Leticia Riva was born in Uruguay and moved to Spain at eighteen. She received her master’s degree in resource economics from the College’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate. Riva has studied in Spain, Germany, England and the United States. These experiences opened her eyes to the circumstances of people in various parts of the world, inspiring Riva to study economics as a way to understand and improve the lives of others. Her research focuses on topics related to trust, poverty and communities. Here is what she said in an interview.
Where did you study as an undergraduate? What was your major? I studied as an undergraduate in Málaga, Spain. My major was economics.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school? I decided to go to graduate school because I liked (and I like) economics and I wanted to acquire more knowledge. I also think that nowadays it is one of the paths to follow if we want to work in positions where we can have more freedom to develop ideas and study them.
Who is your advisor? What is your field of research? My advisor is Nathan Fiala, and my field of research is economic development.
Name one aspect of your work that you like. What I like is the possibility of developing ideas and trying to implement them. This work allows me to research topics that I am interested in and study them deeper while I am in an environment with people who give me feedback and have experience in related topics. This is great.
In your opinion, what is your greatest accomplishment so far? My greatest accomplishment so far is having the opportunity to come to the United States to study for my Ph.D. From where I come from and now to be here, this is a great accomplishment for me. I am now developing my research and I hope to have success related to publications.
When do you expect to get your degree? What then? I expect to finish my degree in 2019. After that, I may return to Spain since I have some contacts at universities there, and they know that I am at UConn working on my Ph.D. I keep updating them with my progress and my research. However, in the next two years I would also like to explore other possibilities in the United States or other countries in Europe.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I love dancing. I like to dance a lot of types of Latin American dances like salsa, bachata or merengue.