Alisha Giri ’19

Where are you from?

Gaithersburg, Maryland

What is your major?

Anthropology. I’m currently enrolled in the dual MPH/PhD program within the department, and I will complete my M.A. in Medical Anthropology and Global Health degree by the end of the fall semester this year.

What are your minors?

Biology and Chemistry

Why did you choose to study these subjects?

When I was starting out as an undergraduate, there was a professor at my school from the anthropology department that was studying mental health and identity formation among the Dalit (untouchable) caste in Nepal. He took me on as a research assistant and I spent that summer helping him collect interview data and do some participant observation and I loved it so much I decided to continue with it into graduate school!

What is your favorite class and/or faculty member, and why?

My favorite class so far has been my Medical Anthropology and Global Health course. It’s a seminar course that rotates all of the Dept. of Anthropology faculty and we delve into a wide range of topics – including disease ecology and epidemiology, nutrition, child health, health care utilization, drug addiction, and aging.

Why did you choose CWRU?

I chose CWRU for several different reasons, including the fact that it has such a wide range of interdisciplinary options and allows several opportunities for students to get involved with and work across multiple departments. I also had the opportunity to meet with several alumni from CWRU, all of whom had only good things to say about the department and the campus.

What do you like best about CWRU?

I love that Case has such a diverse group of students and that there is always something going on around campus. You will never run out of things to do.

What do you like best about living in Cleveland?

Mitchell’s Ice Cream! I also love the Cleveland Metroparks, which is so extensive and offers such a multitude of activities no matter the season in addition to the beautiful parks.

Describe any research projects, study abroad, internship or other unique experiences and opportunities you have had as a result of being a CWRU student.

Although this is my first year at CWRU, as a student here, I have had the opportunity to meet and have lunch with several prominent anthropologists as part of the department’s lecture series. I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with different professors in the department, and am currently helping a professor code interview data from Tibetan Buddhist monks. I also know that there are several opportunities offered to CWRU students for doing research projects abroad and I plan on applying to be able to do pilot research over the summer.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

I haven’t had a chance to dive into extracurriculars yet as I’m still getting acclimated to being in grad school and Cleveland. I plan to become a lot more involved after this semester!

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

I enjoy playing crafting and do-it-yourself projects, pick-up soccer, long hikes, hammocking, reading for fun, and the occasional Netflix binge.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

I would say that it is starting a dual-degree graduate program at CWRU!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I hope to have fully completed my studies and use my degree for work at a research institution or non-profit organization.