Jayhawks Around the World – Angela María Páez Murcia (Colombia)

Street scene in Bogota
Until she moved to Lawrence a few years ago for her doctorate in public affairs and administration, Angela María Páez Murcia lived all her life in Bogotá, Colombia.

Where are you now? How long have you been there?
I am in Bogotá – Colombia. I came back in late July, after graduating with a Ph.D. degree in May 2013.

Where else have you lived?
I am from Bogotá and I lived here during my entire life until I moved to Lawrence to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Administration at KU.

KU degrees?
Ph.D. (2013) in Public Administration

Angela Paez graduation
Paez looks forward to passing on what she learned at KU to her students in Colombia. She also returned with fond memories of celebrating Jayhawk basketball victories with fellow revelers in downtown Lawrence.

What’s your job title and the name of your company or organization?
I am a law professor  at Universidad de La Sabana in Colombia.

What do you do?
My research and teaching focus on law and public management and the impact of courts on governmental administration. This semester I am teaching the class “Law and Society” and I am sharing with my students the experiences, methods, and approaches I learned while being at KU.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy the contact with students. Their questions and analytic skills bring new ideas to the field. I also enjoy the research process and exploring new lines of inquiry on topics related to governmental administration. Currently I have the opportunity of working at a beautiful campus that fosters mental processes and contact with colleagues. The campus of Universidad de La Sabana is a great example of the beauty in the Colombian landscapes.

What do you enjoy most about where you live?
I would say that in a word Bogotá is vibrant; it offers something to do for all kinds of people. Bogotá is located on the top of the Andes so it has wonderful landscapes to offer. It is a city with a population of over 7 million people where  cultural life is rich. In Bogotá you can find wonderful museums, concerts, parks, and great restaurants.  In Bogotá you also find great opportunities to practice sports. For instance, every Sunday several main roads are closed for vehicles so bikers, runners, and families get the chance of enjoying of these public spaces.

What are the biggest differences between where you live now and living in Lawrence, Kansas?
Bogotá and Lawrence are different because of their size and environment. Size-wise, Bogotá is a big city, busy all the time that provides excitement and energy 24/7. Lawrence has the charm and calmness of a small town where people and places make you feel like home.

Universidad de la Sabana campus
Paez is employed as a professor at Universidad de La Sabana. She says the campus is a great example of the beauty of the Colombian landscape.

How do you use what you learned as a KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences student in your career?
The training that I received at KU and the skills that I learned have helped me to improve my approach to teaching and researching. KU professors with their example and their teachings showed me the great impact that solid research projects could bring to society. I am very excited about sharing these experiences with my students and motivating them to have similar experiences. I value the teachings that I received from KU professors and I hope to pass them on to my students now.

Favorite place in the world?
This is a hard question to answer. After being abroad for a few years I realized that my favorite place and my favorite plan is sitting at a good coffee shop, during a warm summer afternoon, sharing thoughts and questions with good friends and family. I had the fortune of finding this while being in Lawrence.

Favorite KU memory?
So many! Basketball games have an important place in my memory. Being at Allen Fieldhouse or celebrating KU’s victory over Ohio State in 2012 right in the middle of Mass St. These are moments that I’ll never forget.

Photo credit: szeke / Foter / CC BY-SAGaitán de Omaha / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA