Visiting Scholar Interview

Read about Melissa Aguilar Pavon, a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Latin American Studies.

Visiting Scholar Interview

November 16, 2018

Melissa Aguilar Pavon is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Latin American Studies. She is from Campeche, Mexico and is working towards a masters degree in International Relations and Human Rights at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. She is currently in her final semester and completing her thesis. After graduation, Melissa would like to become a professor or work in the International Trade area. Below is our interview with Melissa.

What is the focus of your research?

My research focuses on the disappearance of 43 students from the Normal Rural Raul Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa that took place in September 2014. This is a current topic on Human Rights in Mexico. I hope to identify the contradictions between the research of the Mexican government and the research that was done by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI).

What work have you engaged in while at the University of Florida?

I am doing some research at the Smather’s library by using the university database. I am currently in the process of writing my second and third thesis chapters. I am also helping the Center for Latin American Studies, giving talks on the Day of the Dead, and presenting my research to UF classes. I spent the day with language arts classes at Sanford Middle School in Seminole County, talked about Mexican culture in Spanish classes at Stetson University, did one virtual classroom visit, and spoke about my research in Dr. Correia's Human Rights course here at UF. I love to share my research and my culture as well.

What do you like about Gainesville?

What I most like about Gainesville is definitely the UF campus. It’s big, pretty, and there are so many things to see and do. The libraries are awesome! So is the school spirit. Everything is orange and blue! I like that Gainesville is a calm city, there is no traffic, and it’s safe. I also love the Krishna Lunches at the Plaza of the Americas and at the Krishna House.

Can you tell us about some interesting experiences you had during this trip?

I got to visit Ginnie Springs! The watercolors were so pretty and the nature on the float down the river was wonderful. I got to see Pitbull perform at an event from the Accent Speakers Bureau from UF. I was also able to participate in some activities with Sister Cities of Volusia. I also got to see old friends that I haven’t seen for 9 years. I am having a good time getting to know the student’s at the Center for Latin American Studies and some professors from UF.

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