I first became interested in the health of underrepresented peoples in high school when I wrote my US Senator about health care access and insurance for the growing Hispanic population in the United States. After completing my bachelors and Masters degrees, I explored community health practices in an unusual setting–the Amazonian region of Ecuador– and later focused my attention back on the U.S.–Mexico border. Returning to the United States for health research was not a difficult decision to make. While I enjoyed researching in the Amazon, I felt there were simply too many health issues in the United States that needed (and still need) attention.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Anthropology from the University of Chicago (1999), a master’s from the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences with a focus in Federal Indian Law from the University of Chicago (2003), a master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (2005), and a doctoral degree in Medical Anthropology (12/2013) from the University of New Mexico. I completed my doctoral degree under fellowship with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy. In 2014 I joined the anthropology faculty at Western Washington University.
My brother, Emilio, a professor at the University of Florida, and I were both born in Ciudad Juárez, México, and our mother and father are from Mexico and Cuba, respectively. In my free time, I enjoy competitive sailing, camping, and walking my Irish Wolfhound, Aengus.
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