Aron Muci
Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies

KU graduate students use Tinker Field Research Grants for international research and travel

Mon, 01/23/2017

LAWRENCE — Through the Tinker Field Research Grants program, four University of Kansas graduate students recently completed international research in their respective fields.

The KU Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies won the prestigious grants 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 Tinker support enabled a total of 52 students throughout the university to visit Latin American countries during the 2014-16 grant period. 

“Tinker Field Grants have provided first-hand experience in Latin America to KU graduate students. They have conducted preliminary research, developed contacts in their respective fields and familiarized themselves further with the region,” said former director Santa Arias. “The Tinker Grants provide a unique opportunity for students and CLACS  as well as strengthening the quality of research at KU and broadening the university’s international reach.”

Previous recipients of Tinker support from CLACS have gone on to develop strong 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. 

The 2016 Fall Tinker Field research recipients:

Mabel Alvarado Gutiérrez, doctoral student in ecology & evolutionary biology, visited Costa Rica to research accurate perspectives on species within Neotropical Ichneumonidae, including their morphological diversity, biogeography, and evolutionary relationships;

Katelynn Giraldo, master's degree student in Latin American & Caribbean studies, visited Colombia to research optimal resources that enable key decision-makers to provide the highest level of educational access to the greatest number of people in Medellín’s communities;

George Klaeren, doctoral student in history, traveled to Mexico to conduct research on the ways in which traditional scholasticism contested “modern philosophy” leading to the adoption of new university curricula, creation of epistemology and philosophy textbooks, and development of academic infrastructure for philosophy in colleges and universities in 18th-century New Spain;

Silvia Sanchez Díaz, doctoral student in anthropology, traveled to Guatemala to investigate the history of medicine and public health institutions and the new actors involved in decision-making.

To learn more about the 2016 Tinker grant recipients, the graduate research page on the CLACS website highlights some of their accomplishments.

For more information about the Center, please visit or contact Aron Muci at 785-864-4213 or

KU in the news
The Wall Street JournalSat, 10/23/2021
Researchers at @JuniperGrdensKU & @KUMedCenter have a received a new $345K grant to further study “Stay, Play, Talk…

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today