The Global Development Research Team (GDRT)

The Global Development Research Team (GDRT) at Agnes Scott College explores individual, institutional, progrmatic, and experiential aspects of global learning and students' intercultural competence development. They are currently undertaking the Global Pathways Study (GPS) - a  longitudinal research project exploring students' development within the higher education context.


GDRT exists within the unique environment of Agnes Scott's Summit Initiative. Summit aims to reinvent a liberal arts education for the 21st century and beyond. Regardless of major, all students engage in core curriculum with a dual focus on global learning and leadership development.


Every first year student engages in foundational courses focused on leadership and globalization and take part in a week-long global study tour. In subsequent years, students undertake immersive curricula and co-curricular experiences that culminate in a global or leadership specialization.

Who Are We?

Elaine Meyer-Lee. I was delighted to bring my experience in, knowledge of, and passion for women’s global and leadership education to the innovative SUMMIT initiative at Agnes Scott in July 2015. Initially motivated by the transformative impact of my studies abroad in France and Haiti, I earned a doctorate in human development and psychology from Harvard University, where I began my studies of college student development around issues of difference (international and domestic) and the effects of intercultural education. Now I publish and present nationally and internationally on these topics, as well as on international and women’s education leadership. Before coming to Agnes Scott I helped found, and for the past 12 years directed, the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. I try to find time to backpack in the Rockies with my 3 teenage sons at least every other year, and am loving sampling the dining delights of decatur, as an avocational food critic.


Janelle S. Peifer. My interest in global topics emerged in my third year of university. I took my first trip outside of my home country to study abroad in Barcelona and was utterly transformed as an individual and emerging scholar. Since then, I have explored the process of cultural competence development with an eye to the individual traits and exposure opportunties that shape this trajectory. I look for diverse ways that institutions can help shape students as cultural beings existing in a globalized society. In addition to my research, I am a clinical psychologist by training and assistant professor of psychology. When I am not researching or teaching, I can be found playing Magic the Gathering or in the dance studio choreographing or preparing for a performance.




Tenzin Yangchen. I am a junior at Agnes Scott College, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Religious Studies. My awakening to the wonder of global issues commenced with my entry to UWC-AC, an international residential school based in the UK. Building connections with people from a myriad of different countries has opened my eyes and mind to the spectacular variety of cultural groups, and has provided me with the tools to consider global affairs and conflicts from various perspectives. My interest in global matters has never abated and in fact has continued to grow ever since. Outside of class, I enjoy hiking, travelling, and meditating.