Matias G. Flores

M.S./Ph.D. Candidate, Development Sociology
  • Research focus: Universities' role in development, particularly in public engagement initiatives, and the history of university extension in Latin America and participatory Action Research and its Latin American roots.
  • Hometown: Santiago, Chile
  • College attended and degree earned: University of Chile - Bachelor's degree in Sociology
  • Fun fact: My family is full of artists, and I don't know how to paint a mandala.
What are the big challenges you want to tackle in the world?

To overcome inequalities and involve universities, faculty, and students in the key issues of development in the global south.

What impact do you want to make on the world?

To recognize and give value to popular knowledge and theories from the south.

What were you doing before the PhD program?

I worked at the University of Chile in the Vice-Presidency of University Extension. I coordinated the Data and Analysis Unit, co-edited a book that recovered more than 50 public engagement initiatives, and designed a data system to register university extension projects. I'm also a member of the Working Group "Núcleo Sentipensante de Metodologías Participativas" (Sentipensante Nucleus of Participatory Methodologies) at the Department of Sociology at the University of Chile.

What has been the most memorable or impactful experience of your academic or professional career so far?

In 2014 I was elected as a student representative in the University Senate at the University of Chile. There I worked with faculty, staff, and students from all departments, met public engagement practitioners, and co-designed the Institutional Development Project 2017-2026.

How do you envision your PhD degree contributing to your career?

I'll gain experience in a global context, have access to international experiences in public engagement, and acquire solid methodological tools to conduct independent research.

Awards and honors
  • Latin American and Caribbean Program (LACS) Graduate Fellow '21-'22
  • Equal Opportunities Fulbright-CONICYT Scholarship '18 (Beca de Igualdad de Oportunidades)
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