I am Paola Minoia, docent and lecturer in development geography. I have done all my previous studies in Italy with research periods abroad and my PhD thesis was on “water and identities” in Northern Sudan. I started working in Finland in 2008. Before that, I was working at the University of Venice, and going back in time, for UNDP in Lesotho and Egypt, and in various projects: with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UE, NGOs, local administrations. I can say I got various hints on different working places and (govern)mentalities dealing with development!
In Finland I have continued doing research especially on water and environmental justice and politics, in the same time increasing my teaching experience applying experiential learning. Besides students’ activation in class, I have seen that it is possible and very fruitful to involve Master students in research. In my type of studies, field research is very important, and students have the opportunity to work at the Taita research station in Kenya for their theses. A few have been involved in various projects, for instance the Academy-funded TaitaWater (here is the project report). Our department has also organised field courses in the Global South. I have been personally involved in 3 trips: one in Morocco in 2011 (please have a look to the video and to the report), one in Sri Lanka in 2013 (the report is here), and a recent one in Ecuador, in October 2015 (here is a news published by the Universidad Estatal Amazonica). Soon we will publish a report, stay tuned!