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Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Research Program on Global Health & Human Rights at the Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut

Sarah S. Willen, PhD, MPH is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut and Director of the Research Program on Global Health and Human Rights at the university’s Human Rights Institute. A former NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, she holds a PhD in Anthropology and an MPH in Global Health, both from Emory University.

Willen’s first book, Fighting for Dignity: Migrant Lives at Israel Margins (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), has won multiple awards, and she is a two-time recipient of the Rudolf Virchow Prize from the Critical Anthropology of Global Health Caucus of the Society for Medical Anthropology. She has edited or co-edited three books and six special journal collections and authored over 45 articles and book chapters on issues of migration and health, health and human rights, deservingness, flourishing, medical education, social justice mobilization, and other topics, including pieces in the Lancet, Social Science & Medicine, Health and Human Rights Journal, Ethos, and Jewish Social Studies.

Willen’s work has received support from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among other sources. She is a current or past editorial board member for Social Science & Medicine; Social Science & Medicine-Mental Health; Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry; and Medical Anthropology Quarterly and a former Member-at-Large of the Executive Board of the Society for Medical Anthropology.

Willen is Principal Investigator of ARCHES | the AmeRicans’ Conceptions of Health Equity Study (https://arches.chip.uconn.edu/), an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods study of how people in the United States think about health, fairness, and social interconnectedness (“health-related deservingness”), funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is also Co-Founder of the Pandemic Journaling Project, a combined journaling platform and research study about the lived impact of COVID-19 (https://pandemic-journaling-project.chip.uconn.edu/).

Faculty page: https://anthropology.uconn.edu/person/sarah-willen/

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut and Director of the Research Program on Global Health & Human Rights at UConn's Human Rights Institute., University of Connecticut

Education

  • 2006 
    Emory University, PhD in Anthropology
  • 2006 
    Emory University, Master of Public Health