Tinker Foundation Field Research Grants

In December 2015 El Instituto was awarded a three year grant by the Tinker Foundation’s Field Research Program to provide graduate students with travel funds to Latin America and the Caribbean. These awards allow students to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of language and culture, to familiarize themselves with information sources relevant to their studies, to conduct pilot studies and preliminary investigations, and to develop contacts with scholars in their fields. These awards are made over a three year period and matched by funds from UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Vice Provost of Research, and the Office of Global Affairs.

Funding awards will be made to individuals to assist with travel and field-related expenses for brief periods (two weeks to four months) of pre-dissertation field research in Latin America, defined by the Tinker Foundation as the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of the region. Eligible recipients may be graduates students at the master’s or early stages of the doctoral level studies, including those pursuing professional degrees. These grants are not to be used for advanced dissertation research; they are intended to provide graduate students with early experience conducting hands-on field research in Latin America and the opportunity to develop independent research projects. Citizens of Latin American countries enrolled at UConn are eligible provided they have no previous field research experience in that country.

To apply for calendar year 2018 funding, complete and return application materials click here by November 1, 2017.

2017 Awards
Vialcary Crisóstomo, LCL, received funding to continue her research on Dominican literature post-dictatorship in the Dominican Republic.

Natalie Hernandez, LCL, received funding to travel to Cuba in order to meet with an interview writers from the Soviet-Cuban community.

Josué López, Neag School of Education, was awarded funds to travel to Honduras to make comparisons between the United States and Honduras related to how cultural and linguistic diversity of students are valued and developed in political systems.

Gabriel Martínez Vera, Linguistics, was awarded funds to travel to Peru to meet with specialists on Andean and Amerindian languages.

Valerie Milici, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, received funds to travel to Panama to develop the foundation for field experiments related to how tropical forest structure may respond to climate change.

Andrea Miranda, El Instituto, received an award to travel to Panama to conduct research on the changing dynamics of the educational system in the Panama Canal Zone

Adaliss Rodriguez, Anthropology, was awarded funds to travel to Costa Rica to develop contacts related to her research on the prevalence and experience of overweight and obesity among Latino children and the applications of biotechnolgoy to agriculture or agrobiotechnology.

2016 Awards
Luisa Arrieta, History, traveled to Bogota, Colombia where she visited the Archivo General de la Nacion to gather documents regarding the inner organization of the museum, the contracts for the acquisition of objects, and letter of donations. Locating these materials served to reinforce her argument that the 1880’s National Museum’s reorganization marked the point where there was an explicit desire to build a national narrative from a more visual and cultural perspective in Colombia.

Vilcary Crisóstomo, LCL, spent a month in the Dominican Republic and two weeks in Cuba where she conducted research for her dissertation project, La República trujillista del ayer y el hoy (tentative title). Her research focuses on Dominican literature post-dictatorship and explores the topics of race and gender in the national discourse.

Claudio Daflon, History, traveled to Buenos Aires to investigate its urban peripheries and to question how its inhabitants collectively organized to demand political participation and to claim for rights in the city in times of decisive shifts in the global stage, including the expansion of urban neoliberal policies.

Orlando Deavila Pertuz, History, traveled to Cuba where he to explore how tourism development was impacting Cuban society, specifically looking at transnational linkages between the experiences of tourism development in Cartagena Colombia and Havana.

Katheryn Maldonado, El Instituto, traveled to the Dominican Republic to how the relationship between the media and the government impacts the formation of public opinion and the relationship between the public and governing institutional bodies in states and around the globe. Specifically, she looked at the Dominican media’s coverage of the Sentencia 168—which motioned for the denationalization of undocumented people residing in the Dominican Republic.

Olivia Marcus, Anthropology, travel to Peru for ten weeks to conduct ethnographic interviews and participant observation at a mental health clinic in Tarapoto. She also used this trip to develop a relationship with a transcultural psychiatrist who works in Lima’s public psychiatric clinic.

Neil Oculi, Geography, spent two weeks in August in the Dominican Republic where he conducted interviews with policymakers on various aspects of climate change vulnerability, particularly related to climate change policies and the idea of integration, of lack of, by Spanish Caribbean islands, with the rest of the Caribbean region.

Shaine Scarminach, History, traveled to Quito Ecuador in August 2016 to conduct pre-dissertation research on the relations between the U.S. and Ecuador in the years after World War II. He plans to use his findings to develop an article on the fisheries conduct in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. He learned a great deal about differing conceptions of the ocean environment, the form and purpose of natural conservation, and the fraught conflicts over national development and the world capitalist economy.

In 2009, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies was the recipient of a similar grant which was awarded as described below:

Jack Barry, Political Science, traveled to Mexico to research whether or not the diffusion of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) help the poor move out of poverty.

Kristy Belton, Political Science, investigated whether the lives of Dominico-Haitians have improved since the 2005 Inter-American Court on Human Rights decision.

Maria Berger, Latin American Studies, investigated how migrant Peruvian and Mapuche women cope with human rights abuses and discrimination in Chile.

Emily Carrigan, Psychology, conducted research with the hearing community in Nicaragua to identify core competencies that deaf children bring to language learning.

Jorge Castillo, Spanish, traveled to Cuba to research how the socio-historical atmosphere at the turn of the 21st century has influenced sexuality and sexual labor.

Jennifer Cook, Latin American Studies, visited a Mexican migrant sending community to research how farmworkers utilize social networks to deal with their marginalization.

Michele Eggers, Social Work, investigated the criminalization of reproductive health as a violation of women’s human rights in Chile.

María Fernanda Enríquez León, Political Science, investigated the environmental reform and explored development inspired by indigenous philosophies in Ecuador.

Lucia Garcia Santana, Spanish, traveled to Buenos Aires to research the transatlantic exchanges between Spanish and Argentinean intellectuals in the first half of the XX Century.

Yazmin Garcia-Trejo, Political Science, tested her hypothesis about the roots of gender differences in political knowledge among young adults in Mexico City.

Adrian Gallegos, History, traveled to Mexico and Spain to look at the relationship between Facism and Hispanismo and how certain influential individuals in Mexico understood Fascism and how they manifested their support.

Ruth Hernandez, Latin American Studies, traveled to Tlaxcala, Mexico to conduct ethnographic fieldwork and interviews on women’s role in community organizing as an alternative to migration to the United States.

Rebecca Jacobs, Anthropology, researched ways in which the Trauma Textiles cooperative negotiates with volunteer tourists in Guatemala and how both groups are influenced by narratives of Maya identity.

Shawna Lesseur, Political Science, researched the Yuyachkani, a theater group that speaks out against injustice, and how they reach their audience and why they believe this is transforming Peru.

Elena Lunt, History, examined Chilean archives and explored how Chileans viewed the Alliance during its formative years.

Alexander Maas, Agricultural and Resource Economics, examined ways in which climate disruption would affect future agricultural operation in Nicaragua.

Daniela Melo, Political Science, conducted research at the Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa on social movements in the Portuguese democratic transition.

Sergio Mobilia, Sociology, interviewed research subjects in Buenos Aires to discuss how gender and sexuality play out in their lives as “socially un/marked” subjects.

Alejandra Navarro-Benbow, Spanish, traveled to Mexico City to research the information exchange process that occurred around local materia natural and indigenous products used as instruments to facilitate colonial models.

Michael Neagle, History, examined relations among U.S. citizens and Cubans on the Isle of Pines during the early-20th century.

Caryl Nuñez, Political Science, traveled to the Dominican Republic to analyze inter-regional differences in concepts of empowerment – specifically comparing Latin American countries and sub-Saharan Africa.

Bayla Ostrach, Applied Medical Anthropology, focused on women’s experiences with obstacles to abortion care in Spain.

Kristina Reardon, Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, researched translation and connected with authors, editors and scholars in Argentina.

Margarita Sáenz-Soto, Latin American Studies, investigated if NGOs dealing with environmental issues in Peru have concentrated on the conflicts involving indigenous people and extractive activities and if so, if they involve women.

Ronnie Shepard, Anthropology, traveled to Ecuador to study masculine identity and explored the lives of ten men who have been influenced by Andrade’s five themes of Latin American masculine identity.

Rachael Shenyo, Agricultural and Resource Economics, traveled to Guatemala to create a business case for the creation of a small non-profit organization.

Gabriela Tafoya, Political Science, collected information from three perspectives regarding political manipulation in marginal poor urban areas to evaluate the success of the Bolsa Familia program in Brazil.

Adriana Vega, Spanish, traveled to Argentina to explore how testimonio enabled or constrained across-the-border circulation of ideology towards the military dictatorship.

Steven Williamson, Political Science, researched how the shifting role of Panamanian military institutions is understood by its own officers and how the current military leadership view democracy.

Sonia Zarco-Real, Spanish, accessed critical periodicals in Madrid to explore the process of nation-building through the press of Spain at the turn of the 20th century.