Santiago Internship Stories: Meet the Columbia College Student Studying Chilean Elites

August 04, 2020

Ruby Mustill is a Columbia College anthropology and evolutionary biology student doing a research internship at Universidad Diego Portales (UDP) with CNN Chile senior news anchor Daniel Matamala (JN’12).

Matamala has written several books about political and economic power in Chile, and Mustill is doing research for Matamala’s upcoming book on Chilean elites and their associations. Some of the questions she is working to answer include: how insular (or accessible) is elite society - both in Chile and around the world? Are there any ways in which members of the elite are surprisingly similar or different? Are they from the same cities, do they share common surnames, and do they often marry one another?

This project is in alignment with Mustill’s interests in the American elite, having written various papers about the cultures surrounding wealth, popularity, fame, and luxury. She knows that this internship will help guide her academic and anthropological interests, which she will pursue after she graduates.

Mustill is also very interested in investigative journalism and nonfiction writing, which is how she was drawn to this work. Some of her quarantine activities, besides her research with Matamala, include creating art projects, writing letters to her friends, and biking around her hometown of Chicago.