Emma is a Geography major. She loves being able to merge geographic information systems (GIS) with public health issues and apply the analytic and creative skills she has learned from geography to global health issues. Her passion is working with communities in East Africa to better understand the social structures that contribute to contraception uptake and utilization.
This past summer, Emma studied abroad in Uganda, where she used qualitative analysis to conduct an ethnography of ‘aunties’ derived from individual interviews, focus groups, and observations. In Uganda, aunties are mentors of young women in the community and provide counsel and support around reproductive matters. The study was designed to examine the amount of influence ‘aunties’ have on the health practices of young women, what role they play in these women’s family planning decisions, and how well-educated aunties are about the contraceptive methods on which they are counseling the women.