Past Students

Clare Pryor, Class of ’24

Clare was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her sophomore year at Notre Dame.

Annika Barron, Class of ’24

Annika was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her sophomore year as part of the Kellogg International Scholars Program.

Anna Lee, Class of ’23

Anna was a mentee of Dr. Smith-Oka during her freshman year as a member of the Building Bridges Program.

Victoria Toledo, Class of ’22

Victoria was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her junior and senior year at Notre Dame and was lab manager during her gap year.

Banafo Abbeyquaye , Class of ’22

Banafo was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during his senior year at Notre Dame.

Juliana Couri, Class of ’22

Juliana was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her sophomore, junior, and senior year at Notre Dame.

Rachel Dinh, Class of ’22

Rachel was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her sophomore, junior, and senior year at Notre Dame. She is now doing a masters in global health at Trinity College in Dublin.

Analie Fernandes, Class of ’22

Analie was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year at Notre Dame.

Megan Kendall, Class of ’22

Megan was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her junior and senior year at Notre Dame.

Teagen Tibbot, Class of ’22

Teagen was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her sophomore, junior, and senior year at Notre Dame.

Kaitlyn Cox, Class of ’21

Kaitlyn was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her sophomore, junior and senior year at Notre Dame.

Lena Do, Class of ’21

Lena was a research assistant with Dr. Smith-Oka during her senior year, who also completed exploratory research in the summer of 2019 at a public hospital in Guadalajara, Mexico. She is now attending medical school.

Christian Abrego, Class of ’20

Christian researched medicinal plants and “susto”—Spanish for “fright”—in Mexico during her sophomore year.

Sara Berumen, Class of ’20

Sara researched medicinal plants and “susto”—Spanish for “fright”— in Mexico during her sophomore year. She is now a graduate student at the University of South Florida.

Taylor Buck, Class of ’20

Taylor wrote her senior International Development Studies capstone under the advisement of Dr. Smith-Oka on reproduction, mothers, fathers, and networks in Uganda.

Dinuka Cooray, Class of ’20

Dinuka completed a Gender Studies thesis under the direction of Dr. Smith-Oka on fetal and infant death in St. Joseph County, IN, from 2019 to 2020.

Samantha Escamilla, Class of ’20

Samantha was a member of Dr. Smith-Oka’s research team during her sophomore year.

Eunice Apyapong, Class of ’19

Eunice wrote her senior International Development Studies capstone under the advisement of Dr. Smith-Oka on the Ghanian healthcare system.

Julia Mackessy, Class of ’19

Julia is currently part of the doula program in the Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, OH. She is also working as an HR Coordinator at a mid-sized IT consulting company and has found that these jobs have complementary skill sets. She attended 7 births since she began in September, each one entirely different than the one before it. For example, at one birth the baby was born about a minute and a half after Julia arrived and at the other, Julia was at the hospital for 37 hours. These experiences have helped her learn so much about the culture of birth in Columbus, both from births and from the doula support group she is a part of. Looking ahead, Julia is interested in pursuing public health/anthropology PhD programs for Fall 2021.

Edna Martinez, Class of ’19

After traveling to Puebla, Mexico, in the summer of 2016, Edna worked on transcriptions from data collected among medical students in Puebla from 2016 to 2017.

Vivian Nweze, Class of ’19

Over the course of her senior year, Vivian transformed data she collected from refugees in Madrid, Spain, into her International Development Studies capstone “Experiences of Female Migrants and Refugees in Spain’s Healthcare System.”

Marina Perez-Plazola, Class of ’19

A Class of 2019 graduate from the College of Science, Marina pursued a major in Neuroscience and Behavior and a minor in Anthropology. She is currently a first-year medical student at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.

George Timmins, Class of ’19

George is currently in the first year of his Masters of Public Health program in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He is working with the Chung Lab at Columbia University Irving Medical Center as a Patient Advocate and Research Assistant examining Newborn Screening Expansion as well as assisting in patient support services for patients with rare neurological disorders. George is preparing to apply to PhD programs to continue this research. For fun, George is Co-President of the Bard Hall Players, their Medical Campus Theatre Troop, and he is a part of the Ultrasounds, their Medical Campus Acapella Group.

Rosemary Agwuncha, Class of ’18

Rosemary wrote her senior International Development Studies capstone with Dr. Smith-Oka on the Nigerian healthcare system.

Lauren O’Connell , Class of ’18

Lauren graduated as an Anthropology and Pre-Health Studies major with a minor in the Glynn Family Honors Program. In general, her research interests include global health development, women’s health, and the relationship between culture and western medicine. While at Notre Dame, she wrote the thesis “‘Empieza con Nosotros’ (It Begins With Us): Tobacco Use and Visibility of Medical Students in Puebla, Mexico.” She is currently a Case Manager for Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in Cambridge, MA.

Candice Park, Class of ’18

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Candice completed her Glynn Honors and Anthropology thesis titled “Analysis of Stable Isotopes and Social Variables within a New Delhi Population.”

Chandler Turner, Class of ’18

Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, Chandler completed her Anthropology thesis “Physician Burnout: The Causal Factors and Possible Solutions.”

Katie Egan, Class of ’17

Katie wrote her senior thesis on the diagnosis and gendered treatment of cluster headaches in the US titled “The Impact of Patient Research on the Length of Diagnostic Delays Experienced by Cluster Headache Sufferers” with Dr. Smith-Oka. In 2019, she completed a Master’s Degree from Cornell University.

Moira Horn, Class of ’17

For her senior thesis in Gender Studies, Moira wrote on the topic of motherhood, indigeneity, and development in Chiapas, Mexico. After graduating, she was selected to work at the Compañeros en Salud (Partners in Health) in Chiapas.

Hannah Legatzke, Class of ’17

An Anthropology major, Hannah transcribed data from Dr. Smith-Oka’s medical training project.

Gabrielle Marzke, Class of ’17

Gabrielle wrote her Gender Studies thesis “‘The Crisis in Our Nation’: Rhetorical Construction of Responsible Parenthood and Reproduction in the Context of Indiana Social Services” during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Bernadette Miramontes, Class of ’17

During the summer of 2014, Bernadette traveled to Puebla, Mexico, to assist Dr. Smith-Oka on collecting data among medical students. She later traveled to India in the summer of 2016 to collect data for her Anthropology senior thesis “Healthcare Access, Attitudes, and Knowledge of HIV+ Women in Maharashtra, India.” She was then accepted to medical school at the University of Miami.

Ijeoma Ogbogu, Class of ’17

Ijeoma worked with Dr. Smith-Oka on a diversity of projects including organizing and scanning student posters as well as searching for literature for various grants.

Lauren Antosz, Class of ’16

Lauren wrote her senior International Development Studies capstone on teenage reproduction in Chile under the direction of Dr. Smith-Oka. She was also a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship for Chile.

Alexandria Kristensen Cabrera, Class of ’16

Alexandria graduated as a Science-Business Major and International Development Studies Minor with research interests in maternal and child health, nutrition, health care systems, and medical anthropology. She is currently enrolled in an MD-PhD Program at the University of Minnesota.

Nick Nissen, Class of ’16

Nick graduated as a Spanish Major, Arts and Letters Pre-Health Supplementary major, and International Development Studies minor with an interest in Latin America and healthcare development. Nick recently completed medical school at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and is now a psychiatry medical resident at Harvard.

Becky Wornhoff, Class of ’16

Becky graduated as an Anthropology and Pre-Professional major with interests in medical anthropology and child socialization in Latin America. Becky then served as a community health program assistant for Compañeros En Salud in the rural state of Chiapas, Mexico. She assisted with the organization’s Acompañante program, which seeks to achieve better outcomes among people living with chronic disease by training community members to “accompany” patients in their ongoing care.

Alexis Palá, Class of ’15

Alexis carried out comparative research in Spain and Chile on disabilities to contribute to her senior thesis in Anthropology “No somos animales: Stigma, Discrimination, and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in Spain and Chile.” In 2015, she received a Fulbright Fellowship for Chile.

Anna K. Simon, Class of ’15

Anna wrote her senior thesis “Going Green in Mexico: Steps Toward Sustainable Water Management in Toluca” under the guidance of Dr. Smith-Oka on water sustainability in Toluca, Mexico.

Cathy Cichon, Class of ’14

An Anthropology and Science Pre-Professional double major, Cathy traveled to Rwanda in the summer of 2013 and completed her Anthropology senior thesis “When Health Systems Meet: Narratives of International Partnerships and Medical Eduction in Rwanda” in 2015. After graduation, she attended medical school at the University of Miami. Currently, she is enrolled in a combined internal medicine and pediatrics resident physician program at UC San Diego Health.

Amy Klopfenstein, Class of ’14

Amy researched human trafficking in Thailand and completed her senior thesis “‘Men Are Being Trafficked Too:’ Masculinity and Vulnerability in the Human Trafficking Discourse” in 2014. Soon after, she was offered a position at NYU Press, where she currently serves as a marketing assistant.

Caroline Merriam, Class of ’14

Callie was a research assistant to Dr. Smith-Oka during her undergraduate career.

Margeaux Prinster, Class of ’14

After two intense trips to north India, Margeaux wrote a senior thesis titled “Ephemeral Empowerment: An Exploration of Rajasthani Women’s Development Programs within Gendered Social Spaces” in 2014.

Katelyn Melloh, Class of ’13

Katelyn wrote her senior thesis titled “How to Face the Consequences: A Comparative Study of International Development Projects in Peru and Uganda.”

Margot Morris, Class of ’13

Margot completed her Anthropology senior thesis “Community Dialogue and Participation: Influencing Malaria Prevention and Health Education in Rural Cambodia” in 2013.

Shelley Birch, Class of ’12

Shelly wrote her thesis “The Nature of Care and Caring: The Doctor-Patient Relationship in a Low-Resource Hospital in Mexico” under the advisement of Dr. Smith-Oka. After graduating, she attended medical school at the University of Miami.

Kelly Colas, Class of ’12

For her thesis, Kelly wrote “Birth Experience for Young Mothers at a Public Mexican Hospital.” Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Kelly went on to complete a joint DO/PhD program at Michigan State University.

Hanna O’Brien, Class of ’12

Hanna’s wrote the thesis titled, “Quality of Life for the Sick and Dying: Perspectives of Health Disparities, Challenges in Ugandan Palliative Care and its Relation to Disease-Modifying Services.”

Elizabeth Benson, Class of ’11

Elizabeth wrote “Structural Violence, Patient Physician Communication and the Challenge of Compliance: Diabetes at a Health Center in South Bend, Indiana” as her senior thesis.

Claire Naus, Class of ’11

With Dr. Smith-Oka as her advisor, Claire wrote the thesis “‘It Feels Bad’: Hunger, Food Insecurity, and the Liminal Status of Women in Lesotho.”

Stephanie Fairhurst, Class of ’09

During the summer of 2007, Stephanie researched the effects of globalization on food culture in an indigenous community in Mexico. She specifically examined the social relations that revolve around food preparation and consumption.

Vivian Urbieta, Class of ’09

Vivian worked on a project focused on health care services for Latino populations in northern Indiana.

Nicole Yamaguchi, Class of ’09

Nicole conducted research during the summer of 2008 in Puebla, Mexico, which focused on doctor-patient relationships and the factors that influence reproductive choices for women of low-income socioeconomic status.

Kathryn (Casey) Bouskill, Class of ’08

Under the guidance of Dr. Smith-Oka, Casey completed her senior thesis on the effects of the Peruvian sterilization campaign on men and women’s perceptions of fertility titled “Barren Beliefs: The Sterilization Campaign and Contraception in Peru.” After graduating from Notre Dame, Casey went on to receive her Ph.D. from Emory University.

Andrea Dreyfuss, Class of ’08

For her senior thesis, Andrea wrote “Autism Treatment in Peru: The Role Played by Family and Social Networks.”

Andrea Martin, Class of ’08

Andrea researched the creation of ecotourism in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala.

Nathan Serazin, Class of ’08

Nathan traveled to Ecuador during the summer of 2007 to research ethnobotanical practices of the local community.

Lisa Rauh, Class of ’08

At a safe house for abused women and young mothers, Lisa conducted research in addition to carrying out service. With this research, she attended the Society for Applied Anthropology in March 2008 and presented a poster.

Bryan Hambley, Class of ’07

After his research in Cambodian shantytowns and refugee camps, Bryan carried out an evaluation of development programs and wrote the thesis “Malaria and HIV in Cambodia.”

Emily Kelley, Class of ’07

Emily researched the adaptation experienced by Rwandan refugees in northern Indiana. This data was then used to write the thesis “Identity Formation for Rwandan Asylee Women in Northern Indiana: The Impact of Legality, Employment, and Community.”