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Our Gates International Scholars Announced

last modified May 08, 2017 01:45 PM

Fifty-five of the most academically outstanding and socially committed international applicants have been selected to be part of the 2017 class of Gates Cambridge Scholars at the University of Cambridge - and seven will be joining the Department of POLIS.


Ms Maria Hengeveld

PhD Development Studies 

Maria's M.A thesis used the feminist philanthropy and humanitarian alliances of the sports giant Nike as a case study to examine the consequences of this trend, a topic she was able to further investigate as a journalist in Vietnam. For this investigation, which was published at Slate and supported by The Nation Institute in New York, she interviewed 18 Nike workers about their wages and working conditions. These conversations, coupled with other journalistic work on this subject and a consultancy project with the International Labour Organization sparked her desire to investigate the CSR industry, particularly its labour dimensions, as a PhD student at Cambridge's Centre for Development Studies.


Ms Leena Dahal

MPhil Modern South Asian Studies

Leena's proposed study explores how social media helped or hindered nuanced discussion on nationalism and identity in response to the 2015 unofficial border blockade between Nepal and India. By highlighting the ways in which social media driven narratives can influence how nationalism is embodied, her research will attempt to unpack the process by which complex phenomenon can turn into ‘broad-brush’ approaches to strategically influence particular stakeholders involved in the conflicts. 


Miss Kerry Mackereth

PhD Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies

Kerry's PhD in Gender Studies will examine spectacular acts of political violence committed against the self, and the narratives surrounding these acts of political self-sacrifice. She plans to focus on women who undertake such radical acts, with a specific focus on female hunger strikers. Her thesis will explore the stories their ravaged bodies tell about politics, and what kinds of stories we tell about these bodies. She is particularly concerned with the powerful role discourse plays in shaping our beliefs about gender and sexuality, as evidenced in the international news media’s coverage of radical political acts. 


Ms Mayra Tenorio Lopez

MPhil Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies

Mayra's research at Cambridge will explore the creation of corporeal responses to violence and collective resistance with other women from the perspective of indigenous women in Guatemala. As an aspiring feminist scholar in the social sciences, her studies will prepare her to engage rigorously with the challenges posed by gender inequality, and further, expand her analysis and vision so that her work may expose and create alternative worlds and possibilities for everyone, especially women.


Ms Yassamin Ansari

PhD Politics and International Studies

Yassamin served on the climate team that advised UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and helped to deliver the historic Paris Agreement. She continued working to address climate change as the Director of the Climate Action 2016 Summit and as a consultant in the Office of the UN Youth Envoy. At Cambridge, her MPhil research merges her interests in climate change and international security. As a PhD candidate, she will build upon this work with a focus on the Middle East.


Ms Erica Gaston

PhD Politics and International Studies

Erica's research explores whether the control mechanisms that external actors establish when working with local or hybrid security forces can successfully mitigate the risks and costs of doing so. Whether or not such mechanisms work has significant implications for local civilians in an increasing number of areas, and for international security strategy as a whole.


Mr Sergio Giuliano

MPhil Public Policy

Sergio was born in San Juan, Argentina, and studied law in Buenos Aires at Universidad de San Andrés where he is currently on leave from teaching Constitutional Rights and Interpretation of the Law. He also holds a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School where he focused on comparative constitutional law and human rights. Sergio will pursue an MPhil in Public Policy with the objective of acquiring tools and skills to explore ways in which courts can successfully be part of public policy development and implementation.


To read the full biographies of our Scholars please follow this link: