Brittany Petrelli

Brittany Petrelli
Mentor: Dr. Sarra Tlili
Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I got involved with research because it gives me the opportunity to explore topics which are not specifically addressed within the classroom. I intend to use my research to help inform myself and others on topics which are generally misunderstood or altogether unknown."


Linguistics and Foreign Languages and Literature-Arabic


Spanish and TESL

Research Interests

  • Arab Culture
  • Religion

Academic Awards

  • Bright Futures Florida Academic Scholar
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • Theta Alpha Christian Sorority
  • Catholic Gators


  • Sunday School Teacher
  • ELI Conversation Partner

Hobbies and Interests

  • Irish Dancing
  • Reading

Research Description

The Impact of Marian Devotion on Arab Women
This research explores to what extent and in what forms Mary of Nazareth has impacted Arab, particularly Christian Arab, women. Throughout history there have been many reported visions, a lot of theological doctrine and thought, and various traditions which have held Mary in high esteem in the Catholic and Coptic Churches and in Islam. However, Mary, as a symbol, can also be scrutinized for being an unobtainable ideal full of contradiction-most notably that between her perpetual virginity and her perfect motherhood. This research looks at both the potentially positive and negative influences that Mary has on Arab women.