Hear from anthropology of global health students on why they chose the major or minor and how they are applying it outside of the classroom.

Alumni News

Former UVM student, Nathaniel Fuchs is a current Fulbright Scholar in a masters of public health program at Brown University. Fuchs completed his senior thesis on the public health issue of vaccinations with faculty in Anthropology and Geography. He recently published an article on his continuing research in this area.

Recent UVM graduate, Sonia Zaccheo, has accepted an offer for a masters in global health at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Naw Ruth Doe '20

 During my first year at UVM, I was in the science field wanting to study public health. I was taking heavy science courses, but I wanted to learn more about the social science aspect of human health. When I learned about the anthropology of global health concentration, I decided to switch into the major. It has been an incredible journey for me to be able to take courses related to medical anthropology, diversity, and public health under this concentration. I have been able to apply what I learned within the classroom to my volunteer work and internship. When I volunteered at the Pediatrics Outpatient Department of the UVM Medical Center, I had the opportunity to apply the knowledge I gained when interacting with patients from various populations and backgrounds. I also interned at the Fletcher Library and researched various topics such as neuroscience and Arabic literature for future programs at the library. I was able to apply the concepts I learned in the classroom when I researched health-related and cultural topics. Overall, I truly enjoy what I am studying and I am glad that the anthropology of global health concentration is offered here at UVM.

Adrianna Grinder '20

Hi, my name is Adrianna Grinder and I am currently a junior here at UVM. I decided to major in anthropology of global health after taking ANTH 095 Food & Culture, which opened up my eyes to the study of food and culture, and how it relates to human health. With a minor in Nutrition and Food Science as well, I have been able to combine all of my interests to study the intersection of culture, food, and human health. I have also been able to apply what I have learned in my anth. of global health classes to the clubs that I am apart of on campus. I am currently the Vice- President of the Campus Kitchens Project, which is a club that works to deal with food insecurity and food waste in the Burlington community. As a club, we go to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf every Sunday to cook and serve brunch. I believe my major in anth. of global health has made me a better prepared, and more understanding volunteer and member of this club. The anth. of global health major has also allowed me the opportunity and flexibility to study abroad in Italy next semester, where I will continue my studies in food and culture. When I return I will begin my process of applying to graduate universities, hoping to continue my studies in public health!

Sean Kim

Sean Kim, UVM foreign exchange student from Korea, focused on medical anthropology and global health during her year at UVM. Pictured here with UVM Anthropology Professor Shea. Sean has returned to Korea and plans to continue her studies in this area.

Addie Luke-Currier '21

Hi, my name is Addie Luke-Currier and I am a junior Political Science and Anthropology with a Global Health Concentration double major. I decided to become an Anthropology of Global Health major because I have always been interested in how health is practiced around the world. I started to become interested in this topic after studying abroad in Finland and seeing how healthy lifestyles are promoted throughout the country. I have taken a few anthropology of global health classes including Anth 089 and Anth 195 and I am currently enrolled in Anth 288. My favorite class has been Anth 195, as it provided with the perfect foundation for participating in a global health internship and conducting research. I also like the freedom of Anth 195 in choosing topics that really interest you. I was able to apply the information that I learned through an internship at the European Regional and Local Health Authorities in Brussels, Belgium. I was able to use my experience from my anthropology classes to assist the network in coordinating health efforts in different regions throughout the European Union. On campus, I am a TA for Anth 173 and am also an Anthropology of Global Health Communications Intern. I look forward to working on a senior thesis next year on the cardiovascular health of elderly prisoners in Vermont. After graduation, I hope to pursue a Masters in Public Health in either Sweden or the Netherlands.

Lauren Rigney '20

 Hi, my name is Lauren Rigney and I am a junior anthropology major with a concentration in global health, and an international politics minor. I chose the global health concentration because I have always been extremely fascinated by the different social determinants of health especially with regards to women’s health. My interest in global health deepened in July of 2017 when I traveled to Jinja, Uganda with the non-profit organization called The Giving Circle to work with the Deaf children in the Busoga Primary School, and to provide assistance to any of the teachers who may have needed it. Moreover, I learned a lot about Ugandan women and children’s health. So far in my college career I have taken five courses in the global health concentration, my favorite being Dr. Shea’s ANTH 288: Anthropology of Global Health because it exposed me to what it is like to conduct research in anthropology. This first-hand experience of conducting research made me even more excited about a potential career in anthropology. In addition, it helped me to build strong relationships with local community actors in the realm of global health. In the spring of 2019 I will be studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland through the School for International Training in their Global Health and Development Policy program. I am very excited for this opportunity because this academic experience will combine my key interests in global health and creating policies that pertain to health. Outside the classroom, I volunteer in the respite program at the Lund Family Center watching young children while their mothers attend group therapy sessions or doctor’s appointments. I am also a member of two amazing public health clubs on campus: Partners in Health Engage and Vermont Student Assembly for Public Health.

Gabriella Rivas '22

Hello, my name is Gabriella Rivas and I am currently a sophomore Anthropology major with a concentration in Global Health and Social Action. Up until the summer of 2019, I had no previous knowledge of Anthropology until I took an online cultural anthropology class solely for the purpose of satisfying a requirement. I originally came to UVM as an Animal Science major, but after taking cultural anthropology, I decided to look at the various concentrations of anthropology offered here at UVM. I then immediately switched my major and concentration to Anthropology of Global Health. This concentration has allowed me to view the United States healthcare system with new lenses. I am passionate about understanding the cultural barriers that often occur and the impact it has on a patient receiving proper care as well as the relationship between the provider and patient. Additionally, being able to also concentrate in Social Action further helps me to develop my advocacy skills. I look forward to learning and doing more in Anthropology throughout my time at UVM!

Sarah Stevens '21

My name is Sarah Stevens and I am a junior Anthropology of Global Health major with a Biology minor. At the beginning of my college career, I had not declared a major, but I knew that I wanted to become a physician’s assistant in the future. After taking Anth 089 and Anth 021, I knew that this major was the right fit for me. While I also take anatomy, chemistry, and biology classes, the Anthropology of Global Health major has allowed me to learn more about what health care is like from a patient’s perspective rather than only focusing on aspects of the natural sciences. In the summer, I work as a licensed nursing assistant (LNA) at a long-term care facility in New Hampshire. My studies in classes such as Anth 089 and Anth 174 have helped me better my practice as a nursing assistant by being more attentive to the patient’s wants and needs on a level beyond pure health care. Additionally, I have spent time volunteering with the New England Healing Sports Association assisting with horseback riding and kayaking lessons for individuals with disabilities. When I graduate, I plan on applying to schools to earn my Master of Physician Assistant Studies while carrying over my knowledge and experience from my Anthropology of Global Health degree.

Erin Varnum '20

I originally came to UVM as an undeclared major with limited knowledge of the fields of anthropology and public health. After taking Anth 021 Cultural Anthropology and Anth 174 Culture, Health, and Healing I decided to declare a major in anthropology with a global health concentration and a minor in behavioral change health studies. The global health concentration within anthropology has allowed me to explore the field of public health through a holistic perspective, allowing me to analyze the sustainability and cultural appropriateness of organizations both locally and globally. The anthropological perspective of global health has guided my decision to work at the Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN), where I assist Rhode Island residents with their goals for health, education, and socioeconomic well-being. Through the Call Center, I work directly with consumers and serve primarily as a healthcare advocate. The knowledge and experience that I have gained through the anthropology of global health concentration has prepared me to pursue a Master’s in Public Health once I graduate.

Sonia Zaccheo '18

I chose to minor in Anthropology with a Global Health focus because it complemented my long-held interest in medicine and my passion for exploring other cultures with a formal study of health in diverse contexts. The minor allowed me the flexibility in my coursework to ensure I could comfortably fulfill my pre-med requirements while also exploring the field of anthropology, through a global health lens. I was especially interested in ethnography and eventually conducted my senior honors thesis, “Vermont Service Provider’s Perceptions of Resettled Refugees’ Nutritional Needs and Related Resources,” under Dr. Jeanne Shea’s supervision. I was able to leverage the knowledge and skills gained through my minor to post-graduate opportunities and am now working in Dili, Timor-Leste, as a Princeton in Asia Fellow for Marie Stopes Timor-Leste, a reproductive health and family planning INGO. Eventually, I hope to practice medicine with international humanitarian aid organizations.