CLAS: Center for Latin American Studies

News and Highlights

A Promising Summer for CLAS Grant Recipients

May 6, 2011

Casta Guillaume, Amelia Hintzen, and Teddy Allen have big plans for the summer of 2011. The three University of Miami’s graduate students have received field research grants from the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) to explore a diverse range of issues in the Caribbean from differing disciplinary and methodological perspectives.

Casta Guillaume (MA student, Educational and Psychological Studies, Education) has chosen to concentrate on the evaluation of a mental health capacity-building training program. Her research project, entitled Au Cap Project: Mental Health Capacity-Building Training Program, will focus on the training taking place at the Hospital Universitaire Justinien (HUJ) in Cap Hiatien, Haiti, which concentrates on post-disaster mental health issues.  In order to fully evaluate the program, Guillaume intends to capture the impact of the project, as well as the lessons learned when performing a disaster response intervention within a particular cultural environment.  She intends to incorporate the viewpoints of the stakeholders, which include patients, trainers, trainees, HUJ staff and UM staff.

Also concentrating on Haiti is Amelia Hintzen (doctoral student, History, Arts and Sciences). Hinzten plans to focus on Haitian migration to the Eastern Dominican Republic from 1920 to 1930. Her research project, Building Diaspora: Kinship and Gender in Dominican-Haitian Communities, 1920-1930, will examine the relocation of thousands of Haitian workers to the Dominican Republic as they struggled to establish families, define gender roles, and create lasting communities. Hintzen intends to analyze, among other themes, “how the experience of migration shaped family formation, women’s economic and familial roles, and understandings of gender.”

Teddy Allen (doctoral student, Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, RSMAS) will assess the Caribbean mid-summer drought and its impact on the agricultural productivity of the region. Expanding his research from Jamaica to the islands of Dominica and Barbados, he seeks deeper understanding of how Caribbean farmers perceive the drought’s effects, and how its impacts vary between the different islands and regions of the Caribbean. The main objective of his research is to understand and bridge the needs of farmers with scientific support.

The competition was very strong this year. Proposals were given careful consideration by a committee of faculty from a wide variety of disciplines consisting of Ariel Armony (Center for Latin American Studies and International Studies, Arts & Sciences), Andrew Lynch (Modern Languages and Literatures, Arts & Sciences), Sallie Hughes (Center for Latin American Studies and Journalism, Communication), William Drennan (Applied Marine Physics, RSMAS), and Leonardo Ferreira (Electronic Media, Broadcast Journalism & Media Management, Communication).

In addition, FILAS student Elizabeth Weintraub received support from the FILAS Program to work on a project entitled “Community-Based Development Initiatives in Ica, Peru: Reexamining the Role of Non-Governmental Actors in Economic and Social Development.” This project will explore the possibilities for economic and social growth that lie in grassroots development in Peru’s Ica valley.

The Center for Latin American Studies congratulates the awardees on exceptionally well-constructed projects. We wish them all the best in their scholarly endeavors and look forward to the results of these promising research projects.

  View the abstracts of the winning projects