Gretha Suarez ’15 has been awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to India. Through her project, Gender and Public Space: Politics of Women’s Safety in Ahmedabad and Mumbai, she will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying how urban infrastructure regulates women’s presence in Mumbai and Ahmedabad’s public spaces. These cities provide a platform to examine the conditions of women’s safety and rights to public space by comparing infrastructure that facilitates access.
Through ethnographic observation, interviews, and analysis of case studies focused on urban development in India, Suarez will evaluate the gendered nature of public spaces and how public safety is defined for women. India is an ideal location to research today’s discourse on women’s safety and accessibility to urban public spaces.
Although women in India have increasingly taken up new opportunities available to them through the liberalization of the economy, be it in higher education, the workforce, or political office, this progress has not translated into equal or increased security for women in public spaces.
A world politics major at Hamilton, Suarez studied in India during the fall 2013 semester. She conducted an independent fieldwork project, interviewing middle class citizens and researching how water purification impacted the subjects’ identity and shaped their views on both the private sector and state. Suarez spent the spring 2014 semester on Hamilton’s program in Washington, D.C. and interned at Forest Trends, Water Initiative Group.
Last summer she interned for the City of Rochester (N.Y.), Bureau of Planning and Zoning where she reviewed and edited the update of the City’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, and participated in a committee to evaluate consultant proposals for the High Falls Pedestrian Access Improvement Study.
At Hamilton Suarez is co-founder and co-director of Leadership Experience and Preparation (LEAP), a student-run program connected to a credit-bearing philosophy course to promote leadership skills among 16 first-year students. She is a Library & Information Technology Services research tutor; a member of the Class of 2015 Senior Gift Committee; a steering committee member of the working group on Diversity and Inclusion; and programming coordinator for the Voices of Color Lecture Series.
Suarez, an Opportunity Programs student, is the daughter of Gina Cuba and Javier Suarez of Miami and a graduate of Young Women’s Preparatory Academy.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study abroad for one academic year. The purpose of the Fulbright Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills. The program is designed to give recent college graduates opportunities for personal development and international experience.
The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by Congress to the Department of State. The U.S. Student Program awards approximately 900 grants annually and currently operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.