Who we are...
Patricia was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she pursued many years' studies of Political Sciences, International Relations and Languages before setting off to England in 2003. In 2006 she graduated with a First Class Degree in International Studies with French from the University of Buckingham. She was awarded Sir Christopher Ondaatje’s Scholarship and later became the first Norman P. Barry Scholarship recipient from the Max Beloff Centre for the Study of Liberty. Patricia is currently undertaking a Doctorate by research in History. Her area of interest is Imperialism and 'Informal Empire' in South America. She has focused her research on the relationship between Argentina and the United Kingdom in the early 19th Century and is working on the development of a new concept which she recently named Circumstantial Empire.
Passion for Languages and Teaching
Patricia is also a qualified English tutor, having trained with Trinity College, London. She also obtained her Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE), the University of Cambridge-Cambridge English Language Assessment’s most advanced examination, the IELTS, and the international Business English Certificate. She has attended many workshops, conferences and seminars on language acquisition and training, management of educational institutions, and course development. Before coming to Buckingham Patricia worked for many years as an English Teacher and Language Course Developer in Argentina. She prepared students for entry into university and helped dozens of students take Cambridge Language Assessment and British Council examinations. She also developed and delivered corporate skills and language training for business companies in Buenos Aires. In 1999 she introduced Drops of Knowledge as an educational method to encourage those interested in enhancing the potential in their lives and careers by gradually-but continuously-seeking to acquire knowledge and gaining from any and every educational experience. These days however, it’s clearer that knowledge is not sufficient and how one understands this information and puts it into practice is as important. This is the reason behind a reinforced belief in the development of essential skills such as problem solving and interpersonal communication which has taken Patricia to develop many new projects. Patricia has also taught Spanish, EFL, EAP, Business English and ESOL in the UK.
Malvinas, Asia Pacific, Geneva, Buckingham
Part of Patricia’s career has been dedicated to organising special events. She has gathered together specialists from academia, business and diplomatic circles to engage in discussion and presentation of current issues affecting Argentina’s economy and its relations with the world. Invited by Dr Ferrari Wolfenson, Director of Institutes at Novum Millenium, a foundation set up by former Argentine Chancellor Dr Domingo Cavallo, Patricia co-organised many events. Among these were the Week of Asia Pacific in Argentina, organised together with the Institute of International Relations of the National University of La Plata and Bologna University in Buenos Aires and Malvinas; una Nueva Etapa, a discussion panel with guest speaker Edgardo Esteban, a journalist and veteran of the war.
Once at the University of Buckingham Patricia worked for a year in the PR and Alumni Office on the development of the Buckingham Alumni Country Groups around the world. She also provided support for the Alumni website and newsletter and the services available for graduating students and alumni. In July 2006 Patricia moved to the Department of Economics and International Studies where she continued supporting the alumni and coordinating the Study Abroad Programmes and Internships jointly run by the University of Buckingham and Boston University. She assisted with Marketing strategies within the Department and was a member of the Marketing sub-Committee in the University’s School of Humanities. She played an important role in the development of events to promote the work of the University and to enhance the education and career potential of the students. In 2009 Patricia successfully launched the first Global Affairs Postgraduate study-trip to Geneva, Switzerland. The students were invited to attend a comprehensive programme of workshops, seminars and a variety of activities at the United Nations, and to participate with other international bodies in some of their deliberations.
As one of the founding members of the University of Buckingham Alumni Association, in its early days Patricia became Chair of the Events Working Group which organised the launch of the Association with participants from different countries. For many years Patricia has also been a committee member of UBSOS and has frequently supported, among others worldwide, the work of organisations such as APAER and Metas Compartidas in Argentina.
Volunteering has been a very important part of Patricia’s life. She has always dedicated part of her work to helping others who are less fortunate. Particularly in the field of education, she has taught many courses on a voluntary basis and she continues to do so in London and Buenos Aires. The creation of the Elephant Minds Foundation is one channel through which it is possible to extend her work and that of those who care in the same way in order to provide free access to education and the means to a better future. A strong believer in the power of kindness, compassion, generosity and ‘small acts with great love’, all of which can make the ‘extraordinary’ possible, Patricia continues to support the work of many organisations around the world. In 2018 she was awarded the 'Madrinazgo' and has become the Godmother of the Museum Museo de mitos y leyendas guaraníes in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina.
On Elephants and other Minds
For the past 4 years Patricia has been working on a new project that further boosts her educational experience and career. She not only continues her research but also mentors students and professional individuals who seek guidance and support in their educational endeavours. A keen believer in knowledge, education and excellence she has always tried to pursue these in all aspects of her life. It is along this quest that elephant Minds is born.
Yohei was born in Shizuoka, Japan. He lived in the City of Shizuoka for 17 years and moved to Chiba and Tokyo after graduating high school. He completed an MSc Sustainable Urbanism in Bartlett School of Planning at University College London (UCL) in 2019 and he holds a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from Tokyo University of Science in Japan in 2011. Alongside his studies, he also acquired five years’ experience as a mechanical and construction engineer in a construction and development company in Tokyo and one and a half years as a consultant and analyst in a development consultancy in Tokyo. He now lives in London. His main interest lies in sustainable urban development and circular economy; how to reduce resource consumption such as energy and waste within a city.
Yohei loves to travel and take photos of buildings and public spaces. He feels it is important to continue studying foreign languages, which comes from his experience studying English to acquire the Master’s Degree in London. He hopes to apply his experience and his photography skills into the work done with elephant minds.
Taking on a blog about my legal experiences will be an exciting and new challenge for me. My Inspiration? I love to write. Writing for me has been my passion since I was thirteen and my main inspiration was Anne Frank and her diary. I wrote in a diary to deal with the many places I moved to growing up. Moving from school to school I found solace in joining student groups in the United States, Ghana and China.
I love interacting with people and blogging will be the perfect forum to share my past experiences as a law student. I first realised how the legal system influenced me whilst working with a financial institution. A customer I had been serving was adamantly declaring their alleged “right” to his wife’s bank account. Without any knowledge of contract law, I felt no authority to challenge the customer’s opinion.
It was when I sat in my Principles of Business Law lecture; listening to the case of TSB v Camfield (1994) Henry L.J. noted that a bank can only give a spouse this right when the wife had given consent and told beforehand with separate legal advice. This cemented my decision to study Law. As I immersed myself into this world, I discovered that almost all situations required a legal approach to problems. With Citizen’s Advice Bureau I developed the skills of client contact and applying the principles of housing, immigration and debt law to reach solutions to legal problems.
The Legal Skills and Procedure Course in my university put a perspective on what law in practice would be, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Learning to interview clients within a specified time, bargaining with law students in negotiations to reach a middle ground and preparing the legal documents to present an appeal on behalf of a fictional client fuelled my passion to practice law. I chose the University of Buckingham to study law because of the 2 year law degree they had to offer and initially thought it would be a good addition to my diploma in Human Resource Management. The law school had small student numbers and I yearned to be in a close-knit environment where I would be known, engage with my teachers and make an impact within the student community.
I hope my fascination with law has whet your appetite and you will follow me on this journey as a law student. Hope you enjoy it!
Carol Basden was born in Nassau, The Bahamas, in 1980. She joined elephant Minds in 2013 to work in Research and Administration. Her role primarily entails the administrative functioning of the organisation and assisting in the development of research that enhances elephant Minds opportunities.
Carol is currently pursuing an LLB Law with French degree at the University of Buckingham, in England, UK. She has eight years administrative experience in the legal profession with a leading law firm in The Bahamas. In addition, she has worked in collaboration with campaigning teams in projects both nationally and locally. With her skills and experience she wishes to contribute towards elephant Minds pursuit of Education and Excellence. She is also eager to develop Minds Bahamas in the near future! Carol is a fan of the French language, which she has been learning for the past few months, and has a keen interest in professionalism and seizing opportunities for success.
Gladys M. Acevedo is a Latin American writer, essayist and artist. She was born in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina. She started Law studies at U.N.R. but decided to follow her dream and become a writer instead. Already at a very young age Gladys had often felt her passion for Literature.
Gladys begins her literary career in Rosario and in 2015 creates ‘Juglar el Cuento Ilustrado’-a literary magazine in which she shared past local histories-, she developed ‘Tape & Compadrito’, ‘Chichos & Company’, ‘La Boca Indiscreta’, ‘Bartolomeo de las Casas Acevedo’ (popular comics). She also published a collection of 13 stories ‘Pichincha y la Mafia Rosarina’ and a second collection of stories under the title ‘Metamorfosis en el Iberá’. In 2006 the local government of Rosario (Consejo Municipal de Rosario) declared the magazine of cultural interest and it received the support of the Secretaría de Cultura de Rosario. She now also writes for international literary magazines such as Calle B, in Cuba, and La Alcazaba, in Spain.
In 2015 the author also founded a literary group called Asociación Mundial de Escritores Latinoamericanos. In the same year she received an award from the Asociación Civil Ara Jerá for her contribution to the promotion of Guarani mitology. Most recently she founded the Union of Argentine Museums (Unión de Museos de la Argentina) with the purpose of working together with all private museums in the country to promote the national heritage and encourage the creation of laws that will take schools into museums as part of their curriculum.
Among Gladys Acevedo’s work we find La Rebelión de los Infieles (novel based on the myths and legends of north Argentina, published in 2014), El Secreto de las Golondrinas (in edit), La Novena Pichincha (in edit), Curuzú (published in 2012, a novel based on the popular Gaucho Antonio Curuzú Gil). Gladys continues working on various fronts; she is writing not one but three books: Yo, Andresito (historical novel based on the life of Andrés Guasurarí Artigas), El Edén sin Eva (exploring the last days of Eva Perón), and Las tres muertes de Camila (a novel base on the life of Camila O'Gorman). Gladys also works tirelessly on what is probably her biggest project- Museo Gauchesco Curuzú, a museum opened in 2016 in Goya-and in collaboration with elephant Minds she continues to participate in works of cultural and educational interest: literature, languages, and the history of north-east Argentina-its myths and legends.
Interview with Gladys, una Mente Curiosa y Emprendedora
Andrea was born in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived in Las Vegas, USA for the past 17 years. She Works at a hospital in the city, in the catering department. She enjoys reading and meeting people from other cultures, from whom she continues to learn. She feels her life is a constant learning experience and she believes in education as fundamental for personal growth as well as for the future of our humankind.
Born in Paris, Alice has lived between France, the UK, Spain, Italy and Argentina. She completed her undergraduate degree in History and Spanish at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. On graduating, she moved to Argentina where she soon fell in love with the country and undertook a postgraduate in Latin American-European relations at the University of Bologna, split between the Buenos Aires and Bologna campuses.
Alice has worked for several think tanks including Nueva Mayoria, the Argentine Council for Foreign Relations (CARI) and the Italian National Research Council (CNR-IRPPS). She is currently working on a co-authored book on the political dynamics of international criminal justice, due to be published by Polity Press in 2017. Alice has also collaborated with several NGOs including Edinburgh Global Partnerships, Soluciones Comunitarias and TECHO in South India, Guatemala and Argentina respectively. Her next move will take her to Brussels where she will work with the Education and Culture Department of the European Commission.
Alice is passionate about human rights and social development, above all in Latin America. She loves to travel, engage with local communities and learn about different cultures. Full of enthusiasm, she hopes to bring fresh ideas to Elephant Minds!
Nicolás is one other of few artists who paints with his left hand. He was born in Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, on October 23rd in 1982 and at a very young age moved to Goya, in Corrientes, Argentina. As a young boy he would paint dinosauros. Once he discovered his vocation, in 1995 participated in a drawing course at Escuela Municipal de Artes Plásticas Prof. Justo Gutiérrez, where he learned and focused on human proportion techniques. During his adolescence he ventured into the world of caricature and portrait.
The artist’s childhood had been in Buenos Aires, already immersed in the art world; his grandmother was a painter and Nicolás could admire original Paul Matisse in the walls of her house. One of her neighbours was the well-known artist and cartoonist for a magazine called D`Artagnan, Alberto Salinas. On visiting the artist one day Nicolás is fascinated with his prints, ready to depart for France. In conversation with Salinas, Nicolas learns about the art business and the important role that French publishing houses can play in an artists’ professional career.
Between 2001 and 2004 Nicolas studied at Instituto Superior Nueva Escuela de Diseño y Comunicación de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. In 2003 he worked for Fundación Vida Silvestre and Fundación de Historia Natural Félix de Azara. Since then he has devoted much of his work to the lives and stories of various endangered animals. In 2006 he was part of the first edition of Pintemos Goya for which he was highly commended. In 2009 he worked on ‘live portrait’ on site at the Expo Tuning de Wanda (Misiones), Fiesta del Dorado and Fiesta de Andresito in the same Argentine province.
A sketch made by the artist was chosen to commemorate the death of Sonho Zhong, ‘El Amigo de Todos’. The mural is situated on the promenade of the city of Goya, close to the Paseo del Poeta. Members of the jury who selected Nicolás’ work included,among others, the city’s Mayor and the Director of Culture.
In November 2017 he was invited by Luis Héctor Sepúlveda Castro, of GRINPACH (Grupo de Investigaciones Paleontológicas de Chile), to participate in the 2017 National Meeting of Palaeontologists in Chile.
Nicolás Iribarne Llano can be found working on two main pieces: La Pantera Negra (The Black Panther) and El yaguareté (The Jaguar). As his art continues to evolve he explores the extraordinary world of bonsai, creating his own samples. He is also working together with Museo Gauchesco Curuzú in the development of a new mural depicting the life of the famous Camila O'Gorman, which will be part of the city's cultural heritage.
Juliana Zolecio was born in Luján, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is passionate about Education and works with children and adolescents teaching in different Schools since 2009. She has also guided plenty visitors’ tours at the historic Complejo Museográfico Provincial “Enrique Udaondo” in Luján, Buenos Aires, Argentina. She taught at Escuela Artística Valeria Lynch and now teaches Arts in Primary and Secondary Education at Colegio San Patricio de Moreno. She also teaches Arts for Secondary Education in Carlos Keen, province of Buenos Aires.
Juliana achieved her Diploma in Tourism, Tecnicatura Superior en Guía de Turismo, at the Instituto Superior de Formación Técnica Nº189, Luján, in 2015 and she continues her studies to finish a BA in Tourism at the University of Morón, Facultad de Ciencias Aplicadas al Turismo y la Población.
Juliana is now working together with Co-LABtur (laboratorio de innovación social en turismo en la Argentina), an organisation which assists local communities that seek to increase tourism in the area generating employment and developing the potential of their heritage.
Most recently, Juliana was invited by elephant Minds to launch the new series ‘Museums and Education’ (El Museo y la Educación). Her contribution, Museums and Education. The Enrique Udaondo Museum Complex and its educational responsibility, began the discussion on the importance of Education and the role that Museums play in the learning process and the culture of a nation. Juliana tells us that “the history of museums has evolved alongside that of humanity. As informal cultural and educational spaces, museums have the challenge of reaching a diverse audience, not only exposing their heritage but making it comprehensible for society as a whole”. It is her devotion to these cultural and educational spaces and her passion for Education that brought us close to Juliana’s work.
Philipp was born in Switzerland in 1977. As part of his educational experience he embarked on a Commercial Apprenticeship and later a ‘Commercial’ Professional Matura. After his army service, he also worked in an accountant’s office for several years.
In 2001, Philipp participated in the Pilot Ecological Monitoring Programme at the Brownsberg Nature Park in Surinam, South America. This fascinating programme had the aim of generating data on the state of the environment and biological diversity. After returning to Switzerland, Philipp studied part-time for three years to get the Swiss Federal Matura, a degree which allowed him to go to university.
In 2007, Philipp arrived in the United Kingdom to study International Studies and French at the University of Buckingham. During his undergraduate degree, he won several prizes for his academic performance. He graduated with a First Class degree and received the Edgar Palamountain Award for Excellence, which is given to the undergraduate student judged ‘first among equals’.
Between his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, Philipp worked with the Marketing team at the University. He successfully organised the conference ‘Classical Liberalism in the 21st century: a symposium in honour of Norman P. Barry’ and provided marketing support for the School of Humanities. He also later participated in the development of a marketing project in Barcelona, Spain.
After receiving the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Postgraduate Scholarship, Philipp enrolled in the MA in Global Affairs programme at the University of Buckingham. He graduated with Distinction and received the Max Beloff Scholarship in Global Affairs, which is given to the student with the best performance in the programme.
Soon after finishing his Masters, Philipp became Assistant Director at the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GPWF), a think tank under the chairmanship of Lord Lawson. The GWPF has the mission of restoring the balance and trust in the climate debate and deals with climate and energy policies. While working for the GWPF, Philipp has published several articles and briefing papers on climate change and energy issues.
Since his childhood, Philipp has been fascinated by history and has been an avid reader. He is interested in global affairs, politics, economics and geopolitics. He is very knowledgeable on these topics and always keen to continue learning. Philipp’s native language is German. He is fluent in English and has a good command of the French language.
GOODBYE & GOOD LUCK
"After three years working on elephant Minds I am moving on to new projects. It was a pleasure to work on this project. I hope my blog posts, articles and reviews contributed to your educational experiences and encouraged you to acquire more knowledge and to pursue education and excellence." If you would like to contact Philipp you may write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org