From Student to Faculty: Meet Dr. Elanah Uretsky

 Dr. Elanah Uretsky (left) with her family at an event in Washington, DC.

Dr. Elanah Uretsky (left) with her family at an event in Washington, DC.

GSEHD alumna Karen Norris recently profiled Dr. Elanah Uretsky, a ’97 grad who now happens to call GW home for a different reason: she’s a member of the faculty. Read on to learn about Uretsky’s areas of expertise in public health and anthropology:

Dr. Elanah Uretsky, ESIA MA ’97, earned a master’s in East Asian Studies from GW and, in 2009, returned as a member of the faculty, where she holds a joint appointment in the Department of Global Health, School of Public Health and the Department of Anthropology.

In between her stints at GW, Uretsky studied at Columbia and Harvard universities, earning a PhD in medical anthropology. All of her work was based in China where her dual concentration in health and anthropology led to her interest in the HIV/AIDS international pandemic.

Cultural Competence
Uretsky now combines her training in China studies, public health and anthropology to teach global health students how to operate in diverse cultures. She teaches research methodology courses to masters students and global health seminars to doctoral students and is preparing a new course on bioethics and cultural competence that will prepare students to understand and engage the various cultures they encounter in their careers. “As anthropologists, we are ambassadors of cultural competence,” Uretsky explains.

A New Perspective
One of Uretsky’s favorite things about being at GW is the opportunity to work with faculty who were first-year professors when she was a student—today, they’re her colleagues. “It’s a real pleasure and honor to be back here working and still be able to ask them questions,” Uretsky say. “GW is truly a special place, to learn and to work.”

–Karen Norris, GSEHD BA ’72

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