2017 Tinker Awardees

    Tinker 2017 Awardees


This year, the Center for Latin American Studies is thrilled to award 15 outstanding MA and PHD students at the University of Arizona the Tinker Field Grant Award in order to conduct research in Latin America over the summer. See below to read about where they will be and their projects.



Aleene Hernandez, MA - Latin American Studies


“Microfinance and Household Equality: A Case Study in Teotitlan Del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico”

“I am currently enrolled in the Latin American Studies Master’s program and hopefully will be accepted to the Masters of Public Administration program. The research and fieldwork that I complete this summer will supplement my master’s thesis paper. My project this summer will entail understanding the impact that microfinancing has on indigenous women in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico.”


Emily Ellis, MA - Latin American Studies and Journalism

Mexico City

“Of Mosquitoes and Men: Media Framing of the Yellow Fever Epidemic During the Mexican Revolution”

“In order to complete my MA program in Latin American Studies and Journalism, I am required to complete a thesis that relates to both programs. Gathering information on revolutionary-era yellow fever epidemic coverage in Mexico City will allow me to complete a thesis paper that meets the requirements for my dual degree. I will also be interning with a Mexican journalist while I am in Mexico City, which provides me with an excellent professional development opportunity.”


Claire Perrott, PHD -  History

Mexico City

“The Cultural History of Paricutin, Volcano in a Cornfield, Initial Research in Mexico City's Archives”

“My proposed project will allow ne to conduct preliminary research for my dissertation. The archives in Mexico City contain the majority of sources that I hope to use for my dissertation on the volcano, Paricutin. Initial seaches into some of the archives in Mexico City: the AGN, Hermoteca Nacional, and the Library Lerdo Tejada revealed archival documents relevant to my project. Some documents in the Secretary of Public Education archive are not well catalogued so I will not know how much documentation there is pertaining to my topic until I can visit the archive. That is why this project is essential to be able to start my dissertation research because it will allow me to begin my initial archival research to scope out what is available.”


Osciel Salazar, PHD - History

Mexico City

“Urban Soundscapes: Sound, Music and National Identity in Mexico City”

“My proposed project will be the basis and preliminary research for my dissertation. The sources I collect will help me solidify a thesis and make stronger hypothesis. Further this grant will help me become familiar with on-field research methods and an introduction to archival work.”


         Central America

Alejandro Enriquez, MA - Latin American Studies

Costa Rica

““Pura Vida,” defining democracy in Costa Rica”

“Studying the political economy in Costa Rican in terms of the household security framework will provide answers on how even the most democratic country in Latin America still has several problems that are related to the Latin America. The still have deregulation, structural adjustment programs, and privatization, with influence in neoliberal policies. On the surface, Costa Rica seems very democratic but still has the same issues as other developing countries and I would like to demonstrate how it does.”


Christopher Sitler, MA - Latin American Studies

Utila Cays, Honduras

“Fisherman Identity on the Utila Cays, Honduras”

“This proposed project will include the data collection for my thesis.  My proposed thesis is an ethnographic research project designed for the collection of oral histories. My thesis will be grounded in the observation and interview data with the fisherman of the Cays, their families, and the greater community.”


Maria Ines Taracena, MA - Latin American Studies


“Transgender Women in Guatemala: A community of safety networks”


Rebecca Patterson-Markowitz, MA - Development


“Co-Producing Healing in Post-Conflict Guatemala: A Case Study”

“My proposed research will allow me to collect qualitative data for my MA thesis, which I will begin to write in the Fall of 2017. I will also be able to explore the formulation of more in-depth research questions and deepen relationships on the ground for future Ph.D. research.”


             South America

Claudia Diaz-Combs, MA - Public Health and Latin American Studies

Lago Agrio, Ecuador

“Heavy Metal Analysis in Urban and Rural Drinking Water in Lago Agrio, Ecuador”

“The concentration for my MPH is environmental health, and the area that I am interested in is water quality in developing countries, and this is precisely what I am in looking at in Ecuador. This is a hugely important topic worldwide. There is a lot of oil development that happens in South America, especially in Ecuador, and one of the cities that has been plagued most with this is Lago Agrio. I want to take water samples from urban and rural drinking water sources in Lago and compare the results I attain to see if there are still traces of heavy metals in the water that could be a result of oil contamination. When I was in Ecuador last summer, I visited contaminated and remediated sites, and I also spoke with people who lived in the area, and it seemed as though they were still suffering from various health ailments due to drinking the water. This made me believe that contamination still persists, and this is precisely what I want to test for this summer. The primary data that I gather for my thesis will be crucial in understanding more about water quality and how to improve it.”


Hayley Moretz, MA - Public Health and Latin American Studies

Valparaiso and Santiago, Chile

“Intercultural Health and the Mapuche People: Perceptions and Practice in Valparaiso and Santiago, Chile”

“My proposed research will allow me to collect qualitative data for my MA thesis, which I will begin to write in the Fall of 2017. I will also be able to explore the formulation of more in-depth research questions and deepen relationships on the ground for future Ph.D. research.”


Madeleine Sligh, MA - Latin American Studies and Law


“Thesis Project in Brazil”


Maredil Leon, Phd - Graduate Interdisciplinary Program Second Language Acquisition and Teaching


“Non-Native Teacher Identity Re-Negotiation in the Expanding Circle: A Venezuelan Case”

“This project is directly related to my degree program as it intends to explore issues related to foreign language teachers. This study is the fundamental needs assessment research that willl constitute the foundation of my three-article dissertation.”


Stephen Oliver, MA - Latin American Studies


“Paraguayan Cooperatives: Organizational Approaches to Food Security”

“The proposed project will provide the data, interviews and observations needed for my Latin American Studies thesis project. The concept of understanding the impact of cooperatives builds off of my personal experience working with farmers’ groups in both Guatemala and the United States, and was a strong motivation for my returning to graduate school to explore the concept academically.”


Esteban Camarena, MA - Latin American Studies and Public Policy

Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

“The Politics of Reproductive Health Care in Brazil (Recife, Pernambuco, BR)”

“The proposed project is intended to fulfill the MA Latin American Studies requirements in two ways. 1) field research will strengthen my Portuguese and the program’s language requirements 2) the proposed project will provide the opportunity for field work and data collection to write a strong thesis. Because I am pursuing two master’s degrees, I am on a three-year academic plan. I have the opportunity of possibly doing field research Summer 2017 and 2018. This particular project may serve as the first phase of my research, allowing me to follow up with the people I interview in summer 2018.”


Kyle James Sorlie Titlow, MA - School of Geography and Development

“Mapping the MetroBus: Quantifying and Qualifying the Spatial (In) Equity of Public Transportation in Buenos Aires”

Buenos Aires, Argentina

“My proposed summer fieldwork will directly facilitate the completion of a thesis project as required by the master’s degree program within the School of Geography and Development (SGD). I expect that traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina will allow me to complete the program, as scheduled, by Spring 2018.”