Graduate Student Highlight: Adrienne Strong

Adrienne Strong is a PhD candidate in sociocultural anthropology. She is studying maternal mortality and women’s health in Tanzania, currently in the Rukwa Region and conducted her dissertation fieldwork from January 2014- August 2015. From September 2010 through July 2011, she conducted research on access to health care services during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period in the Singida Region of Tanzania.

Adrienne’s doctoral dissertation project will focus on the inner workings of a government run hospital and how institutional structures related to hierarchy, bureaucracy, historical precedents, etc., may influence the capacity of the institution to provide effective maternal health care during times of obstetric crisis. Her research will focus on biomedical health care providers and administrators, groups that are often overlooked in the context of medical anthropology in sub-Saharan Africa. She has a personal website, includes updates on her fieldwork, conference presentations and papers, critical responses to current events related to women’s health and reproduction, and outstanding photos from her work in the field.
Adrienne decideed to complete her work in Tanzania as it was the first country in Africa that she had the privilege of visiting, in 2007. She was struck by the people and the country, intrigued by the language and the country as well as the country’s natural beauty. She initially traveled to Tanzania as part of a service-learning program. In 2008, she began studying Kiswahili and has returned to the country in various capacities every year since. She began reading voraciously about the country, its history, and its varied ethnic groups and has since come to see it as a theoretically interesting site for her research, not simply a place that has become dear to her heart.  In 2010 and 2011 she was able to return to the Singida region to conduct a year-long original research project on access to maternal health care funded by a Fulbright Student Research Grant through the U.S. Department of State and the Institute for International Education. Adrienne is deeply invested in helping to improve health care in the country through the unique routes provided by an anthropological lens.

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