2020 Latin American Studies Alumni Award Recipients

Camila Pazos Fajardo

2020 OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD

Camila Pazos Fajardo graduated in 2012 with an MA of Sustainable Development Practice and the Tropical Conservation and Development Certificate. Today, she is the Director of Investment Programs at the global nonprofit Echoing Green. In this role, drives the strategy for finding and selecting emerging leaders to join the organization’s community of Fellows, focusing on issues of climate change, education, health, human rights, poverty, and racial justice. Camila leads an inclusive and selective seven-month evaluation process, which results in a recommendation on how to distribute $4 million in funding. Under Camila’s tenure, Echoing Green has invested in organizations such as Emerge Puerto Rico, Urban Oasis, Latin American Leadership Academy, Vida Afrolatina, Low Carbon City, and MicroTERRA.

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Laury Cullen

2020 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Laury Cullen works as a researcher at Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (IPÊ) in Brazil. Laury graduated in 1997 with an MA of Latin American Studies and the Tropical Conservation and Development Certificate. Among a career of outstanding achievements, one of Laury’s most notable is his Corridors for Life project, which works to link four forest corridors across fragmented habitats in the Pontal do Paranapanema. When Laury began at IPÊ as an intern, nine-tenths of the Mata Atlantica had been destroyed. Through the work of the project, Laury facilitated reforestation of private lands by training over 300 farming families in agroecological technologies that improve their land and their livelihoods.

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2019 Latin American Studies Alumni Award Recipients

DR. BERTRHUDE ALBERT

2019 OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD

Dr. Bertrhude Albert received her MA in Latin American Studies and her Ph.D. in Agricultural Education and Communication from the University of Florida. She co-founded the nonprofit P4H Global, formerly known as Projects for Haiti. P4H Global is currently training Haitian teachers in 7 of Haiti's 10 departments and by the end of 2019, they will be operating in all 10 of Haiti's departments. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the P4H team, over 5,000 teachers have been trained across Haiti. Albert has received numerous awards in recognition of her work, including being inducted into the UF Hall of Fame and an International Outreach Award, among others.

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JORGE PIÑON

2019 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Jorge Piñon received his BA in Economics and a Certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. Piñon’s 32-year career in the energy industry began when he joined Shell Oil Company in 1975. He was appointed President and CEO of Transworld Oil USA in 1989 and President of Amoco Corporate Development Company Latin America in 1991. In 1994, he served as president of Amoco Oil de México and president of Amoco Oil Latin America. In 1997, Piñon received the "Yiacatecutli" award for distinguished service in the promotion of U.S.-Mexico business relations.

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2018 Latin American Studies Alumni Award Recipients

DR. KRISTIN TENNYSON

2018 OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD

Dr. Kristin Tennyson graduated from the University of Florida with an MA in Latin American Studies in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law & Society in 2009. Tennyson’s work pertaining to the region expands over 20 years and includes multiple positions in the Department of State. Throughout her professional career, Tennyson has held positions such as Assistant Professor at Indiana University Southeast, Intelligence Specialist for the United States Special Operations Command, as well as Foreign Affairs Analyst at the Department of State. As recognition of her work, Tennyson has received four medals of commendation as well as multiple awards.

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DR. SUZANA PADUA

2018 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Dr. Suzana Padua graduated from the University of Florida with an MA in Latin American Studies with a focus on environmental education in 1991. After her graduation, she returned to her native Brazil and in 2004 she completed a Doctorate in Multidisciplinary studies at the University of Brasília. In 1992, working alongside her husband Dr. Claudio Padua, she founded the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (IPÊ). The mission of IPÊ is to develop and disseminate innovative models of biodiversity conservation that promote socio-economic benefits through science, education and sustainable business. To this extent, IPÊ created Brazil’s first Professional Masters degree in Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, and also offers an MBA in Social-Environmental Business, which is designed to introduce sustainability as the basis for business professionals.

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2017 Latin American Studies Alumni Award Recipients

Dr. Joe Townsend

2017 Outstanding Alumni Award

Dr. Joe Townsend received his Master’s in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida. He is an Associate Professor of Biology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the evolution, diversity, and conservation of the amphibians and reptiles of northern Central America, particularly Honduras, and has resulted in 115 scientific publications. Additionally, Dr. Townsend regularly engages in outreach in rural public schools in Western Pennsylvania. He is dedicated to the development and conservation of practitioners in Honduras and is involved in workshops for university students, park guards, and local guides.


Jay Brickman

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

Jay Brickman is the Vice President for Government and Cuba Services for Crowley Maritime Corporation. Mr. Brickman graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in Political Science and Economics and a certificate in Latin American Studies. He completed a Master’s in International Economics and Latin American Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Brickman has spent his entire career promoting business and commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean. Additionally, he has been a pioneer in addressing regional transportation and logistics issues. Because of his longstanding commitment to developing working relationships with Cuba, Mr. Brickman has become a highly respected authority on US-Cuba trade issues.