Position title: Graduate Student
Rachel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Anthropology from Luther College in 2013 and a Master of Social Work degree (MSW – with a concentration in Health, Aging, and Disability) from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 2016. She is currently a sixth-year dissertator in Cultural and Medical Anthropology with a minor in African Cultural Studies. Rachel’s intellectual curiosities lie at the intersections of critical menstruation studies, feminist ethnography, reproductive health in East Africa, and decolonial praxis. Specifically, she interrogates the problematization of menstruation and menstrual care in international development, and she learns alongside Maasai of northern Tanzania. Rachel earned a Fulbright-Hays DDRA grant to fund her fieldwork which she finished in Spring 2023. Interested in both research and pedagogy, Rachel was the lead instructor for Anthropology 104: “Introduction to Culture and Human Diversity” at UW–Madison this past summer 2023, and she is currently the Africa 277 Teaching Fellow for the African Studies Program. Rachel hopes to defend her thesis in 2024.
Prior to matriculating into this program, Rachel worked with several organizations through her MSW including AmeriCorps, International Red Cross, University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation, and University of Colorado-Denver Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine. She has worked on four National Institutes of Health funded clinical trials and has helped develop a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy intervention for critical care nurses with Burnout Syndrome as well as a Motivational Interviewing intervention for critically ill people with Alcohol Use Disorder. Rachel is a recipient of four Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowships as well as a John T. Hitchcock Prize in Anthropology.