This profile was current as of 2017, when she was part of the on-campus Kellogg community.
I spent this summer conducting fieldwork on HIV health care access, attitudes, and knowledge of HIV+ women in India for my senior thesis. I worked to understand their situation by interviewing 45 HIV+ Indian women on their health and life experiences. In the process, I created a safe space for them to share hardships they are rarely or never able to discuss with others because of fear of social stigma and misunderstanding, while connecting them to resources to help them cope with treatment and stigma. One woman, who I will call Shweta, revealed to me how depressed and hopeless she was when she first found out she had HIV in her third trimester of pregnancy. The only thing she knew about HIV was that people died from it, but when treatment and support became available to Shweta, her entire outlook changed. Today she lives happily with her 12-year-old son who is HIV negative because Shweta was able to access treatment in time to save her child and herself. This narrative is not unique to Shweta. Through the HIV+ women I worked with in India, I witnessed that when they had the right support, treatment, and knowledge, these women were empowered and full of life. In the same way that doctors were able to renew the lives of women like Shweta, I too want to empower patients and alleviate their suffering through health care.
Through ISP, I work for Dr. Bolten by writing annotated bibliographies relating to her cultural anthropology research in West Africa. I focus on the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa and the history of Ebola outbreaks, looking at the social and systematic factors at play. During my sophomore year, I attended a conference on Ebola in New Jersey. I was awarded an Experiencing the Wold Fellowship at the end of my freshman year through which I assisted Dr. Smith-Oka in Mexico on medical anthropology research on how residents learn empathy from their mentors and how empathy in doctors differs between public and private hospitals. Wanting to further engage with patients in order to better serve my future patients, I created independent medical anthropology research projects involving fieldwork in India during two summers. In 2015 I received another Experiencing the World Fellowship to research compassion through physical interactions between traditional healers and patients in India, and I learned how compassionate interactions build trust and influence healing. These research experiences taught me how health care is more than providing medicine and treatments, but health care must take a holistic approach to address all the needs of a patient. At the end of my Junior year, I was awarded a Kellogg/Kroc Research Grant through which I conducted research on HIV health care access, attitudes, and knowledge of HIV+ women in India for my senior thesis.