Thursday November 19, 2009

Excellence in Undergraduate Research Abroad

A 2009 University of Dayton graduate has been nationally recognized for her research on Latin American affairs.

The Forum on Education Abroad has named Beth Ann Saracco the winner of its Undergraduate Research Award for research completed as part of her honors thesis, "¡Justicia Ahora! The Movement for Justice in Chile and Guatemala." Saracco conducted the research while studying in Valparaiso, Chile, through the School of International Training's program in Culture, Development and Social Justice in the 2008 fall semester.

"I feel so fortunate to have pursued so many challenging and rewarding opportunities such as my international immersions and thesis research," Saracco said. "I hope this will serve as further support for international study and immersion and the great value that can be attained from these transformative experiences."

The award recognizes "the most rigorous and significant undergraduate research that occurs as part of education abroad programs," according to the Forum on Education Abroad. Award recipients are selected by a committee of interdisciplinary faculty from diverse institutions throughout the nation.

Saracco currently works as a legislative correspondent with U.S. Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn. Tanner's involvement on the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere allows Saracco to continue her involvement in Latin American affairs.

"My interest in Latin America has not wavered but rather intensified in a city in which there exists ample opportunities to consider and analyze the issues related to this region," said Saracco, who also participated in the University of Dayton Center for Social Concern's summer Cultural Immersion in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Saracco will present a summary of her research at a lunch plenary session at the Forum Conference March 26 in Charlotte, N.C. More than 500 international education professionals plan to attend the session, which serves as a highlight of the Forum Conference. Saracco will be joined by other Undergraduate Research Award winners, Sun Jin Lee from Yale University and Kenneth Richard Wong, University of California, San Diego.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or