Updated: Jun 2, 2021
At her core, Anna is a learner. With master’s degrees in both public health and anthropology, along with peer-reviewed publications and national presentations in both fields, Anna brings a scholarly perspective to our research model. It is with Anna where study methodology intersects with a systems-thinking approach and an academic gut-check to create meaningful, insights-driven design. Beyond her capabilities in study design and analysis, Anna is adept at program evaluation, applying her skills in research to programs and services for our nonprofit and government agency clients. Her ability to synthesize large data sets or secondary research into concise, easy to understand reports is unmatched.
Anna’s uncommon combination of education and skills didn’t happen on accident. She was drawn to anthropology because it is a unique way of learning about the human condition through a historical and scientific context. “Anthropology allowed me to gain perspective on the importance of bringing a lens of equity and cultural competency to all pursuits,” she says.
While passionate about academia, she was inspired to transition and pursue public health because it was a way to make a direct impact on improving the health of populations, and it could be done both inside and outside of the walls of a university. This expertise allows her to leverage her skills in research and insights to solve real-world problems and improve the health and well-being of communities, especially those who have historically been disadvantaged.
When asked about defining moments in her career trajectory, she shared that a particular class during her anthropology master’s program stands out. The course? Contemporary Issues in Biological Anthropology. It illuminated for her that medical and academic journals and institutions often view people exclusively as “cases” – this person is a breast cancer patient or that person is a smoker. People are defined by one or two attributes rather than as a whole person with a unique story, perspective, and layers of internal or external factors that culminate into their experience. The person-in-environment lens was missing. “Without looking at the whole person, this analysis misses much of what know may be impacting their health – the behavioral, social, economic, and environmental aspects of a person’s world can mean as much or more to their health outcomes as their cancer diagnosis,” she shares.
This holistic paradigm coupled with her project management acumen and versatility lead our team to rely on her for a number of roles and responsibilities that she probably didn’t expect. “Ask Anna” is a common phrase uttered in our office because she frequently is the keeper of knowledge. Unsure where a report from a project years ago is in the files? Ask Anna. Looking for secondary research on digital behavior of senior citizens? Anna can have that in a flash. Want to know the evolutionary history of whales? Anna can help! If she doesn’t know, she finds out quickly.
Anna might cheer for the Cincinnati Reds (I know, I know), but we still love her and appreciate the array of knowledge and skills she brings to our firm. Have anything you want to Ask Anna? Feel free. I do.