Anthropologist Selected As Leadership Fellow of the American Anthropological Association

From the September 2017 Desktop News | Dr. Lesley Jo Weaver, a medical anthropologist and professor in the Department of Anthropology, was selected as a fellow in the 2017-2018 American Anthropological Association Leadership Fellows program.

The fellowship allows three up-and-coming anthropologists a chance to see the mechanics behind the scenes of the AAA, giving them a chance to become more familiar with the leadership and governing of the association.

The AAA is the flagship professional association for anthropologists both domestically and internationally. With over 10,000 members working in both the public and private sectors, it publishes many highly regarded academic journals, holds an annual conference, and offers resources for anthropologists for employment and career development.

Each November, the AAA holds a conference where anthropologists share their research, network, and learn about new opportunities in the field. This year’s conference will be slightly different for Weaver, as she will be sitting in on executive board meetings, as well as shadowing her mentor.

Weaver’s mentor, Dr. Pamela Stone, is a member of the executive board with similar research interests as Weaver. As a professor at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, Stone studies medical anthropology, where she focuses on women’s health in the past and present across the globe.

“What’s really fantastic about the program is that the people who choose the fellows do a really good job of pairing them up with mentors who have very similar research interests to them,” Weaver said.

Out of all the opportunities that the fellowship offers her, Weaver is most looking forward to learning how the organization that she and her colleagues use for most of their professional needs works.

“It never hurts to have a better ‘insider’s look’ at what’s going on,” she said. “Most people have no idea, so this is helpful, both for my own curiosity and for professional development.”

Weaver’s research in medical anthropology has taken her around the globe. In Brazil, she studied food insecurity and mental health. Her doctoral work in India focused on the mental health and social wellbeing of women with type 2 diabetes in North India.