An estimated 27 million men, women, and children are either physically confined or controlled through violence and forced to work.
Presidential University Research Fellow, Social Work
Slavery throughout the world is on the rise. An estimated 27 million men, women, and children are either physically confined or controlled through violence and forced to work.
Pippin Whitaker has devoted her educational knowledge and skills toward alleviating this tragic human suffering. It's one of the reasons she chose to study at Florida State. "I knew that the faculty here had the knowledge and expertise to guide my dissertation studies, as well as the flexibility to support me as I propose new ways of thinking about and solving a complex social problem."
During her master's studies at FSU, Pippin worked as a research assistant for the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights for its Human Trafficking Project. Through this project she contributed several chapters to the University report, "Florida Responds to Human Trafficking." After obtaining her degree, she conducted research on child slavery in Northern India. With the organization Free the Slaves, which works to abolish slavery worldwide, she co-authored the report, "Recovering Childhoods: Combating Child Trafficking in Northern India."
She has also devoted a great deal of time in local community service—mentoring middle school students, organizing hospitality for a farm worker rights organization, assisting with a meal project for the homeless, helping with events for Refuge House and Big Bend Cares, and serving as an officer in the Association of Students in Social Work. Last summer, she worked as "an outside organizer/logistics facilitator for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in South Florida on their historic and precedent-setting farm worker rights and anti-slavery campaign."
Most recently, she was honored with the Presidential University Research Fellowship for 2005 to 2009, which will enable her to continue her research into human rights as she studies for her Ph.D.
Upon receipt of her doctorate in Social Work, Pippin plans "to engage in rigorous scholarly research into the prevention of modern slavery, to redress social inequalities, and to expand the knowledge base for social empowerment approaches to solving societal problems." She also plans to teach, "contributing to the education of the next generation of social workers so that they will be equipped to ameliorate complex problems in our society."