Alumni update: Sammi Bennett reflects on Fulbright experience
After graduating in 2019, Environmental Studies and Psychology double major Sammi Bennett worked in South India for 8 months on a Fulbright fellowship. In India, Sammi worked in collaboration with an organization known as Pollinate Group to conduct ethnographic research. Her research focused on women engaging in entrepreneurial activities, selling solar-powered household products such as solar lanterns and fans.
Sammi’s reflections on her work in India were recently highlighted by the Fulbright Association. On the topic of conducting community-based action research, Sammi wrote:
“To ensure my research was meaningful, I collaborated closely with my host organization, to focus on community needs rather than just my own intellectual interests. I was able to provide an action plan based off my research insights that my host organization could implement to enhance the agency of the entrepreneurs they recruit. Such iterative research is a bottom-up process, informed by the participants and their needs, rather than a exploitative top down process. During my Fulbright research, I was confronted with questions such as: Who am I doing research for? And what do I hope the impact of my research to be? These are questions that all researchers must continue to be mindful of, especially those working abroad and with vulnerable populations.”
You can read more of Sammi’s reflections on her time in India at SCU’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.