Nusaiba Chowdhury

Ph.D. candidate, Department of Anthropology

Nusaiba’s research focuses on the refugee experience after resettlement in a system that puts achieving self-sufficiency above all. In the U.S., refugees are expected to find a job as soon as possible after arriving but are not provided long-term support to find a job that would provide true self-sufficiency. Her dissertation investigates how Rohingya refugees conceptualize and work toward a good life in Dallas, Texas, within the constraints of the refugee resettlement system.


Nusaiba grew up in Garland, Texas, but left for Cleveland, Ohio, to study medical anthropology and childhood studies as an undergraduate at Case Western Reserve University. At the end of her undergraduate program, she began taking classes in the Master of Public Health degree at CWRU and graduated with her master’s degree in 2017. She worked with MaxHousing, a nonprofit that provides and promotes accessible housing for physically disabled people for two years. Nusaiba returned to Dallas to join SMU’s Department of Anthropology in 2019 and hopes to continue working with refugees after she graduates.