Peter Haney
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies awards 2016 Tinker Field Research Grants

Thu, 05/19/2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies has made the final Tinker Field Research Grants to graduate students for research in Latin America for the 2014-2016 grant period. During the coming summer 12 KU graduate students from programs as diverse as Spanish and Portuguese, ecology & evolutionary biology, psychology and music will visit such countries as Argentina, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic to conduct exploratory research. 

The center won the prestigious grant from the Tinker Foundation in 2013 after holding the grant in the past from 1996-1998, 2001-2004 and 2008-2011. With a 1:1 match from KU, the $45,000 of Tinker support enabled 48 students from all over the university to visit Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in the Western Hemisphere during the grant period. Central America, Cuba and Argentina were commons research sites. The foundation requires that grantees wait two years after the end of each grant period before applying again. Previous recipients of Tinker support from the Center have gone on to develop superior research proposals for external funding based on their time in the field, as well as superior dissertations and theses. Many are now faculty members themselves, while others enjoy successful careers in private industry, the nonprofit sector and government service. Tinker recipients often pursue projects related to public health, conservation, community development, anthropology, culture and education.

“KU students have really taken advantage of the opportunities the Tinker grants have offered,” said Center Director Brent Metz. “From chronicling incidents of icon-destruction in colonial Mexico to documenting the evolutionary lineages of birds, our students are starting down some very exciting paths. Many will go on to devote their lives to Latin American issues.”

The 2016 Summer Tinker Field Research recipients:

  • Kevin Chovanec, doctoral student, ecology & evolutionary biology, “Was the human colonization of Hispaniola associated with the extinction of endemic reptiles and amphibians?” Dominican Republic. Adviser: Richard Glor
  • Pietro De Mello, doctoral student, ecology & evolutionary biology, “Is the Cordillera Central in the Dominican Republic a barrier to gene flux between two Anolis distichus populations?” Dominican Republic. Adviser: Richard Glor
  • Rachel Denney, doctoral student, women, gender and sexuality studies, “Humanitarian aid models in Guatemala.” Guatemala. Adviser: Hannah Britton
  • Sara Estrada-Villalta, doctoral student, psychology, “Constructions of National Identity in Costa Rica and Guatemala.” Costa Rica and Guatemala. Adviser: Glenn Adams
  • Matthew Fahrenbruch, doctoral student, geography, “Jellyfish as a new boom industry on the Miskito Coast.” Nicaragua. Adviser: Peter Herlihy
  • William Joseph “Joey” Hentzler, master's degree student, Latin American & Caribbean studies. “We are all indigenous unless we fail to perform: Indigeneity and neoliberal multiculturalism in Cochabamba, Bolivia.” Bolvia. Adviser: Brent Metz
  • Jonathan Hruska, doctoral student, ecology & evolutionary biology, “A molecular evaluation of Central American ‘temperate’ avian lineages: a test of the Pleistocene ‘refugia’ hypothesis.” Nicaragua and Honduras. Adviser: Richard Glor
  • Nadia Jessop, doctoral student, educational psychology & research, “The Intricate relationships between cultural identity, education and civic engagement: Implications for Afro-Costa Ricans.” Costa Rica. Adviser: Glenn Adams
  • Lina Muñoz Márquez, doctoral student, Spanish & Portuguese, “Decolonizing the gaze: Ecuadorian Indigenous film and media.” Ecuador. Adviser: Verónica Garibotto
  • Ginett Pineda, doctoral student, Spanish & Portuguese, “Reshaping the university: Models for collaboration in Bolivian Indigenous universities.” Bolivia. Adviser: Santa Arias
  • Naara Queiruga Domínguez, master's degree student, Spanish & Portuguese, “Female Galician writers in the diaspora and the quest for identity: The case of Argentina.” Argentina. Adviser: Luciano Tosta.
  • Ángel Rañales Pérez, master's degree student, Spanish & Portuguese, “Soccer culture in Buenos Aires and the impact on national identity and nation building at the turn of the 21st century.” Argentina. Adviser: Antônio Simões.

In previous periods between Tinker grants, the center has offered some support for field research with local funds and may do so again in the coming years. The center’s graduate research page highlights the accomplishments of Tinker grant recipients. Anyone interested in learning more may contact the center at 785-864-4213 or

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