The Trudeau Scholarship opened doors that I didn't even know existed, both in terms of my research and my professional development. First, as a doctoral candidate in the United States, I felt disconnected from the Canadian scholarly community, but now I have networks that transcend not only my discipline but also the academy. Through our semi-annual Trudeau gatherings, I developed close collaborations with colleagues at institutions around the world that will certainly continue beyond the tenure of the award. Second, with support from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, I was able to conduct extensive on-the-ground field work in Bolivia and I was able to share this research with multiple publics. There are few graduate students who have the luxury of visiting their field sites many times over multiple years, and I am grateful to the Foundation for making it easier to conduct ethical, generative research. Finally, my Trudeau mentor's consistent reminders to think beyond and outside of my PhD have been an anchor in a process that can easily feel detached from reality. In these ways, the Trudeau Scholarship has made my doctoral research better while also preparing me well for life beyond graduation.
Andrea is completing her PhD in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research explores subterranean politics and history through ethnographic and historical work with small-scale tin miners in the Bolivian highlands. Informed by political economy, postcolonial theory, and science and technology studies, this work offers a new genealogy of "resource nationalism" that takes seriously the geological matter of the subsoil and the lived experiences of miners laboring beneath the surface. She has published parts of this research in 'Environment and Planning A' and 'Geoforum' and has a forthcoming article in 'Latin American Perspectives'. The final year of her PhD will be undertaken with support from a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Mellon Foundation.
Prior to beginning her PhD, Andrea received an MA in Geography from the University of British Columbia, where she explored the politics of community water governance in peri-urban Cochabamba, Bolivia. She also holds a BA in International Comparative studies and Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University. She grew up on the prairies just outside of Barrhead, Alberta, and she has been running from the cold ever since.