Kristen Kirksey

Graduate Student, Sociology (Affiliate)

Research Overview

My broad research interests are health, gender, and human rights. I have a Masters in Public Health, and my Sociology studies will build upon that foundation. My Sociology thesis is a qualitative study focused on racial disparities in breastfeeding rates among women in the Hartford area. My letter of intent for an inCHIP Graduate Student Affiliate Seed Grant was approved for this project. I am also a research assistant on a National Science Foundation funded project entitled, PIRE: Taming Water in Ethiopia: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improve Human Security in a Water-Dependent Emerging Region. I will be carrying out ethnographic fieldwork in rural areas to understand community-level governance of water resources and how hydrological forecasting data is transferred to farmers. My dissertation will be related to water access and women’s health. My experience prior to beginning my studies at UConn was primarily programmatic. As the Community Initiatives Coordinator for the Maternal and Child Health program of the New Orleans Health Department, I Initiated, cultivated, and maintained partnerships with local, state, and national organizations focused on community health.


Bachelor of Arts – Medicine, Health, and Society, 2009
Vanderbilt University

Master of Public Health – International Health and Development, 2012
Tulane University

Contact Information
Mailing AddressSociology Department
344 Mansfield Road
Unit 2054
Storrs, CT 06269