ESSJ Undergraduate Research Conference

Pre-Conference with Faculty Presentations: Friday, April 7th, 2017, 3-5.30pm, Sever Hall, Harvard Yard

Saturday, April 8th, 9-5pm, Boylston Hall, Harvard Yard

Register here!


Danielle Allen

We are pleased to announce that political theorist and MacArthur Fellow, Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor and Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University will be our keynote speaker.  Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of five books: The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), Our Declaration (2014), and Education and Equality (2016). She is also co-editor with Robert Reich of Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013) and with Jennifer Light of From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in a Digital Age (2015). A 2001 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Society of American Historians. She is also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post.

Professor Allen’s current work focuses on the connection between education and democratic equality, as well as the significance of political equality for theoretical accounts of justice. She is the principal investigator for two major research projects: the Humanities and Liberal Arts Assessment Project (HULA), which focuses on the study of humanistic work and liberal arts pedagogy from the point of view of their status as craft practices; and the Declaration Resources Project, which focuses on ongoing research about the Declaration of Independence and the production of digital resources in support of pedagogy about the American founding era. Finally, she is a member of the MacArthur Foundation research network on youth and participatory politics, which focuses on the impact of new media on the political lives of young people.

How to submit a proposal: 

Harvard College will host the Engaged Scholarship and Social Justice Undergraduate Research Conference (ESSJ) on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Harvard Yard. The conference offers undergraduate students an opportunity to disseminate the findings from their research on critical social issues within their respective fields. We welcome proposals from students whose work have been supervised by faculty and focuses on diversity, equity, and social justice.   If you wish to submit a proposal, please go to ESSJ 2017 Call for Proposals for details on proposal requirements. Proposals must be submitted by February 22nd, 11.59pm.  To register for the conference,ESSJ Conference Registration Form

Sponsored by the Phillips Brooks House: Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship; Office for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion; Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships; FAS Staff, Student and Faculty Standing Committee on Public Service

If you have any questions, take a look at the FAQs or send an email to Varsha Ghosh,

We look forward to recognizing a new group of prize winners in 2017.  Below are the undergraduate winners from 2016. 

2016 Conference Prize Winners

 For Undergraduate Research

  • 1st Place ($1000): Rachel Black, Brown University, Title of Paper: Protecting vs. Policing: Tensions in the Implementation of Court Debt Collection Practices for Indigent Defendants in Rhode Island – An Honors Thesis in Public Policy

  •  2nd place ($500):  Hanna Amanuel, Harvard College, Title of Paper: Female Genital Cutting and Women’s Rights Agendas In Eritrea

  •  3rd place ($250): Leah Singer, Harvard College,Title of Paper: Valuing a Life: Injury Law and the Calculation of Future Lost Income Capacity

For Poster Presentations:

  •  1st place $(250): Simone Wien, Dartmouth College, Title of Paper:  for Desegregation, Schooling, and Property Values in New Rochelle, NY

  •  2nd place ($150): Melinda Runxi Song, Harvard College, Title of Paper:  “Start with the Youth”: Evaluation of a Community-Based HIV Prevention Pilot Program for Boston Youth

  •  3rd place ($50) (we have a tie): Mekarem Eljamal, University of Michigan-Ann Harbor Title of Paper:  Coptic Participation in the Egyptian Revolution and Prospects for Decreased Marginalization

  •  3rd place ($50) Sara Beth Harrell, Tulane University, Title of Paper: Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Orleans’ Community Organizers in Addressing the Needs of Low-­‐Income, Food Insecure Neighborhoods Post Katrina