Michele Eggers and Jennifer Willett, first year doctoral students, have each been awarded competitive grants to study respectively in Santiago, Chile and Mombasa, Kenya this summer.
With support from the Tinker Foundation Graduate Field Research Grant (UConn Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies) for $2000 and the Human Rights Research Grant (UConn Human Rights Institute) for $2000, Ms. Eggers will go to Chile twice this year to conduct pre-dissertation research. She will investigate the nature of community-based responses to the economic, political, and social inequalities that permeate restrictive reproductive health policies. During her first trip to Santiago this summer, Ms. Eggers will set up contacts and build relationships with individuals working toward the de-criminalization of reproductive health policies in social work, religious, legal, academic, health, and human rights organizations. During her second trip over winter break, she will conduct semi-structured interviews to better understand the infrastructure of advocacy as it relates to community organizing and human rights.
As a recipient of a $2000 grant for human rights research from the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut, Ms. Willett will be able to pursue her interests in international environmental justice. This summer she will be interning for Eco-Ethics in Mombasa, Kenya. This organization is unique in the geographic area, where she has previously lived, in linking poverty and environmental problems, a key theme in the environmental justice movement. Eco-Ethics is primarily founded in environmental science and been able to establish an epidemiological link between persistent organic pollutants and health consequences in the slums of Mombasa. Through this internship, and by interviewing affected people, she will complete her pre-dissertation research on the impact of environmental problems on poor communities.