Election Bios


Candidates for Student Board Member

Hannah Bailey

Bailey.jpgHannah Bailey

My name is Hannah Bailey and I wish to serve on the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) Board as a student member. My training as a Medical Anthropologist, past leadership experience, and interest in furthering the goals of the Society make me an ideal candidate for this position.

I am a Medical Anthropologist, having recently graduated with a Master of Science from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). My degree program provided training in applied anthropological theory and methods, and allowed me to put my knowledge to use through an intensive summer of fieldwork and subsequent master’s thesis. The work I conducted on the importance of social connections and knowledge sharing within support networks for families with children with special needs has led to the pursuit of a career in Health Policy. I hope to continue qualitative cross-cultural research to explore barriers to and facilitators of health care access in immigrant communities throughout the United States. I plan to pursue a doctoral degree with this research interest in mind.

My experience with university-based leadership has given me ample training for this position, as well. At the University of Florida, I represented the Resident Assistant Staff as President of the Staff Advisory Board, a position that allowed me to network with Housing officials to make the RAs’ needs heard. At the BUSM, I served as a Student Senate Member on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which strives to achieve the inclusion and representation of all students in day-to-day activities and classes on campus. These are only two of myriad leadership positions I have held.

I attended the SfAA annual conference in Portland, Oregon in March 2019. At this conference, I saw a small portion of the work the Board does each year and became interested in how I might contribute. If chosen to be member of the Board, I would like to start a “researcher spotlight” in the emails that go out to SfAA members and students. This would showcase innovative and fascinating research from throughout the anthropology community, fostering cross-specialty connections, networks, and interests.

Melinda Gonzalez

Gonzalez.jpgMelinda Gonzalez

I am seeking election as a Student Member of the Board of Directors for the SfAA. As an afro-indigenous anthropologist of Puerto Rican descent, I am committed to producing anthropological research and scholarship that will create applicable solutions to the people that I am studying and will contribute to policy changes. Situated within environmental and disaster anthropology, my research examines the politics of community-based organizing by Puerto Rican artists, poets, students, and evacuees after Hurricane Maria in New York and Puerto Rico.   My research identifies particular social policy needs with respect to health, education, food security, and employment among displaced Puerto Ricans and those living in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. My study aims to encourage policy makers and scholars to consider the importance of sustaining and supporting community-created programs in disaster recovery and addressing ongoing austerity measures that lead to heightened health problems and displacement for Puerto Ricans. 

As Student Member of the SfAA, I aim to amplify student voices and concerns to the Board of Directors, particularly the concerns of those of us most marginalized within the field of anthropology as a whole, particularly first-generation scholars, scholars of color, caretakers and LGBTQI scholars. Applied methods also need to be applied to the field of anthropology as a whole, as graduate students face rising precarity, which limits us from having adequate access to funding for our research and attendance of conferences. I hope to highlight possible solutions to engage our entire field in making anthropology more accessible to non-traditional scholars. I have been a member of the SfAA throughout my graduate education and have presented at the annual conference a number of times. I am the Del Jones Travel Award recipient for the 2018 meetings, and I would like to provide service to the SfAA for its encouragement and support of my research. 

Peter Lee

Lee.jpgPeter Lee

A former (Third Place) Peter K. New Award recipient, I am a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge with research interests in medical anthropology who humbly offers his five years of service as a proven and tested leader to the SfAA.

As an undergraduate who recognised the importance of anthropology as an engaged discipline that facilitates the development of the next generation of scholars, practitioners, and activists, I worked with a team of students to re-establish our Anthropology Club. During my tenure, we were able to: increase student involvement; secure funding for conference presentations; encourage peer mentorships; and introduce underrepresented students to anthropology.

In continuing with this dedication to anthropology, I have since served on the Executive Board of the National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA) of the AAA since 2016. As NASA’s Undergraduate Representative-at-Large (2016-2018) and as a member of the Steering Committee of the Medical Anthropology Student Association (MASA), I not only represented the interests, endeavours, and well-being of all undergraduates but also worked to revitalize both associations as robust student platforms. NASA in particular provided me the opportunity to serve in every facet of running an academic organisation which included chairing internal oversight committees, managing external stakeholder relationships, reviewing Bylaws, and administering awards. Currently, I serve as President-Elect of NASA, as a member of the Museum Committee for the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; and as Deputy Director of a UK-registered charity that works on health, education, entrepreneurship, and WaSH projects in Tanzania. Collectively, these various capacities have further enriched my experience in the areas of organizational development, governance, strategic planning, policy, monitoring and evaluation, and operational management.

In serving as the Student Member of the SfAA’s Board of Directors, I bring an experienced, discerning voice that will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of students. Under my stewardship and guidance, I will work with the same active spirit to achieve the society’s objectives and to ensure that the organisation channels student ideas, visions, and aspirations as key drivers for improvement and innovation as we meet the pressing issues of our time. 

A. Rey Villanueva

Villanueva.jpgA. Rey Villanueva

For the past decade, I have worked at the intersections of sociocultural anthropology, policy, and rhetorical studies to identify the ways in which populations act and react to the nuclear development in their communities; my dissertation research continues this trend by examining the uranium fuel cycle (mining, enrichment, use, disposal) and uranium policy within Texas and the surrounding area. 

Within the Society, I have been an active member for several years. In the past, I have held positions within the Student Committee; interned with the SfAA office to administer the 2014 redesign of SfAA.net and the 2019 AppliedAnthro.Org; coordinated with the Podcast Committee on technology and aided the staff and volunteers during Annual Meetings.  Most recently, I have been appointed as the interim Student Member of the Board of Directors, and I would be proud to continue to serve in this capacity in the future.  Outside of the Society, I have been an active member with the Association for the Anthropology of Policy (ASAP), and the American Nuclear Society (ANS).

The SfAA has proven to be a nimble and changing organization for the last several decades but continuing to find ways to nurture student membership continues to be paramount. If elected, I intend to work with the Board of Directors on expanding student membership, success, and retention by (1) creating spaces for students to socialize and collaborate with each other and senior members at the Annual Meetings; (2) working to target and broaden the digital resources available to student members to better recognize the value of continuing membership; and (3) publicizing the accomplishments of our members as they go into their careers, including demonstrating the wide array of career possibilities applied anthropology may provide.

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