Su-Je Cho, a professor in the Division of Curriculum and Teaching, was selected for her research on bullying and cyberbullying. Eric C. Chen, a professor in the Division of Psychological and Educational Services, was chosen for his work on transgender individuals. Both Cho and Chen collaborated with their counterparts at the Ateneo de Manila University, where they presented their collaborative research projects at the Ateneo-Fordham Research Colloquium held May 30, 2023.
“I am very proud of our two faculty members and their quests to understand and drive solutions for critical issues affecting youth from a global and international perspective,” said José Luis Alvarado, Ph.D., Dean, Fordham Graduate School of Education.
Professor Cho established a research collaboration with Professor Lia Banzon-Librojo, from the Department of Psychology at Ateneo de Manila, to explore the prevalence of bullying and cyberbullying among teens. Their partnership centered on Cho’s quest to understand the dominance of bullying and cyberbullying post COVID, including teachers’ perceptions on this problem in the United States and the Philippines. Cho and her colleague presented in Manila on “Use of Protective and Preventative Strategies to Address Bullying and Cyberbullying Behaviors in the United States and the Philippines.” Professor Cho was assisted by a team from Fordham GSE that included adjunct professor Joanna Abramo, Ed.D., and graduate students Hannah Terrel, Xiaying Li, and Iren Tsevdos. Professor Banzon-Librojo had her own team from Ateneo de Manila University.
Chen, whose research focuses on “Transgender Individuals’ Navigation of Identity Disclosure and Interpersonal Relationships in the U.S. and the Philippines,” collaborated with Mira Alexis P. Ofreneo, Ph.D., director of the University Gender Hub at the Ateneo de Manila University. Together they explored the psychological, social and cultural contexts that shape transgender individuals’ navigation of stigmatized identities and interpersonal relationships in the wake of the pandemic. Professor Chen explained transgender youth do not experience their identities in isolation. Instead, they experience their identities as a fusion of diverse social identities, including elements like race, socioeconomic status, and religion, that intricately shape their lived experiences. “This complex interplay influences how they navigate their social interactions and confront instances of discrimination. Understanding challenges in different social contexts is imperative to offer targeted, efficacious support and interventions,” said Chen. They are continuing research about the stigma and resilience of transgender individuals in the United States and Philippines.
Outtakes from their visit and collaborations yielded several observations from Cho and Chen. They observed that students and faculty in the Philippines had a strong academic focus on how their research aims to address educational and social issues with policy and practice implications. They were eager to engage in inquiry and discussion, although they sometimes approached the research differently. The limited resources that faculty at Ateneo contend with was apparent, and for this reason their research productivity was admirable.
Both professors were grateful to Fordham University for supporting their research efforts and look forward to deepening their international connections by furthering their research abroad.