If you are interested in joining the lab with an independent study, work-study, or graduate research, check out the Join Us page.

Current Members


Sean Bruna

Sean’s current research examines disciplinary practices, fieldwork safety, and emergent wellness practices among underrepresented peoples.



 Graduate Students (whose Committee I Chair)

matiaMatia Jones (website) M.A. Candidate, Cultural Anthropology

Matia is a Farihaven College graduate with an interdisciplinary BA entitled ‘Wellness.’ This degree focused on social and environmental justice as preventative health care. She has worked in sustainable agriculture and the allied health care field since 2001 and 2003 respectively. Current work includes a Master’s thesis entitled Ethnography of Urban Food Policy: Increasing Food Sovereignty in Bellingham, WA Through Urban Agriculture.


WWU_Vikings(193)Cecilia Martin M.A. Candidate, Cultural Anthropology

Cecilia Martin’s photovoice based research examines water needs in a small rural community in Kenya.




Samantha Whalen M.A. Candidate, Cultural Anthropology

Check back soon!


 Post-Baccalaureate Students

Tyler Stodola, BA, 2017

Tyler is a Western Washington University graduate with a BA in Anthropology with a focus on biology and culture. He plans to continue researching biological anthropology, concentrating on medical anthropology and education. Tyler is utilizing his degree within the field of large scale horticulture, as well as conducting analysis of the content and topics found within university medical anthropology courses.


 Undergraduate Students

Tori Bianchi, Bio-anthropology BS, Honors, Senior

Currently an undergraduate student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington studying biological anthropology. Tori has an interest in human origins and evolution, and plans on studying paleoanthropology / archaeology in a graduate program after graduation. Tori is assisting with dissemination of findings, graphic design, and the Cascadia Seminar in Medical Anthropology.



Angel Terry, Political Science, Freshman

Angel is a freshman with an interest in cultural anthropology and political science, with a later focus in law. Angel is assisting with various lab tasks, including research on gender and academia.



aengus ball

Aengus BA, Landscaping, Post-Graduate Fellowship, Osteology

Aengus is a 6th year wolfhound completing a post-graduate fellowship in osteology.  He asks that you send him supplies for his research because he is a very good dog.



Medanthro Lab Alumni: Graduate Students

peterPeter Miterko, MA, Cultural Anthropology, Fall 2017

A Master’s candidate with a focus in cultural anthropology, Peter’s project examined creation of community within a former chronically homeless population.




Megan Stephenson, MA (with distinction), Cultural Anthropology, Spring 2016

A former multimedia reporter, Megan Stephenson graduated with a Master’s  in medical anthropology. Her thesis work was a pilot project regarding nutritional type 2 diabetes education videos in a rural community in Hawai’i. Megan Stephenson is a specialist on the Outreach and Enrollment team at Unity Care NW, a non-profit community health center. Specialists “work to connect patients to high quality, affordable health care services by providing insurance enrollment, health care navigation support, and community outreach to medically underserved populations in a manner that empowers patients to understand and engage in their health care.

Medanthro Lab Alumni: Undergraduate Students



Madeleine Rackers, Biology/Anthropology, Junior

Madeleine Rackers is a junior at Western pursuing a Biology/Anthropology major with a pre-medical focus. She plans to attend medical school after graduating and practice rural women’s medicine internationally.



Anna Knoblach, BA, Anthropology, Spring 2017

Anna Knoblach is a senior at Western Washington University studying Anthropology. She plans to join the Peace Corps after graduating, working with a focus on education. Anna is currently researching phone and tablet applications for anthropological research.


bryn-knappBryn Knapp, B.S., Psychology, Winter 2017

Bryn is pursuing a BS in Psychology with minors in Anthropology and Sociology at Western Washington University. She is planning on obtaining her Masters in Counseling. Bryn is currently on a research project that examines the relationships within informal mentoring found on Western’s campus.

Kate Varberg, BA, Multidisciplinary Studies, Winter 2017

Kate is a senior pursuing a BA in Multidisciplinary Studies with a focus in Psychology and Sociology. She plans to join the Coast Guard after graduating. Kate is currently assisting a research project that examines occupational risk and safety in academic workplaces and field settings.

Giselle Kiraly

Giselle Kiraly, Biology & Anthropology, BS, Winter 2017

Giselle Kiraly is a Junior at Western Washington University completing a BS in Biology/Anthropology. She plans to continue with biological anthropology after she graduates, with a focus on health research.  Giselle is currently researching the gender composition of editorial boards for various anthropology journals.


Yomalli Contreras-Ortiz, B.A., Anthropology, Fall 2017

Yomalli examined student perspectives regarding mentoring practices at WWU.




Galen Herz, B.S. Biochemistry & Anthropology, Fall 2017

In the fight for climate justice. Galen co-authored a lab grant researching informal mentoring networks at Western Washington University.


Steve Martin B.S., Biology & Anthropology, Spring 2017

Steve Martin plans to either pursue medical school or pursue his passion for photography.



Lillian Loescher B.A., Pure Mathematics, Spring 2017

Lillian assisted with a research project in WWU’s C. Elegans neuroscience lab where she examined associative learning and memory. She will graduate Spring 2017 with a bachelors in pure mathematics and minors in Anthropology and Psychology. In 2017 she will pursue a PhD. in Mathematics and continue her theoretical neuroscience research, where she will integrate her future work into a larger cultural framework.



Evangelia Pantoleon B.A., Cultural Anthropology, Spring 2016

Evangelia graduated with a degree in cultural anthropology. She researched gendered leadership in the Society for Medical Anthropology.  



tawny-mayer Tawny Mayer, B.A., Anthropology, 2016

Tawney graduated with a degree in anthropology and in her senior year received a research Grant for Undergraduate Students for her project, “The Digitized Indian: Representation and Reclamation in Video Games“.




Louie Labrador M.A., Business 2015

Louie was a business student and a wizard with spreadsheets, statistics, and R.



Alex DonigianAlex Donigian, B.S. Bio-Cultural Anthropology, Spring 2016

Alex Donigian graduated with a degree in biocultural anthropology student. His interest is primarily involved in applying anthropological perspectives to sport studies and evolutionary biomechanics. 



IsabellaRamosMillerIsabella Ramos Miller B.S., Bio-Anthropology (with Honors), Spring 2016

Isabella graduated from WWU with a B.S. in Biology-Anthropology and a Spanish minor. Her final project as part of the Honors Program is titled “Simplifying Care: A Pilot Study, Reworking the Structure of Sexual Health Education Sessions at Western Washington University.” Interested in the anthropological factors that influence human health, Isabella will attend the University of Utah’s nursing program in 2018.

WWU_Vikings(193)Sam Bottman B.A., Biology & Anthropology, Spring 2016

BA in Anthropology/Biology with a Music minor. Currently applying to psychotherapy graduate programs after his senior year at Western.



brita head shot1

Brita Eisert B.A., Biology & Anthropology, Spring 2016

BS in Biology/Anthropology with a Spanish minor. She is planning on attending PA school and is interested in pediatric primary care.




Processed with VSCOcam with a9 presetBrooke Jespersen B.A., Anthropology & Spanish (with Honors), 2015

Brooke Jespersen recently graduated from Western with a BA in anthropology and Spanish. Currently attending Ph.D. program at Case Western University where she is examining how dominant medical paradigms and social hierarchies contribute to the marginalization of immigrant populations within the U.S. healthcare system.