Graduate Students


Saira A. Mehmood

Graduate Student

I graduated from Tulane University with a B.S. and M.A. in Anthropology in 2008 and 2009. Prior to coming to SMU, I completed a fellowship at city hall in New Orleans, where one of my research projects included assessing mental health services in the city. My dissertation research, which addresses the criminalization of mental illness in New Orleans, was inspired by my earlier research at city hall, where I learned that the largest mental health institution in the city after Hurricane Katrina is Orleans Parish Prison. My interest in mental health and health disparities has led me to investigate how individuals diagnosed with chronic mental illnesses become imprisoned instead of receiving treatment at a hospital, and I hope to analyze how various forms of social support and support networks (or lack of) interplay with these forces.

Entered program in 2010.

Region of Study:

North America

Awards and Honors:

SMU Graduate Student Development Grant, 2010 and 2012
SMU Anthropology Department Robert Kemper Endowment Fund for Summer Research, 2012
SMU Anthropology Department Mary Moore Pre-Dissertation Fund, 2013