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

A positive approach to mental healthcare

On 19 April 2016, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, delivered an address to the UK Parliament following his meeting with David Cameron. As an Indonesian, I sensed the irony of having the Palace of Westminister as the venue of my first live encounter with the man affectionately known as Jokowi [pictured].  Eloquently, and in […]

Climate change relocation is an American story

Over the past year as Arctic Council Chair, the United States has worked hard to remind the world, and itself, that America is an Arctic nation.  President Obama’s visit to Alaska last autumn marked the first time in this country’s history that a sitting president ventured across the Arctic Circle. In January, the National Academy […]

The complex links between science and magic

It is tempting to suppose that ‘science’ or ‘reason’ have unseated the rule of ‘myth’ or ‘magic’. However, it is important to remember that fantastic interplay exists between the rational sciences and magic. Beliefs which we might brand as naïve and irrational today have actually contributed towards the advancement of scientific knowledge. On March 14, […]

Logging into a conflicted Earth Day

On this Earth Day, two important but conflicting environmental decisions are being put into action. The first is that the Paris Agreement, which among other things pushes for a 1.5-degree temperature rise limit instead of the previous 2-degree limit, will be signed by over 160 governments today in an effort to reduce global greenhouse gas […]

Homes for India’s urban poor

The Indian Government’s attempt to address the country’s lack of affordable urban housing, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, is bold, but traditional urban housing programmes in India have met with limited success.  Could we perhaps approach the problem more strategically? A policy that houses families first without the infrastructure and services they need being in place mimics the […]

Is #LetThemStay Australia’s anti-apartheid moment?

Something incredible is happening in Australia this summer. The immediate catalyst was a High Court case over the fate of 267 asylum seekers – including 54 children and 37 babies – that had been receiving medical treatment in mainland hospitals. When the High Court determined that it was lawful for the government to send these […]

Genetic engineering: myths and misconceptions

A recent internet-fuelled rumour suggested that genetically modified mosquitos released in Brazil by the company Oxitec caused the Zika virus to become more dangerous, leading to the current public health emergency. A member of the same viral family as yellow fever and dengue, Zika itself is not new; it was discovered in Uganda in 1947. […]

Harsh immigration rhetoric invigorating Latino voters

Donald Trump has said Mexicans “are bringing drugs, and bringing crime” to the US, while his fellow Republican presidential hopefuls are also talking up hawkish anti-immigration policies as the primary season unfolds. That they feel confident doing so says something about American Latinos’ surprising history of not showing up at the ballot box in big […]

The dark side of love

A trip to the closest grocery store yields ample material for reflection, especially in this most perilous of seasons. Valentine’s Day is close but not quite here and because of that legions of rotund babies have established camps in shops from Los Angeles to Liverpool. What torture it is to weave your way through aisles […]

Have dietary changes made childbirth more risky?

Birth and death are the most ubiquitous of human experiences; in due time, we will all experience both. For women, the two can be dangerously intertwined. The WHO estimates that without medical intervention, 1,000-1,500 women would die for every 100,000 births. Many more women suffer from debilitating injuries related to birth, like obstetric fistula, that […]