Greetings!  I am very happy to be returning to CIE to initiate a doctoral program, after having completed my Master’s degree with the Center in 2003. My experience at CIE greatly prepared me for the work I have been carrying out in the field of community education and development in Latin America over the past ten years.


Since 2007, I have been living in Cali, Colombia and working with the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences (FUNDAEC), a Colombian non-government organization whose efforts are aimed at exploring alternative approaches to education that help foster the capacity of youth to promote the autochthonous development of their communities.


In my work with FUNDAEC, I have had the opportunity to carry out participatory action research within education for development endeavors that strive to strengthen the identity of youth as promoters of community wellbeing.  In these initiatives, youth are able to develop the language and scientific capabilities needed to engage in social action with community actors.  In a project awarded to FUNDAEC by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we made use of participatory action-research methodologies in order to help build the teaching-learning capacities Stephanie Pirroniof educators and strengthen the institutional capacity of the network of grassroots organizations implementing such programs.  A South-to-South collaboration between NGOs in Colombia, Kenya, Zambia and Uganda was explored in this project.  


I have also been working with a reading comprehension project whose objective is to set up school libraries comprised of books relevant to rural life in Colombia that promote gender equality and solidarity.  Included in this project was the creation of communities of collaborative inquiry amongst teachers enabling them to become researchers, generating knowledge on approaches to reading comprehension that are relevant to the needs of their students.  Parent education, whose objective is to help ensure that a love and appreciation for reading is fostered within the family, was another key component of the project. 


At FUNDAEC, I was also working with a team that is overseeing the development of a program that helps youth marginalized from university education to transition into programs of higher study in which they can develop their capacities in a trade or profession that can be used to promote the betterment of their families and communities. 


These experiences have fueled my interest in pursuing doctoral studies at CIE to develop the skills needed to conduct action research.  I want to work on issues related to education and social change, agency amongst youth, qualitative practitioner research and participatory action research in educational and community contexts. I am very much looking forward to this opportunity to learn from the wealth of knowledge and experiences of the professors and students of the CIE community.


Entrance Year: 
5-year span: 
On-Campus Student