Visiting & Research Scholars

Each year, the Center for Latin American Studies welcomes various researchers and visiting scholars from across the globe. Center scholars engage with our faculty and students, expand upon their research by taking advantage of UF's resources, and help bring new scholarly and cultural perspectives to our community. Below are the current research and visiting scholars at the Center.

Dr. Rebecca Williams

Dr. Jennifer Fuenmayor


Rebecca (Becky) J. Williams

Visiting Assistant Professor Rebecca Williams Small
Center for Latin American Studies
Masters of Sustainable Development Practice Program
Tropic Conservation and Development Program
University of Florida

Dr. Rebecca J. (Becky) Williams’ is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Center for Latin American Studies and she is core faculty in both the Master of Sustainable Development Practice program and the Tropical Conservation and Development program. Her research has two primary focuses including the connections between climate change, violence, and migration; and gender and participatory development with a focus on natural resources and indigenous communities. Williams' most recent research was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and took a socio-ecological systems approach to investigating how rural livelihoods in Honduras are being influenced by climate change, resulting in migration and illicit livelihood opportunities (such as gangs and narcotrafficking) becoming alternative opportunity pathways. The results of her research is being used to develop USAID-Honduras' next 5-year development strategy. She is currently working on multiple articles out of her research. ​

Williams' serves on many student committees (Masters and PhD) and participates in the Latin American Studies Curriculum Committee. She enjoys teaching as much as she enjoys research and she offers courses in the Fall and Spring semesters. Dr. Williams holds an M.S. from Florida State University in Instructional Systems Design and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Interdisciplinary Ecology with a focus on Tropical Conservation and Development.

Research Interests: Intersection of climate change, migration and violence; gender, intersectionality, and masculinities; participatory and qualitative methods; indigenous communities; development practice; critical feminism

Geographic Expertise​: Central America, Guyana

Courses Taught:

  • ​LAS 6291​: Communication and Leadership for Development Practice
  • LAS 6291​: Facilitation Skills for Conservation and Development Practice​
  • LAS 6938: Intersectionality in Conservation and Development Research and Practice
  • LAS 6938: Qualitative Data Analysis

Jennifer Fuenmayor

Visiting Assistant Professor 
Economic and Social Sciences
Center for Latin American Studies
University of Florida

Jennifer Fuenmayor is an economist and visiting professor from Venezuela, where she has been a professor and researcher at the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences (FCES) of Zulia University (LUZ) since 1996. Her teaching experience encompasses economic development, public planning, theory of public administration, and analysis and formation of public policies. Her research focuses on public administration, political philosophy, and public policies in Venezuela. Her current active research project is titled “New political cycle, 2018 presidential elections and public policies in Venezuela: high intensity populism?”

Dr. Fuenmayor is a member of the Academy of Economic Sciences of the State of Zulia (ACEEZ) and holds a Master’s degree in economics and political science (LUZ) and a Doctorate degree in political science (LUZ), with postdoctoral research in Management and Public Policies (LUZ).

Research Interests: Political cycle, creative industries, public sector, public policies, public management, decentralization, administrative modernization, health policy, social policy, economic policy and development, citizen participation

Geographic Expertise​: Venezuela

Courses Taught:

  • LAS 3930: Políticas públicas y desarrollo en América Latina
  • ​LAS 4935 / 6938​: Venezuela: De Chávez a Maduro

Previous Visiting and Research Scholars