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

Can we avoid ecological collapse?

Last week, the Seventh Session of the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) met in Paris. The goal for the 132 member governments and contributing institutions was to summarise the magnitude of ecological destruction on the planet and create a map to the path forward. Their report found that declines in biodiversity and […]

Reinventing the food system

The last week has seen huge climate change protests around the world. To tackle the causes of climate change requires system-wide change in our most polluting industries. According to Nature, the global food system accounts for up to one-third of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. The food system needs reinventing, and that is what we are […]

Interrogating police officers

In April 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr. was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department for allegedly possessing an illegal knife. While he was being transported to the police station, the 25-year-old African American fell into a coma and later died. Six police officers were suspended, pending an investigation for suspected misconduct. Under Maryland’s Law Enforcement […]

Breaking out of the cycle of poverty

The association between early childhood development (ECD) programmes and earning potential later in life is well documented. A recent 20-year longitudinal study carried out in Jamaica, for instance, indicated that children on ECD programmes had better labour market outcomes in later life. Another study showed participation in preschool programmes had relatively large and enduring effects […]

Don’t ignore the potential of data science

Technology impacts our lives in an unprecedented – and unregulated – way. The High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, established by UN Secretary General António Guterres, convened for the first time in New York in September to discuss the impact of digital technologies on the world. The star-studded panel, co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, brings together experts […]

A new approach to measuring chronic pain

Chronic pain is an extremely debilitating condition which affects almost half of the adult population in the UK. Commonly caused by inflammatory diseases or tissue damage, chronic pain patients not only experience persistent pain, but also have a high incidence of depression and anxiety, which further decrease their quality of life. Current therapeutic strategies frequently […]

We need the Arts

Coming from a family of physicians, I grew up in hospitals. When I followed my white-coat-donned brother through the halls, I felt that, while physicians could take care of the patients’ disease, another type of medicine was needed to take care of the person with the disease. I have a vivid memory of when it […]

Putting gender into livestock work

There is strong evidence that the success of agriculture and development projects can depend on how well they account for, and address, gender differences. These include differences between men and women relating to power, income, social roles, the work they perform and many other areas.  For projects targeting small-scale livestock producers, the gender context may […]

Should your morning coffee come with a cancer warning?

A California judge recently ruled that coffee sellers such as Starbucks are required to brand their beverages with cancer warning labels. The culprit? A chemical called acrylamide, a by-product produced when coffee beans are roasted. Acrylamide is listed by California as a chemical the state considers to cause cancer. A nonprofit took the coffee industry […]

Why decriminalisation of paid surrogacy is not enough

According to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, payment for surrogacy, for arranging the services of a surrogate mother and for egg and sperm donation is illegal. Anthony Housefather, a member of Parliament, announced a plan to put forward a private member’s bill to change this. His proposed bill, which aims to decriminalise these payments, has […]