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Margot Treadwell ‘24 in Jordan

ILRie Spends Semester In Jordan

Margot Treadwell ‘24 spent the fall semester traveling all over Jordan, attending two Jordanian weddings, and interacting with new friends solely in Arabic. She studied abroad in Amman, where she studied Arabic and collected data for her senior honors thesis. 

Treadwell chose Jordan due to her interest in the Arabic language and her senior honors thesis. She began studying Arabic during her sophomore year because she realized she had an interest in global labor and particularly labor patterns in the Middle East. She found the program’s Arabic intensive nature to be compelling. 

During her semester abroad, Treadwell interviewed Jordanian women on why they were going to school and what their goals were after graduation for her honors thesis. Her thesis is under the supervision of Assistant Professor Dina Bishara in the Global Work and Labor Department and explores women’s labor force participation. 

Through her research, Treadwell gained perspective on women’s labor globally. Unemployment is very high in the Middle East, especially for college-educated women. Despite that, over half of college students are women. Through her interviews, Treadwell learned more about how cultural forces in the labor force shape Jordanian women. Most importantly, the interviews were inspiring. “Hearing their stories about what their goals were and why they wanted to work and why work and education mattered to them was all very inspiring,” Treadwell said. 

On campus, Treadwell is on the Cornell Speech and Debate team, the Advocacy Project, and the Cornell Quidditch team. She previously interned with Judge Richard Berman ‘64 and was a high road fellow with FeedMore WNY.  

Treadwell is grateful to ILR for preparing her for her semester abroad. Her ILR education gave her expansive knowledge of global labor and the unique ability to understand almost any conflict through the perspective of workers and how work shapes the economy. 

“Even though I was walking into a totally foreign environment and one that’s very specific to the region, I had a unique skill set compared to the other students there.” Treadwell says.