INESAD News: Welcome Adam Nelson

As part of continuous growth, INESAD and Development Roast are bringing on board a host of new interns. Join us in welcoming our newest addition Adam Nelson:

Adam is a recent graduate from Beloit College where he obtained his BA in Anthropology. While there, he became interested in cultural theory, indigenous social movements, and sustainable development.

Adam came upon his interest in what could be seen as an unusual way. Having not graduated from high school, he went on to live in New Mexico where he lived and worked alongside illegal immigrants.  Tired of backbreaking work and long hours, he decided to go back to school. Upon his returning, he quickly realized that the theories and social policies being taught did not accurately reflect the reality he had experienced.  This realization has instilled an interest and drive within him to investigate social policies and how they often do not accurately reflect or solve the social issues they mean to address.

This view was again reinforced when he traveled to Belize for a semester abroad. While in Belize, he conducted case studies with Maya and Garifuna communities. These studies investigated the difference in sustainability concepts, what sustainability means to the individual communities, and how they differ from commonly taught concepts of sustainability. Along with spending time with Maya and Garifuna communities, he also conducted an ethnography on the common oppression the Rastafari community receives in their daily lives. It was his time abroad that fully developed his main interests in indigenous social movements, especially those of the Maya.

In his spare time, Adam spends much of his time reading and occasionally conducting research for a NGO in New Orleans. While social issues consume much of his mind, he also enjoys political satire, eating out, going to concerts in and around the Chicago area, and playing with his dog.

He is hoping that working with the INESAD team will not only improve his writing and research skills, but also build networks with like-minded institutions and individuals.  He is particularly hoping to learn how to effectively use social media platforms beyond staying connected with friends, but in terms of professional networking and outreach. In all, he sees working for INESAD as a great opportunity to continue his passion for investigating social issues, while also being a great introduction to the professional field of development.


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