Sonya Petrakovitz


  • Ph.D. Candidate, Medical Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University
  • M.A., Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2019
  • M.A., Medical Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University, 2017
  • B.S., Photojournalism, Central Michigan University, 2013
  • B.A., Classical History, Kalamazoo College, 2010


  • Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile, Polynesia

On Rapa Nui, I observed how health, healing, and ancestral ethics towards responsibilities of care, can be modes of resistance, advocacy, and activism.

  • Medicine-as-resistance through Indigenous approaches to the intersections among medicine
  • Health
  • Heritage protection
  • Human rights
  • Community activism
  • Cultural sustainability


  • 2018: Instructor of Introduction to Human Diversity, Cleveland State University
  • 2016-Present: Teaching Assistant, Case Western Reserve University


  • 2020: SMA COVID-19 Emergency Grant, Society for Medical Anthropology
  • 2018: The Social Justice Institute Graduate Research Fellowship, Social Justice Institute, Case Western Reserve University
  • 2017: Medical Humanities and Social Medicine Research Grant, Department of Bioethics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • 2017: The Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship, School of Graduate Studies, Case Western Reserve University


  • Spanish
  • Basic Rapa Nui



  • 2021 American Anthropological Association Photo Contest Winner – photo of fieldwork research to be included in the 2022 AAA Calendar
  • Hamler, T. C., Miller, V. J., & Petrakovitz, S. (2018). Chronic Kidney Disease and Older African American Adults: How Embodiment Influences Self-Management. Geriatrics3(3), 52. [Journal Article]

In Progress

  • Petrakovitz, S. (2022). Informe de investigación comunitaria [Community research report]. Rapa Nui Journal.
  • Petrakovitz. S. & Hamler, T.C. (2022). Social Determinants of Noncompliance: Towards New Differentiations of Patient Noncompliance Labels. Intended for: “Sounding Board” in the New England Journal of Medicine.




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