Meet the University Ph.D. Fellows
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
What is your research area?
I'm a migration anthropologist, interested in what happens when people are forced to leave their home countries because of violence of persecution, and how these people are received in their host country. I've done previous work with people from Afghanistan who resettled in the US, and in the future I hope to work with people from Syria. My goal is to improve policy and programs for refugees in order to make their transition a little easier.
What is something cool about your field?
The coolest thing about anthropologists is that they are always ready to explore the world around them and make connections with people from all different backgrounds. Anthropologists are interested in all the differences and similarities that make us human.
What is the best thing you've done as a graduate student at SMU so far?
Recently I presented at a symposium on forced migration, organized by the graduate students in the anthropology department. It was terrific to be able to share our research with other people in the community who are working with refugees.
What is your favorite thing to do in Dallas?
On nice days I like to go for a jog around White Rock Lake.
What do you wish you'd known before starting graduate school?
One of the most important things for grad school sanity is to pick a hobby unrelated to your research, set a dedicated time for it each week, and stick to it no matter what. Otherwise it's easy to lose perspective and get overwhelmed.
What is your favorite leisure activity?
Rock climbing! Texas is so flat, so there aren't many places to go outdoors here. But there are several local climbing gyms, including one right here at SMU.