Advisory Board

Convenor: Helen Vallianatos

Vallianatos headshot Nov 2015University of Alberta
Dr. Helen Vallianatos’ research and teaching focuses on food, health, gender and body. Her research approach follows a collaborative, community-based model, and recent projects have examined family foodways, particularly intergenerational dynamics among immigrants, health literacy among teenage refugees and immigrants, and how childcare cultures affect staff turnover (including children’s perspectives). She is also part of a new research project examining transitions to adulthood and mental health.

Jaymelee Kim
Conference Coordinator

J Kim PhotoUniversity of Findlay
Jaymelee Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social, Behavioral, and Justice Sciences at the University of Findlay, Findlay, OH. In 2014, Jaymelee earned her PhD in anthropology and graduate certificates in both Linguistics and Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights (DDHR). As a political and legal anthropologist, her work interrogates human rights, Indigenous rights, the discourse of reconciliation, and the culture of forensics. Specifically, she analyzes stakeholders’ perceptions of transitional justice and reconciliation effectiveness, drawing on multiple theoretical lenses, including structural violence and colonialism. Jaymelee is the ACYIG Conference Co-Coordinator and also serves as an elected member of the AAA Committee for Human Rights.

Amy Paugh
Membership Coordinator 

amy_paughAmy Paugh is Associate Professor of Anthropology at James Madison University in Virginia. Her research investigates language socialization, children’s play and agency, language ideologies, and language and food in Dominica and the United States. She is the author of the ethnography Playing with Languages: Children and Change in a Caribbean Village (Berghahn Books, 2012/2014). She also has published her research in the journals Language in Society, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Text & Talk, Discourse & Society, and Time & Society, as well as in several edited collections. Prior to her position at JMU, Amy received her doctorate from New York University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families in Los Angeles. She serves as the ACYIG Membership Coordinator.

Christine El Ouardani
Conference Coordinator

California State University, Long Beach
Christine El Ouardani is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development at California State University Long Beach. She is a cultural anthropologist whose research examines how culture shapes socialization practices and knowledge about health and violence across educational, medical, and religious institutions in both Morocco and the United States. Christine received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and her work has appeared in Culture, Medicine, Psychiatry, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, and the edited volume Everyday Life in the Muslim Middle East.

Dori Beeler
Communications Coordinator

Dori Beeler received her MA in Socio-Cultural and PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Durham. As a medical anthropologist her focus is on the intersections between healing and spirituality; health and wellbeing; and healthcare and commodity. She has done extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Britain investigating Reiki practice with a focus on the practitioner, the client, and medical professionals. Her 2015 thesis and subsequent monograph, An Ethnographic Account of Reiki Practice in Britain, led to a description of the relationship between spirituality and wellbeing  within Reiki practice. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Notre Dame, Dori engaged in a multi-disciplinary project where she conducted laboratory ethnography. Underlying Dori’s work is her interest in an in-depth understanding of the everyday, lived experience of individuals and communities. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health receiving training in Cancer Epidemiology,  Prevention and Control with a focus on pediatric oncology.

Lilia Rodriguez
Student Representative

lilia picUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Lilia is a Ph. D student in the division of Urban Schooling at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her current research focuses on children’s agency at an afterschool program for elementary students and pre-service teachers.   The afterschool program is part of a statewide research network of afterschool programs (UC-Links) focused on improving the educational experiences of underserved communities. Lilia is also a graduate student researcher for an NSF project focused on middle school and high school teachers’ perceptions of the New Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and provides research-informed professional development.   Lilia will serve as the Student Representative for ACYIG creating avenues and facilitating undergraduate and graduate student participation.

Elise Berman
AAA Liaison

Convenor Ex Oficio: Lauren Heidbrink

HeidbrinkCalifornia State University, Long Beach
Lauren Heidbrink is Assistant Professor in Human Development. Her research and teaching interests include childhood and youth, transnational migration, performance and identity, law at the margins of the state and Latin America. She published an ethnography on unaccompanied child migration and detention entitled Migrant Youth, Transnational Families, and the State: Care and Contested Interests (University of Pennsylvania Press, May 2014). Selections of her work also appear in Children’s Legal Rights Journal (Spring 2013); Transnational Migration, Gender and Rights (2012); and in Emerging Perspectives on Children in Migratory Circumstances (2010). She is currently the PI on a multi-year NSF Law and Social Sciences grant investigating the deportation and social reintegration of youth in Guatemala. Lauren received a doctorate in anthropology from Johns Hopkins University and a MA/MS in International Public Service Management from DePaul University. She is co-founder and editor of and currently serves as the Convener for ACYIG.

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