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

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 […]

Apartheid ideas highlighted in social media row

In December 2015 South Africa had a collective heart murmur. The sudden dismissal of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene by President Jacob Zuma plunged the stock exchange, currency and business confidence into free-fall. At first the presidency refused to explain the decision, but then the media claimed that Nene was fired for standing his ground against […]

Women fight terror through education

Ideas are what cause nations to collapse or rejuvenate. It is ideas and ideology that help people to overcome the barriers in front of them. But ideas need good leadership to spread them effectively. Over history, we have seen how ideas can change people’s thinking and endure throughout time, being handed down from one generation […]

The gift of knowledge

It was 5:30 am on a sunny Sunday morning in August 2011 and I couldn’t contain my excitement. As we began to make the 4.5-hour car journey to Syracuse University, my parents asked me once more, “Are you sure you didn’t forget anything?” My journey as a freshman in college was soon to begin and […]

Rethinking online feminist action

Last week, more than 1,200 women in a secret Facebook group launched an online campaign to name-and-shame men threatening to rape Australian feminist columnist Clementine Ford [pictured], a staunch opponent of cyber-harassment, after a man was fired for calling her a ‘slut’ online. Within 15 minutes of the campaign’s launch, thousands of tweets had been sent and #endviolenceagainstwomen was […]

Don’t blame the abundance of oil!

According to the ‘Resource Curse’ hypothesis, resource-rich countries perform poorly when compared to countries which are not endowed with oil, natural gas, minerals and other non-renewable resources. Therefore, resource abundance is believed to be an important determinant of economic failure, which implies that oil abundance is a curse and not a blessing. Empirical support for […]

Solving problems with human-centred design

Human-centred design is on the rise, but why is it gaining in popularity? And how might it contribute to our work? Isaac Holeman [2013], a designer with Medic Mobile, led a workshop delving into these questions as part of Gates Cambridge’s Learning for Purpose programme with fellow scholars. Here’s some of what we learned together. More than […]

Women in the shuttle trade remain trapped in inequality

In many societies across the world it is men who are in a position of power politically, economically and socially, while women stay in the background assisting and complementing men at best. Because of this, many people, especially in developed Western societies, think that the only sure way of challenging gender inequality is for women […]

Daraprim price rise shines light on a little-known parasite

After acquiring the drug Daraprim in August, Turing Pharmaceuticals AG decided to increase the price of this medication by 5,500%, from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. Amid the outrage and ad hominem attacks that ensued, the media lost an excellent opportunity to inform the public about the science behind the drug, as well as the disease it […]