This page started as a blog sharing my adventures as a Fulbright Grantee in the Dominican Republic. Now this page is a selection of events and other things going on with me of note. Enjoy!

Life of a Scholar - Posts

This May in addition to attending my college reunion I attended the Women of Color Leadership Conference sponsored by the LEEDS center at Spelman College. I really enjoyed attending the conference and meeting some great new people. Click on the photo below to see video of me sharing my experience at the conference.

Hopefully, this will not be the last Women of Color Leadership Conference I attend.

New Year, New Blog Location

So I have been thinking for awhile to change the format of my website and once I found a software where I could edit blog style within my website I was sold, so this blog is no longer hosted under anyone but me with the help of MacHighway :D

I am hoping that this new format will allow me to share more often what my current adventures as a scholar. Very quickly, I am preparing for my last semester of coursework and beginning to assist with a new project at the Center for American Women and Politics.

Please note that I am still in process of transferring my blog from its old location here, which is why the archives are currently in 2006.

Life of a Scholar

This past week I was at the Democratic National Committee Convention in Denver, Colorado and in accordance with that I did three podcasts for Madama Ambi. Check out Madama's blog at If you are interested in sharing your experiences with her call 206-350-5368.

To check out the three podcasts I did for her blog visit:

Biden Rocks Danielle to Denver

Last Night Was Super Amazing

Danielle Was There

Stay Tuned for More Reflections.

It’s Been a Long Time...(Email Update Excerpt)

Dear all,

It has been awhile since I have written an update =D But I am getting back into the swing of things. See below for more. Also, there are some new additions to this list so welcome to the Seattle folks! Lastly, this will be the last update from this email address.


This past winter was pretty good to me. Seattle was really really cold and there was a really bad snow storm that left me without electricity for a few days. I had no problem with the no electricity as living in the Dominican Republic it was a daily event to be without electricity for a few hours. The problem was that it was 32 degrees outside…so I stayed with my co-worker as she still had light. Also this past winter I was a free tax preparer with United Way King County. I had a really great time doing taxes, weird I know, but I learned a lot about tax laws and I really enjoyed helping people get more of their hard earned money back.


Um…this past Spring. So during most of this year I have been participating in a series of personal transformation workshops and this Spring was my favorite workshop of them all. I think I liked it because they used movies to get some of their points across…lets just say that I have a new appreciation for The Karate Kid. To learn more about these workshops check out, feel free to email or call me as well =D


This summer I moved back to the east coast to start a Graduate Certificate in PACs and Political Management at George Washington University. I applied for law school but that didn't go as planned and I am not as interested in attending law school as I once was. So I'm on to a new plan. Besides moving back east another highlight of this summer was attending the American Political Science Association Meeting in Chicago. I presented my Fulbright research at the Woman's Caucus' Pre Conference. I met so many interesting people and made a lot of connections in the Political Science world


This update is short and sums up about 8 months in about a page so feel free to respond back if you want more information about any particular part of this email. I hope all is well in your world and if you are on the east coast, more specifically the DC metro area, we should get together and catch up.

Until next time…


Women in Politics: It’s Not Just About Getting Women in Office

Author’s Note: The following article is an expression of the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted.

For about the last two years of so I have researched female political representation. Most of this research has focused on Latin America but I have tired to become abreast of general trends when it comes to female political representation especially in the United States.

One thing I have learned as I have looked at this topic is that women in politics is not just about getting more females in office it is about getting women in office that will work on certain agenda issues. To me, preferable issues are those that deal with helping women, other “minority” groups and the middle and working classes. Not every female politician that comes into the picture is a good choice. One example of this is German chancellor Angela Merkel. The Economist in its 24 March 2007 issue has an article, on page 58, about Angela Merkel and how she has more appeal abroad than she does at home in Germany. The article does not get into detail about her lack in stirring support at home but it does go to show that it is possible that the key to increasing women in politics is getting the “right” women in politics. Please note however that the “right” woman for me may not be the “right” woman for you, which leads me to my next point.

Currently in the United States, US citizens are contemplating presidential nominees for the two big political parties. (Let us all remember that these candidates are NOT running for president they are running for their party’s presidential nomination) This race for the presidential nomination is an historical one as there are two minorities running for the Democratic Party nomination- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Looking to Sen. Clinton for sake of this article, I do not feel that Hillary Clinton is the “right” woman for the presidency. Yes, she has been the first lady of the United States and yes, she is a second term senator that won re-election by a large margin. However, my question to Hillary is this, “what are your issues and can I see these issues written?” The Hillcasts seem nice but I would like to see a plan on paper before I decide to contribute to your campaign. This is not to say that there are not other presidential nomination candidates that I feel should do the same. Lastly, at this point I do not feel that Hillary’s areas of expertise are what are needed in the United States at this time. I feel that we need someone with expertise and years of experience dealing with international issues. I do understand that the Senator sits on the Armed Forces committee and as First Lady she did travel overseas but this is not the type or length of international experience I feel this country needs.

In closing, I write this article to say that when the time to vote does come- look at the WHOLE candidate not just their gender and not just their race or races for that matter. As much as I desire the percentage of female political representation to increase in the United States and worldwide I want women that ARE voted into office to work for their constituents and to work on making a difference in their area of expertise for the people of their nation and of their world.

It Never Rains in Southern California (Email Update Excerpt)

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Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!! It has been a really long time since I wrote an update so I decided that now is as good as time as any to let you all know how I have been. Seattle is well...rainy, hence the title of the email, but I am actually starting to get used to it. Most of the time it is drizzle and you don't even need an umbrella. Other than the cold and the rain I am really liking Seattle. So below are some quick blurbs about some of the things going on with me. More importantly I would love to hear what is going on in your worlds so drop me an email or send me an instant message...better yet call...

OneWorld Now!

For those that may not know OneWorld Now! is the name of the non profit that I am working at for this year. OneWorld Now! is a global leadership program for high school youth and is partners with IIPP the fellowship program that I am apart of. It has been a really great 3 months and I have learned SOOOO much in this short time and I am looking forward to what else I will be learning. Working with high school students and high schools is not easy but we have some really great students this year and I am happy to be apart of their development. You can learn more about OneWorld Now! at

The Bridge

The Bridge is a leadership training program with the YMCA and Seattle Works that gives tools to 20 and 30 somethings about board service that I participated in earlier this year. It was really interesting as in addition to the information about Non profits, Public boards and even budgeting we received two assessments about our personalities and our working styles. I've had other assessments done but it was nice to refresh my memory on my working style and personality. Also Seattle Works is great because they are a resource for 20 and 30 somethings about volunteering, events and more. I need to use this source more...

Urban League

Through a fellow fellow, I love saying that, I was introduced to the Seattle Urban League's Young Professionals group and have become involved. It's a nice group of like minded people in the Seattle area and trust after spending 5 weeks straight recruiting in high schools it was nice to see some adults =)

Homecoming 2006

Gosh I can't finish this email without mentioning Homecoming. I was in Atlanta for homecoming and I had a great great time. For those I did see, it was great seeing you and catching up even if it was for a minute. For those I didn't see, especially professors, it was a crazy weekend and no parking. I didn't even step on campus until Sunday it was so busy around the AUC. So hopefully the next time I am in town I can visit.

Well that is all for now. Have a great Holiday season! Best of luck to all those in school taking finals and writing papers! and Thank you!



Greetings from Seattle (Email Update Excerpt)

Well it has been a really really long time since I have written to you all but there was a lot going on. I was finishing my certificate program in Political Science (my final paper was 31 pages including notes and references in Spanish), working on my internship at the UN Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), preparing to leave the DR and preparing to move to Seattle. Basically until this week I had been in a constant state of moving and I am still adjusting.

Anyway...I am now back in the United States and it has been an interesting feeling being back, will have to reflect on that later. Don’t get me wrong, I am/was happy to be home and everything but I miss the DR because the DR had become like home and I miss my DR routine especially my gym.

I started my new job at OneWorld Now!,, as the Student Services Manager and I really like it. I am really excited about everything that I will learn this year and everything that I can contribute to. I am also really excited about the supportive and invigorating work environment. It really fits into some of the things that I am working on as a growing young adult and I love that.

Seattle is great...really organized, lots of access to fresh foods, near a body of water and good public transportation (I do have my car but it is cheaper to take the bus to work than my car). I started taking Salsa lessons, which have been really fun to brush up on the Salsa skills I learned in Mexico. I also attended an event with the Seattle Urban League´s Young professionals program and will probably come involved with them. I may even become a volleyball referee, there is an info session next week so we will see how that goes.

Besides moving and adjusting to a new city I am also studying for the LSAT which I am taking on September 30th. So if you notice that after this email that I am not emailing and or calling like I used to you know why. Basically it is all about the LSAT or Lamont Samuel Antonio Tavarez until September 30th and then its all about my law school applications after that. Bottom-line- I will be standing solely in my vision of getting into law school about November 1st and thus my initiation of communication with you all will pretty much seize between now and Nov 1.

38 days to go...(Email Update Excerpt)

Well it is official my time in the DR is coming to an end. The two other Fulbrighters in Santo Domingo left this week, =( It is going to be weird to pass the days without them. But on with the news of the past month:

Fulbright Presentation

On June 14th, [the other Fulbrighters] and I presented our Fulbright research in an event. It was quite an interesting evening. The DR's 1st lady was in attendance, along with those that helped us in our research. I will say two interesting things about this event. One is the 1st lady's head was down during most of [one] presentation because she was talking about teenage pregnancy and working in a public hospital- the first lady has a program that is working with teenage pregnancy so [this] presentation wasn't looking good for her initiative. But at the same time sorry 1st lady but your little program isn't enough to tackle the problem. Interesting thing 2: during the question and answer period the 1st lady's “sidekick” had a negative criticism for each of our presentations. Basically she was trying to show us up and show her loyalty to the 1st lady and her political party. But we being the smart and talented women that we are shut her down quickly. I mean this lady put words in my mouth and she was lucky that I was not able to re-show the slide that disproved her comment. Overall, it was a lot of fun.


My internship is still going well. I will say that the type of research I'm doing for this project and the research I have done for my Fulbright are completely different. I definitely prefer more of a hands on research approach but I am still learning a lot. By the time I finish this project I should be a mini expert on quota systems and affirmative actions for women in Latin America...or at least for the 8 countries that I am working on. Feel free to check out more about INSTRAW on their website.

OneWorld Now!

Other good news for this month is that I have a job to go back to. I will be working with OneWorld Now! which is an organization that teaches leadership skills, Chinese or Arabic to high school juniors and seniors in the Seattle area. I will be the student services manager for the organization. Basically dealing with student recruitment and retention, keeping track of the students and being the face of OneWorld Now! in the schools. So I will be moving to Seattle in early August. You can read more about OneWorld Now! as well at:

LSAT/Law School

Well this past month I have been making preparations to begin preparing to apply for Law School and taking the LSAT. I even took my first practice test and I already know which questions I am going to have the most trouble with on the test. So wish me luck and feel free to send me any tips you may have for the LSAT or for applying to Law School.

Home bound

Well the title of this email does say 38 days to go so I will end with this. I will be flying back to DE on July 28th and later I will be heading out to Seattle around August 5th. So if you are anywhere near those areas at those times send me an email with your contact information and we can hang out.

I hope all is well with all of you....until next time/hasta la proxima,

End of the Fulbright Road (Email Update Excerpt)

Well I am officially in my last month of Fulbright research and it feels quite weird. Though as I mentioned in the last update I will not be leaving the country until August due to an internship. Here are the stories for this month:

16 de Mayo

This past 16th of May the Dominican Republic held there legislative and local elections. Basically the end to my curiosity about who is going to win in what races. I actually got quite a few predictions right...including mayor of Sto Dom (the capital city that is), Senator for Sto Dom (capital city) and Senator for the state of Sto Dom. It was a very interesting day as I went around with Patricia Solano, a reporter that did a television show looking at the female candidate's election process. So I rode with her as she filmed different female candidates voting. I also got to appear on the radio and speak about my experiences on election day. (I did not plan was one of Patrica´s stops of the day) Patricia actually plugged me and the radio

host was like come to the table. It was kinda cool (excuse my corny phrasing) and i received a great complement from Patricia...she stated that my Spanish was perfect (I wish). Either way it was a great day and I got some great pictures. I will try and upload them in the upcoming week.

Trinidad and Tobago

Last week I was out of the country as I went to Trinidad and Tobago for a Fulbright conference. Basically all the Fulbrighers in the Caribbean. It was a really nice experience and I got to meet some cool people and add another country to my traveled list...well two if you count Puerto Rico as a country. Speaking of Puerto Rico...we (the other DR Fulbrighters and I) got to spend some extra time in Puerto Rico as we missed our connecting flight. So I actually got to see Puerto Rico beyond the is a very pretty country though I missed the DR and it was expensive because of course we were dealing in dollars. I can say that Trinidad and Tobago is a very beautiful country but it is quiet and you would think I would like that after living in the DR but I'm so used to the hustle, noise and colmado (corner store) on every corner that I really missed that.

Internship Story

Well as I have mentioned before I recently started my summer internship with INSTRAW- the UN research and training institute for the advancement of women. Today we actually had a meeting with the researcher doing the European aspect, the INSTRAW director, another INSTRAW staff member and I to discuss the project. It was so weird for me...they were asking me questions and my opinion on stuff. I have never had that much responsibility. I am still used to doing research to simply write a paper. However, I am quite excited. I like that I have something that is challenging again. I really feel that I am going to learn so much. And also have book with my name in it (ok I'm not sure about this part but I will keep you posted). The research is going to be published by early next year.

Well that is all for now...until next time

Fighting the Good Ole Boys

Through the years Dominican female politicians have had to fight against machismo, for the confidence of Dominican people and more to participate in politics. Although these issues still exist, to an extent, there is a new challenge for these women that comes from within their own political parties- the good ole boys. The good ole boys can be defined as a group of men, and sometimes women, who have their own private vision for a political party, make up their own rules and are the unofficial controllers of a party. Many times these good ole boys are current political office holders that are not willing to give up these positions to anybody, let alone a woman. Members of this good ole boys club are often times members of the political party leadership and those that aspire to become the party leadership. The good ole boys club can also be seen as clientelismo, Clientelismo is a system where interested parties give money or resources to a political party in exchange for political positions or influence over policies. One example of clientelismo could be the relationship between Haliburton and the George W. Bush administration. However, in the end it is this club and its clients that serve as one of the last obstacles keeping women from receiving political nominations for elections to public positions and from receiving are larger number of cabinet positions within the executive.

When I think of the good ole boys in the Dominican Republic one recent experience comes to mind. This past March the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) held their first conference about gender equality. During this conference Dr. Jacquline Jimenez Polanco gave the main address speaking about some of the obstacles for women in politics. After her presentation one woman stood and stated that she was a talented women with about four degrees and jobs and yet she still can not get a nomination on the party’s ticket yet there is a man that has less qualifications than she does and he has a nomination. What is going on here? It’s clientelismo, and more specifically to this example a reaction of a non-client party member to the success of a possible party client in receiving a party nomination. Passionate reactions such as this one continued until members of the upper levels of the party and finally the party’s Secretary-General stopped the “discussion.” The fact that these women had recently finished going through the party’s primary process for the May legislative and municipal elections was a major factor to not only their passionate reactions but the freshness of their stories.

Another interesting way that clientelismo has played into the hindering women from reaching higher political positions is the manipulation of the quota law. In the Dominican Republic there is a quota of 33% for party tickets and a parity quota in the positions of regidor and sindico. The latter means that if a regidor is male then the vice-regidor has to be female and the same occurs with the sindico positions. Currently in the Dominican Republic women represent 16% of the House of Deputies and 88% of the vice mayors. This overrepresentation of women in the local vice positions is simply the good ole boys manipulating the quota law. It is a manipulation because it seems that the good ole boys in these parties are saying, behind closed doors of course, okay the women wanted a quota well we will give them a quota but we will only put them in the positions that we want them to have. And it is this sentiment that has contributed to the overrepresentation of women in subordinate positions such as vice mayor and the continuation of the under representation of women in power political positions such as deputy. Which was not the intention or purpose of the quota law.

However there is some hope and signs of facts that do not support the good ole boys club. A recent study by Elizabeth King and Andrew D. Mason published by the World Bank entitled Engendering Development that shows that there is a link between greater female participation and lower levels of corruption.* Another sign of hope against the good ole boys club is the world wave of female heads of state. This wave is showing that citizens in nations across the world are looking for an alternative to the good ole boys system. Lastly, looking back to the Dominican Republic, a recent article about female mayors in Quehaceres** a publication of the Investigation Center for Female Action (CIPAF) states that female mayors have a different focus for their administrations. These sindicas are more transparent than their male counterparts and their popularity is not based in clientelismo but based on the decentralization of their administrations and their budgets that focus on community not client demands.

It is only through the continued discussion of challenges of female political participation and the continued hard work of female politicians in the offices that they do hold that the good ole boys system can be challenged. Another route of change is through the vote. It is also only until those that are frustrated with the current political system come out and vote against the good ole boys that change will come. Until then the good ole boys will continue to mislead and bribe the vote out of the Dominican people. Hopefully in future elections that Dominicans or citizens of any country for that matter will come out and vote not just to bring in new representatives but continue to vote out the clients and the good ole boys so that it is truly pa’ lante que vamos! ***


*King, Elizabeth and Andrew D. Mason. Engendering Development Through Gender Equality in Rights, Resources and Voice Summary. 2001 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank. Washington, D.C. P 8

** Las mujeres pueden…¡y mejor! Experiencias exitosas en el Gobierno Local. Quehaceres. Year XXVI Number 1 March 2006. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. P6.

*** Phrase taken from Es pa’ lante que vamos- A phrase currently used by the Dominican Fernandez administration meaning it is forward we go. This phase of encouragement is used to encourage citizens that things are improving in the Dominican Republic.

© Danielle Pritchett 2013