I am an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Ball State University and the Director of Graduate Studies. I consider myself an applied anthropologist who works in a university. My teaching and research interests include: refugees, migration, citizenship, welfare, race, ethnicity, gender, class, feminism, urban anthropology, applied anthropology, and political economy. My areas of interest include the United States, with a focus on the Midwest, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and South Sudan.
I arrived at Ball State through a myriad of geographical, intellectual, activist, and atavistic avenues. I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota and earned my Bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology from Luther College. From 1998-2000, I volunteered for Medica Infoteka, a local women’s NGO in Bosnia-Herzegovina, founded as a response to rape and other forms of violence against women during the 1992-95 war. I primarily worked for Infoteka, the team that networked with other NGOs and governmental institutions. While there, I coordinated research on the prevalence of violence and neglect against Romani (Gypsy) women. I returned to Bosnia in 2003 to conduct research for my (2004) Master’s thesis in anthropology on the status of Roma in post-war Bosnia.
After returning to the United States, I worked as a case manager with refugees for the Center for New Americans in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My job consisted of helping clients, including Bosnian Roma, navigate the educational and welfare systems, finding housing, childcare, healthcare, assisting with family disputes, and interpreting for Bosnians.
My dissertation research on refugee resettlement and citizenship in Fargo, North Dakota, explored different understandings of citizenship and belonging among Bosnians and Southern Sudanese refugees and between welfare and refugee resettlement agencies. I am currently a manuscript based on this research. My manuscript explores what it means to be a “good” citizen in a small Midwestern city.
In addition to the above, how I view research, teaching, and mentoring has to do my roles as a partner, parent, friend, and a member of multiple different local, professional, and transnational communities.