Personal reflections from our Scholars and Alumni.

Callie Vandewiele

Callie Vandewiele

  • Alumni
  • 2014
  • United States
  • 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

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 […]

A message of hope

Professor Stephen Hawking is best known for ideas that encouraged us to dream beyond the frontiers of the imagination. Aside from his brilliant research papers he is remembered for making science accessible to people through works such as A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell and A Briefer History of Time. Professor Hawking’s contributions […]

A human shock: from conflict zone to Cambridge

When students from conflict areas and especially females from the Gaza Strip ask me whether I would encourage them to study abroad for their PhDs, I give a tentative answer: “It depends”. While higher education is very important for both men and women, I know from my own experience that some students from conflict areas […]