The HOV Alvin. Photo by Dr. Heather Fullerton


Well, okay, I toured one.

See, my fiancé, Dr. Heather Fullerton (Department of Biology, College of Charleston) recently went on a science expedition to the Eastern Pacific Rise as part of the NSF-UNOLS Chief Scientist Training Cruise Program. After three weeks the ship and crew returned to San Diego and I was fortunate enough to fly down so I could get a personalized tour of the boat and submarine. Needless to say, it was amazing and I’m in awe by the fact that Heather went down to the bottom of the ocean to collect samples. In this (wow):

In more local news, it’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone! First, and perhaps most importantly, several of my students have graduated, including Tori Bianchi and Tyler Stodola. Tori is currently in a master’s program and Tyler is applying to graduate school in fall (2018). Congratulations to them both!

Two new undergraduates also joined the lab: Hoku Rivera and Robyn Caylor. Both are anthropology majors and are assisting with development of new literature review technique that uses Nvivo, qualitative analysis software I hope to bring to WWU next year. They join Angel Terry, who is now in her second year with the lab and is putting the final touches on a manuscript. The lab also welcomed Mr. Stodola (BA, 2017) back to assist on a study examining if medical anthropology courses teach content that is tested on the MCAT. We plan to share findings in an educational journal as well as the 2019 Society for Applied Anthropology meetings in Portland, Oregon.

I’ve also had a busy year developing new courses and working on my own research. I spent last summer in Charleston, South Carolina, with my fiancé, Dr. Fullerton (Department of Biology, College of Charleston), thanks to a WWU Summer Teaching Grant and WWU Project Development Grant. With the first grant I was able to design a new Nvivo training course titled “Qualitative Inquiry and Computer Assisted Analysis”. With the second grant I was able to collaborate with Dr. Fullerton to draft a proposal for National Institute of Health funding, which I anticipate will be submitted in the next NIH grant cycle. Keep your fingers crossed!

Finally, I’m happy to share that I joined the Board of the Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University and look forward to collaborating with a truly amazing group of academics and community leaders. Cheers to all of the students, faculty and staff that make each year a memorable one!

Lab News.. and a Submarine!
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