Papers, Presentations, Publications


The Beng are a very small population of people that reside in villages in Cote d’Ivoire. Their thoughts on infancy involve reincarnation, and this dictates their parenting and child-rearing practices. “Wrugbe”, translated as “spirit village”, is a term used to describe the afterlife, from which children come as re-embodiment of their ancestors (Gottlieb 2004, 80). This essay serves as an exploration of the Beng’s spiritual beliefs of newborns, and why parents treat their newborns the way they do throughout their development. This link creates a child-rearing culture that makes the Beng people of Cote d’Ivoire unique. Important practices to consider involve the social interactions and physical care that parents offer their children in hope of a healthy transition from wrugbeto the real world, while keeping in mind that these practices are not without exception. The Beng are a commonly unheard of population, so I rely on ethnographic accounts of their societies published in books and journal articles, as well as first-hand video recordings of the daily lives of the babies that I plan to investigate. By exploring first-hand observational information, I will make important connections between religious beliefs and child-rearing practices, as well as unveiling the reason for their correlation. The significance of this study will rest in uncovering how spiritual and mystical thinking can impact the daily lives of people within a specific culture. More specifically, an investigation such as this allows one to understand how a child’s development is influenced by their culture’s concept of infants.

Africa is home to innumerable small communities that establish their own cultures and values to live by, however, they all have at least one similarity: each of their members start as infants. With this in mind, the derivation of life is a common idea upon which many belief systems are built, and belief systems are often a large part of what distinguishes one cultural group from another. The Beng of Cote d’Ivoire are one such society that heavily relies on their spiritual beliefs regarding infants to guide much of how they lead their daily lives and define themselves as a people. Through their spirituality and associated beliefs in the supernatural, Beng place newborns above all else in importance. In turn, all members of Beng society are impacted by the child-rearing practices that were established to forge a culture centered around successfully raising a Beng newborn. The unique belief that newborns are reincarnations of an ancestor especially sets the precedence for many child-rearing practices associated with infants’ social and physical development and treatment in Beng society (Gottlieb 2004, 15). In this in-depth explanation of multiple Beng child-rearing practices, it will become clear that spiritual beliefs are the reason for why these practices exist.


Executive Summary:

As India endeavors to lose its United Nations designation as a developing country, the population is growing and average income is increasing.[1]However, prices of antibiotics are decreasing and a high rate of infectious disease continues, leaving India as a country with overwhelming rates of antimicrobial resistance due to the overuse of antibiotics.[2]Current programs focus on national and international collaboration, addressing broad issues that implicate antimicrobial resistance, but more specific strides must be made in over-the-counter prescriptions of antibiotics and the role of pharmacists in the drug distribution system. Moving forward two major recommendations are made to deal with these situations: decreasing self-medication by increasing community awareness of it and promoting the status of pharmacists to that of physicians to increase their involvement in the distribution of antibiotics to the citizens of India.

  1. World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018: Country Classifications. PDF. United Nations (2018): 142.
  2. Laxminarayan, Ramanan, and Ranjit Roy Chaudhury. “Antibiotic Resistance in India: Drivers and Opportunities for Action.”PLOS Medicine 13, no. 3 (March 02, 2016): 1. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001974. (accessed December 4, 2018).

Policy Analysis Paper


The United States of America and Australia are often seen as analogous, especially in their cultural, racial, and economical aspects. As nations built from the intrusion of white Europeans on a native people by means of mistreatment and the forced evacuation of native homelands, the two countries also share a common history. The historical wrongdoings on the records of both nations brought about their similar, contemporary views on terrorism and immigration as the ideas of foreign “others” persist. Notions of sovereignty and nationalism in both countries have influenced their thoughts on and actions towards the war on terror in response to the terrorist attack of September 11th2001. To further explore the similarities and differences in immigration policies and attitudes between America and Australia, this paper will discuss the climate of immigration discussions in both countries before, during, and after 9/11.



Erin Finley’s ethnography, Fields of Combat, seems to raise as many questions as assumptions on the issue of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Especially in the illness narratives she collected from American veterans, it is evident that, although officially classified and defined under the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD includes many cases that require further distinction (Finley 6). PTSD has come to be defined as a mental illness distinguished by its symptoms of re-experience, avoidance, and hyperarousal in result of singular or repeated trauma which affects normal life functioning (Finley 5). This concept has changed respectably through America’s involvement in wars, transforming from “soldiers heart” to “shell shock” to “traumatic neurosis” to “combat fatigue” (Finley 89, 90, 93, 96). However, there seems the likely possibility of a coexisting dimension, distinct but often present, called moral injury. Moral injury is defined as “an act of serious transgression that leads to serious inner conflict because the experience is at odds with core ethical and moral beliefs” (Maguen 1). Though a term only recently conceived, and not yet established as a psychiatric diagnosis, it provides a clearer etiology and understanding of many veterans in distress. This essay serves as an exploration of moral injury as a unique designation from PTSD.



Throughout 2019 I’ve called two places home: the young, urban college town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Himalayan mountain community of Mussoorie, India. Despite their distinction in geography and culture, the two were touched by the global quest to answer climate change. Both of these environments provided me with a different view of climate change, but worked together to prove that although climate change is worldwide, certain countries are more apprehensive about doing something about it—for good reason.