I am a medical and psychological anthropologist. In the broadest sense, my program of research is concerned with human experiences of distress and the wide-ranging efforts that persons bring to bear in both enduring and mitigating suffering. I have deep interests in culture and mental health, the anthropology of children and families, and the anthropology of contemporary U.S. culture. I studied anthropology at Dartmouth College (A.B., 2001) before pursuing graduate studies in anthropology at Case Western Reserve University (Ph.D., 2007). I received postdoctoral training in culture and mental health in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School through a National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship. I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center (PRC).
My work explores lived experiences of mental illness and the contemporary context of mental health services in the U.S. I am fascinated by how contemporary psychiatric discourses are taken up and interpreted by individuals, families, and communities. I am also deeply interested in how systems of care are responding to increasingly diverse patient populations and the growing awareness of dramatic disparities in mental health care among people of color and economically-disadvantaged groups in the U.S.
At the Dartmouth PRC, I work as part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers on numerous mixed-methods studies of psychiatric rehabilitation and community mental health services. At present, I am conducting research (with Drs. Rob Whitley and Robert Drake) on experiences of recovery and rehabilitation from severe mental illness and substance use among African Americans living in a major metropolitan area of the U.S. By examining local ecologies of mental health care among diverse populations we aim to build the knowledge base regarding African American mental health. We are especially eager to contribute to a deeper understanding of experiences of engagement in mental health services within communities that remain shadowed by serious inequalities in the delivery of care. In addition, at the PRC, I teach a seminar in qualitative methods.
I am also currently Principal Investigator on an ethnographic study examining the lived experiences of homeless children and families in northern New England (funded by the Columbia Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies). This pilot research aims to provide an empirical foundation for a future study to examine socialization and identity-formation processes in the context of financial insecurity and housing instability.
In 2010, I am teaching Anthropology 17, Anthropology of Health and Illness.
Last Updated: 10/5/10