International Studies & Programs

2019 Tinker Graduate Student Summer Research Grants

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Published: Tuesday, 07 May 2019 Author: CLACS

With funds from the center’s Tinker Foundation Field Research Grant, CLACS awarded summer research grants to 11 graduate students from 10 departments across four colleges. Funds from the Tinker Foundation support pre-dissertation research in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America.  CLACS also gratefully acknowledges matching funds provided by the Deans of International Studies and Programs and The Graduate School.

Vanessa Aguilar (Chicano/Latino Studies) will conduct archival research in Guadalajara, Mexico to examine writings and records from indigenous and enslaved women who used mysticism as a form of liberation from dominant systems of gender and racial oppression.

Laura Castro-Diaz (Community Sustainability) will examine how people adapt to the construction of hydroelectric dams in the Brazilian Amazon, in order to understand the impacts of large-scale infrastructure projects and if/how people’s adaptation strategies may differ by gender.

Lauren Cooper (Forestry) will identify best practices in benefit sharing to conserve forests, inform policymaking, reduce poverty, and improve stakeholder commitment in the Peruvian Andean-Amazon interface.

Sarah Groendyk (Integrative Biology) will study the impact of urbanization on avian behavior and community structure in Costa Rica by comparing bird populations in urban and natural areas. She will work with a network of scientists at the Organization of Tropical Studies.

Kelly Kamnikar (Anthropology) will analyze cranial metric and nonmetric variation in skeletal collections in southeast Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, in order to develop means to identify the ancestry of remains of immigrants to the United States.

Maritza Medina (Teaching English as a Second Language) will pilot innovative techniques for teaching English as a foreign language to visually impaired learners in Colombia. She will assess the degree to which these techniques improve students’ understanding, perception and production of the sounds of American English.

Silvana Peralta-Bogarin (Community Sustainability) will assess the organizational structure of rural agricultural extension services in southeast Paraguay, in both public and non-public sectors.

Juan Carlos Rico Noguera (Anthropology) will explore transitional justice and the production of collective memory in Colombia. He will focus on experts working with the Colombian Truth Commission across four regions of the country to compare their distinct contexts of memory production.  

Laura Romero-Quintana (Hispanic Cultural Studies) will conduct research at the Chilean National Library on lesser-known letters of Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

 Giovanni Salazar (Hispanic Cultural Studies) will explore European rejection of psychotropic plants used in ritual, sexual, festive and recreative contexts between 1550 and 1650 in Mexico.  He will focus especially on legal proceedings against indigenous people who used peyote, ololiuhqui and psychotropic mushrooms for divination.

Mikiko Sato (Human Development and Family Studies) will explore the impact of mentoring on the psychosocial development and educational outcomes of rural, indigenous girls in Guatemala.  She seeks to identify ways that mentors facilitate the development of leadership and positive ethnic and gender identities in their mentees.