Mary Pancoast

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Mary Pancoast, 2014–2015 CAORC Pre-Doctoral Fellow

ACOR-CAORC_Fellow_Mary_PancoastMary Pancoast was a lawyer for civil and human rights programs in the U.S. and she worked with recent immigrants and immigrants with refugee status before returning to higher education to receive a Ph.D. in Anthropology.

She became interested in  the American legal policies concerning resettlement of refugees from Jordan to the U.S. While refugees who meet certain criteria could be admitted, very few individuals are actually being resettled.  Yet on the ground overseas, the demand for refugees to be resettled is very real.  If this is the case, what makes a “real” refugee and why are some more eligible for resettlement than others?  By spending time in Jordan and speaking to the individuals directly impacted by the legal policies on refugee resettlement, she will be able to see a new side of these legal policies that was previously unavailable to her.

Mary has a six month fellowship at ACOR and she plans to stay in Jordan beyond that time. She remarks that in the short time that she has been at ACOR, she has already noticed a genuine interest in her research from its community of academics, and a benefit from having it approached and viewed from different academic angles.

Mary Pancoast is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Virginia, she has a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a B.A. from Bucknell University.

-Text by Grant Loftesnes, American University student and CIEE intern (Fall 2014)