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Faculty - Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies

Faculty and the PPICVS

Dr. David Almeida

Dr. David Almeida
Professor of Special Education

Dr. David Almeida joined the faculty at Bridgewater in 2007. By his own estimate, he has been at BSU “for forever,” which is how far back his connections with Cabo Verde go. Beginning in 2010 Dr. Almeida led many Study Tours to the island nation.

Dr. David Almeida’s relationship with the island dates back to the early days of the Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies (PPICVS), of which he is a founding committee member. From 2010 right up until the pandemic shut down international travel, Almeida led numerous study tours to Cabo Verde. “When I develop study tours,” he said, “they are deeply academic. We spend all day, every day in elementary and secondary schools” immersed in the culture, learning and sharing.

Almeida’s doctorate in learning disabilities and reading from Harvard serves him well. In 2011, he received a Presidential Fellowship from then BSU President Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria. His research project? A Study of Literacy Instruction in Cape Verde. “As far as I know,” he said, “this is the only nation-wide study of literacy instruction in Cape Verde that’s ever been done.”

Almeida has presented at numerous conferences both here and in Cabo Verde with a focus on reading and literacy, and he has mentored several students whose research focused on various aspects of teaching and professional development in Cabo Verde.

Almeida, together with former director of the PPICVS Dr. Joao Rosa, produced the comprehensive report: “A Study of Cape Verdean graduate and undergraduate students educated at Bridgewater State University, 2008-2017: Advancing a Discussion on Scholarship Program Effectiveness.” The findings reinforced that BSU’s collaboration with Cabo Verde positively impacts teaching and learning in Cabo Verde.

To wit, Cape Verdean graduates of BSU have secured jobs that they believe would not have been possible prior to their study at BSU:

Full or part time professors at UniCV, the University of Santiago, and the Cape Verdean Institute of Pedagogy; an Administrative Manager; Director of Marketing for Coca Cola; Cabo Verde Military Instruction Officer; Director of the English Language Institute at UniCV; secondary school teacher; founder of a private English Language School; English language translator; authors of a national English language textbook for Cape Verde 5th graders; and two Cabo Verde City Counselors.

“The Institute is a bridge,” said Almeida, “between BSU and the diaspora – especially the New England diaspora – as well as the diaspora and Cabo Verde. “It’s all about helping to build capacity for Cape Verdeans to build their own initiatives, which is always best. I’m talking by way of a scholarly academic entity.”


Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan

Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan
Professor of Geography and Coffee Maven

Dr. Hayes-Bohanan was studying linguistics as an undergraduate when a course about deforestation in Brazilian Amazon drew him into the study of geography. This led him eventually to research on deforestation in the remote state of Rondônia.

His study of human and environmental factors influencing deforestation continues and has led him to a variety of academic and professional roles related to conservation, sustainability, and political economy. He has helped to establish BSU’s interdisciplinary programs in sustainability, Latin American studies, and STEM outreach.

Since arriving at Bridgewater State in 1997, he has taught a variety of environmental courses both for general education and for professional work in land protection and regulatory compliance. His regional interests include the cities of Brockton, New Bedford, Detroit, and New Orleans. Beginning in 2006, coffee has been the theme of much of his teaching, including on-campus seminars and 15 travel courses to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Cape Verde.

Area of Expertise
Sustainability, Latin America, Coffee, Coffee Shops


Dr. Magaly Ponce

Magaly Ponce
Professor of Art

BSU Art Professor Magaly Ponce shares her perspective on the world through her art. It was in the early days of Bridgewater’s developing relationship with Cabo Verde that Ponce met Angelo Barbosa, now director of the Pedro Pires Institute of Cape Verdean Studies at Bridgewater. Much like BSU, Ponce’s understanding of the island nation – its challenges and strengths – has deepened over time.

“My work conveys expansive emotional landscapes through metaphor and design; it ranges from whimsical poetic meditation to political critique. The form changes to reflect my curiosity and inspiration but remains rooted in playful experimentation with tangible craft, spanning mediums such as video, performance, digital printing, frottage, metal, watercolor, and drawing.

“I prioritize portable formats of documentation and expression; video, for example, is both made of light and light in weight. My material works, on the other hand, break down to fit in a suitcase and can be reassembled in a museum, cityscape, or gallery. I’ve spent twenty-five years packing light and compacting my artwork in this way – when the work is unpacked, it goes large.”

It was, perhaps, one of those serendipitous moments back in 2009 when, in Cabo Verde, BSU Art Professor Magaly Ponce met Angelo Barbosa, now director of the Pedro Pires Institute of Cape Verdean Studies at BSU. At the time, Ponce was working on the islands as an artist independently of BSU, a visit motivated, in part, both by an encounter with a Cape Verdean artist in Providence and her inherent interest in the cultural and artistic heritage of her students, several of whom are of Cape Verdean, Azorean, and Portuguese ancestry.

When she returned to Bridgewater following that first visit, she began her investigation into what she calls “the visibility and invisibility of Cabo Verde and its people.”

Ponce’s artwork became a visual exploration of the 19th century whaling industry, honoring the contributions and historic ties of Cape Verdeans to whaling and to the migration of so many Cape Verdeans to the United States. In 2011, Ponce’s exhibition – sponsored by a number of sponsors, including the Cultural Ministry of Cabo Verde, the Spanish Cooperation, among others – traveled from Bridgewater to three continents not only increasing the visibility of Cape Verdeans, but also their contributions to the whaling industry.

Ponce is pleased to have been a working artist on the islands and having seen firsthand the developing relationship between BSU and Cabo Verde. “The Pedro Pires Institute at the university gives voice to the cultural contributions of Cape Verdeans. It is an important mission.

“Through the arts and also the Pedro Pires Institute, we, at Bridgewater, continue to strengthen these connections increase visibility for Cape Verdeans,” said Ponce, not only for Cape Verdeans living on the islands, but also for members of the Cape Verdean diaspora in Southeastern Massachusetts.

The Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies at BSU is thrilled to support Magaly Ponce’s by-invitation art installation to be showcased at the Cultural Center Armand Montond on the Island of Fogo in Cabo Verde during the Fall semester of 2024.

Also in Fall 2024, Ponce will function as advisor for the Cape Verdean studies minor at BSU, a position she embraces with great interest and passion.



Dr. Joao J. Rosa

Dr. Joao J. Rosa, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of TESOL,
Department of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Dr. Rosa was the first Director of the Pedro Pires Institute for Cape Verdean Studies and served from its inception until 2019. He was instrumental in designing and deploying all the major programs run by the Institute, especially by helping to develop the Cape Verdean Studies Minor. Dr. Rosa has been teaching the Cape Verdean language at the university for many years.