Alumni Profiles

Howard Schweber Distinguished Chair

Home InstitutionUniversity of Winconsin-Madison
Host InstitutionFlinders University
Award Name2011 Fulbright Flinders University Distinguished Chair in American Political Science
DisciplinePolitical Science
Award Year2011

“The way people conceive of their government as representative speaks volumes about the way people conceive of themselves as democratic citizens and the working understandings of democracy that inform popular understandings of governmental legitimacy.”

Howard Schweber, a Professor with the Department of Political Science and Legal Studies at the University of Winconsin-Madison is the inaugural Fulbright Flinders University Distinguished Chair. The Australian Distinguished Chair in American Political Science was established in 2005, and is hosted in 2011-2015 by Flinders University.

Through his Fulbright, Professor Schweber will spend five months at Flinders University examining the ways in which foundational concepts of representative government have shaped the development of Australian constitutional and political culture.

Professor Schweber’s past research has focused on the conceptual underpinnings of American constitutionalism, and liberal democracy in general, and he has written books on the subject.

“There is a considerable body of work that compares different constitutional ideas across political cultures; my hope is to further that comparative understanding by drawing connections to differences in underlying conceptions of a basic democratic concept,” Professor Schweber said.

Professor Schweber said that Australia provides an exceptionally interesting case for comparative treatment because of its history of maintaining a constitutional system rooted in a combination of elements of British and American systems.

Professor Schweber is eager to take advantage of the archival resources, attitudinal information, and collaborative efforts that being in Australia will make possible. At the end of his project he plans to produce published work analysing the answers to these inquiries in comparative perspective.

Howard Schweber has a BA in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, a JD from the University of Washington, an MS in History from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Government from Cornell University. His forthcoming book is his fourth (others are studies of American legal history and the First Amendment). He will be accompanied in Australia by his wife and daughter, while another son will remain in the United States to pursue graduate studies.

Carol Weissert Distinguished Chair

Home InstitutionFlorida State University, Department of Political Science
Host InstitutionFlinders University
Award NameFulbright-Flinders University Distinguished Chair in American Political Science, Sponsored by Flinders University
DisciplinePolitical Science
Award Year2015

Carol’s Ph.D. is from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She was on faculty at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, fourteen years prior to moving to Florida State. At Michigan State, she headed the Institute of Public Policy and Social Research; at Florida State, she heads the LeRoy Collins Institute for Public Policy. She has also served as staff of the premier intergovernmental groups in the United States—the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Carol served as editor of the international journal, Publius: The Journal of Federalism for ten years (2005-2014), and is a fellow at the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration. She is the recipient of the Daniel J. Elazar Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations presented by the American Political Science Association Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations, and also the Donald Stone Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Intergovernmental Relations presented by the Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management of the American Society for Public Administration. She was president of the Southern Political Science Association in 2008-2010. She serves on the editorial boards of four journals including the American Political Science Review.

Carol’s research is focused on federalism, health politics and policy. She is co-author of a book, Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, now in its 4th edition. Her academic articles have dealt with health policy, intergovernmental relationships, comparative federalism, state politics, and fiscal federalism.

The topic of cooperation and coordination between federal and state governments is a long-time interest for Carol. As part of her Fulbright research project, she seeks to understand how changes over the past decade in political leadership and partisanship in Australia and the U.S. have altered intergovernmental relations, with a special focus on health policy. She is interested in the impact of hyper partisanship on federal-state relationships and on health policy that results in the U.S. and Australia. Of particular concern is the role of intergovernmental groups in representing states’ interests at the national/commonwealth level.

Melvin Christopher Jenks Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionSouthern Methodist University
Host InstitutionThe University of Melbourne
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineLaw – International Law
Award Year2014

Chris teaches and writes on the law of armed conflict. He is the co-author of a law of armed conflict textbook, co-editor of a forthcoming war crimes casebook, and served as a peer reviewer of the Talinn Manual on the international law applicable to cyber warfare.

He has published articles on drones, child soldiers, extraordinary rendition, law of war detention, targeting and government contractors. He has also spoken on those same topics at universities and institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe and Central and South America. Chris recently served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on U.S. military security sector reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Prior to joining the SMU faculty, Chris served for over 20 years in the military. After graduating from West Point, he was commissioned as an Infantry officer in the U.S. Army. Chris served as a rifle platoon leader, executive officer and in battalion and brigade staff positions in the U.S., Europe, and in deployments to Kuwait and Bosnia.

Following graduation from law school, Chris transitioned to the U.S. Army JAG Corps and was assigned as the primary international and operational law advisor near the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. During this assignment, he defended Status of Forces Agreement rights of American soldiers during South Korean interrogations and trials in high profile and politically sensitive criminal cases.

Following his return to the U.S. in 2003, Chris served as the lead prosecutor in the Army’s first counterterrorism case, a fully contested, classified court-martial of a soldier attempting to aid Al Qaeda. He coordinated the investigative efforts of 30 law enforcement agents from four separate federal agencies on three continents and the Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism section nominated him for the John Marshall award for interagency cooperation.

In 2004, he deployed to Mosul, Iraq and served as chief legal advisor to a unit of over 4000 soldiers. There he provided targeting advice for the employment of artillery, close air support and direct fire weapons during enemy engagements in a city of two million people. Chris also advised investigations and served as prosecutor for crimes against the civilian population, detainee abuse, and fratricide.

Before moving to Dallas, Chris was most recently stationed in Washington D.C., holding numerous positions, including attorney adviser at the Department of State and his most recent position as chief of the International Law Branch of the Office of The Judge Advocate General in the Pentagon.

While at the Department of State, Chris served at the U.S. mission to the United Nations in New York City and represented the U.S. during negotiations on cultural and humanitarian resolutions pending before the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

As the Army’s international law branch chief, he oversaw the foreign exercise of criminal jurisdiction over US service members, represented the Department of Defence at status of forces agreement negotiations and served as the legal advisor to the U.S. Military Observers Group, which provides military officers to United Nations Missions around the world.

Chris’ goal in working with the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law is to identify criminal responsibility norms which will help further both the discussion and reconciliation of emerging technologies and accountability under the law of armed conflict.

Sally Lamping Senior Scholars

Home InstitutionWright State University
Host InstitutionUniversity of South Australia
Award NameSenior Scholarship
DisciplineEducation – Secondary Teacher Training
Award Year2014

Sally currently serves as an associate professor and joint appointment in the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education and Human Services at Wright State University. She is currently the director for the undergraduate English: Integrated Language Arts program at WSU, where she often collaborates with her teacher education candidates, local schools, and nonprofits to design experiential undergraduate and graduate courses. Sally believes that these diverse contexts offer candidates, schools, and university faculty opportunities to learn through dialogue, action, and reflection with each other. They also offer candidates invitations to develop practical applications for theoretical frameworks. Her students often present on these experiences at local, regional, and national conferences.

Sally is a returned Peace Corps TEFL volunteer (Guinea-Bissau, West Africa), where she taught high school English as a foreign language, worked with local literacy nonprofits, and offered English classes to practicing teachers on Bolama Island. Prior to joining the faculty at Wright State, Sally taught high school English and worked with newcomer populations in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati, Ohio. Sally spent several years of her teaching career at Clark Montessori High School in Cincinnati Public Schools. Clark continues to be an excellent example of socially democratic public schooling in urban districts. She completed her Master of Arts in Teaching at Columbia University’s Teachers College. She earned her Ed.D. in Urban Educational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati. Her dissertation research followed the complex journeys of five adult newcomers from oral language backgrounds as they transitioned into a new culture and language based in written literacy. Sally and her former teaching partner Dean Blase are the coauthors of the book Trust Me I Can Read: Building from Strengths in the High School English Classroom, which was published by Columbia University’s Teachers College Press in 2012. The book explores the importance of trust in creating classroom foundations for lifelong literacy; it offers practical applications for building trust through independent and group reading programs in secondary English classrooms. Sally’s research publications, presentations, and interests include trust in secondary classrooms, adolescent literacy, multi-modal literacy instruction, and language and literacy acquisition, specifically with adolescent English Language Learners (ELLs) who have limited or interrupted formal educations. She is actively involved in public schools with high populations of mainstreamed ELL students, where she works collaboratively with teachers and administrators to reimagine classroom practices that privilege learning through language for all students. Sally lives with her family in the greatest small town in the United States.

Sally plans to work with the University of South Australia’s Multiliteracies and Global Englishes Research group and area public schools to conduct a comparative study involving newcomer populations in Adelaide secondary schools and the United States. Specifically, she plans to develop a better understanding of how both countries train teachers for work in schools with high populations of ELL or English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) students. In addition, she hopes to better understand the ways in which Australian teachers are working with the Australian National Curriculum to design experiences that further the language and literacy development of EALD students, specifically those from limited or interrupted formal educational backgrounds. Sally hopes that her work in Australia will provide both countries with new perspectives on the specific needs of these students and the ways in which both the Australian National Curriculum and the Common Core Standards can be used to guide best practices in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts.

Andrew Blyth Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionHartley, Blyth & Associates
Host InstitutionUniversity of Texas-Austin
Award NameProfessional Scholarship in Australia-U.S. Alliance Studies
DisciplineSustainable Energy Development
Award Year2012

“2012 is the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Universal access to energy, improved efficiency and enhanced deployment of renewable sources are ambitious goals set by the UN. This initiative will call for private sector and national commitments and attract global attention to the importance of energy for development and poverty alleviation. The question now is how will these goals be achieved in light of current global financial developments.”

Mr Andrew Blyth, Principal, hartley blyth & associates is the winner of the 2012 Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Australia-U.S. Alliance Studies sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Through his Fulbright Andrew will spend four months at the University of Texas-Austin researching market and policy incentives that will actively drive private sector investment in sustainable energy development and reducing energy poverty levels.

“The issue of third world poverty is a challenge for nation-states as it bears upon national security and contributes significantly to the rise of conflict and instability. Climate change, fragile states and the impacts of natural disasters pose additional threats to any potential progress in alleviating this problem,” Andrew said.

Andrew said that addressing this inequity requires international recognition that the projected rise in people enduring energy poverty is intolerable and that a new financial, institutional, and technological framework is required.

“Governments alone cannot resolve this issue and this project will evaluate the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and identify market and policy incentives that will drive private sector investment in the Asia-Pacific region for the post-2015 MDG period.”

Andrew aims to produce a research paper that will promote discussion and add to the current global energy policy debate, particularly in Australia and the United States.

“For a project like this to be successful it requires collaboration with, and advice from, private and public sector organisations such as the World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank, universities, multilateral aid agencies, policy think-tanks, utility companies and financial institutions, US Department of Energy and the United Nations (UN-Energy). Being based in the United States will provide ease of access to key organisations and people,” Andrew said.

Andrew has a BA in political science and an MA (International Relations) from Deakin University. His achievements include being appointed as Chief of Staff to a federal Cabinet Minister and as Chief Executive of a national energy association. He is currently undertaking a second Masters degree with a focus on business, finance and leadership. He is also a director of AFL Canberra. Andrew was awarded a political exchange for the US Presidential Election in 2000.

Hichem Demortier Professional Scholars

Home InstitutionNational Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre
Host InstitutionHarvard Humanitarian Initiative
Award NameFulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership, Sponsored by the Origin Foundation and Supported by the Australian Scholarships Foundation
DisciplineHumanitarian Aid
Award Year2016

Hichem is currently Director of Strategy and Corporate Services at the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC), the government agency responsible for Australia’s health emergency response.

As the child of a French public servant and an Algerian Muslim mother who worked as a teacher and social worker, Hichem has developed a strong social conscience and a belief that respect and curiosity can reconcile people.

After his Masters in Management from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP- Europe), Hichem worked in audit and mergers and acquisitions, before shifting to the not-for-profit sector in 2000. He first worked for the French Development Agency for five years, and then joined Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) from 2004 to 2006. During this period, he coordinated and evaluated development and emergency projects in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Hichem then returned to France as Deputy Director of a large social enterprise. In 2009, he came to Australia and continued his not-for-profit journey in structures supporting Indigenous health and employment, before joining the Global and Tropical Health division of Menzies School of Health Research.

In addition to his current role with the NCCTRC, Hichem is also a director of the board of MSF Australia, a representative of MSF Australia on several international platforms, and contributes to impact investment projects in France.

Hichem will use his Fulbright not-for-profit scholarship to spend four months at Harvard University and will establish a formal partnership between the NCCTRC and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. This partnership, as well as the existing partnership with the World Health Organisation, will position the NCCTRC and Northern Australia as the regional centre for health emergency response in the Asia-Pacific region.

Hichem will use his time at Harvard University to create new professional networks in the humanitarian field, to consolidate his humanitarian expertise and will study leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Jacek Jasieniak Postdoctoral Scholars

Home InstitutionFlinders University, the University of Melbourne
Host InstitutionFlinders University, the University of Melbourne
Award NameUniversity of California Santa Barbara
DisciplineLaser Technology
Award Year2011

“Imagine your wallpaper acting like an efficient light or your TV being made from millions of individual lasers. This is how printed lighting and lasers will revolutionize our everyday life.”

Dr Jacek Jasieniak, a post-doctoral fellow at the CSIRO has won a Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship to go to the University of California Santa Barbara for 12 months. Jacek’s research will seek to expand a current project he is involved with, which is developing laser technology in new ways. “In the future it is possible that we will develop very tiny lasers that could be used in a myriad of ways,” Jacek said. “For instance, the development of printable and electrically operated lighting and lasers will revolutionize the way our houses, streets and cars will look, how we will detect explosives and pathogens in water, and even what types of computers we will use,” Jacek said.Jacek’s work will progress technology necessary to meet this dream.

“We need to further improve on materials which can efficiently transport electricity, and also establish the best device structures to accomplish the most efficient light emitting process,” Jacek said. In this project, Jacek will combine his experience of synthesizing efficient charge transport layers, with the fabrication capabilities of complex device architectures offered by Professor Alan Heeger at UC, Santa Barbara.

“Through this synergy, efficient, electrically operated light emitting devices will be developed,” Jacek said. Jacek has a BSC in chemistry from Flinders University and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Melbourne. He was awarded the University Medal by Flinders University and the Chancellor’s Prize for best PhD thesis within Science and Engineering at the University of Melbourne.

His interests include understanding the transition of the electronic and physical properties of semiconductors as they change from the atomic to the bulk states of matter, as well as developing technologies useful in future electronics that are based on organic and inorganic amorphous and nanocrystalline materials. Jacek’s research discoveries will contribute to CSIRO’s efforts to develop new kinds of flexible solar cells and lighting systems through their Future Manufacturing National Research Flagship.

The prestigious Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra. Jacek is one of 26 talented Australians to be recognised as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011



Laura Hayward Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionVirginia Commonwealth University
Host InstitutionThe University of Queensland
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2014

Laura began her research career in the Fall of 2011, in the Synthetic Biology laboratory of Dr. Stephen Fong in VCU’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, and since then she has had access to many opportunities. Laura participated in VCU’s Honor’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program in the summer of 2012, presented her research at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) National Conference in San Francisco in November 2013, and was published in the journal: Frontiers in Synthetic Biology for her work on “Ex Vivo DNA Assembly” in October of 2013. Over the past three years, Laura has worked on various projects including creating a promoter parts library for cyanobacteria, characterizing various cell penetrating peptides, a novel DNA assembly method and, most recently, a targeted delivery mechanism for HIV Type I treatment. Laura graduated Summa Cum Laude, and was presented with the student excellence award for her department at graduation. When Laura is not in the lab, she enjoys volunteering her time as a student ambassador for the School of Engineering. Laura went to local high schools promoting the fields of engineering, and giving tours to prospective students. Laura spends her free time running and training for 5k and 10k races, and hopes to one day run a marathon. Laura enjoys almost any outdoor sport including softball and soccer. Although these sports are some that she is most familiar with, Laura loves to learn new ones. Recently she has learned paddle boarding and is excited to one day learn more water sports including surfing and wakeboarding. Laura is also a certified scuba diver, enjoys skydiving immensely, and is an amateur photographer.

Laura plans to create a versatile cancer diagnostic probe that she hopes will increase the personalization of a patient’s treatment. Upon return to the United States, Laura hopes to enter an MD/Ph.D program and this experience will help to transition from synthetic biology to using research for medical applications. Laura wants to one day continue to contribute to the field of personalized medicine with more targeted treatments and diagnostics, and with the help of Dr. Matt Trau she hopes to build the foundation needed to accomplish this goal.

Daniel McNamara Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionAustralian National University
Host InstitutionSchool of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineComputer Science
Award Year2016

Daniel is a PhD candidate in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. He is an external student based in the Machine Learning Research Group at Data61, the digital innovation unit of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Daniel’s research focuses on the development of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions about data. In particular, he investigates methods for learning representations of data that can be used to demonstrably improve prediction performance. The success of machine learning algorithms is highly dependent on the features they receive as inputs, which have traditionally been handcrafted by human experts. However, cutting edge techniques allow the algorithm to learn such features itself from raw data, similar to the way that humans learn more abstract representations of complex sensory inputs. This has led to state-of-the-art results in applications such as natural language processing and computer vision. Daniel’s research focuses on the theoretical foundations behind such methods in order to better understand and improve upon them.

Daniel has authored academic publications from previous research projects in data mining and the digital humanities. He completed his Honours year in Computer Science at ANU, for which he received a University Medal. He holds a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, which included receiving the Google Computer Science Prize. He also has experience in the intelligent use of data in professional contexts, including at the online analytics platform Kaggle, the management consulting firm Nous Group, and the Australian Labor Party. He is the founder of the website, an open democracy project allowing individuals and businesses to visualise government spending on commercial tenders.

Daniel will be spending several months at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh. During his stay he will be hosted by A/Prof Maria-Florina Balcan and will be based in the Machine Learning Department within the School of Computer Science. CMU sits in the elite tier of universities worldwide for computer science, and is particularly known for its strength in fundamental theoretical research in machine learning. Daniel is looking forward to the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with CMU academics and students. Following his return to Australia, he will use the skills gained from the visit within academia and industry.

Benjamin Tien Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionPrinceton University
Host InstitutionMonash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Award NameFulbright Postgraduate Scholarship
DisciplineBiochemical Engineering
Award Year2015

Benjamin graduated with a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Princeton University in June 2015. He is specifically interested in exploring how science and engineering can be used as vehicles for global development. He has traveled to Peru, where he spent five weeks with Engineers without Borders implementing a water system for a rural community. He served as the technical team leader for two years, successfully coordinating the team in planning the layout of the water system, which would bring clean water to nine families. He wrote multiple grant proposals receiving funding for the service trip to Peru and also wrote much of the documentation needed to obtain trip approval by the national Engineers without Borders organization. He has also taken a class titled “Design for the Developing World,” where he collaborated with an Israeli-Palestinian NGO to improve the performance of a magnetic water pump that would be distributed to rural villages. Co-leading the check valve team, he helped to optimize check valve performance, thereby improving the pump efficiency. Benjamin also won a scholarship from the Princeton Center for Health and Wellbeing to serve 11 weeks as a research intern for Diagnostics For All (DFA), a nonprofit that develops inexpensive paper technology to diagnose easily preventable diseases. He designed lab experiments to optimize paper-based assays that determine levels of glucose and iron in blood serum for diagnostic purposes. His work has contributed to two publications, one in Sensing and Bio-Sensing Research and another that has been presented at the 2015 IEEE International Conference. Finally, Benjamin was president of Manna Christian Fellowship at Princeton, leading weekly meetings to organize fellowship events.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Benjamin will work with Professor Michelle McIntosh and her team at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences to develop an oxytocin aerosol to prevent postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), or bleeding after childbirth. Over 100,000 women die each year from PPH, though it can be prevented with an injection of oxytocin; oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions, which prevents PPH. However, the injectable form of oxytocin requires refrigeration infrastructure that is not available in many low-resource settings. Our team seeks to develop an aerosol formulation with oxytocin that does not require refrigeration and can be inhaled by patients immediately after childbirth, a product that could save numerous lives of mothers in low-resource settings. Benjamin also plans to interact with the indigenous Australian population to assess its healthcare needs, especially as they pertain to maternal health.

Israel Del Toro Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts
Host InstitutionCSIRO Climate Adaption Flagship
Award NameFulbright CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2012

“To better understand and predict the consequences of global environmental change on biodiversity, we must first understand the current state of natural communities and how community composition can change across broad geographic gradients, including latitude and elevation.”

Mr Israel Del Toro, a PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is this year’s winner of the CSIRO sponsored Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship. Through his Fulbright, Israel will explore the role of ants as environmental indicators with the Climate Adaptation Flagship, in the Northern Territory.

“Global climate change threatens ecological communities by shifting species distributions and altering how species assemble into communities,” Israel said.

“This type of study is necessary for creatures which are key functional members of terrestrial ecosystems and account for much of the diversity on the planet.”

Israel will study how assemblages of ants vary along environmental gradients in the seasonal tropics of Northern Australia, and how dominant and abundant species may respond to climate change. He said that ants are excellent model organisms because their species diversity is high and generally well understood, they are sensitive to environmental stressors, and are widely used as indicators of environmental change.

“My research will improve the current predictive capacity about how assemblages of important species in ecosystems will respond to climate change. It is important to understand the effects of climate change on community assembly and species distributions at continental scales and so this line of research is likely to enhance bilateral collaborations between the U.S. and Australian research institutions.”

Israel has a BS in biology and environmental science from the University of Texas, El Paso. He has won prizes and awards including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a NEAGEP Doctoral Student Fellowship, and a National Geographic Society Young Explorer’s Grant. In his spare time he takes part in University Clubs and plays softball for a local team “the Unnatural Selection”.

Alison Witchard Postgraduate Students

Home InstitutionAustralian National University
Host InstitutionHarvard University
Award NamePostgraduate Scholarship
Award Year2014

“Through my research, I hope to foster greater understanding and awareness of the challenging experiences faced by women.”

Alison Witchard completed a Bachelor of Philosophy (PhB) in Arts in Anthropology at the Australian National University in 2012 (winning the University medal) before beginning a PhD in Anthropology. She will investigate, using anthropological theories and methodologies, the experiences of “previvors” – those who carry the genetic mutation linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 or 2. Specifically, she will investigate the nuance and complexity of the decision to forgo a significant part of the body; (such as a breast or uterus).

“My own experiences within the biomedical system have spurned my desire to undertake medical anthropology and focus on the embodied and lived experiences of those who face their own mortality, but are often overlooked and misunderstood during such processes. Through my research, I hope to foster greater understanding and awareness of the challenging experiences faced by women with BRCA1/2 and the difficult decisions with which they are confronted.”

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