Featuring our current Melvin Ember Interns

We are pleased to feature the Q & A below with our current Melvin Ember Interns, Stefania Becerra Lavado and Isana Raja. HRAF has been fortunate to have them on our team since the summer of 2023 and we have been so impressed with the work that they have done so far. Both are in the process of applying for admission to Ph.D. programs in anthropology. We wish them both continued success in their future endeavors.

HRAF Melvin Ember Interns 2023-2024What are you currently researching/working on for HRAF?

Stef & Isana: We have been helping with the Minerva grant which is focused on understanding how different societies react and adapt to climate shocks and disasters. Currently we are coding one of the variables for this grant, which encompasses elderly respect, elderly family support, and elderly community support. We are trying to test how the level of respect towards the elderly reflects the state of wellbeing in a society.

Are there any small projects you’re working on or a part of for HRAF?

Isana:  I am currently working on a personal project in which I am investigating perceptions and frequencies of abortion in patrilineal and matrilineal societies using eHRAF World Cultures.

Stef: For my individual project, I am using eHRAF World Cultures to research the influence of missionary schools and colonialism on language shift within twenty Indigenous communities around the globe.

What are your personal research interests/what do you envision researching in the future?

Stef: I am very passionate about language advocacy and finding resources for language revitalization, which is why my individual project really interests me. I want to work alongside Quechua communities in Peru to learn how ethnolinguistic racism is impacting their access to language and health resources.

Isana:  My personal research interests center around gender inequality and sanitation. My undergraduate thesis investigated how gender inequality affected the implementation of water and sanitation policies in India. In the future I hope to expand this analysis and utilize anthropological ethnography to inform policy.