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A message from our Program Director

This month in the Regional Office

Dear <<First Name>>,

With the end of a very successful year, the Regional Office has now begun 2014 with a growing portfolio of programs.  As you will see in this month’s Newsletter, we are thrilled to welcome a diverse array of students and faculty for programs this January. We are also anticipating the second round of programs for the Harvard-Chile Innovation Initiative, through which nine new Harvard faculty-led collaborative research projects will begin this year. In addition, we are anticipating a broad array of new programs in the region that build upon the innovative work of the Regional Office.
 
As we reflect about all the work that the Regional Office accomplished in 2013, we cannot go on without thanking each of you for your support and encouragement that made this past year so successful in further engaging Harvard in the region.  This new year will surely present us with new ideas and opportunities, which we will be able to address with your continued involvement.

Sincerely,

Ned Strong
Program Director
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Harvard-Chile Innovation Initiative

On November 1, 21 faculty proposals were submitted to the Harvard-Chile Innovation Initiative. This Initiative provides start-up funds of $25,000 per project for collaborations between Harvard and Chilean colleagues for joint research and programs. This Initiative is sponsored by Chile’s National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) and the Ministry of the Economy.

In mid-December, the HCII Selection Committee chose the following 9 projects to be part of this year's Harvard-Chile Innovation Initiative:

1. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition as a Driver of Economic Development in Cobquecura, Chile
This project will develop and study results of a competitive entrepreneurial and innovation start-up program, with the aim to revitalize the local economy of Cobquecura. This project is part of the central activity of the Harvard course: Community Recovery: Rebuilding Disaster Damaged Communities in Chile
Harvard Faculty: Professor Doug Ahlers, Harvard Kennedy School

Regional Collaborators: Ivan Cartes, Universidad del Bio Bio; Marcela Renteria, DRCLAS Regional Office


2. Conceptual Stumblings 
This project aims to consolidate a new body of knowledge through research, seminars and workshops, analyzing relationships between aesthetics and politics that developed a new body of conceptual art throughout the last 40 year period.
Harvard Faculty: Professors Sergio Delgado and Thomas Cummins, Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Liz Munsell, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Regional Collaborators: Universidad Católica; Museo de Solidaridad Salvador Allende

3. Developing Educational Video Games for Blind Children: A Merger of Assistive Technology and Study of Brain Function
This project will develop novel education and rehabilitation strategies for the blind, bringing together neuroscientists and software developers to create gaming software for the blind.
Harvard Faculty: Professors Lotfi Merabet and Lindsay Yazzolino, Harvard Medical School; Ribah Dow, Carrol Center for the Blind; Darick Wright, Perkins School for the Blind

Regional Collaborators: Jaime Sanchez and Matias Espinoza, Universidad de Chile; Francisco Aylwin, Fundación Telefónica, Santa Lucia School for the Blind

4. Cellular Solids: Thermodynamics of Wood Urbanism
This project aims to develop one of the first dynamic studies of wood for contemporary mid-rise buildings, including the composite structural, thermal, ecological, geographical behaviors of wood as a modern construction material.
Harvard Faculty: Professor Kiel Moe, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Regional Collaborators: Juan Jose Ugarte, Andres Sierra, Tomas Folch and Daniel Ibanez, Universidad Católica CIDM, Faculty of Architecture


5. Innovative School Partnership: Educación Basada en Realidad
This project will embed health and wellness, environmental and conservation learning, and family and community growth into the school environment to prepare children for a productive future as part of disaster recovery.
Harvard Faculty: Professors Judith Palfrey and Elizabeth Peacock-Chambers, Harvard Medical School

Regional Collaborators: Dr. Mario Valdivia, Universidad de Concepcion

6. Chile 2014: Chile-Harvard Innovative Learning Exchange
This project aims to achieve research collaboration providing hands-on experience for faculty and graduate students working on a cutting-edge astronomical instrument, the Dark Energy Camera, and contributing to the international Dark Energy Survey probing the origin of the universe.
Harvard Faculty: Professors Hanspeter Pfister, Charles Alcock and Pavlos Protopapas, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Regional Collaborators: Eduardo Vera, Pablo Estevez and Mario Hamuy, Universidad de Chile; Chris Smith, AURA; Karim Pichara, Universidad Católica


7. Language for Learning: Designing and Pilot Testing a Promising Instrument to Capture Spanish-Speaking Adolescents' Academic Language Skills in Chile
This project will conduct research using a theoretically grounded psychometrically robust instrument to track, for the first time, the development of school relevant language skills for Spanish speaking children.
Harvard Faculty: Professor Paola Uccelli, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Regional Collaborators: Alejandra Meneses, Universidad Católica

8. Critical Design and Research for Informal Learning
Through the use of design, the project will develop a new research initiative to explore alternative forms of informal learning, using new design technologies. 
Harvard Faculty: Professor Krzysztof Wodiczko, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Regional Collaborators: Sergio Araya, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez 

9. CRISPR-Based Technologies for Synthetic Biology in Plants
This project will design and construct artificial biological systems combining engineering and systems biology, bridging the gap between these new technologies and current knowledge.
Harvard Faculty: Professor Jen Sheen, Harvard Medical School

Regional Collaborators: Rodrigo Gutierrez, Universidad Católica

We were very pleased with the level of interest in these collaborations by faculty, and hope that in the very near future we can expand the program to accommodate this increase in demand.

January Programs in the Region

Advancing Harvard's mission of creating global citizens through education and international experience, the Regional Office has spent the past few months designing various January-term programs. As a result and in collaboration with various partners in Cambridge and in the region, the Regional Office is pleased to co-sponsor and facilitate the following interdisciplinary programs, serving Harvard faculty and students across the University. 

Community Recovery: Rebuilding Disaster-Damaged Communities in Chile
From January 2-18, Professor Douglas Ahlers is directing a winter term course for 20 Harvard Kennedy School graduate students, in collaboration with the Regional Office. The course applies economic development and disaster recovery skills in field-based team projects, assisting the residents of the earthquake and tsunami damaged towns of Dichato, Perales, and Cobquecura. This course is part of the Recupera Chile project, which over the years has provided a range of services for recovery after the 2010 8.8 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, which damaged 370,000 homes.

 

Health Reform and Community Medicine in Chile 
From January 2-24 and in collaboration with the Regional Office, Professor Thomas Bossert is directing his eleventh annual winter term course for 15 Harvard School of Public Health graduate students. Taking place in Santiago, Chile, the course is designed to allow students to see firsthand two major current public health issues in a remarkable and exciting period of innovation in Chile: the process of reforming health systems, and innovations in community medicine approaches, including the assessment of social capital initiatives. 

DRCLAS-Universidad Mayor Experiential Learning Program: Healthcare in Rural Settings
Running from January 2-21 and in collaboration with Universidad Mayor, the Regional Office is welcoming 12 Harvard undergraduates in this January Program in Temuco, Chile. Working alongside Chilean students from Universidad Mayor, Harvard students experience full linguistic, social, and cultural immersion, while participating in community service activities related to rural healthcare. Program activities include: workshops on healthcare and prevention given to the community, house visits to patients with limited access to healthcare, and physiotherapy, among others.


Lengua, Cultura, Gastronomía y Servicio a la Comunidad
From January 5-21, Dr. Johanna Liander is directing this January Program for 10 Harvard undergraduates, in collaboration with the Regional Office. Through this program, students will have the opportunity to improve their Spanish while learning about Peruvian culture, history and gastronomy. In this
program, students spend their mornings in classes on Peruvian history, culture, biodiversity, and in sessions with Peruvian chefs and cooking classes, held at the Cultural Center of Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). In the afternoons, they volunteer at various organizations: homes for street children, trade schools for adolescents, hospitals, gardens and technology centers.

Harvard-Chile Special Workshop on Data Science: An Innovative Learning Exchange
The Institute for Applied Computational Science (IACS) of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University and the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM) of the School of Engineering and Sciences (FCFM) at the University of Chile (UChile) are partnering together, with the support of AURA Inc. and the Núcleo Milenio de Estudios de Supernovas, to provide a team-based intercultural learning experience during the Chilean summer period. From January 8-22, with support from the Regional Office, Dr. Pavlos Protopapas is leading 6 Harvard students, who will work together with Chilean students in three interdisciplinary teams on a real-world computationally challenging problem, drawn from the data of a cutting-edge astronomical instrument, the Dark Energy Camera.

Visiting Scholars and Fellows Program

Each year DRCLAS selects a number of distinguished academics (Visiting Scholars) and professionals (Fellows) who wish to spend one or two semesters at Harvard, working on their own research and writing projects. Participants are selected competitively on the basis of their qualifications, their proposed plan of research, and the relevance of both to the Center's mission and objectives. Application deadline for the 2014-15 academic year is February 1, 2014. 


While there are opportunities available throughout Latin America, we would like to highlight two specific programs available in Chile and Argentina.

The Andrónico Luksic Craig Visiting Scholars & Fellows Program
The Luksic Visiting Scholars ad Fellows Program was created in 1999 through a generous donation by Andrónico Luksic that permanently funds Chilean scholars and professionals to spend an academic semester or a year at Harvard University.


The Amalia de Fortabat Visiting Scholars and Fellows Program
Established through a gift from Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, the de Fortabat Visiting Scholars and Fellows Program is restricted to scholars and professionals from Argentina. Priority is given to those working on issues related to public policy, social and economic development, and other areas of importance for the development of Argentine scholarship and professional life.

For more information about these programs and how to apply, please visit the Visiting Scholars page.

Discovering Antarctica

Thanks to Harvard Graduate School of Education Alumna, Mónica Krassa, the Regional Office has been working with the Chilean Navy and the Maritime Patrimony Corporation to develop a museum and educational center at the Arturo Prat Naval Base in Antarctica. The base, situated on the Antarctic Peninsula, presents a number of fascinating possibilities to advance knowledge on issues such as oceanography, the history of exploration, glaciology, human survival, polar flora and fauna, and climate change. The Arturo Prat Naval Base is one of the oldest year-round bases on the Antarctic continent, founded in 1947. Designated in 2006 as a National Patrimonial monument, it will be the site of a new Antarctic museum.  

Harvard is collaborating in this effort through Professor James McCarthy and the former President of the Boston Museum of Science, David Ellis. The site provides a wonderful opportunity for the 30,000 adventure tourists going to Antarctica each year, and for students and researchers to visit the region, learn about the science, history, and life on the continent. The Regional Office is hoping to develop educational opportunities for groups of Harvard and Chilean students as a component of the Harvard effort.

Recupera Chile's Health Initiatives

At the end of last year and in collaboration with the Dichato municipality, Pilar del Canto, Recupera Chile’s health coordinator, Mario Valdivia and Mónica Troncoso, members of Universidad de Concepción's Medical School, coordinated over 400 medical examinations given to local children to determine if they were in need of corrective eyewear. The examinations unveiled more than 80 cases of children with visual anomalies. After the examinations, Recupera Chile committed to donating corrective lenses to each diagnosed child.

On December 17, Recupera Chile and the Regional Office donated eyeglasses to the diagnosed children, and led a workshop for parents to understand the importance of wearing corrective eyewear and of visual health. We would like to thank the municipality of Dichato, Universidad de Concepción, and the Dichato school staff and families for collaborating in this initiative.

For more information about the Regional Office and Recupera Chile's impact on the communities of Dichato, Cobquecura and Perales, watch this video.

The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies is grateful to its friends and donors for their commitment and support. We are particularly grateful to Andrónico Luksic for his great generosity, supporting core activities of our Regional Office and contributing to these eleven years of success. 
Copyright © 2014 David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Regional Office, All rights reserved.

For inquiries about the DRCLAS Regional Office newsletter, contact Marco Perez-Moreno at mfperez@fas.harvard.edu.

Our mailing address is:
David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Regional Office
Dag Hammarskjold 3269, Santiago, Chile
Vitacura
Santiago 7630412
Chile

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