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By DCID Director Francis Lethem – As I was walking on Sunday, June 7, at Miami airport towards my plane connection back to RDU, someone called my name at Gate E7… and it was Eduardo Marenco, who graduated in 2012 and was on his way to catching his plane back to Nicaragua.

Eduardo had just completed a month-long fellowship in digital information in San Francisco to further expand his professional knowledge as a journalist. During the fellowship, called “A Digital Path to Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Latin America,” he started to develop his own data blog, took part in several workshops on digital journalism, participated in a professional fellowship congress with leaders from all over the world, and visited the USA Today, Washington Post, startups and incubators.

As his classmates will remember, after graduation from the MIDP he spent one year as a consultant with the DeWitt-Wallace Center working for Jay Hamilton, its former head. In fact he had just visited him at Stanford and learned about the books which Jay is presently writing. In Nicaragua, Eduardo was continuing his professional relationship with the Vanderbilt University School of Journalism, where he completed his internship. He now works as consultant for the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) at Vanderbilt, which performs the most reliable survey on political culture and democratic development in all the Americas.

Last but not least, his master’s project about ways to promote greater professionalization of journalism in Nicaragua had attracted the interest of an NGO, which had obtained a major grant to implement some of his ideas. Eduardo said that, over the last few years, Nicaragua had become more prosperous, was attracting more tourists, and that the protected area of Volcano Mumbacho with which I had been briefly associated in the late 1990s was now one of the best in Nicaragua.

Overall, Eduardo felt that his studies with us, and especially the discipline of policy analysis applied to development, was crucial to his work as a consultant and was a turning point in his professional career.

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