Sean Bruna, PhD. is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Western Washington University. His research uses collaborative mixed-methods to examine the intersections of identity and community health. His current research includes testing interventions for Latinx or American Indians living with chronic disease, examination of disciplinary trends in anthropology, and documentation of risky fieldwork practices and mitigation strategies among URM students and scholars.
Sean Bruna first became interested in the health of underrepresented peoples in high school when he wrote his Texas Senator about health care access and insurance for the growing Latinx population in the United States. After completing his bachelors and Masters degrees, he explored community health practices in an international setting –the Amazonian region of Ecuador– and later focused his attention back on the U.S. – Mexico border. Returning to the United States for health research was not a difficult decision to make. While he enjoyed researching in the Amazon, he felt there were simply too many health issues in the United States that needed (and still need) attention.
The graduate students in Dr. Bruna’s lab frequently research applied topics, including diabetes education, urban farming policy, international water needs, the impact of supportive housing programs, or how individuals with disabilities cope during times of social isolation. Learn more about the students he mentors in the lab member or thesis section. Dr. Bruna actively teaches 6 to 8 courses a year and advise at least 40 students a quarter (35 undergrads and 5 graduate students). Many of his courses explore advanced methodologies and graduate degree level courses, though his undergrad medical anthropology course is regularly in high demand.
Dr. Bruna received a MA and PhD. in Ethnology from the University of New Mexico. He also holds a MA in Social Science with a focus on Federal Indian Law from the University of Chicago, where he also earned a BAs in Anthropology & Latin American Studies.