University of Maryland students discussing current global health challenges with community members on Maryland Day, 2014.

Thurka Sangaramoorthy’s ultimate goal as a teacher and mentor is to help students develop analytic and methodological rigor and to encourage them to be passionate, curious, and critically engaged people in the world. In and out of the classroom, she creates interdisciplinary learning environments which engage students and help them to develop knowledge, problem solving skills, self-confidence, and a passion for learning. Using an anthropological focus, she encourages and engage students in the process of becoming interdisciplinary in their approach to problem solving, critical thinking, and innovation. She does this by helping them think more deeply and broadly about the relations between broader structures and policies and the everyday lived experiences of individuals and communities.

As an immigrant, a first-generation college student, and a minority anthropologist, Thurka’s teaching and mentoring philosophy also underscores her lifelong commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in academia and within anthropology. She is dedicated to practicing inclusive mentorship grounded in interdisciplinary theories and practices related to experiential learning and professional skill-building. Further, she is  passionate about and committed to training the next generation of minority anthropologists and health disparities scholars.

Dr. Sangaramoorthy has taught students in varying disciplines at Emory University, the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and the State University of New York at Brockport. She is also an expert in conducting training in qualitative research methods for public health professionals. At the University of Maryland, Dr. Sangaramoorthy teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, global health, and qualitative research methods.