Grisel d’Elena

Adjunct Professor

Religious Studies


Curriculum Vitae


Grisel d’Elena is currently pursuing her PhD in International Relations at FIU’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is also an Adjunct Professor for Religious Studies, Women's and Gender Studies and The Honors College at FIU. Additionally, she also works as an Academic Advisor II for The Honors College and Pre-Law. She has performed fieldwork abroad with U.N. officials, refugee coalition members and ethnic minorities, specifically in Southeast Asia, where she began to investigate the Rohingya Muslim ethnic group in Myanmar.

As victims of systematic, state-sponsored persecution, she began to question why they faced such discrimination. This question led to the Buddhist 969 Movement in Myanmar, which contributes to the isolation and oppression of the Rohingya. Grisel was able to interview Time Magazine’s “Buddhist Terror” U Ashin Wirathu and provide feedback directly from the source of the violence for her ethnographic work. This became the focus of her Master’s thesis, “The Gender Problem of Buddhist Nationalism in Myanmar: The 969 Movement and Theravada Nuns.” This work paved the road for her PhD work focused on the international community's response to the Rohingya crisis.

Locally, Grisel is on the board of UN Women | USA | Miami leading the Young Professionals Committee and has volunteered with National Voices for Equality, Education, and Enlightenment (NVEEE) for the last decade. There, she mentors LGBTQ+ youth who struggle with bullying and lack of educational resources.

Selected Publications

Humanizing the Rohingya Beyond Victimization: A Portrait of Promise.” Buddhist Violence and Religious Nationalism: A Tribute to the Work of Michael Jerryson. Edited by Margo Kitts and Mark Juergensmeyer. United Kingdom: Equinox, 2020.

Breaking the Cycle of Stateless and Refugee: Re-Forming Rohingya Identity in Light of the International Response to the Refugee Crisis.” Edited by Dr Bayes Ahmed. Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), and Centre for Collective Violence, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom (UK). 2019.

Single Dads: Debunking Their Unicorn Status.” SixMedia 19 June 2016.

Lifting the Veil on Banned Drugs.” SixMedia 17 June 2016.

The Islamophobia Effect.” SixMedia 16 June 2016.

Sticks and Stones Break Bones, but Words Break People.” SixMedia 15 June 2016.

Civil Conflicts and The Fight for Peace.” SixMedia 14 June 2016.

Human Error vs. Animal Instinct.” SixMedia. 11 June 2016.

Body Modification or Self-Reification?” SixMedia. 9 June 2016.

Public Frenemy Number One: Police ‘Force.’” SixMedia. 6 June 2016.

Single Moms: In this Circus, The Juggler is the Star of the Show.” SixMedia. 4 June 2016.

The Devolution of Religions in the West,” SixMedia. 30 May 2016.

The Environmental Hangover After Music and Fun in the Sun.” SixMedia. 29 May 2016.

More than a Few Good Men: Misandy is Not Feminist.” SixMedia 24 May 2016.

How Media Coverage Affects Humanitarian Aid After Disasters.” SixMedia 18 May 2016.

What Makes Public Transportation Efficient.” SixMedia 16 May 2016.

Sex Ed’s Missing Link.” SixMedia. 13 May 2016.

Beyoncé Serves up the Lemonade with No Chill.” SixMedia, 7 May 2016

Areas of Expertise

  • Church and State
  • Religion Analysis and Interpretation
  • Feminist Theology and Ethics
  • Student Life Skills