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Submitted by admin on Thu, 05/12/2016 - 1:19pm

Fernando E. Villegas Rivera

Past Visiting Fellow Mi experiencia en el área de la investigación social, política y económica ha permitido contribuir con mi desarrollo personal en un mejor entendimiento de las problemáticas que aquejan a mi estado y país. A corto y mediano plazo, dichos conocimientos se traducirán en impactos positivos para la sociedad mexicana a través de investigaciones que permitan generar políticas públicas más eficientes y eficaces.

Isabel Lara

Past Graduate Student in Residence Isabel Lara is an international PhD student in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures & Cultures, having arrived in Calgary from Colombia in September 2012. She is currently writing a thesis on Francisca Josefa del Castillo y Guevara, a Colombian mystic writer from the seventeenth century. While in Colombia in June 2013, Ms Lara was able to consult the various manuscripts written by Castillo y Guevara, which are today housed in the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango in Bogotá. Her thesis analyzes the mystical language in this author's work using the thinking of two twentieth-century theoreticians: Michel de Certeau and Georges Bataille.

Jeanne Liendo

Past Graduate Student in Residence Jeanne Liendo is an MA student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. Her primary subfield of study is comparative politics, with a focus on political economy, political ideology and social movements in Latin America. She has been awarded a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant to support her research, namely the hydrocarbons sector performance in left-leaning governments of Bolivia and Venezuela. In the past 15 years, she has researched and writing on Venezuela’s energy policy and politics. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communications from Universidad Central Venezuela, from where she also graduated as Specialist in Policy and International Petroleum Trade. She also holds a Specialty in Management of the Natural Gas Business from Universidad Simón Bolívar.

Mariana Hipólito R. Mota

Past Graduate Student in Residence Mariana Hipólito R. Mota is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Calgary. In Brazil, she obtained a B.A. in Economics and a M.A in Political Science at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE). Mariana is currently working on her PhD dissertation on the creation of limits to presidential power in weakly institutionalized democracies through the case of Brazil. In 2014, she was at Universidade de Brasília (UnB) for a four-month research stay to do archival research for her dissertation and conduct interviews with policy makers, NGO leaders, and bureaucrats. She is especially interested in comparative politics, processes of democratization, Latin American politics (with an emphasis on Brazilian politics), and topics concerning the relationship between democracy and corruption.  

Ricardo Vernet

Past Graduate Student in Residence I am a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. I received a BA in Political Science from the University of Waterloo and a Master’s degree from McMaster University. My current project examines the factors that led to the failure of Haiti’s peasant-led democratization. The study develops a path-dependent approach that incorporates domestic and international structures to provide a clear picture of this phenomenon. My research interest is in comparative politics, democracy promotion, state failure, and Caribbean politics.

Rita Giacalone

Visiting Fellow Rita Giacalone is Professor of Economic History, Department of Economics, Universidad de Los Andes (Venezuela), and Coordinator of GRUDIR (Regional Integration Research Group). She was Director of the School of Political Science, Coordinator of REDINRE (an ALFA Program network of European and Latin American universities), and Editor of Revista Venezolana de Ciencia Política and of Revista Agroalimentaria.  She has been a Visiting Professor at University of Pennsylvania, Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Universidad Autónoma de México, Universidad de La Plata (Argentina), and Stockholm University. She holds a Ph.D.  in History from Indiana University, and has been beneficiary of a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship. Her latest publications include “Anti-Americanism and Trade Policy in Brazil and France” (co-author: Gerry Alons) Revista Iberoamericana (Stockholm) 43 (1-2) (2013), “Latin American Answers to Mega-Regional Projects: Options and Limits” in J. Roy (ed.) A New Atlantic Community. The European Union, the US and Latin America. Miami: Jean Monnet Chair-University of Miami, 2015, and Geopolítica y Geo-economía en el proceso globalizador. Bogotá: Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, 2016.

Shawn Morton

Past Graduate Student in Residence Shawn Morton is an archaeologist with research interests in the roles of space/place, ritual, and religion in the constitution of community and community identity.  He received his PhD in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Calgary and a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University.  He is co-Director of the Central Belize Archaeological Survey project, an archaeological fieldschool and research project focused on the recently discovered Maya civic-ceremonial centre dubbed Tipan Chen Uitz (  

Victor Bedoya

Past Graduate Student in Residence Born in Spain, Víctor Bedoya Ponte graduated in Philosophy at the Universidad de Sevilla in 2006. He completed a PhD in History of Ideas at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon en 2012. He is currently enrolled in the PhD Program in Spanish at the University of Calgary, where his  research is focused on the short-stories by the Chilean writer José Donoso (1924-1996). In these works, Donoso describes the world of upper-class individuals that is slowly collapsing due to economic shifts. Individuals, whether they do not have privileges or have lost them, struggle to maintain social status, and often show maniac behavior. The need to maintain status in society sets up a deep reflection on the problems of identity and madness that asks for a philosophical reading.

Victoria Simmons

Visiting Fellow Victoria Simmons is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Carleton University (Canada).  She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation, which offers an historical account of migration on the railways of southern Mexico. Victoria has authored and co-authored publications on gender and migration in Latin America. She holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (U.N.A.M) and a B.A. in Development Studies from the University of Calgary.