Current Medical Anthropology Students

Medical Anthropology Graduate Students

Nadia Alaglan Manly
Nadia Alaglan-Manly

Scholarly interests: obesity, substance abuse, mental illness, Arab populations.


Chad BaberChad Baber
Scholarly Interests: special needs, education, Asia, religion

Chad attended the University of Texas in Austin where he completed his B.A. in Asian Studies with a minor in Anthropology. For his undergraduate degree, his focus of studies included religion in East Asia with an emphasis on death and rituals among the elderly population. During this time, he also participated in research courses where he translated ema tablets (wooden tablets hung in shrines across Japan). His current research interests include special needs in Japan, Korea, and the U.S. He is a member of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and Japan Anthropology Workshop (JAWS).

Samantha Buglewicz

Samantha Buglewicz
Samantha is interested in the causal effects of technology on physical and mental health with an emphasis on qualitative methods. She is currently working as a social media analyst. Her future plans are to apply anthropological research and analytical skills in the technology sector providing insight into trends and the cultural implications of mobile technologies in Silicon Valley.

Lara Defino-CosciaLaura DeFino-Coscia
Scholarly Interests: midwifery, teen pregnancy, primal period anthropology, international health

Laura lives in North Carolina and specializes in home births in the greater Raleigh and surrounding rural areas, while traveling and observing pregnancy, birthing, and infant health practices worldwide. She strongly believes in using alternative techniques whenever possible and believes other cultures have much to teach us about them. She and her husband have 3 children. In her free time she enjoys playing the piano, guitar, and African drums, and cooking.

Yasmeen Esshaki
Scholarly Interests: Hookah's effects on the body and its cultural connotations, American food culture, culture shock and major health issues among Middle Eastern immigrants, Alzheimer.

Yasmeen graduated from the University of San Diego with a B.A. in Anthropology. She was born and raised in San Diego and belongs to its thriving Chaldean community. As an undergraduate she had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy and Cork, Ireland. Her time in Cork and Florence was spent taking courses in anthropology and art history, respectively. After graduation, she plans to pursue a medical education.

Charles Horne

Andrew Gleason

Andrew Gleason
Scholarly Interests: global health, rural health, gender

Originally from Buxton, Maine, Andrew graduated from Le Moyne College with a B.A. in Spanish and Peace and Global Studies. Throughout his undergraduate career Andrew participated in many domestic and international service immersion experiences. After volunteering for an NGO in Quito, Ecuador he became interested in global development issues. Andrew is currently the Program Coordinator for Creighton University's Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC). He works in the Dominican Republic, residing on the grounds of an international, collaborative health care and educational organization. He coordinates and facilitates various short-term immersion experiences, including medical missions.

Rachel Larsen

Rachel Larsen
Scholarly Interests: Improving Patient Outcomes

Rachel lives in Santaquin, Utah with her husband, Brandon, daughter Brittany, and her flock of animals. She received her undergraduate degree at Utah Valley University and majored in Anthropology.  Prior to returning to school she worked in the medical field as a radiology technician.


Kalie Tuquyen NguyenKalie Tuquyen Nguyen
Scholarly Interests: Bioculture, adaptation, disease, and norms

Kalie received her B.A. at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona majoring in Cultural Anthropology. She plans to increase her knowledge in the differences of social and medicinal practice in cultures around the world through a focus in Medical Anthropology. She enjoys traveling and exploring the world.  As a chapter founder and project director of Nourish International, she leads a group to Cameroon, Africa, to work alongside the Better Family Foundation to build water irrigation to bring clean water to local villages. The group will also facilitate workshops for local populations providing health care education in AIDS/HIV.

Kristienne McFarland

Samantha NardellaSamantha Nardella
Research interests: critical medical anthropology, elective termination of pregnancy, health policy, social justice


Laura Nasseri
Laura Nasseri

Research interests: health promotion and disease prevention, health policy and program development, determinants of health, global health

 Damaris Odhiambo
Damaris Odhiambo

Scholarly interests: social determinants of health


Cathy Orr
Cathy Orr

Research interests: prescription drug abuse, chronic pain, addiction, substance abuse, food insecurity

Danica RushDanica Rush
Scholarly Interests: Cultural context of memory loss

Danica is a registered nurse in Toronto, Canada. She explores the cultural context, patterns of relationships and significant meanings of health, wellness, illness and adaptation of older adults living with memory loss. Ethnography, relational inquiry, complexity theory, embodied selfhood and art-based research construct the framework which guides her research and nursing practice. This framework allows her to examine how the experience of living with memory loss is interwoven into to the complexity of a person who is in relation to the social, cultural and political context of the broader society in which they live.

Marissa Sjoblom

Michael Stec

Giovanna Sanguinetti

Scholarly Interests: Women's Health, Epidemiology, Human sexuality and culture, Patient advocacy

Giovanna defines herself a product of Mediterranean, rustic vineyards intertwined with Caribbean sand and endless summers. She was born into a multicultural family. Her paternal grandparents are from Italy, who then later moved to Lima, Peru. Her mother is from Ponce, Puerto Rico, where she was born. She was exposed to a number of cultural differences as a child. Needless, to say she loves to travel. She appreciates and respects each culture and religion and strives to learn from each of them every day. She finds that looking at other cultures from an objective point of view can really help put into perspective your own culture and norms. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and shares two marvelous boys with him: Giovanni Andres and Italo Gianni.

 Phil Sweet

Phil Sweet
Research interests:  youth, delinquency, systems of care, mental health, faith-based treatment


 Peter Thomas

Peter Thomas
Research interests: social determinants of health, environmental public health, environmental anthropology, healthcare reform

Kartavya Vyas

Research interests: HIV/AIDS in India, health policy, prevention, de-stigmatization, medicine


Carleigh Van Detta Smitherman

Carleigh VanDetta-Smitherman
Carleigh is originally from a town near Chicago and attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign for her undergraduate studies, where she received a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with an interdisciplinary minor in Human Aging, specifically looking at the effects of the aging process on human cognition.

During her studies, she also took part in a community-based project, Child Assault Prevention Education, educating classrooms in the local community ways to prevent childhood abuse while also learning the short-term and long-term effects of abuse on child development. Bringing together her love for working with children and her interest in human cognition, she is currently studying to be an occupational therapist at Creighton University. Her future goal is to develop a day program for young adults with severe developmental disabilities to provide the opportunity for continued growth to achieve an overall improved quality of life.

Terri VenzialeTerri Veneziale
Scholarly Interests: healthcare systems, healthcare professionals, healthcare delivery, resiliency in changing environment

Terri is the Director of Patient Experience and Communication in Healthcare Program at Mayo Clinic in Florida. She provides expertise, facilitation, and coordination of broad reaching programs aimed at improving patient and staff satisfaction across the organization. She works with clinical leaders to understand the needs of each distinct practice. Her overarching mission is to enhance individuals' behaviors and implement reliable processes across the organization to sustain a relationship-centered environment. She directs system-wide and individual development including team building, coaching, and communication education. She also co-leads a team of physicians to develop skills based curricula aimed at enhancing medical and non-medical communication.