I think I wrote to you previously that I have spent the last year working as a research consultant in global maternal health with different universities in London and the WHO/Geneva. Just in the last 4 or so months have I decided that academic research in global maternal and child health is really where my interests and strengths lie, and where there is a great need in the field. Instead of looking for research assistant positions I started a PhD search in the UK and Europe. My CST background certainly gave me the theoretical base to apply to positions oriented towards medical anthropology and gender studies within maternal health. I was just offered the position in Switzerland last week, fully funded, and will leave for field work as soon as middle February. I will be part of a team evaluating a program being implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo encouraging mothers to give birth in facilities with skilled providers. I will be the qualitative lead and will be conducting key informant interviews with women and service providers. In addition to evaluations I will also carry out my own research which I will develop over the next year.
I just wanted to let you know as yet again I feel that my CST skills have placed me above other candidates as I approach higher-level academic work and collaborative research. Not only do I feel well rounded on a theoretical level, but those skills have transferred on a practical level as well through writing, collaborative work, organization and critical analysis.
I hope the CST program continues to thrive as I know there are a great many changes happening at Mount Holyoke - there are so many of your mentees doing incredible things around the world, you have much to celebrate as a teacher and friend!
All the best and please, if there is ever anything alums can do to help with any kind of department event or involvement with current students on or off campus, let us know. I know there are quite a few women who would be willing to contribute, myself included!