About Me

I am a researcher, writer, and professor. I am best known for my research with children living in difficult circumstances, my work on care giving in southern Africa, and my writing on global health inequities.

I am currently an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Anthropology in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis. I have a PhD in anthropology and a master of public health (MPH) from Northwestern University. I did my postdoctoral training in community-based cancer disparities research at Washington University and the Siteman Cancer Center.

I am the author of the award winning book, Children as Caregivers: The Global Fight against Tuberculosis and HIV in Zambia (link to open access version). My work is published in a range of peer-reviewed journals, including Cultural AnthropologyMedical Anthropology Quarterly, Childhood, Children’s Geographies, AIDS Care, Qualitative Health Research, Child Abuse & Neglect, The International Journal of Tuberculosis & Lung Disease, and more.

I have won a number of awards for my writing and research. These include the Elliot P. Skinner book award for Children as Caregivers and the 2014 Steven Polgar Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology for my article, “Children’s Roles in Tuberculosis Treatment Regimes: Constructing Childhood and Kinship in Urban Zambia.” I have received grants and fellowships for my work from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright IIE, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological ResearchAAUW, and the National Institutes of Health.

I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia from 1999 to 2002. I spent two years living in a village near the Malawi border, where I worked on water sanitation projects, learned how to speak Tumbuka, and enjoyed living in the rural countryside. In 2001, I was promoted to Peace Corps Volunteer Leader. I moved to Serenje, near the Democratic Republic of Congo, and supported volunteers living in villages in Central and Copperbelt Provinces. It was, as the Peace Corps slogans say, the toughest job I ever loved.

For a list of my current and past research projects, visit my Washington University website. I serve as a consultant on global health projects and initiatives related to children in adversity, disease prevention and control, and other health topics. I also advise on research methodologies, including ethnographic methods, qualitative interview and analysis techniques, community-based participatory research, and more. You can contact me here or at [email protected].

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