Diana Maria Contreras Mojica (Colombia) successfully completed her PhD in Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg in the winter term 2015-16. In her PhD thesis, she investigated “Spatial Vulnerability Indicators Applied to Recovery and Risk Reduction after Earthquakes: The Case Study of L’Aquila”. She also holds a BA in architecture (1995-2001), a degree in “Evaluation of Risk and Disaster Prevention“ (2001-2002) and an MA in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (2007-2009). For her PhD in Salzburg, Diana received a scholarship from the AAI.
During her time in Salzburg, Diana was actively engaged in the work and events of the AAI, and in addition, she worked as a research assistant at the Department of Geoinformatics. After the successful defense of her PhD thesis, Diana began working with the Global Earthquake Model in Pavia, Italy in November 2016. Since vulnerability to and damages from earthquakes are increasing, it is more important than ever to work with companies like GEM and open data to collect information about risks and possible developments. Diana’s research constitutes an essential contribution in this area.
Julius Timgum (Cameroon) is presently doing his PhD in Sociology at the University of Innsbruck. He earned a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of Kwazulu Natal South Africa (2007) as well as an MBA in International Health Care Management from the Management Centre Innsbruck (2009-2012), for which he was granted a One World Scholarship by the AAI Salzburg.
After completing his MBA degree in 2012 he interned with Caritas/Welthaus Innsbruck for 6 months. Subsequently, he worked for XCOM-Africa, a German consulting firm focused on investment in Sub-Saharan Africa. At present Julius is writing his PhD thesis which focuses on Health Care financing in low income countries and the cultural reasons surrounding the low subscription of individuals and households to Micro Health Insurance Organizations.
Ramachandran Sudalayandi from India successfully completed his Master program “International Health and Social Management” at the MCI. For his Master thesis he evaluated SOS Kinderdorf projects in India. After he returned to Bangalore he founded the youth organisation Treeonz with like-minded people, where he drafts and implemenst sustainable and community based art and culture projects. One focus is on the empowerment of women through art. It is also Treeonz´ objective to reflate art forms which are becoming extinct and to open up new perspectives and cosmopolitanism through international exchange, in particular for women in the countryside who usually lack such opportunities. Ramachandran, who is a talented musician and fireart performer, has been involved in cultural projects for disadvantaged teenagers already before his studies in Austria. This was one of the reasons for his acceptance into the One World Scholarship Program. During his Master program he acquired skills to successfully lead bigger projects with social impact.
Johanna Maria Mejía Sanchez (Colombia) has been living in Austria since 2009. She obtained a Business Diploma in Bogota in 2005 and has graduated the Master Programme for International Business and Law at the Management Center Innsbruck in 2012. As a scholarship holder Johanna has been actively involved in AAI events; she has for instance presented her Master thesis at a "Global Space" event in fall 2012. Her thesis is entitled „Artisanal and small-scale Mining: Analysis of the Fairtrade/Fairmined Initiative" and analyzes the challenges that traditional small-scale gold mining communities in Colombia face while attempting to secure their livelihood through fairtrade products.
While doing research in Colombia Johanna decided to apply her business education and experience to social and developmental concerns. Upon graduation she founded the jewellery label Amalena. Amalena aims to distribute the benefits in the production and commercialization of “ethical jewelry” by involving local artisans who use traditional techniques in the production of gold jewelry.
The current collection of Amalena is available here: www.amalena.com
Moquet César Flan (Côte d´Ivoire) studied Political Science at the University of Innsbruck. Moquet was an AAI scholarship holder between 2004 and 2009 and completed his PhD in 2009 being advised by the reknown Austrian political scientist Prof. Anton Pelinka. He is based in Côte d’Ivoire and has been working there as a university lecturer in Political Science since 2010. Moquet is founder and head of the "Centre de Recherche Politique d´Abidjan".
The idea of creating a research centre came to him during the spring of 2006 while preparing for his doctorate in Innsbruck. Having noticed the great gap in term of political development of Africa compared to many other parts of the world, he found it worth creating a research center so as to set reflexion on issues linked with Africa’s political development. After his studies in Austria Moquet decided to return to Cote d’Ivoire where he witnessed the serious post-electoral crisis in 2011, claiming at least 3000 deaths in 4 months. This crisis shed light on African political systems’ fragility in which the political game is unfair and generally takes place in deeply divided societies, with a political culture heavily marked by conflicts. This episode of his personal history strengthened his intentions of creating a centre that should contribute to Africa’s political development through analysis, consulting, and through the infusing of democratic and citizenship values.