Elsa Barron works under Rev. Robert Dowd, CSC in research pertaining to migration and religious identity in Europe. Specifically, she is focusing on the challenges of integration for migrants, both from their own perspective and the perspective of native Europeans, and how these challenges are informed by religion. Barron is currently analyzing the results of surveys of two Italian cities to identify factors that most affect the integration process.

Barron spent the summer of 2018 conducting research at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore as an S.N. Bose scholar. Her project focused on bioengineering and the cytoskeleton. She also attended the Madrasa Discourses Program in Nepal with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, considering how Islamic theology contends with the shifting social concerns of the modern world. In the winter of 2019, Barron conducted research in Athens on the creation of the first official mosque and its implications for migrant integration and peacebuilding. In the summer of 2019, Barron completed the International Summer Service Learning Program in Jerusalem. There, she worked in a refugee camp as well as a liberation theology center. She also received the College of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to develop a low-cost yeast biosensor for detecting substandard pharmaceuticals in developing countries.

On Leave / Studying Abroad?
Studying Abroad
Biological Sciences
Peace Studies
Glynn Family Honors Program
Current Research

Research Interests
My research interests include the migrant crisis in Europe, particularly the experience of Muslim migrants. I am interested in understanding how religion informs these migrants’ experience and treatment in secular and Christian societies. Additionally, I am interested in the threat that climate change and bioterrorism pose to global societies.

Current Research
Currently, I am researching migration in Europe with Fr. Dowd. I am mapping the faith-based organizations that are working with migrants globally, and studying literature from multiple disciplines that addresses the intersection of religion and migration. This January, I will be studying public opinions of new mosques in Athens, Greece with funding from the Nanovic Institute.


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