Pete Telaroli received a BSBA in Economics and was one of the first students to receive a BA in Xavier’s unique Modern Language and International Economics program. During his time at Xavier he was active in Habitat for Humanity, acting as co-president his senior year. He also took an active interest in the Economics Club and participated on Xavier’s first team in The Federal Reserve Challenge at the Chicago Federal Reserve.
It was through a summer study abroad program in Mexico that he became interested in international issues and upon return from Mexico slowly shifted his focus to studying international development. Through courses such as Development Economics and Globalization, he was able to learn about theories and practices that would become the foundation for his Brueggeman Fellowship.
Following graduation in 2009, Pete traveled to Mexico to study the country’s model of economic development, specifically export led growth and its effect on peasant farming and the Mexican agricultural system. His field research focused on the impact and efficacy of genetically modified crops (corn, specifically) as a symbol of trade liberalization but also of the shift from a rural to industrialized agricultural system. While in Mexico, he traveled from Central to South and then to Mexico City, interviewing agribusiness employees, peasant farmers, NGOs, and former UN staff regarding the change Mexico had undergone from the early 80’s to the early 2000’s. The interviews painted a complex picture that showed the benefits that industrialization had brought to the national economy and how those benefits came at the expense of small business owners, landed peasant farmers, and migrant laborers.
What They're Doing Now
At the moment, Pete lives in Bangkok, Thailand where he manages grants for a small international foundation that runs reproductive health programs in Thailand and works with generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in countries such as China, India, and Indonesia. While not directly using his Brueggeman research in his working life, the experience strengthened his commitment to working for social justice in the international arena and piqued his curiosity in understanding how development functions systematically. He views his current job as an outgrowth of his Brueggeman experience and hopes to return to working on rural development issues in the near future. To do this, he plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Southeast Asia studies starting in the fall of 2015.