Friday, May 27, 2016

URSP Student Highlights: Arba Cecia

My name is Arba Cecia and I am a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience. I started my research journey after I finished high school in Albania. I am currently investigating the social perception of abortion in Kosovo and Greece, and examining the factors that affect its perception; acceptance or rejection.

I am very interested in learning more about the social perception towards different things. My interest towards sociology began when I pursued a male dominated martial art, Taekwondo, in Albania. I was often prejudiced by the society for being the first woman in Albania to get the black belt in Taekwondo. This is when I became interested in learning more about why the society thinks in a particular way and what are the factors that cause that perception.

When I finished high school, I collaborated with Dr. Ridvan Alimehmeti, Dr. Altin Stafa, Dr. Aleksander Kocani, Dr. Dritan Todhe, Dr. Armand Gurakuqi, and Dr. Ramadan Jashari, outstanding physicians in Albania, Italy, and Belgium, to examine the social acceptance of abortion in Albania in 1998 and 2004. We gathered and analyzed data from two major questionnaires conducted in 1998 and 2004. After the paper was published, I became extremely interested in expanding this result outside the borders of Albania, in Kosovo and Greece. My aim is to compare the social acceptance of abortion in Albania with the one in Kosovo and Greece to understand the similarities and differences of the social perception towards abortion between these countries in the Balkan’s peninsula.

On a weekly basis, I skype with the physicians I have collaborated with and meet with my George Mason University mentor, Dr. Reid Schwebach, to discuss and analyze the data. Besides, analyzing the data, I am conducting research about the history and culture of Kosovo and Greece to better understand the results obtained.


Besides the sociology research, I am conducting research to find a correlation between deep brain stimulation and Alzheimer’s disease.