Danika Cho presents abortion research at Harvard

Danika Cho, a Cornell senior majoring in Sociology, recently presented her research at the 2023 Scholarship & Social Justice Undergraduate Research Conference at Harvard University.  Danika answered a request for submission to the conference for the honors thesis research she’s working on with Joseph Sullivan, to which her submission was accepted.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade in June of 2022, there was a widespread eruption of attention and interest regarding what would happen next.  

“Danika made the bold decision to join the group of scholars that study the sociology of abortion as the topic for her senior honors thesis,” stated Sullivan. 

Danika Cho has spent the year researching the dissolution of abortion clinics in many states, the rise of a system of surveillance, and the emergence of new, more grassroots, networks of supportive care; social networks that resemble the historical accounts of women helping women across the ages. 

Her presentation at the Scholarship & Social Justice  Conference, sponsored by The Center for Public Service & Engaged Scholarship at Harvard University, was a perfect way for Danika to share her research findings, collect some insightful feedback from conference participants, and join alongside other young scholars practicing research and learning as a community.

The opportunity to share her work was extremely meaningful to Danika, who feels that doing so is an integral part of her research. “Throughout the process of researching abortion access and working very closely with community leaders, I felt like a large aspect of my thesis was community engagement, and elevating voices that have been shut down or silenced since the reversal of Roe v. Wade.”

Three Cornell undergraduate students were on the program for the annual conference. The list of panels and presentation titles on the program displayed a wide range of interests and disciplinary background specialization.  As Sullivan puts it, “it is very promising to know that undergraduate students are engaged in fascinating research and are able to participate in conferences like this.” Comments like this reinforce the idea that there is real power and meaningfulness within undergraduate social research.

Since the conference, Danika feels a newfound motivation for the future. “I feel inspired by my fellow panelists and the faculty in attendance, especially in regard to the future of academia and the ethics of research.” She hopes to work in collaboration with communities for community-engaged research that makes scholarship and academia accessible to populations often shut out of these types of conversations. 

Read the Harvard Gazette article: Empowering Indigenous, underrepresented voices through scholarship 

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Danika Cho presenting her work