associated with Nichiren Shoshu, a sect of Nichiren Buddhism. In the early 1990s, all formal ties between Soka Gakkai International and... in America: an Update
Stanford University

Gurpreet KaurAll Sikh women who have joined the Khalsa assume the name Kaur, “Princess.”
American Sikhs’ Political Roles After Sept. 11
Cedar Crest College

Shenila S. Khoja-Moolji
An Emerging Model of Muslim Leadership: Chaplaincy on University Campuses
Pluralism Project at Harvard University

JosephIn the Christian tradition, Joseph is the earthly father of Jesus and husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Laycock
Mapping Religious Diversity in Austin, Texas
Harvard Divinity School

Michael Linderman
Hindu TemplesA Hindu temple will be called a mandir in northern parts of India or a koyil in the south. There are many styles of temples and temple-complexes, but most temples are laid out according to precise dimensions and proportions and erected to be the symbolic ... of New Jersey
University of Pennsylvania

Yang Liu
Mapping BuddhismBuddhism is a multi-hued tradition of life, thought, and practice that has developed from the teaching and practice of Siddhartha Gautama (6th century BCE) who came to be called the Buddha, the awakened one. The three major streams of the tradition—Ther... in Austin- A Sociological Analysis of the Asian Immigrant Religion
University of Texas at Austin

Syamsul Ma’arif, Ahmad Muttaqin
Islam in South Florida
Gadja Mada University, Indonesia; Florida International University

Gregory McGonigle
Mapping Religious Diversity in Rhode Island
Harvard Divinity School

Katherine Rose Merriman
Beyond Park 51: MosquesMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit... and Muslim Communities in New York City Post 9/11
Speaker, Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS) 2011 Annual Conference

Jeslyn Miller
“How Shall We Sing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land:” Cuban Santeria in the New York City DiasporaA Greek word first used in the Hellenistic period, Diaspora refers to the “dispersion” of Jewish communities living in countries other than Israel. Today, the term Diaspora is also used to describe other religious communities, living apart from their ... Community
Harvard College

Shabana Mir
American Muslim Women University Students: The Significance of Clothing
Indiana University

Michelle Moritis
Hindu Identity and Hindu Summer Camps
Teachers College, Columbia University

Vanessa Munari
Double invisibilization and religious pluralism in the north east of Italy: A visual approach
Department of Sociology, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy

Martin Nguyen
Institutionalization and Practice Among SufiSufism is often called “the heart of Islam,” as its emphasis on the inner life enlivens and supplements the outward practices of ritual and legal obligation. It is not a sect of Islam, but rather a stream of interpretation stressing the interior path,... Orders in Boston
Harvard Divinity School

Sarina Pasricha
The Inauguration ot the Hindu TempleA temple is a house of worship, a sacred space housing the deity or central symbol of the tradition. The Temple in Jerusalem was the holy place of the Jewish people until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE; now the term “temple” is used by th. Ref... of Delaware
Harvard College

Anastasia Piliavsky
Networking Within and Beyond the Temple Walls
Boston University

Ishanaa Nidhi Rambachan
Indo-Carribbean Hindu TemplesA temple is a house of worship, a sacred space housing the deity or central symbol of the tradition. The Temple in Jerusalem was the holy place of the Jewish people until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE; now the term “temple” is used by th. Ref... in Minnesota
Eastview High School

Angela Rudert
Gender and SwaminarayanThe Swaminarayan Hindu movement began in early nineteenth century Gujarat with a religious and social reformer named Sahajanand Swami. It is a devotional bhakti movement, focusing on Vishnu in the form of Krishna and Radha and also on Sahajanand Swami him... Hinduism“Hindu” was originally a word given by the Greeks, then the Persians, to the land and peoples beyond the Indus or “Sindhu” River. The term “Hinduism” came into common use only in the 19th century to describe a complex and dynamic pattern of li... in Atlanta, GA
Cornell University

Stephanie Saldaña
Religious Diversity in San Antonio, TX
Harvard Divinity School

Katy Shrout
Mapping Religious Diversity in Augusta. GA
Emory University

Christina Safiya Tobias-Nahi
The New Post 9/11 Reality: Isolation Versus Insulation
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Beth Varro
Mapping the Interfaith Landscape in Minnesota
Harvard Divinity School

Michele Verma
Indo-Caribbean Hindus in Queens, New York
Columbia University

Tracy Wells
Mapping Religious Diversity in South Carolina
Furman University

Brenda Whitlock
The Arizona Buddhist TempleBuddhist temples differ considerably from one another depending upon culture and particular school, but most are associated with the residence of the sangha of monks. Theravada temples focus on one or more images of Sakyamuni Buddha. In Mahayana and Vajra... 1936 – Present: A Historical Narrative
Arizona State University

Lauren-Ann Iysha Williams
Interfaith Collaboration in Hudson County New Jersey During and After the
Montclair State University

Jeff Wilson
Changing Minds: Cooperation and Contestation at a Pan-Sectarian Buddhist Holiday
University of North Carolina at ChapelA chapel is a place of worship, smaller than the sanctuary of a church or synagogue, or in an institutional setting such as a college or hospital. Hill

Nasreen Yazdani
Mapping Baha’i Communities in San Diego County, California
Smith College

Benjamin Zeller
Mapping the Hindu Community in North-Central North Carolina;Transitions at New Goloka, North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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