Student Spotlight: Martha Ryan

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Please join us in congratulating our intern, Martha Ryan, who recently received a Fulbright-Nehru research grant to India!

Martha is a global health major set to graduate with her bachelor’s degree May 2016. Her research aims to analyze local approaches to combat stigma against sex work in Kolkata and Delhi, two Indian cities that vary greatly in culture, HIV rates, and response to stigma in the non-governmental organization sector.

The goals of her research are to clarify how successful anti-stigma interventions can be adapted to culturally diverse red light areas and to identify specific political and cultural factors impacting anti-stigma efforts. Martha plans to engage with the local community in both cities is two-fold, to reflect the segregated cultures of red light areas and greater society.

In sex work communities, she will volunteer with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of sex workers’ children by teaching English or assisting in childcare. Outside of red light areas, she will continue her study of tabla, the Indian classical drums. After completing the Fulbright grant, Martha will apply to graduate school to pursue a PhD in Population, Family and Reproductive Health. She plans to focus her graduate studies around sex work in developing countries, informed by her work through the Fulbright.

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