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Milena Melo Named AAA Fellow

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June 17, 2016

Contact Name: Anne Kelsey
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Milena Melo Named AAA Fellow

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Committee on Minority Affairs in Anthropology (CMIA) are pleased to announce the selection of Milena Melo as recipient of the 2016 AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship. This annual fellowship of $10,000 is intended to encourage members of ethnic minorities to complete doctoral degrees in anthropology, thereby increasing diversity in the discipline and promoting research on issues of concern among minority populations.

Melo is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Anthropology department at the University of Texas at San Antonio. As a low-income, undocumented, female student of color, Melo is highly motivated to ensure the inclusion of voices and experiences of those who are unable to be present when policies are made. She is committed to conducting anthropological research that reduces barriers to healthcare, social inequality, and disenfranchisement faced by marginalized and minority populations in the United States.

“Given her focus on issues related to anthropology, healthcare and public policy, Milena Melo's works will make a significant contribution to the field of anthropology,” said CMIA chair Raymond Codrington. “Her work is prescient, and exemplifies the type of efforts that the CMIA Dissertation Fellowship was established to support.”

For the past five years, Melo has researched and published on the intersections of policy, healthcare, health disparities, citizenship, lived experiences of chronic illness, poverty, and access to healthcare in public and private institutions in South Texas. She is currently completing her National Science Foundation funded dissertation which investigates the treatment experiences of a population that exists at the fringes of the U.S. healthcare system: undocumented Mexican immigrants in South Texas who suffer from end-stage renal disease. Thus far she has presented eight papers about the project and participated in a School for Advanced Research seminar to produce a chapter for an edited volume on the effects of the Affordable Care Act. Melo was also recently awarded the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.

Melo will be recognized during the AAA Awards Ceremony at the 2016 AAA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota this November.

Photo Credit: University of Texas at San Antonio. 


Learn more about Milena Melo's research in this Univision mini-doc: Diabetes plagues the Rio Grande Valley

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