Discover Lasell

Professor Wins Grant to Continue Research with Syrian Refugees

June 06, 2016

After traveling to refugee camps in Jordan to research how Syrian refugees use technology to maintain communication with family members, Lasell Professor Dana Janbek, now plans to expand her research to refugees in Europe - thanks to a grant from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation.

Janbek, an assistant professor of public relations, and her co-researcher, Professor Madeline Campbell of Worcester State University, were among 35 recipients to receive funding from the Boston-based foundation, which was created to enable "present and prospective" teachers and professors from New England colleges and universities the opportunity to study abroad to enhance the quality of their instruction.

According to Janbek, a recognized authority on the use of communication technology by Syrian refugees, the $3,420 grant will support a December 2016 research trip to study the use of information and communication technologies by Syrian refugees in Germany as they navigate resettlement in that country.

Professor Janbek, co-author of Global Terrorism and New Media: The Post-Al Qaeda Generation, adds her belief that the Whiting Foundation-funded opportunity will enable her to enhance her current research, conducted at Jordanian refugee camps, and improve instruction for students on the topic.

"Students are becoming increasingly interested in refugee-related issues given recent world events," said Janbek and Campbell. "This research will enable us, as professors, to connect these issues of growing public concern to the students' programs in communication and in urban studies. It will also expand the scope of our publications and conference presentations."