"Belen is an impressive scholar who maintains an active portfolio of research, community engagements, and teaching-related activities. In addition to her ground-breaking research, which looks at affective communication of wellbeing among migrant communities in Ecuador, she serves on the Board of Directors of El Churo which is a community media initiative in Quito, collaborates with Global Voices which curates and amplifies alternative news stories, and contributes actively to graduate student life at SFU by offering workshops on key issues like grant writing and academic presentations.  I must also mention that Belen is a lovely person.  She is a fun, positive, and engaging individual, who deeply enjoys people and seeks out opportunities to be of service.  She represents what is best about community engaged research: good people working collaboratively to produce knowledge in support of positive local change."

Dr. Reilly

 

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Student Profile: Belen Febres-Cordero

September 15, 2021
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School of Communication doctoral student in the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

I am a journalist, anthropologist, and Communication PhD Candidate who lives in between academic disciplines, languages, places, actions and words. My interests are situated in the intersections of community-engaged research, health communication, feminist theory, community media, and I am always open to other areas of convergence to explore. I have conducted qualitative research with diverse groups in Canada and Latin America for over a decade, and I have worked closely with different communities towards the common objective of amplifying the voices less heard in research and communication platforms. I believe that merging different perspectives can lead to new possibilities and growth; and combining diverse ideas and practices is the activity that I like the most. As Jorge Luis Borges, one of my many favorite authors, I imagine that paradise must be a library of some sort.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose to enroll in the doctoral program in the School of Communication at SFU because of the University's strong emphasis on community engagement, which is at the core of my work. I also wanted to keep working with my Senior Supervisor, Dr. Katherine Reilly, who was part of my committee when I was pursuing a Master's Degree in Anthropology at SFU.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My project collaborates with women who have migrated from rural parts of Ecuador to Quito, the country’s capital city, and with local community media to gather and share alternative experiences of wellbeing in the context of internal migration, and to collectively consider their relation to structural factors shaping women’s health.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to study what I love and to work with communities in Ecuador, my birth country, while living in Canada.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I feel honored and humbled for having received the William & Ada Isabelle Steel Memorial Graduate Scholarship, the IODE Seaman Morley Scott Memorial Graduate Scholarship, the Emergency Preparedness Conference Scholarship in Emergency Communications, SSHRC's Doctoral Fellowship, and CERi's fellowship and research funding programs at SFU. These awards have not only allowed me to conduct my study to the best of my abilities, but also to hire people from the community to work on different research-related activities. To be able to pay people fairly and to relieve at least a little bit of the profound economic hardship that they were going through has meant the world to me.

 

Contact : belen_febres@sfu.ca

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