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2021 Business Meeting Notes

Dear AMHIG Members,

It was a pleasure to see so many of our members at our annual general membership meeting! Thank you for your participation in this event, and a big thanks to Beatriz Reyes-Foster for leading the meeting and sharing our group’s many accomplishments this year. For those of you who were unable to make it, I’ve put together a few meeting notes below. Please contact us at, if you have any questions about our meeting proceedings and if you’d like more information about ways to get involved with us over the coming year!

Many thanks,

Erica Hua Fletcher

Meeting Notes, October 18, 2021 9am PT / 12pm ET

Congratulations to our graduate student paper awardee, Gerpha Gerlin. 

  • AMHIG’s second annual Graduate Student Paper Award ($500) winner is Gerpha Gerlin for her excellent paper “‘There’s Got to be More to Life than Feeling Like This’: Navigating Mental Illness Recovery Alone, Together, and in-Between.” AMHIG will also provide feedback and mentorship to steward the paper from manuscript preparation to its submission at a well-respected journal. 
  • Many thanks to Shir Ginzburg (chair), Emma Backe, and Rachel Riendeau for serving on our Student Paper Prize Panel.

Group Accomplishments

  • The AMHIG Policy Position Paper on the State of Mental Health in Anthropology received SMA Executive Leadership Approval and membership approval. It was submitted for publication in Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 
    • Our policy brief team included Emma Backe, Tory Brykalski, Erica Hua Fletcher Alex Fitzpatrick, Melinda González, Shir Lerman, Rob Meeker, Beatriz M. Reyes-Foster, Rachel P. Riendeau, and Meagan Thies-Sauder.
  • You can listen to a podcast recording about our policy statement here, which was submitted to the AAA Raising Our Voices 2020 conference.
    • In the episode, we feature the perspectives of Erica Hua Fletcher, Emma Backe, Rachel Lester, and Sarah Lyon.
  • We hosted an AMHIG workshop for university administrators and graduate advisors on promoting graduate student mental health at the AAA Raising our Voices 2020 conference, on Friday, December 11, 202.
    • Workshop organizers included Eileen Anderson-Fye, Melinda González, Rebecca Lester, Sarah Lyon, and Beatriz M. Reyes-Foster. 
  • Beatriz Reyes-Foster and Erica Hua Fletcher organized 2 panels on new and emerging topics in anthropology and mental health for the 2021 AAA Annual meetings. 
  • We continued to update our website, Google group, listserv, and data storage platform. AMHIG has also seen an increase of activity on our Facebook group page, with our membership growing from about 2000 to over 2200+ members. 

Leadership Update

  • We are thrilled to announce our new leadership team for 2021-2022.
    • Senior Advisor: Rebecca Lester
    • Co-Chair: Melinda Gonzalez (replacing outgoing co-chair Erica Fletcher)
    • Secretary: Julio Villa-Palomino
    • Syllabi Project Coordinator: Shelly Yankovskyy 

If you would like to join our leadership team, please email us at for further information about our next meeting with current/prospective leaders on December 10th. 

Directions for the Coming Year

We agreed we would like to create a Blog Post series on the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our research, advocacy, and activism. Series topics may include discussions on teaching, student life, research methods, self-care/caregiving, mentorship, and applied work (Thank you, Melinda, for your suggestion!). We also discussed generating various media for select topics, such as webinars, podcasts, etc. 

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