Personal reflections from our Scholars and Alumni.

Callie Vandewiele

Callie Vandewiele

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2014 PhD Latin American Studies
  • Newnham College

Born in Utah, I was raised the oldest of six siblings first there and then just outside of Portland, Oregon. "Unschooled" until the age of 16 my foray into traditional education began with a handful of highschool classes, and then a dive into Spanish language, music and biology at the local community college, where I quickly developed a taste for academic work. As a non-traditional student I graduated first with an AAOT in General Studies from Clackamas Community College and then with honors from Pacific University in 2008, where I received a B.A. in Politics and Government. After graduation I lived and worked in the Alta Verapaz of Guatemala where I developed an interest in women's leadership education and the ongoing interactions between globalized western culture, local cultures and the evolution of ancient traditions.

Latest Blog

Why algorithms are necessarily value-laden

Algorithmic decision-making systems applied in social contexts drape value-laden solutions in an illusory veil of objectivity. Machine learning plays an increasingly prominent role in mediating institutional decisions in everything from corporate hiring practices to criminal sentencing. This ongoing AI spring has invigorated discussions of the ethical dimensions of these techno-social arrangements. In particular, there is […]

Preparing for all scenarios in an unstable world

On March 9th, Mohamed A. El-Erian joined the Gates Cambridge community for a virtual fireside chat, where he discussed decision-making in conditions of uncertainty, the economic impact of the pandemic and relief efforts and the importance of diversity of thought and scenario planning. El-Erian is President of Queens’ College, Cambridge and Chief Economic Advisor of […]

How can the international community help Belarus?

Last Sunday represented a tipping point in the recent history of Belarus which has had an immediate effect on the lives of its citizens, including mine. Independent exit polls and observers representing the diplomatic community, verified by the crowdsourcing platform Golos, show that, had it been a fair and transparent election, the uninterrupted, 26-year-long reign […]

How COVID-19 holds a mirror up to our societies

Being a Chinese student at a British university in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic provides an interesting perspective on our different societies’ approach to COVID-19, says Jingwen (Alice) Fan.

Towards a better, more global approach to traumatic brain injury

In 2014 Hafsa Durrani tragically lost both of her brothers in a terrorist attack at Army Public School and College in Peshawar, where the terrorists executed 148 people in the school’s auditorium – 132 students, all the teachers, a lab assistant, a guard and the principal. Five years on, Hafsa, who is from a Pashtoon […]

Private money interests at the heart of Hong Kong protests

Another round of resistance was recorded over the weekend between protesters in Hong Kong and the Chinese government. Organisers of the previous Sunday’s pro-democracy rally estimated that 1.7 million Hong Kongers poured into city streets. Much of the news commentary depicts a David vs. Goliath standoff in which Hong Kong can only lose. Yet this view overlooks an […]

Female voices on climate change

During last week’s panel discussion on “Female Voices on Climate Change” at the 2019 Hay Festival, an audience member asked: How can we make people care about climate change? “That’s the million-dollar question,” quipped the panel chair, journalist Rosie Boycott. Indeed, it is the million-dollar question. But while there’s no easy answer, this Hay Festival […]

Human development and smart cities

Thirty-five Gates Cambridge scholars, alumni and industry practitioners recently took part in an event to consider the impact that the push towards data-driven city planning and service provision has on humans’ ability to thrive. The human development and smart cities event was organised by the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association and took place in London at the House of St Barnabas, […]

Alumni gather to discuss impact of Brexit

On 9 May 2019, after leaders of several European Union member states, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, gathered for an informal summit in Sibiu, Romania – a meeting where serious talk of Brexit was rumoured to be banned – a group of Gates Cambridge alumni convened in the same […]

Studying tuberculosis with a zebrafish model

As one of the oldest known human infectious diseases, tuberculosis (TB) is still an enormous global problem. It caused an estimated 1.3 million deaths and 10 million new infection cases in 2017, according to WHO 2018 figures. Despite the fact that we have found the effective antibiotics for it since the 1960s. And the regimen […]