In early March 2020, Margaret Phillips traveled to India for a conference—funded through the Daemen Global Education Task Force—and to set the foundation for a service-learning study abroad program for the college.
Before the pandemic shut down international travel, and disrupted her ambitious schedule, Phillips—an associate professor and director of paralegal studies at Daemen—began a partnership with Delhi-based Human Rights Law Network, which has since agreed to host the college’s paralegal students for an international service-learning course launching in 2023.
Set to fly back to U.S. with worldwide lockdowns fast approaching, Phillips met up with a team of scholars she’d aided in launching a new scholarly journal addressing serious but taboo topics in South Asia.
The experience and work on these two projects contributed to a Phillips earning a distinct honor: a Fulbright Specialist grant that will help continue her work in South Asia until 2025.
The first issue of the new journal— the South Asian Journal of Law, Policy, and Social Research—focused on curbing violence against women is South Asia and found an immediate worldwide audience.
The first issue was published online last fall, and its articles were consistently in the top 10 weekly downloads on SSRN, a site hosting and publishing scholarly research.
Phillips felt an immediate draw to the project and continues to serve on its editorial board.
“The issue looks at the role of women as people who should be equal participants in society and asking why this hasn’t been yet achieved,” said Phillips. “We hope these articles can contribute to productive policy discussions that address issues of gender-based violence.”
Launched by two young Indian law students, Umair Ahmed Andrabi and Naseer Husain Jafri, the journal was started through the help of another Fulbright Specialist Grant awardee, Katherine Cerrulli, of the University of Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony Center, who invited Phillips onto the project.
It was only last month, a year after her India trip, that Phillips received a physical copy of the inaugural issue, “Addressing Gender-Based Violence in South Asia,” due to pandemic-related delays.
“To know that this work, which addresses important issues, is seeing the light of day and having an impact,” said Phillips, “only helps motivate our team for our work to come.”
The journal’s second issue is expected to be published later this year.