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Projects and research
HIV prevention research Accordion Closed
Dr. Robert T. Trotter developed and launched a program (RARE and I-RARE) that provides tools for the rapid assessment of HIV and drug intervention programs. Dr. Trotter’s research efforts have resulted in the capture of numerous research grants and in the employment and training of numerous graduate and undergraduate students.
He has conducted workshops (both national and international) for the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health. He has recently conducted rapid ethnographic training workshops for the ministries of health in Brazil, Cambodia, and Viet Nam.
South Sudanese Diaspora Accordion Closed
Drs. Lampe (Anthropology) and Otenyo (Political Science and International Affairs) have developed a multi-sited project focusing on health, resilience, and meaning within the South Sudanese diaspora and South Sudan. Health, resilience, and policy are key indicators of stability. Health, broadly defined, includes physical, economic, and emotional health. Resilience refers to the ability to respond to difficulties and be restored to a state of well-being. Underlying health and resilience are systems of meaning that refer to the very tangible yet nebulous areas of activity that people participate in based upon adherence to particular cosmologies, religion if you will, and the ways those affinities contribute to health and resilience. Policy focuses on the local, national, and international relationships and actions affecting health, resilience and the associated meaning underlying each.
They use a collaborative participatory research model to document the adjustments former Sudanese refugees have made in their transition from refugee to resident to citizen in the United States. The question becomes to what degree community members see those adjustments as positive and negative relative to the frameworks they use to measure health both within their new context and that which they have left behind. Past and current religious affiliations and the degree to which those contribute to a sense of health and well-being help establish this framework more fully.
Community Development: Resources, Responsibilities, and Religion
Dr. Lampe continues to work with a community in Western Kenya whose desire to be a part of the expanding global market is challenged by economic, political, and social barriers. Community members are actively engaged in developing sustainable community development all the while surrounded by rigid infrastructure that doesn’t always resonate with their needs. Agricultural projects, micro-business enterprises, and social responsibilities come to the fore within systems of meaning. Households living off the grid due to lack of basic infrastructure and limited resources are fully plugged into the global community through smart phone technology, social media, and regular international visitors to the region. This ongoing collaborative research looks to models of health and well-being within religious, political, and economic frameworks for community members.
RARE projects Accordion Closed
In the past few years Dr. Vasquez has been a trainer, evaluator, and project analyst for different programs of the RARE (Rapid Assessment Response and Evaluation) Project, working with minority communities in 15 U.S. cities to reduce HIV/AIDS risk factors.
This work, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, has helped to significantly reduce the number of new HIV/AIDS cases in African American and Latino communities.
Corporate anthropology at General Motors Accordion Closed
Dr. Trotter has been working closely with colleagues at the General Motors Research and Development facility over the past four years to investigate several aspects of corporate culture including: a) collaborative research programs between industry and universities and institutes, b) development of an ideal plant culture model for changing manufacturing collaborative designs, and recently, c) designing a medical anthropology study of GM’s new health care initiative for both current employees and retirees.
The research has resulted in:
- internships and research assistantships for NAU graduate students,
- a patent application for a cultural model of collaborative research program design, and
- a set of tools (training packages) for improving cooperation and quality of life within GM plant culture.
Applied cultural research with Hopi Accordion Closed
As an applied anthropologist at NAU, Dr. Miguel Vasquez has emphasized reciprocity between NAU and the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office (HCPO) to strengthen both local community cultural assets and the educational experience for both native and non-native students. The NAU-HCPO Memorandum of Agreement exists as an outgrowth of this work.
Collaboration between villagers and NAU anthropologists began with the Bacavi Terrace Project, which involved physical restoration of 700-year-old terrace gardens, as well as documentation and education of local youth in traditional ecological knowledge. The project has given rise to several other Hopi agricultural projects and annual planting and harvesting with elderly Hopi farmers.
As ties between the department and the HCPO have developed, so have other projects. Together with other NAU faculty, the HCPO, the National Park Service, and the Hopi Foundation, Vasquez helped to develop a Ruins Preservation Training Workshop for unemployed Hopi youth, which has generated careers in cultural preservation and a new interest in the relevance of anthropology for the Hopi.
NAU students, in collaboration with the HCPO, have transcribed tapes for tribal archives, developed a cultural curriculum with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, conducted research in cultural affiliation, developed media materials on health and nutrition for the Hopi Health Center, and created the HCPO web site, which won the national student award of the Society for Applied Anthropology.