Congratulations to our graduate students on their accomplishments!

Spring 2022

Daniel Basil Hamilton received the 2021 Ruth Barber Moon award from CWRU’s School of Graduate Studies! This award is given to graduate students who demonstrate academic promise, leadership ability, and financial need. They were also awarded a 2021-2022 Social Justice Institute Grant Fellowship for their project, “Patients, Practice, and the Social Construction of Transgender.” Read more about the project here.

Alisha Giri successfully defender her prospectus, “Success and Livelihood Outcomes Among Transnational Migrant Returnees in Nepal,” and will advance to candidacy in Fall 2022.

Brooke Jespersen received a Jacob Climo Student Travel Award from the Association for Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course to present a paper at the American Anthropological Association’s 2021 meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. She organized the panel “Aging in contexts of im/mobility regimes” where she presented her paper “Moral maps of aging: Space, time, and value in older Puerto Rican adults’ quests for good old ages.”

Brooke also presented a paper “Migration and aging in the ‘right’ place: Older Puerto Rican adults’ narratives” at the Gerontological Society of America’s 2021 virtual meeting.

Norma Ojehomon presented remotely at the Society for Applied Anthropology’s 2022 Hybrid Annual Meeting, held from March 22 to 26, 2022. A recording of her presentation can be found on the meeting platform for registered attendees. You can read the abstract below:

Global Goal, Local Ownership: Unpacking Sustainable HIV Epidemic Control in USAID/PEPFAR

Development Initiatives focus on leaving behind ‘locally-owned’ and sustainable programs, while simultaneously backing rigorous ‘data-driven’ approaches and globally agreed-upon targets. However, the latter often requires funding and capacity that many countries do not have. One-time interviews with eight professionals within USAID/PEPFAR found that while the goal of HIV epidemic control warrants extensive use of data for decision making, technical capacity and resources required to maintain/own this locally may not be sustainable long term especially with added complications from COVID-19. They agree that serious consideration is necessary to ensure HIV programs can eventually achieve local ownership while sustaining epidemic control.

Jillian Schulte was awarded a 2021-2022 Social Justice Institute Grant Fellowship for her pre-dissertation research, “Healthcare Navigation & COVID-19 in Cleveland’s Bhutanese-Nepali Refugee Community.” The study developed recommendations for Neighborhood Family Practice to assist in their outreach to the Bhutanese-Nepali refugee community through improved understanding of how the refugee community is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. Jillian conducted virtual interviews with local Bhutanese-Nepali refugee patients, community health workers, and health professionals at a local health center. The project constitutes her MPH practicum and capstone project and will inform her future dissertation research. Read more about the project here.

Jillian will present this research at the CWRU Public Health Innovations Conference in April 2022.

Sonya Petrakovitz was named the February Photo Contest Winner for the 2022 AAA Calendar! The photo was taken during her fieldwork in Rapa Nui. Photo description: Sunset Crabbing Lesson. A woman demonstrates to her nephew how to spear-hunt for crabs within the shallow tide pools of Anakena beach on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in May 2020.

Spring 2021

Alison Harper earned the Mellon Fellowship through the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative. During the Spring of 2021, she is a teaching fellow under Professor Donya Waugh from Cuyahoga Community College. She is also a graduate research assistant at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing under Dr. Stephanie Griggs and currently has an article under review for publication.

Brooke Jespersen received a PEO Ohio Chapter Q Scholarship to support her dissertation research entitled, “Regimes of mobility and aging: The influence of migration on older Puerto Rican adults’ subjective aging experiences.”

Winter 2020

Heather Bailey returned from a year of fieldwork in Ghana in March where she was working on her research on telemedicine and maternal health. In April, she completed her MPH capstone Factors Facilitating and Constraining the Scale Up of a Telemedicine Program in Ghana and her MPH practicum Assessing the Utilization of a National Telemedicine Program: A Case Study. She is now working on her dissertation: Access, Power, and Technology: A Comparative Study of the Impact of Telemedicine on Ghanaian Obstetrics.

Todd Fennimore is Project Coordinator/Instructor for the Community Health Worker Program at Cleveland State University School of Nursing. He conducts home visits and neighborhood assessments with family medicine residents in the UH Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and is working on his dissertation: Negotiating Change in Life Routines with Chronic Conditions: A Study of Heart Failure as a Chronic Illness in Poor Urban Communities of Color.

Maureen Floriano runs MetroHealth’s Project DAWN’s overdose education and Naloxone Distribution Clinic at Circle Health Services in Cleveland. She received a 2019 Medicine, Society and Culture Graduate Student Summer Research Grant for data collection for her dissertation: The influence of models of addiction on health seeking behaviors: A case study at an overdose education and naloxone distribution clinic.

Alisha Giri conducted exploratory work on postnatal depression among Nepali women, interviewing women and care providers on conceptions of postnatal depression and maternal mental health in Nepali society with support from an Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship.

Daniel Hamilton received the Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year Award from the Cleveland chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professional Network.

Brooke Jespersen received a Social Justice Institute Fellowship and a Medical Humanities and Social Medicine Graduate Research Grant to support preliminary fieldwork in San Juan, Puerto Rico in August 2019. She presented a paper, Migration, Mobility, and Pursuit of ‘Good’ Old Ages: Narratives of Puerto Rican Older Adults Who Migrate to the US Mainland, at the Gerontological Society of America meetings in November 2019 and a paper, Mobility Regimes in Pursuit of ‘Good’ Old Ages: Examining Older Puerto Rican Adults’ Migration Narratives, at the American Anthropological Association meetings in November 2019.

Kelley Kampman is completing work on her NSF-supported dissertation research. She presented a paper, Hustling and Parenting: How Mothers in Recovery Care for their Families, at the Society for Applied Anthropology meetings in March 2019. She presented a paper, Mothering in the Shadows: How Opiate Addicted Women Care for their Children, at the American Anthropological Association meetings in November 2019. She is working on her dissertation: Becoming a Mother & Mothering in the Context of Biomedicalized Addiction Treatment.

Yi Li was invited to speak at several universities in China, where he spoke on his work on Tibetan Buddhism in China. He completed his field research and is writing his dissertation: An Ethnographic Study of ‘The Eastern March of Tibetan Buddhism’ in Shen-yang, Northeastern China.

Norma Ojehomon spent six weeks in Abuja, Nigeria working for the PEPFAR team (consisting of US government agencies USAID, CDC, DOD & PCO). Her work included providing technical guidance to various stakeholders regarding data use for decision making and consulted regarding the usefulness of medical anthropology to address some of the key issues they are trying to address. She also identified sites and opportunities for dissertation research related to HIV service utilization in Nigeria.

Sonya Petrakovitz is currently in Rapa Nui (Easter Island) conducting her dissertation research: Medicine As Resistance: Rapa Nui Ancestral Medicine & Exclusivity.

Megan Schmidt-Sane completed NSF-funded dissertation fieldwork in Uganda. She presented a paper, “Transactional love” and survival: Intimate partnerships between men and their female sex worker partners in urban Uganda, at the American Anthropological Association meetings in November 2019. She continues to conduct research on Ebola in Uganda, through UNICEF and a collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UNICEF, the CDC and alumnus, Dr. David Kaawa-Mafigiri. She is working on her dissertation: A Mixed Method Study of Health Vulnerability and Social Resilience in Kampala, Uganda.

Yan Zhang presented a paper, Government, Non-State Actors, and Dementia Care: Negotiating a Sociopolitical Space for Elders with Dementia in Shanghai, China, at the American Anthropological Association meetings in November 2019. She is working on her dissertation: Between Tradition and Modernity: The Experience of Family Caregiving for Elders with Dementia in Shanghai, China.

Han Xiao conducted preliminary research on “left-behind children” in China with support from the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship.