MALAS Student Profile: Michael Hoopes

January 21, 2014

2013-2014 shows the MALAS program with a strong and diverse array of students. Among these students is Michael Hoopes, whose primary concentration is History. Michael brings a wealth of library and archival experience to the program, a background which suits well both his current work and future vocational expectations.

During his time as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University (BYU), Michael majored in history, minored in Latin American studies, and worked extensively in the fields of library science and political science. While at BYU he served as a teaching assistant in the Department of History and as a research assistant in the Department of Political Science, where he aided in the study of the relationship between populist governance and the expanding of democratic institutions in 20th century Chile, Peru, and Argentina. In addition to this supervised research, Michael conducted his own original research with the Chilean exile community in Canada, which culminated in his senior thesis project titled "Of Farces and Triumphs: The Late Evolution of a Chilean Exile Community."

Michael also served as a Library Intern in Chiapas, Mexico, where he worked in a team of four student and faculty librarians to organize and catalog over 4,000 volumes of archaeological journals and books in the New World Archaeological Foundation's research center, an institution highly visible in the archaeological study of Mesoamerica.

Upon returning to BYU Michael worked as an Assistant Archivist in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections library, where he arranged collection materials and used archival software to create a digital finding aid for the William Gates Papers, a collection of over sixty linear feet of valuable manuscripts and photographs on Mesoamerican linguistics and anthropology.

More recently, Michael spent the summer of 2013 working as a Foreign Policy Intern at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington D.C. There Michael prepared extensive reports on U.S.- Turkish cooperation on Middle Eastern issues, helped draft testimony which was delivered in a July congressional hearing on Iranian threats to U.S. nation security, and acted as a personal assistant to former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe during his three-day visit to Washington.

Michael is now a first year MALAS student whose primary concentration is History. His research interests include modern Latin American political history, particularly that of Chile. As graduate assistant to Suzanne Schadl, curator and coordinator for UNM's Latin American and Latino library collections, Michael's current work includes preserving ephemeral online sources and promoting digital objects from rare 18th century Mexican archival sources. He intends to begin an additional master's degree in library and information science in 2015, after which he hopes to find work as an archivist or area studies librarian.