Dr. Heckert’s Bio:
Dr. Heckert, an IUP Cook Honors College alumna, graduated with a Bachelors in Anthropology in 2006 and returned to complete her Master’s in Sociology in 2009. Upon completion of her master’s, Dr. Heckert pursued a second master’s degree in cultural anthropology at Southern Methodist University in addition to receiving her doctorate in medical anthropology this past year. She is currently a tenure-track assistant professor in the sociology and anthropology joint program at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Dr. Heckert’s dissertation, “‘Do You Want to Live, or Do You Want to Die?’: The Gendered Politics of Life During an AIDS Funding Crisis,” involves her research with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Her primary focus aims to identify how broader discourses on gender equality are shaping the everyday lives of PLWHA. In addition to HIV/AIDS research, Dr. Heckert’s research interests include a variety of public health topics ranging from mental health among immigrants in the United States to LGBT rights and health care experiences in the United States and Bolivia.