Anthropology faculty and students traveled to Minneapolis for the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting. Victor Garcia, Lori Labotka, and Amanda Poole, as well as undergraduate students Regan Gearhart and Nancy Lopez Sosa, presented results of their ongoing research.
Nancy Lopez Sosa (left) and Regan Gearhart (right) at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association
Regan Gearhart, an undergraduate student in the Anthropology
Honors Track, and Nancy Lopez Sosa, a Cook Honors College student in
the applied track in Anthropology, presented their research proposals at the
American Anthropological Association’s conference in Minneapolis, Minn. The two posters were among the 16
undergraduate posters selected nationally by the AAA to highlight ethnographic
research of students in undergraduate programs.
Gearhart’s poster, “Perceptions of Autism and Vaccinations
in Pennsylvania and the Social Factors which Influence Them,” highlighted
preliminary findings from her ongoing ethnographic study on the
antivaccination movement among some residents in the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, a movement associated with
the fear of a connection between vaccinations and autism. Her research aims are to identify perceptions
of vaccinations and to explore the social factors which influence these
perceptions. Qualitative data is being gathered
using in-depth, semi-structured interviews in both Indiana and Lancaster
counties, Pennsylvania. Interviews are being conducted with a varied number of
health care professionals, public health officials, and parents, including parents
of autistic children.
Regan Gearhart with her poster
Lopez Sosa’s poster, “Alcohol Use and Cancer Knowledge among
Young Mexican Immigrant and Mexican American Women,” introduced a qualitative
study being completed under the auspices of the McNair Scholars Program. This study examines young Mexican-origin
women’s knowledge of the relationship between alcohol abuse and breast and
other cancers among young (30 years of age or younger) Mexican immigrant and
Mexican American women. Data will be collected through one focus group
recruited from three immigrant communities in southeastern Pennsylvania. Results from this project will also contribute
to a larger public health intervention project on alcohol abuse and cancer
knowledge of Mexican-origin women in southeastern Pennsylvania being designed
by cancer and substance abuse researchers at IUP, Drexel University, the University
of Delaware, and Thomas Jefferson University. Lopez Sosa was also a presenter in a workshop organized by IUP
alumna Lisa McCann on "Promoting Diversity With a Campus-Wide Cultural
Nancy Lopez Sosa presenting her research
The two student projects are part of the department’s
efforts to provide students with research opportunities in the areas of public
and global health, a major initiative in the department with much promise. The students are being mentored by both
Abigail Adams and Victor Garcia. Adams is a medical anthropologist and reproductive health researcher, and Garcia is an immigrant health researcher and director of the Mid-Atlantic
Research and Training Institute for Community and Behavioral Health.
to the student presentations, Garcia organized and chaired a symposium on
"The Migration of Faith and the Faith of Migration" while presenting
a paper in the session titled "Religion, Spirituality, and Sobriety Among
Mexican Immigrants and Migrants."
Poole presented a paper focusing on
her current research in Africa titled "The Political Life of Stateless
People-Eritrean Refugees in Ethiopia."
Labotka presented a paper
titled "The Less Eligible Eaters: Caloric Counts, No-Frills, and Vending
Machines in Prison" stemming for her research in women's prisons.
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