Case Western Reserve University






























Applying Anthropology to Real World

Problems Spotlight Lecture Series



Dr. Robert T. Trotter, II


This year’s Spotlight Lecture Series was held on March 5th and featured Dr. Robert T. Trotter, II, an Arizona Regent’s Professor in Anthropology. He is a medical anthropologist with 25 years of experience in cross-cultural health issues ranging from traditional healing in Mexican American communities to alcohol, drug abuse and HIV prevention and intervention programs for minority groups in the U.S. and in international settings. In addition, he has spent the past five years doing research in corporate and business anthropology, resulting in a number of journal publications, a book, and a patent application.
Dr. Trotter has more than 125 publications in scientific books and journals and has conducted research and policy studies for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and General Motors Corporation.
He has a commitment to exploring new ethnographic research methods, research design, computer assisted ethnography, and international training in rapid ethnographic assessment, including the RARE and I-RARE programs for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and CDC. His other strong interest is the area of research ethics.
Dr. Trotter has served as a member of the Community Intervention Health and Behaviors review panel, NIH, DHHS; the Data Safety Monitoring Board, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health; and the Methods Focus task force Toward a Higher Level of Analysis, Progress and Promise in Research on Social and Cultural Dimensions of Health, NIH, Office of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
His lecture, titled "Solving Cultural Conundrums: A Career Exploring Cross Cultural Health Care Problems, Opportunities and Solutions from Fold Medicine to the World Health Organization and Back Again" was made possible through the generous support of Mr. Jonathan Plimpton, Managing Director, International Business Management, Inc. and a 1970 graduate of Anthropology at Western Reserve College.

Dr. Cynthia Beall elected a Fellow member of the

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

In addition to being a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Dr. Beall was elected a Fellow member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Chartered in 1780 during the American Revolution by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and others, the "end and design of the institution cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." The election continues a 230-plus year history of recognizing some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders.

"It’s a great honor joining some remarkable members from the present and the past. George Washington and Margaret Meade were members at one time, and Charles Darwin. What more could an anthropologist want?" -Dr. Beall

Congratulations Dr. Anderson-Fye and Dr. Almeida
Congratulations to Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye for receiving the 2013 Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Dr. Katia Almeida for being nominated for the award. This award is presented annually to two faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Paleoanthropology Luncheon

Physical anthropology majors, along with other students interested in human evolution, attended a paleoanthropology luncheon on April 5th with university paleoanthropologists Dr. Scott Simpson and Dr. Beverly Saylor, and CWRU students Allison Zimmerman and Megan Bursley who conducted undergraduate fieldwork research. The intention of this luncheon was to introduce the students to others who share their interests and to learn about class and fieldwork opportunities.

Class opportunities mentioned included the geology field school during spring break, skeletal biology, evolution, and human evolution. Field opportunities mentioned included working on Dr. Latimer’s excavations in Israel as Megan Bursley did and Dr. Haile-Selassie’s research in Ethiopia as Allison Zimmerman did. Local opportunities for related research include laboratories at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Noting that the lunch was focused on paleoanthropology, Dr. Cynthia Beall explained that she and others on campus are interested in evolution in contemporary humans and other organisms - topics for the next interested students and physical anthropology majors get-together.



Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye
In March 2013, Dr. Anderson-Fye was awarded a senior research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her longitudinal research in Belize titled "Education and Rapid Socio-Cultural Change: A Longitudinal Mixed-Methods Assessment of Secondary Education in a Developing World Context." She will conduct a 15-year follow up on the first mass high school educated cohort of young women in Belize. In March she also participated in a small international meeting hosted by the Stanford Center for the Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) on the topic of Public Psychiatry.
She presented a paper titled "Centering Subjective Experience: Understanding Outcomes of Well-Being among Adolescents Undergoing Rapid Cultural Change" at the November 2012 American Anthropological Association (AAA) meetings in San Francisco, at which she also served as a national student mentor for the Society for Psychological Anthropology.
Dr. Anderson-Fye and her research team from her Transitions in Medication Experience investigating college student psychiatric medication usage have recently published a series of papers aimed for policy, education, and practice audiences in the Journal of Postsecondary Education & Disability, the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and Health.

Dr. Atwood Gaines
Dr. Gaines proposed, and recently received approval, for two new medical anthropology book series. The first series is the Cultural Studies of Science and Medicine (CSSM). It will publish full-length works in the social sciences of medicine, which include histories of medicine and science and medical humanities. The series proposes the synthesis of these perspectives as the new medical anthropology. The first volume in the series will be "Building a Mystery: The Construction and Practice of Alzheimer Disease" by Atwood Gaines and Peter Whitehouse.
The second series is called Millennial Medical Anthropology, and will be an e-book/paperback series of shorter works at the cutting edge of medical anthropology. The first works to appear in this series are "Circumstantial Deliveries for Millennial Medical Anthropology" by Atwood Gaines, "Movers of Momentary Madness in Post-Conflict Timor-L’este" by James Rodgers, and "Young, Educated, and Medicated" by Eileen Anderson-Fye.



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Dr. Charlotte Ikels

Dr. Ikels published "The Evolution of Bioethics in China: The Case of Organ Transplantation" in Harvard Asia Quarterly, December 2012. In late March she served as the discussant for the panel "Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging and Caregiving in Contemporary China" at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Los Angeles. Dr. Ikels delivered a talk at Fudan University in Shanghai and a public lecture for the Department of Anthropology at Sun Yat-sen University (informally known as Zhongshan University) in Guangzhou, the largest anthropology department in China, titled "Organ Transplantation, Body, and Culture."



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Ariel Cascio


Stephanie McClure

Ariel is continuing her dissertation research in Italy on the topic of the definition, management, and experience of autism spectrum conditions. In March she participated in the Fulbright Berlin Seminar, a mid-year seminar where American Fulbrighters from more than 20 different European countries come together. Ariel recently published an article with Roslyn Yomtovian in Transfusion Medicine Reviews titled "Sex, Risk, and Education in Donor Education Materials: Review and Critique."


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Graduating student Stephanie McClure has accepted a postdoctoral position in the Medicine & Society Program in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University, St. Louis in fall 2013. She will be teaching courses in medical anthropology as well as continuing her research and writing on physicality and body image in the U. S. and Jamaica.


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Yunzhu Chen

Sarah Miller-Fellows

Yunzhu 'June' was awarded the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship. This fellowship will provide her the opportunity to travel to Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China, to conduct pilot study research for her dissertation. June’s proposed study seeks to investigate how rapid socio-cultural changes affect the utilization of traditional medicine among the elderly of different ethnic groups.



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Sarah was a recipient of the Ruth Barber Moon Award, which is given to a graduate student who has demonstrated academic promise and leadership abilities. Sarah also received a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship to study Swahili at Ohio University this summer.


As part of the CWRU Interdisciplinary Alliance Investment Grant, Sarah conducted research related to polyparasitism and reproductive practices in Coast Province Kenya in the summers of 2011 and 2012. She hopes to return to Kenya to conduct future research on reproduction and by learning Swahili will reduce communication barriers and broaden study opportunities for future research.


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Francis Manzella

Raakhee Patel

Francis 'Frank' has been awarded the prestigious David L. Boren Fellowship administered by the National Security Education Program (NSEP). The Boren Fellowships are awarded to outstanding U.S. graduate students who demonstrate the highest intellectual and professional capacity.


The fellowship will support his study of Portuguese at the Portuguese School of Middlebury College this summer. Immediately following, he will be traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to continue his study of Portuguese for twelve months at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil’s highest ranked private university. The fellowship will also support a pilot study entitled, ‘Adolescent Narratives of Social Exclusion and Immobility.’



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Raakhee was awarded the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship. This summer, Raakee will systematically conduct an exploratory study in India. More specifically, she hopes to build a professional network that will provide secure access to the appropriate physicians and patients at various levels of the Indian healthcare system.


India’s pattern of social structure - the caste system - and the organization of healthcare contribute to a complexity that can be harnessed to study the interaction of numerous variables on the physician-patient relationship. The Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship has afforded her the opportunity to refine her research question based on feasibility as she identifies the specific problems that she plans to return to study in future graduate work.




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Hillary Melchiors

Michelle Nebergall

After spending a year in Berlin, Germany with her family working on her dissertation research, parts of which were funded by a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (German Academic Exchange Service) graduate research scholarship, The Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund, and an Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship, Hillary spent time writing her dissertation in Evansville, Indiana.


Below: Annika Melchiors gets a closer look at the Neptune fountain in Berlin with Hillary, Andrew and Mayzie looking on.

Michelle recently returned to Cleveland after completing 22 months of dissertation fieldwork in South Africa. In April, she received a Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) Student Travel Fellowship. This Fellowship will partially support her travels to present her research findings at the upcoming SMA/EASE joint conference which will be held in Tarragona, Spain this June.


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Below: Hillary, Mayzie, Andrew and Annika Melchiors at Museum Island in Berlin

Sarah Rubin

Sarah was invited to lecture this April in the Doctoral Showcase Lectures in the Arts and Sciences series. She presented "Empathizing, Sharing, and Coping with Life: An Investigation of Postpartum Depression in a South African Township."



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Best Cultural Anthropology Dissertations of 2012

Meghan Halley and Nadia El-Shaarawi were among "The 64 Best Cultural Anthropology Dissertations 2012" as posted on ‘Anthropology Works,’ a blog related to the discipline of anthropology by Barbara Miller. The dissertations were selected based on abstracts related to human rights, justice, migration, gender, health, violence, conflict, environment, and energy.


Meghan’s dissertation "Negotiating Sexuality: Adolescent Initiation Rituals and Cultural Change in Rural Southern Tanzania" ranked 28 of 64 and Nadia’s dissertation "Living an Uncertain Future: An Ethnography of Displacement, Health, Psychosocial Well-being and the Search for Durable Solutions among Iraqi refugees in Egypt" ranked 20 of 64.


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In April, she returned to Berlin for dissertation research follow-up and in May, will present her essay on being a graduate student mother titled "Big Plans" in the Indianapolis production of the national series Listen to Your Mother.



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American Anthropological Association (AAA)

November 13-18 , 2012 in San Francisco, California


"Risk and Protective Factors of Fat Stigma"

LAURA HOWARD (presenter)


""Marijuana is what I wish Xanax was": Preliminary Evidence for an Ecocultural Model of Navigating Alcohol, Pot, and Prescription Psychotropics in the Management of Anxiety among North American College Students"


"Suffering Transformed: The Individual and Social As Modalities of Suffering Among Poor Xhosa Women in South Africa"


"Replacing ‘Bad’ Drugs with ‘Good’ Medicines: How Clients and Providers Negotiate Pharmaceutical Drug Use in Addiction Treatment"


Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA)

March 19-23, 2013 in Denver, Colorado


"From Policy to People: Cuts to AIDS Drug Assistance Programs and Experiences of Uncertainty"


Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA)

Biennial Meeting April 4-7, 2013 in San Diego, California



"Body Image and Body Ideals in a Nepali Monastery"

Global Fat Stigma team at the SPA 2013 meeting



Left to right: Yunzhu Chen, Stephanie McClure, Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye, Arundhati Bharati, and Maureen Floriano


"Risk and Protective Factors of Fat Stigma in Nepal"


"Obesity Stigma"


"Gender, Body Size and Fat Stigma in Jamaica"


"Evaluating the Use of SMS and Social Media as Research Tools in an Ethnography of South African Township Youth"


Research ShowCASE

April 12, 2013 at CWRU


"Cross Cultural Differences in Fat Stigma"


Innovations in Population Health Conference

April 15, 2013 at CWRU


"HIV Prevention and Outreach: The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland"





Graduate Discourse (GD) continues CWRU’s tradition of being a body of unity and support for anthropology graduate students. This spring, GD was happy to co-sponsor a mini-workshop with the Graduate Student Senate on web-based qualitative research methods with Dr. Michelle McGowan. Other events scheduled include discussion groups, works-in-progress presentations, and social events. At the beginning of the fall semester, elections will be held to bring in new leadership and welcome new incoming graduate students.


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Sarah Hoffman


Kendra Simmons

Sarah will attend New York University's School of Medicine in the fall.


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Graduating senior, Kendra Simmons, will be attending Baldwin Wallace University for an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program next year. During her interview at Baldwin Wallace, program representatives expressed a strong interest in her background in medical anthropology and the prospects of how she would be a perfect candidate to join several doctors in medical trips abroad.


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Erica Iafelice

After graduation, Erica will be attending Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine in North Carolina.


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Devyn Lee


Kristin Smith

Devyn Lee, graduating senior and Spartan women’s soccer player will be working this summer as a soccer coach at a camp in the Poconos, after which she will be serving in the Peace Corps.


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Kristin will be attending the University of Toledo’s College of Medicine in the fall where she hopes to put her anthropological knowledge to use and help improve patient experience.


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Registration for summer and fall semesters are open.


Course schedules are available on line.



Ashley Sowers


Ashley will be attending San Francisco State University’s University of Pacific Dental Postbaccalaureate Program for a year and a half. Following the program, Ashley plans to attend dental school.


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Congratulations New Members of Phi Beta Kappa

Anthropology majors Phoebe Edwards, Devyn Lee, Michelle Menegay and Kristin Smith were elected as members of Phi Beta Kappa by the Alpha of Ohio chapter at CWRU.


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Outstanding Achievement Awards in Anthropology
Congratulations to the following students who will receive awards for outstanding achievement in anthropology during the May graduation ceremonies.
Phoebe Edwards and Kristin Smith
The Ruth and Newbell Niles Puckett Award

Sharif Sabe
The James Dysart Magee Award

Devyn Lee and Mai Segawa
The Callender Memorial Award

Sarah Hoffman
The Jonathan F. Plimpton Award

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The Anthropological Student Association (ASA) is excited to announce the newly elected executive members for the 2013-2014 school year. Congratulations to Christie Ellis and Aaron Sepulveda (Co-presidents), Alaina Wodzinski (Vice-president), Danielle Turner (Treasurer), and Nusaiba Chowdhury (Secretary). There are a number of planned events for the upcoming year centered on a fund raising event for the Sudanese Lost Boys of Cleveland, which will be funded in part by both the Anthropology Department and Undergraduate Student Government.


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Elisa Gordon

Elisa Gordon PhD (CWRU, 1999), MPH, received an R21 from the National Institute of Nursing Research/National Library of Medicine (NINR/NLM) in 2012 entitled "Optimizing Kidney Transplant Patients’ Informed Consent for Increased Risk Donors." She is currently a Research Associate Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.


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Elizabeth Olson

In 2012, Elizabeth Olson PhD (CWRU, 2009) accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Global Health and Development in the Department of Environmental Science/Studies at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. As part of her position, she will be working to develop a new major program of study in Global Health and Development with major funding support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Liz also has a new book, "Indigenous Knowledge and Development: Livelihoods, health experiences and medicinal plant knowledge in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve," scheduled for press release later this year with Lexington Books.


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Gregory Pappas

Gregory Pappas MD, PhD (CWRU, 1986 School of Medicine and Anthropology) is a leader in global health who has worked in over 30 countries. His recent book Megacities & Global Health published by the American Public Health Association (2011) was inspired while he served as chairman of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Aga Khan University where he saw firsthand the health issues in Karach, Pakistan, a megacities with over 18 million residents.
His book brings together important research on infectious diseases, environmental and occupational hazards, disaster preparedness, crowding, urban ecology, and much more.

Dr. Pappas is currently Senior Deputy Director at the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration (HAHSTA) for the District of Columbia Department of Health and was recently featured in an interview with John-Manual Andriote, Huffington Post, titled "D.C. Rolls Out New HIV Test That Could Increase Chance of Cure."


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David Stothers

Condolences on the passing of 1974 alumni Dr. David Stothers this past February. Dr. Stothers was featured in our fall 2012 newsletter for receiving a Life Time Achievement Award by the Archaeological Society of Ohio.


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Sarah Williams-Blangero

Sarah Williams-Blangero, PhD (CWRU, 1987) was appointed Deputy Director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. She will be working in this role and continue to be concurrently appointed as the Chair of the Department of Genetics, strengthening the Primate Center as it moves forward into its fourth 5-year cycle.


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