Prof. dr. Valentina Mazzucato
My name is Valentina Mazzucato and I head the MO-TRAYL project. I began my working life by volunteering as a high school teacher in north-eastern Kenya. This sparked my keen interest in Africa and young people. Since then all my working life I have worked in and on Africa. I started working at Maastricht University in 2008 as Professor of Globalisation and Development where I established the transnational migration group. We are particularly interested in the wellbeing of all family members, both those who migrate and those who remain in African origin countries. Now we are focusing on young people, to understand how they experience migration and to investigate their mobility patterns between different countries. My passion for this endeavour stems from my own transnational family life and the fact that bridging boundaries has always framed both my academic and personal life.
Dr. Karlijn Haagsman
My name is Karlijn Haagsman and I am responsible for the school survey in the MO-TRAYL project. Throughout my studies of Cultural Anthropology I developed a growing interest in migration & mobility and the consequences of these movements on the people involved. This led me to do a Research Master in Migration Studies and eventually a PhD on Nigerian and Angolan transnational families. Not only does the MO-TRAYL project suit my academic interests, it also is tied to my personal life. During my childhood I lived 2 years in San Francisco (USA), at the end of high school I travelled for 3 months through Ecuador, and at 22 I lived 3 months in Tonga for my Master in Cultural Anthropology. These periods abroad have shaped me into who I am today.
Gladys Akom Ankobrey
PhD researcher, The Netherlands case study
My name is Gladys Akom Ankobrey and I am a PhD researcher in the MO-TRAYL team. My heritage connects Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, and it is the fascination with my personal history of complex diaspora connections that led me to pursue a MA in Migration and Diaspora studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. I was drawn to the MO-TRAYL project because it brings together my interests in the anthropology of youth, transcultural practices and mobility trajectories among other things. Having close family members spread out across national borders has offered intimate insights into the complexity of diaspora experiences. Moreover, my experience of doing research among young people in Ghana and the diaspora, has sparked a desire to explore how youth navigate their worlds and futures.
PhD researcher, Belgium case study
My name is Sarah Anschütz and I am a PhD candidate at Maastricht University. As long as I can remember I have been longing to see and learn more. This curiosity guided my life journey and made me cross many national borders. I lived, studied, worked, and volunteered in Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada, Nepal, Belgium, Spain, and China. All these experiences and the many encounters throughout the journey shaped my knowledge and interests and helped me to start my PhD endeavour at Maastricht University. Within the MO-TRAYL project I am interested in the mobility trajectories of Ghanaian youths in Belgium. My research interests are social and emotional well-being, resilience, youth mobilities, discrimination, language and ideology, inequality, and education.
PhD researcher, Germany case study
My name is Laura Ogden and I am a PhD researcher on the MO-TRAYL project. Transnationalism has been a constant theme in my own life, and so working on the MO-TRAYL project is an exciting opportunity for me to continue to explore this fascinating topic. I grew up in Australia but have lived in other countries for most of my adult life for work and study, and I have family in the UK, Australia, and Portugal. Before joining the MO-TRAYL team, I worked in arts administration in Australia and then in international development and education in Timor-Leste (East Timor). On the MO-TRAYL project, I will do research in Hamburg, Germany, with youth of Ghanaian background.
Onallia Esther Osei
PhD researcher, Ghana case study
My name is Onallia Esther Osei. I am a human geographer from Ghana. My motivation for doing a PhD within the MO-TRAYL project is driven by the fact that I am the daughter of a Ghanaian mother who is living in the USA, which has shaped me as a person and an academic. As a child, I blamed my mother for being far away from me. Today, having a long distance relationship with my family in Ghana and my boyfriend in a military camp in South Sudan, I have come to appreciate my mother’s transnational lifestyle. Through my research, I hope to be able to give a voice to the experiences of children of migrant parents.
Yleen Goffin - Simonis
In September 2017, Yleen started working as project officer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) at Maastricht University. She provides support for the ERC-funded research projects MO-TRAYL (led by prof. Valentina Mazzucato) and MiLifeStatus (led by prof. Maarten Vink). Furthermore, she supports the research and training programme New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art (NACCA) (led by prof. Renée van de Vall), funded by the European Union H2020 Programme, and the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH) (led by dr. Vivian van Saaze).
View Yleen's profile page on Maastricht University’s website
My name is Sara Fürstenau and I am a professor of Intercultural Education at the University of Hamburg, Germany. My main research interests are multilingualism and language education, school and curriculum development in the migration society and transnational migration and education. I am currently working on a research project about the transnational educational careers of youth between Brazil and Europe, with a focus on the significance of educational careers for social positioning in transnational social realms.
Joan van Geel
My name is Joan van Geel and I am a PhD researcher studying Ghanaian youth who grow up within and between Ghana and The Netherlands. My project started in 2014 and is very similar to the MO-TRAYL project. We therefore collaborate. For my Research Master I conducted 6 months of ethnographic fieldwork amongst African migrants in Athens, investigating their coping strategies in times of crisis and racist violence. There, I became aware of the challenges faced by and crucial potential of migrant children. My deep conviction that every young person is part of this world’s future, made me embark this PhD, during which I felt privileged that 30 Ghanaian youth wanted to share their everyday experiences with me. My thesis investigates Ghanaian youth’s mobility trajectories, and what makes these youth do well educationally.
My name is Alice Prior and I am an intern in the MO-TRAYL project at Maastricht University from May 2018. Since 2012, I have been a student at The University of Padua, Italy, where I did a B.Sc. in Occupational psychology. In April 2018 I finished my master in Community Psychology with my thesis on the subject: "Income inequality and life expectancy in Italy" in line with my major interests: identifying the psychosocial and behavioural factors that affect health, health inequity and wellbeing at the local, national and global levels. In previous years, I've have spent a lot of time abroad. Immediately after high school, I went to live in London for a year. In 2016, I did an Erasmus at the University of Bucharest for seven months and a five month internship at the “Policy Center for Roma and Minorities” in Bucharest working with a gypsy community/school. I find it important to expose myself to different cultures: experiencing unfamiliar cultures and trying new languages is something I got accustomed to, I think it enriches life. These periods abroad have shaped my current interests which are diverse, widespread and interdisciplinary. Hence my excitement joining the MO-TRAYL team.
From left to right: Sarah Anschütz, Valentina Mazzucato, Karlijn Haagsman, Laura Ogden, Onallia Esther Osei, Gladys Akom Ankobrey.