Athens, Ga. – Abby Hardgrove, a master’s student in the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences, has been accepted into the doctoral program of the Refugees Study Centre at the University of Oxford, England’s oldest institution of higher education.
“When I began searching for a place to pursue my doctorate, Oxford was the only university I could find that offered study in the field of forced migration,” said Hardgrove, who will earn her master’s degree in child and family development in May.
Hardgrove’s master’s thesis focuses on the lives of Liberian families displaced by civil unrest to refugee camps in Ghana.
“My thesis is a qualitative study of women and children living in refugee camps,” Hardgrove said. “I’ve looked at how they’ve reconstructed their family life after leaving Liberia and what they see for their future.”
Some of those she interviewed have lived in refugee camps since the early 1990s and their children know no other home, Hardgrove said. Others arrived in the camps as recently as 2002.
The Refugees Study Centre is a part of the Department of International Development at Oxford.
Hardgrove joins two other UGA students who will be studying at Oxford in 2008. UGA senior Deep Shah of Duluth and 2005 graduate Kate Vyborny of Washington, D.C., were announced in November as recipients of 2008 Rhodes Scholarships.
Hardgrove is a daughter of Denson and Jackie Hardgrove of Columbia, SC.