I am a medical anthropologist interested in the intersections of hope, risk, and migration status. In my current research, I am employing ethnographic methods to shed light on how a growing population of Rwandan urban refugees in Yaoundé, Cameroon recursively rebuilds their lives and communities after conflict and displacement. I am fluent in French and have worked in Cameroon and Rwanda since 2004. My background prior to joining the Ohio State Anthropology Department includes a B.A. in Applied Medical Anthropology from the University of South Florida and a Masters of Public Health at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine as part of the Masters Internationalist Fellows program in collaboration with the United States Peace Corps. I completed my coursework and mentored capstone project while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer for 27 months in Cameroon. During this time, I collaborated with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to implement a program to increase HIV testing and prevention among marginalized communities, including peri-urban refugees.
After completing my degree and Peace Corps, I remained in the field and led several projects. This included a mixed-methods needs assessment where I oversaw the development and implementation of a quantitative survey and focus groups for a program intended to provide education, protection, health and livelihoods support to refugees from the Central African Republic. Subsequently I led a large humanitarian program in the Democratic Republic of Congo that provided services to refugees and internally displaced persons in camp settings. I spearheaded the implementation of a monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning department and identified and led several translational research programs where we employed mixed methods to test the efficacy and impact of our programs. While preparing to begin my PhD, in collaboration with a refugee resettlement agency in Columbus, Ohio, I was responsible for starting a refugee mental health screening and referral program. Through this program, I spearheaded a research program as a Principal Investigator to adapt a questionnaire, train enumerators, and conduct a knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs study around social determinants of health of resettled Bhutanese-Nepali refugees. As a Graduate Research Associate with The Ohio State University’s Department of Anthropology, I led the qualitative data management, analysis, and drafting of abstracts and manuscripts related to coping and resilience of female injection drug users in Kenya and Ohio. I also have worked with The Ohio State University’s Department of Education and Human Ecology as a Graduate Research Associate to better understand the needs of crime victims in Ohio, with a particular focus on immigrants, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals.