All in the family: Nicole Daniels (T’14) and her mother make refugee issues a family concern

Returning home to Buffalo this summer after a semester of nothing but courses on the law, political economy, and ethics of displacement—and a four-week research trip to Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal —Nicole Daniels, a rising junior Cultural Anthropology major, chose to continue her work with Bhutanese refugees. This time, her mother was with her.

Patricia Murphy, a former public school elementary school teacher, had taught Somali refugees beginning several years before she retired. But it wasn’t until daughter Nicole came back from Nepal in March that she began teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to Bhutanese refugees through Journeys End, a resettlement agency serving Western New York.

Nicole, whose past experience with refugees includes designing and running a summer camp for refugee and migrant children last summer through the Kenan Institute for Ethics, joined Patricia to teach several ESL classes last month. She also showed pictures from her Nepal trip—and several refugees in the audience recognized some of their former neighbors in the camps.

“Who’s inspired who?” Nicole asked. “My mom shared a lot of stories about her refugee students with me. Then I took a lot of classes and conducted research and service projects and shared that with her.

“I think it’s fair to say that we’re learning from each other.”