sarkis_imageI am currently an assistant professor at the International Development, Community, and Environment Department at Clark University. I am an applied medical anthropologist and health researcher by training who focuses on African women’s reproductive health and experiences, structural inequalities, and lack of access to medical services. My current community-based health research uses storytelling for health education and trust building. I am the current co-Director of Akwaaba Free Clinic, and a president of the board of UHAI for Health, Inc.  a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives of the marginalized African population both in Worcester and in Kenya through health education and promotion, research, screening and referral.

My main tools of research are ethnographic methods, social network analysis, storytelling, participatory community-based research, and university/public health departments collaborations.

In the News/Media

8/4/2016 – “Outclassed? College classrooms differ greatly from high school counterparts” (Worcester Mag 8/4/2016-8/10/2016)

7/18/2017 – “City collaboration leads to Clark U. global health degree” from the Worcester Business Journal.

6/26/2014 – “Town-Gown Partnership Tackles Population Health Management“, an article published in Health Data Management.

Spring 2014 – “An Ounce of Prevention” by Jim Keogh. An article on the exciting Academic Health Department, a collaboration between Clark University and the Worcester Division of Public Health.

5/14/2014 – Health Matters TV interview with Dr. Michael Hirsh, Worcester Commissioner of Public Health on my work with women in the Ghanaian community on healthy pregnancies. With me on the panel are Dr. Alexis Travis from March of Dimes, and Grace Williams, R.N., current chair of Nhyira-Ba.

4/30/2014 – “Female Circumcision Is Happening in America” by Rachel Grumman Bender, – Read my blog post about FGM and the immigration rhetoric.


  1. Marianne –
    I’m a friend of Anne Soffee, of Richmond, VA, who referred me to you. She’s the only person I know personally who’s a Muslim, and so when a dispute arose regarding Sharia Law, I asked her for information. She said that you knew much more about it than she did. If you could take the time to give me some information, I’d appreciate it.
    Someone posted a message on my page about Sharia being imposed in the US. I pointed him to the facts, and then he asserted that Sharia calls for female circumcision. After a quick internet search, I told him that as best I could tell, Sharia made no such requirement. We left the question open, since neither of us had a definitive answer, much less any convincing evidence.
    Could you enlighten me, so that I could enlighten him?
    Thank you so much for your time and trouble.
    — Roy

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