I am currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. I am working on a book based on my PhD dissertation, which focuses on the impact of highly gendered framing contests between the government and insurgents in Colombia. I am a Senior Editor at OpenGlobalRights, I teach human rights and development at Carleton University (Ottawa), and I am also serving on a PhD dissertation committee at the University of Ottawa.
My research interests include political violence and civil war, DDR, rebel group cohesion, human rights, gender, peacebuilding, framing theory, fieldwork ethics, and Latin America.
I have published articles in International Studies Quarterly, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, International Journal (forthcoming 2020) and Terrorism & Political Violence (forthcoming 2021). I have also written book chapters for edited volumes, and my work has won several awards, including a Senate Medal nomination for my PhD dissertation.
The path to getting my doctorate was not straightforward. My life completely blew up in 2012 when I was halfway through my PhD. I had a toddler and a 9-month-old infant, and a husband away overseas, when I was suddenly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. There was no history of cancer in my family. I exercised, I never smoked, I drank tons of water—I was doing everything right. Except for stress. My life was one big sleep-deprived, caffeine-fuelled, type-A, overachiever stress-fest.
I had weeks to live without treatment, the doctors said.
But I wasn't done with life—or life wasn't done with me. I survived due to an extraordinary medical team at the Ottawa General Hospital and the generosity of a bone marrow donor that I have never met. I reinvented myself, I learned to slow down and breathe (sort of), I returned to the writing I love, and in 2017 I completed my first Ironman. That same year, five years post-transplant, I returned to academia to finish my PhD and finally went back to Colombia—a country that has held my heart since I did my MA fieldwork there in 2006. I defended my dissertation over Zoom, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I have learned from this journey that I can't predict what is coming next. But I'm certain that I will learn some amazing things along the way.