Professor Marcelo Maia Vinagre Mocarzel’s Story
My name is Marcelo Mocarzel, I am 31 years old and I live in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, with my wife and two daughters. I completed my PhD in October 2017, between comings and goings from Education to Communication. I believe that many researchers go through this: they identify themselves with more than one area of knowledge and end up losing focus, or worse, give up what they like most in the name of academic prestige or employability. I did everything upside down and it seems to be working.
At the age of 18, I wanted to be an advertiser and joined the Faculty of Communication. I was completely in love with the advertising career, until, as I say, I was deceived. My grandmother was a director of a primary education school and she invited me to set up a school newspaper project with the students. That was when I fell in love with Education as a field of knowledge. I finished my degree in Advertising, but I could never put education aside. My work with the students stimulated me to pursue a degree in Pedagogy and in a few years I was already trained and working in the pedagogical coordination of the school. I decided to apply for a Master in Education in one of the most prestigious programs in the country (Federal University Fluminense) and I was approved. Then, my life as a researcher began to unfold: I started to study the relationship between educational management and quality of teaching, and doors began to open. I had the opportunity, thanks to the wonderful partnership with my advisor, to participate in national and international congresses, write articles for journals, books and give lectures. I finished my Master’s degree at the age of 26, becoming specialized in what I was practicing at school. With this diploma in hand, I was hired as a professor by a new institution of education, the La Salle University Center of Rio de Janeiro (Unilasalle-RJ), part of a global network of more than 300 Catholic organizations. Until now, I teach in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Pedagogy, History and Engineering.
However, I felt that Communication was still a part of me and I started the PhD at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). At that moment, I realized that I could combine the two fields of knowledge and specialize in a little researched but very important area: the relationship between media and education. My thesis was about the publicity of private education institutions and the process of financialization promoted in Brazil. Using the analysis of speech as a method, I searched for ads in more than 140,000 pages of magazines that end up proving a hypothesis: Brazilian university education undergoes a process of oligopolization and financialization and this is considered in the media as something positive, even if the object at task, education, gets lost. My thesis was highly praised by the tribunal, who recommended it for full publication. During the PhD, I kept working in two educational institutions and publishing in related and independent investigations associated with the research group I am a member, the Nucleus of Studies in Management and Public Policies in Education (Nugeppe/UFF).
When I was 30 years old and holding a PhD degree in Communication from the most prestigious private Brazilian university, I saw my research perspectives widening. I was able, for the first time, to integrate my knowledge in Education and Communication in order to develop my own line of investigation. Thus, a few months later I joined a postdoctoral fellowship with the Faculty of Education at the Fluminense Federal University, the same one where I had attended my Master’s degree.
It might seem uncommon to defend a thesis in a Communication Program and do postdoctoral studies in an Education Program, but this is precisely what fascinates me. Fortunately, Humanities and Social Sciences have the necessary fluidity for restless researchers like myself who are not content with the logic of hyper-specialization. I envision science as an archipelago, not as an island. For me, everything can relate to everything, as long as the method and the scientific rigor are preserved and the theoretical premises dialogues in a harmonic way. Today, I have a trajectory considered exemplary for beginning researchers, especially for my students and colleagues of research groups.
I have so far 13 articles published in qualified journals and 13 articles in scientific books, being responsible for the organization of four of those. I became a columnist for an important newspaper in the State of Rio de Janeiro in a space that debates Education and Communication. I have published more than 30 papers in congresses in Brazil and in countries like France, Spain, Portugal, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Two years ago, I was appointed as a member of the State Board of Education of Rio de Janeiro, an advisory body made up of 24 members with notorious educational knowledge, which has a normative character and produces documents to guide educational policies. It is an unpaid work, but of great prestige in the field of educational policy. I have given more than 10 interviews to newspapers, magazines and TV channels, talking about the research I have been developing in the three universities that I am linked with: UFF, where I worked as a professor for two years and did a postdoctoral research at Nugeppe/UFF; Unilasalle-RJ, where I teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses and work as one of the editors of their scientific journal; PUC-Rio, where I am a researcher at the Juventudes Cariocas Group (JuX / PUC-Rio) and will start in 2019 as a visiting professor at the Postgraduate Program in Communication (MSc and PhD). It is very common to hear that the academic environment is a fair of vanities, with extreme competitiveness and highly hierarchical. I can say that my experience proved the opposite: I met an infinitely greater number of people who were generous, open and motivated, helping me to conquer all this in such a short time. Therefore, the passion for research in me finds no barriers, only tenacity and determination. Thank you for the patience and the opportunity to share my journey with you.
Prof. Marcelo Mocarzel, PhD.
Academic Bio: LATTES http://buscatextual.cnpq.br/buscatextual/visualizacv.do?id=K4436842D8