2017 Incoming Grad Series: João Gabriel Rabello Sodré

by Nicole Poletto, Professional Development Peer
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 8:00 AM

This the final installment of our 2017 Incoming Grad Series, featuring backstories and fun facts on 8 students who are part of our largest and most diverse incoming class in recent memory.

João Gabriel Rabello Sodré believes that it is never too late to change your career path. H​e closes out our series by sharing ​how he ended up deciding to pursue an MA in Global Studies ​here at UCSB. He has an undergraduate degree in Law from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and just finished his MA in Public Policy on Human Rights this month. Now he's ready to jump from one MA to the next and immerse himself in Global Studies at UCSB in order to follow his heart and align his career with his global interests.

Read on to learn more about ​his research interests in human rights and how ​he combines his love of history ​with his love of video games.


João Gabriel was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, which is Brazil's second-largest city. He attended a progressive school which was committed to social work and social justice, which spurred his interest in human rights, law, and civil society. His mother is a ballet teacher and his father retired from a career as a banker and photographer. João Gabriel found that he excelled at the humanities in school and was inspired to combine the humanities with law as a practical approach. 


The diversity of the university, especially in the Global Studies department, attracted him to UCSB. When he applied for his second MA, people encouraged him not to spend time changing his career path; he had a degree and a job in the legal field and should be happy. But, he couldn't shake the feeling that his job had departed from his main interests, so he decided ​on UCSB and doesn't regret it. He believes that "you can always change your career path!" He is looking forward to meeting people from all over the world and getting to know other cultures during his time here, all while studying a lot!



Since he grew up in a very unequal country with obvious social disparities, he began to get involved in issues involving human rights and city planning. His current research interests include the issues surrounding the revival of Rio's port area. Rio recently hosted the 2016 Olympics Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, both of which had a large impact on the city. While massive renovations of the port area took place for these events, the lives and fundamental rights of the people in the area were largely ignored. Simultaneously, the Valongo Wharf was recently included by UNESCO as a world heritage site where thousands of people were brought to the Americas as slaves during the colonial period. However, the preservation of the area has done nothing to highlight the significant history of the wharf. João Gabriel is interested in exploring these contrasts in values from a global, interdisciplinary perspective. 



João Gabriel considers himself more of a gym person when it comes to sports ​but he also enjoys spending time in nature. He likes to play video games, especially the ones connected to history such as Uncharted and Civilization. If he isn't doing one of these things, he is most likely meeting up with his friends wherever they go.

Welcome, João​!

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