Friday, November 1, 2013

URSP Student Elena Sendolo Researches Successful Women in Southern Europe and Eurasia

My research project is titled Modern Woman: Conversations about Culture, Progress, Society, and Success with Women who Live in Post-Communist Romania. In addition to writing an academic paper using multiple references, I interview intellectuals, influential and public figures, covering topics from rising above a legacy of totalitarianism and achieving success to their personal development and future endeavors.

I care deeply about this question because in a patriarchal universe, financial and emotional stability can fundamentally change a woman's identity, and thus her success in society and her personal life. As one of millions of Eastern European women growing up without role models, it was crucial to self-teach that there are many happy, secure, and successful women who come from the same region as me. Simultaneously, I believe it is very important to show other men and women, Eastern European or not, that in a part of the world where there is virtually no feminine empowerment proposition, there is still much to be talked about in terms of triumph, resilience, and well-being. The purpose of telling the story of multiple successful women is meaningful to me, but it can also be a powerful tool to spread regard for leadership in a part of the world where there is still much room for improvement in human rights, education, and equality.

I want to discover the conclusion to my own research because by interpreting and deciphering historical facts of a country that cannot come to terms with its own past, a way can be made for unequivocal and beneficial change for future generations. This research opportunity is also a personal campaign, a reflection of where I have come from and where I am heading. My work will contribute to the discipline of European and Eurasian studies, by depicting modern and accurate portrayals of women from Romania. In the future, I wish to conduct research in more than one Eastern European country. Upon completion of the program, I will work to develop my research undertaking into a long-term international campaign that aims to inspire, educate, provoke thought, and defy human labels, as well as promote and celebrate sensational, savvy women.

There are about twelve books that I need to get through before December. On a weekly basis, I read, plan, and organize. I wish I were able to read twice as much, but it’s difficult given that I’m interning at a communications agency, and completing 13 credits. In November I am interviewing four high-profile subjects for this project: one is a director at the United Nations headquarters, another is an international executive. The other two women work as entrepreneurs together. The pressure is on but I look forward to get to know my interviewees!