The impact of music-making on civic engagement and social connectedness
Lucy PhD student Erica Cao (Music) and Gates Scholar on her multi-disciplinary research integrating psychology, sociology, and public policy
Lucy’s PhD student Claire Moll (Social Anthropology) on her past, present and future academic journey
Before pursuing my PhD in Social Anthropology, I earned my BA in Spanish, International Studies, and Latin American Studies from Saint Louis University in Missouri, USA (2014) and my MSc from the London School of Economics in Religion in the Contemporary World (2016). In between my studies, I worked in the non-profit sector for a few years, first as a communications officer in an NGO in El Salvador that supported local community organising efforts and later as a community organiser myself in East London. During those experiences working hands-on in the field of community development, it became clear that my set of talents (writing, analysis, and teaching) would best affect the change I wanted to see in the world through a career in academia.
When I did decide to continue my graduate studies, being unfamiliar with the college system as an international student, I was happily placed in Lucy Cavendish College. For me, Lucy provides a safe, intimate space for me to feel at home in a completely foreign setting. Throughout my time at Lucy, I have felt the genuine support of my tutor and other staff members that truly want to see me flourish. I met many like minded, compassionate friends in College that made the transition (particularly in my first year) into life at Cambridge University less daunting.
I am passionate about shedding light on under-represented narratives and empowering others to harness their own talents to influence positive collective change. Earning a PhD is an integral step in positioning me for a career where I get to do just that. I envision myself in the future as an academic continuing to research and teach on subjects related to social change in an environment where student development and wellbeing are priority.
I find my intellectual home within the anthropology of the good. My project explores the ways in which Evangelical women in rural El Salvador create bonds of trust through upholding values of solidarity and unity and how these bonds break down through lies and egotism.