(2019) BA, International Affairs with a concentration on Conflict Resolution, The George Washington University
(2023) MA, Sociology, The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (Thesis: Breaking Penal Boundaries: Bridging the Divides in Punishment Studies)
Alena studies the globalization of punishment specifically related to mobility and migration. Alena seeks to understand how countries work to punish those deemed “illegal” and/or “foreign” through draconian (im)migration laws by analyzing punishment and society literature, carceral geography studies, criminological research, and border scholarship. In their work, Alena is keen to explore different countries’ bordering practices to understand how nation-states work with each other to create a hierarchy of existence along racialized, nationalized lines.