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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Faculty & Staff Directory

Jean Scandlyn, Ph.D.

Research Professor

Email: Jean Scandlyn
Office Location: 1027 9th Street, Room 203
Phone: (303) 556-5864
Fax: (303) 556-8501
Office hours:
Areas of Expertise:
Cultural and Medical Anthropology

Education & Degrees

Ph.D., Anthropology, Columbia University, 1993
M.Phil., Anthropology, Columbia University, 1989
M.A., Anthropology, Columbia University, 1987
M.S.N., International and Cross-Cultural Nursing, University of California San Francisco, 1983
B.S., Nursing, Columbia University, 1978
B.A., Religion, Middlebury College, 1975


I began my career as a registered nurse working in a variety of clinical setting for over ten years. I became an anthropologist because anthropology gave me a comprehensive and holistic way to understand the human condition and human health locally and globally -- from the power of rituals and symbols to effect healing to how we create and change our behavior and environments in ways that promote health and often endanger it. Over the past ten years, my research has focused on late adolescence and young adulthood in the United States, with a focus on young people who are politically, socially, and economically marginalized from mainstream institutions. I have served on the Board of Directors of Urban Peak, a shelter for homeless and runaway youth and currently Chair the Board of Directors of The Youth Connection, a grassroots organization serving gang affiliated youth here in Denver.

I also have a strong interest in migration, both from a theoretical perspective and from a practical perspective of how migrants are received by communities in the United States and how this affects their health and health care. I am also interested in populations who are not usually considered migrants, but who are nonetheless highly geographically mobile. My most recent research combines my interest in young adulthood as a life stage with my interest in migration through a community-based ethnographic study of the effects of multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan on soldiers and their families based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. On this project I am working with Dr. Sarah Hautzinger in the Anthropology Deparment at Colorado College.

More recently I have combined my interest in global health with a love of South America and the Spanish language. With Drs. John Brett (Anthropology) and Sharry Erzinger (Health and Behavioral Sciences), I have led a field school in ethnographic research methods in rural Ecuador for the past four years. I have participated in a community based health assessment in rural northern Peru and am currently teaching qualitative research methods to staff members of health-realted Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Bolivia through a Fulbright Fellowship.

Select Publications

Scandlyn, Jean N, Suzanne Discenza, and James Van Leeuwen Forthcoming. “Integrating Interventions: Outreach and Research among Street Youths in the Rockies.” In Globalizing the Streets: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Youth, Social Control and Empowerment in the New Millennium. Michael Flynn and David C. Brotherton, eds. New York: Columbia University Press.

Goodman, Steffie, and Jean N. Scandlyn Forthcoming “Canaries in the Mineshaft: Marginalization and Midwifery Practice in the US.” Midwifery.

Scandlyn, Jean N. and Heidi M. Grove-Voiles. 2009 “Extending Support to Disadvantaged Urban Youth in Young Adulthood.” Working Papers. Denver, CO: Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver.

Scandlyn, Jean, Carrie Simon, Deborah S.K. Thomas, and John Brett. 2009 “Theoretical Framing of World Views, Values, and Structural Dimensions of Disasters.” In Social Vulnerability to Disasters. Brenda D. Phillips, Deborah Thomas, Alice Fothergill, and Lynn Blinn-Pike, editors. Pp. 27-49. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.

Scandlyn, Jean N. 2009a “Local Conflicts, Global Forces: Fighting for Public Education in a New York Suburb.” In Border Crossings: Transnational Americanist Anthropology. Kathleen Fine-Dare and Stephen Rubenstein, eds. Pp. 171-210. Lincoln, NB: University of Nebraska Press. 2009b “Multiple Arrivals: Narratives of Hope and Promise among Inner City Youth.” Working Papers, Denver, Colorado: University of Colorado at Denver Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences Department.

Green, Tyler, Heidi Green, Jean Scandlyn, and Andrew Kestler. 2009 “Perceptions of Short-term Medical Volunteer Work in Guatemala: A Qualitative Study.” Globalization and Health 5(4), Electronic Journal.

Scandlyn, Jean N., John Brett, and Sharry Erzinger. 2008 “Practicing Fieldwork: The Transformational Value of a Collaborative Ethnographic Field School in Ecuador.” The Applied Anthropologist 28(2):204-216.

Scandlyn, Jean N. 2006 “Learning from Practice: Reframing the Scholarly Dialogue on Children’s Rights and Sexuality.” Human Rights and Human Welfare. Electronic journal: 2004 “Exploring Children’s Rights in the World of Work.” Human Rights and Human Welfare 4:1-10.

Courses Taught

ANTH 3200, HBSC 3200: Human Migration: Nomads, Sojourners, and Settlers
ANTH 4010/5014, HBSC 4010/5010: Global Health Studies Studies I: Biocultural Basis of Health
ANTH 4200/5200: Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANTH 4995/5995, HBSC 4995/5995: Field Experience in Sustainable Development and Health in Ecuador
HBSC 3041: Health, Culture and Society
HBSC 7011: Theoretcial Perspectives in Health and Behavioral Sciences I
PBHL 3070: Global Public Health