The University of Illinois

The Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Lemann Fellows


2017-2018 Graduate Fellows

John Ben Soileau
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
Research Title: The Forest, the Trees, or the People: the Quilombolization of an Amazonian Peasantry in a post-NGO era of "Sustaininability"
soileau2@illinois.edu

Kelly Norell Senters
PhD Candidate, Political Science
Research Title: Is Municipality 'Emancipation' Overrated? An Assessment of the Causes and Consequences of Subnational Fragmentation in Brazil
senters2@illinois.edu

Thaís R. S. de Sant'Ana
PhD Candidate, History
Research Title: Between Nature and Nation: Manaus and the Making of Modern Brazil
tsantan2@illinois.edu

Juan Andrés Suarez Ontaneda
PhD Candidate, Spanish & Portuguese
Research Title: Performing the Diaspora in Brazil: the Black Experimental Theater and its Search for a Racial Language in mid-twentieth Century in Rio de Janeiro
jasuare2@illinois.edu


2016-2017 Graduate Fellows

Lucas R. Trevisan
M.S. Candidate, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Research Title: Developing Guidelines for Maximum Allowable Storage Times of Soybeans in Brazil and Other Low-Latitude Regions
trevisa2@illinois.edu

Kelly Senters
PhD Candidate, Political Science
Research Title: Leveraging Subnational Fragmentation to Assess Decentralization's Effect on Political Participation and the Provision of Public Goods
senters2@illinois.edu

Kelly Senters's project examines the causes and effects of subnational fragmentation and decentralization in Brazil. She uses diverse empirical strategies to understand whether political parties of Leftist ideological persuasions and inter-governmental fiscal transfer incentives contributed to the dramatic proliferation of municipalities in late-twentieth century Brazil and to assess the implications of subnational fragmentation for the municipal provision of primary education and public participation in municipal elections.

Marilia Correa
PhD Candidate, History
Research Title: Unusual Suspects: Persecuted Soldiers Under Military Rule in Brazil, 1964-1988
kuyumjn2@illinois.edu


2015-2016 Graduate Fellows

Mayara Balhego de Lima
M.A. Candidate, Urban and Regional Planning
Research Title: Haitian Presence in Southern Brazil: Its Present and Future Impacts on Immigration Policy
mblima2@illinois.edu

Mayara Balhego de Lima's project examines the contemporary migration circuit between Haiti and Brazil. Her work examines the impacts and influence of migration as it interacts with national, state, and local government policy.

John Marquez
PhD Candidate, History
Research Title: Community, Culture and Conflict: The Lives of Enslaved and Free People of African Descent in Late-Colonial Rio de Janeiro
jcmarqu2@illinois.edu

John Marquez's project focuses on the vice-regal capital of colonial Brazil, examining social relationships in slave society in order to understand the tension between the social and cultural proximity between slaves and free people amid differences of social hierarchy and legal status.

Lenore Matthew
PhD Candidate, School of Social Work
Research Title: Psychosocial Barriers to Formal Employment among Low-Income Women in Brazil
lematth2@illinois.edu

Lenore Matthew is conducting research in Salvador, Bahia, examining economic, demographic, social and psychological factors which affect low-income women's inclusion in formal work, in a context in which nearly half of Brazil's working population is active in informal employment.

Renato Schwambach Vieira
PhD Candidate, Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Research Title: Efficiency and Distributive Effects of Transit Fare Subsidies in Brazilian Cities
schwmbc2@illinois.edu

Renato Vieira's project applies methodologies used in U.S. And European cases to understand the role of transportation studies both as social welfare efforts and as efforts to relieve urban traffic, considering the complexity of transportation both in cost and congestion for job accessibility.


2014-2015 Graduate Fellows

Annie Contractor
Master Candidate, Urban and Regional Planning
Research Title: Greenwashing as a Justification for Housing Displacement in Fortaleza, Brazil
tractor@illinois.edu

Annie Contractor has worked in international development and applied research for 10 years focusing on slowing deforestation and public health. She is currently working toward a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree at the University of Illinois where her research is focused on housing displacement in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza. Her broader research interests include spatial social justice, gendered dynamics of urban planning, and meaningful stakeholder engagement in public decision-making.

Hapsatou Wane
PhD Candidate, Program in Comparative and World Literature
Reasearch Title: Decolonizing Autobiographies: Narratives of Detour by African Diasporic Women
hwane2@illinois.edu

Hapsatou's research centers on African diaspora literature, Anglophone and Francophone African literature, Afro-Brazilian literature, gender and women studies, postcolonial theory, genre theory and memory studies. Her dissertation presents fictional autobiographies written by women from Senegal, South Africa, Brazil and Guadeloupe as practices of life-writing de-routing/de-rooting the postcolonial diasporic discourse of narratives of return. Hapsatou graduated with an MA in English Studies/African Civilization and Literature at the University Gaston Berger in Senegal. She also holds an MA in African Studies and an MA in Comparative World Literature from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


2013-2014 Graduate fellows

Rafael P. Ribas
PhD Candidate, Department of Economics
Research Title: Direct and Indirect Effects of Cash Transfer on Labor Supply and Entrepreneurship: The case of Bolsa Família in Brazil
ribas1@illinois.edu

Rafael was born in Santa Rosa-RS, Brazil. He received his B.A. in Economics from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande Sul (UFRGS) in 2004. In 2006, he received his M.A. in Economics from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). His Master's thesis is on measuring poverty mobility and dynamics of income inequality. From 2006 to 2008, he worked for the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) at the United Nations. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Economics at the UIUC. His dissertation is on the effect of the Bolsa Família program on employment decisions and entrepreneurship in Brazil.

Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian
DMA Program in Jazz Studies. Division of Jazz Studies, School of Music
Research Title: Na Cozinha de Elis: Cesar Camargo Mariano's arrangements of samba for piano trio
kuyumji2@illinois.edu

Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian, originally from Campinas-SP, earned his bachelor's degree in Popular Music at UNICAMP in 2007 and a Master's of Music degree at the University of Iowa in 2010. During his tenure at U of Iowa, he was a teacher assistant in the Department of Jazz. He is currently pursuing his DMA in Jazz Studies at University of Illinois. As a performer and researcher, Marcelo is interested in different ways in which Jazz and Brazilian music interacts.

Krystal Maria Montesdeoca
M.S. Program in Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Research Title: The Economics of Safrinha Succession Cropping System
kmontes2@illinois.edu

Krystal Montesdeoca earned a B.A. in Spanish and Economics from Illinois State University. Upon graduation she received a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship to study at Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro for two years where she studied Business Intelligence and conducted volunteer work. She has centered her interests on the future of agriculture and using this industry to increase the world food supply and improve the world economy. Currently she is working on her master's degree in agricultural and applied economics at the University of Illinois. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and speaks intermediate Japanese. Krystal hopes to pursue a career in agribusiness and international trade.

John-Ben Soileau
PhD Student, Department of Anthropology
Research Title: Tensions of Practice: Açaí and the Commodification of Subsistence Agriculture in Brazil's Lower Amazon
soileau2@illinois.edu

John-Ben received his BA in cultural anthropology from the University of New Orleans, and his MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University, also in New Orleans--his hometown. The Lemann fellowship will support his third year of the PhD program in sociocultural anthropology, during which time he will analyze preliminary fieldwork results and prepare for long-term ethnographic fieldwork. His dissertation project examines the participation of a rural Afro-Brazilian community in the regional and international açaí market.

Isabel Freitas Peres
J.D. Candidate 2014, University of Illinois College of Law
Research Title: Engaging the Brazilian Diaspora in Development – A Proposal for Brazilian Diaspora Bonds
peres2@illinois.edu

Isabel Freitas Peres, originally from Joinville, Brazil, earned her bachelor's degree in Law at Escola de Direito de São Paulo da Fundação Getulio Vargas in 2010, as well as an LL.M. degree at the University of Illinois College of Law in the same year. After finishing her LL.M. degree, she also earned a master's in Law and Economics from the European Master in Law and Economics program through studies in Italy and Germany. She is currently pursuing her J.D. degree at the University of Illinois College of Law and her current academic interests center around business law, law and development, and law and economics. In her research, she will focus on the viability of Brazil utilizing diaspora bonds and other innovative types of financial instruments to finance investments in infrastructure projects in Brazil.

Chris Wilhelmi
Degree: M.S. Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Research Title: Preventing Post-Harvest Soybean Losses in Brazil
wilhelm4@illinois.edu

Chris Wilhelmi received his B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering with a minor in Food Science from the University of Illinois in the fall of 2012. His undergraduate work concentrated on food and biological processing, with a personal interest in grains. He began his master's work the following spring with a focus on Brazilian soybeans. He is currently working with UFMT-Sinop on studying and preventing losses in soybean yield due to transportation from interior production areas to coastal ports. He is working on gaining proficiency in Portuguese and plans to visit Brazil in the spring of 2014 to continue his research in the field.


2012-2013 Graduate fellows

Pamela Cappas-Toro
PhD, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Research Title: Race and Dictatorship
pcappas2@illinois.edu

Laura Chinchilla
PhD, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Research Title: Detecting the Americas: Travel, Crime and Conspiracy
chinchi1@illinois.edu

Rejane Dias
PhD Program in Bilingual Education, Division of Language & Literacy, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Research Title:Teachers’ Perception of Bilingualism and Biculturalism: The Case of Brazilian Borderlands
rgdias@illinois.edu

Vivian Felicio
PhD Program in Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
Research Title: Linguistically and Culturally Relevant Literacy Practices for Speakers of Brazilian Portuguese Language
felicio2@illinois.edu

Erin McKenna
PhD, Department of Recreation, Sports and Tourism
Research Title: Converging Cosmopolitanism in Salvador's Alternative Tourism Sector
mckenna8@illinois.edu

Bradley R. Skousen
PhD, Department of Business Administration
Research Title: Enterpreunership and Innovation in Brazil
skousen2@illinois.edu

Paulo Hernique Vaz
PhD, Department of Economics
Research Title: Brazil Long-Term Economic Grouth: Investigating the Puzzle from a Fim-level Perspective
pereira6@illinois.edu


2011-2012 Graduate fellows

Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian
DMA Program in Jazz Studies. Division of Jazz Studies, School of Music
Research Title: Elis Regina's Quartet and its Interpretation of Samba: Issues in the Process of Innovation of Popular Music in Brazil
kuyumji2@illinois.edu

Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian, originally from Campinas-SP, earned his bachelor’s degree in Popular Music at UNICAMP in 2007, as well as a Master’s of Music degree at the University of Iowa in 2010. During his tenure at U of Iowa, he was a teacher assistant in the Department of Jazz. He is currently pursuing his DMA in Jazz Studies at University of Illinois. As a performer and researcher, Marcelo is interested in different ways in which Jazz and Brazilian music interacts.

Vivian Carla Felicio
PhD Program in Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education
Research Title: Linguistically and Culturally Relevant Literacy Practices for Speakers of Brazilian Portuguese Language
felicio2@illinois.edu

Vivian Felicio received her B.A. in Portuguese and English Languages and literature from the University of Sagrado Coração (USC) São Paulo, Brazil, and her M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (MATESL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education at University of Illinois in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Through her work as a research assistant, Ms. Felicio worked on the Improving Bilingual and ESL Education grant funded by the United States Department of Education. In this role, she participated in professional staff development projects at local elementary and middle schools and the infusion of instructional methods for linguistically diverse students into content area curriculum. Ms. Felicio was also a teaching assistant for CI 415, a course designed for pre-service teachers enrolled in the elementary teacher education program. The course focused on issues related to appropriate educational programs and pedagogical techniques for linguistically and culturally diverse students.

Diego Sanches Correa
PhD Program in Political Science, Department of Political Science
Research Title: Switching Sides: Income Redistribution and Realignment of PT's Electoral Bases
dcorrea2@illinois.edu

Diego Correa studies the association between programs of income redistribution and presidential elections. More specifically, he investigates how the recent spread of Conditional Cash Transfer programs across Latin America has affected the electoral performances of incumbent presidential candidates. In the case of Brazil, the focus is on the Bolsa Família program, and the 2002, 2006, and 2010 electoral contests.

Narlan Matos Teixeira
PhD Program in Brazilian Literature, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Research Title: The Genesis of Post-Modernity in Brazil: Notes on Industrial Design, Tropicalia and Counterculture.
nteixei2@illinois.edu

Narlan Matos earned a BA from the Federal University at Bahia, where he was awarded several research fellowships. He holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico, where he was also a TA. Has worked for nearly six years as a TA at the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he is currently writing his PhD thesis entitled Inventory of Chaos: Rogério Duarte, Tropicália and Post-Modernity. His work has brought back to attention the lost legacy of Tropicalist theoretician Rogério Duarte. As a result of that, a whole lost generation legacy has been identified and reincorporated to the canon. He has participated in the International Visitor’s Leadership Program, as an official guest of the United States of America.

Carla da Silva
PhD Program in Portuguese Studies, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Research Title: The Journey Within: travel narratives in Brazilian cinema
cdasilv2@illinois.edu

Carla da Silva earned a dual B.A. in English and Portuguese along with a teaching certificate from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She also earned an M.A. in American & English Literature from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). Passionate about teaching, she spent more than a decade teaching ESL in Brazil. Since 2007, she has worked as a teaching assistant of Portuguese at the University of Illinois. Her current academic interests are Brazilian literature and cinema and the teaching of Portuguese as a second language.

Euler P. G. de Mello
PhD Program in Economics, Department of Economics
Research Title: Extending the Maternity Leave in Brazil: An Assessment
goncalv1@illinois.edu