Drew Alan Walker, PhD

Academic Curriculum Vitae

 

Education:

PhD (With Distinction) Columbia University, New York, Anthropology 1998 Dissertation: Naming the Cause: A Cultural Critique of the Alzheimer’s State

MPhil Columbia University, New York, Anthropology 1995

MA New York University, Performance Studies 1993

AB University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Psychology 1986

 

Research Interests and Areas of Specialization:

Social Services, Health Services, Legal Services, and Policing 
Cultures of Governmental and Non-Governmental Healthcare in the US and EU

Cultures of Policymaking in the US and EU
Fictional and Non-Traditional Forms of Narration in Ethnographic Presentation

Urban Studies
Research Methods

 

Fellowships and Awards:

Study Visit Research Grant (German Academic Exchange Service) (DAAD) 2002-2003

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Europa-Universitaet Viadrina 1999-2000

President’s Doctoral Fellowships, Columbia University 1995-1998

Columbia Doctoral Fellowships, Columbia University 1993-1995

Sheldon Scheps Research Grant, Columbia University 1994

Franz Boas Award, Columbia University 1994

New York University Graduate Fellowship 1992-1993

 

Fieldwork and Other Research:

2007-2014  Lansing, Michigan and Washington, DC

Qualitative ethnographic fieldwork with Michigan state bureaucrats, politcians, political workers, nonprofit managers, attorneys, law enforcement professionals, judges, and healthcare professionals; focusing on professional cultures and dementia in relation to issues of violence against the elderly. The construction and writing of a comprehensive and rich, ethnographically and journalistically-informed theory of the State.

2004-2007  Lansing, Michigan and Washington, DC

Qualitative ethnographic fieldwork with Michigan state and Federal politicians, political workers, activists, lobbyists, party officials, the media, and labor unions; focusing on electoral politics as a brokering between professional cultures, and in relation to grassroots ad other forms of mass organization. The construction and writing of a foundation for a comprehensive and rich, ethnographically and journalistically-informed theory of the politics in relation to the State.

2002–2003  Berlin, Germany and New York City

Qualitative ethnographic fieldwork with groups of German bioethicists and neuroscientists looking at implicit and explicit ethical orientations in brain research. 

Qualitative ethnographic fieldwork on dementia in urban Berlin.  

 

2000-2001  Frankfurt (Oder), Germany

Qualitative work with an interdisciplinary group of German, Polish, American and Russian bioethicists on the ways biomedical and legal professionals address the genetics and genomics of Huntington’s disease

1996-2000  Miami, Florida 

Qualitative and quantitative ethnographic fieldwork with the patients and staff of an urban adult daycare center; with physicians, medical workers and social workers in research and diagnostic clinics; with pathologists and workers in the morgue and histology laboratories; and with support groups in a critical study of Alzheimer’s disease and the ways in which its “cause” has been and is socially construed, used and abused in contemporary American society.

1993-1996  Berlin, Germany

Qualitative ethnographic fieldwork with small urban gardeners, studying the relationship between delirium and daydreaming in an urban setting.

1992-1993  Opobo, Rivers State, Nigeria

Qualitative research on the relation between local historical narrative forms as seen in masquerade and storytelling, and local conceptions of indigenous “city states”

Academic Publications:

(with Sergei Shirobokov) “From Preaching to Practicing in the Educational Marketplace: Steps Toward the Exchange of Lessons of Educational Organization between Russia and the US” in Democratization: Perspectives on the Development of International Cooperation, Omsk: Omsk State University Press, 2003.

“Likeness and the Bonds of History” in Ver-Scheide der Kultur: Aufsätze zur Kippe kulturanthropologischen Nachdenkens., Bernd Ternes (Ed.), Marburg: Tectum Verlag, 2002

“The Ethics of Ancestral Secretion in Contemporary Biochemical Genetics:
Rethinking the Bioethics of Biochemical-Genetically Inherited Disorders
through an Anthropological Consideration of Huntington’s Disease”
in Joerden, Jan C. and Joseph Neumann Medizinethik und Wissenschaftstheorie, Peter Lang Verlag, 2002

“The Impossible as Secretion: Histology, Creativity and Transdisciplinary Research,” in Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie, Summer, 2000

“The Ruins of the Great Beyond” [Alzheimer’s in Film] (Ruinen des Jenseits) in Diederichsen, D. Loving the Alien: Science Fiction, Diaspora, Multikultur, Berlin: ID-Edition Press, 1998

“Missionary Mnemonics, Narration, and Textuality Beyond the Bambudye Society,” in Afrika Focus, Gent, Belgium, Summer, 1997

“Lukasa, or the Idea of a Mnemonic Device Amongst the Luba of Zaire,”
in Archiv Orientalni: A Journal of Asian and African Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, 4/94

“Ghanaian Americans” in the Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, January 2000

“Yemeni Americans” in the Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, January 2000a

“Venezuelan Americans” in the Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, January 2000

“Luxembourgian Americans” in the Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, January 2000 Various Biographies in the Gale Encyclopedia of Women in World History, January 2001

 

Professional Experience (Teaching and Applied):

Applied Experience 2003-2007

Policy Advisor/Chief Consultant 2007 US Congressional Campaign
South Central Michigan

Chief Consultant 2007 Michigan Retirement Safety Network
Lansing, MI

Project Development Facilitator 2007 Michigan Department of Community Health
Office of Services to the Aging
Lansing, MI

Project Director 2005-2007 Governor’s Task Force on Elder Abuse
Michigan Department of Community Health
Office of Services to the Aging, Lansing, MI

Candidate for US House of Representatives 2004 Walker for Congress
South Central Michigan

Policy Writer and Coordinator on Senior Health Issues 2003-2004 Wesley K. Clark for President New York, NY and Little Rock, AK

Director
Association for Qualitative Human Science and Policy 2002-2003 New York, NY

Legislative District Advocacy Coordinator 2003 NY State CD15
AARP
New York, NY

Consultant and Writer 2003 The National Urban League
New York, NY

 

Teaching Experience 1994-2003

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Johns Hopkins University
“Advanced Topics in Medical Anthropology” 2003

Visiting Researcher
Interdisziplinäres Zenrtum für Historische Anthropologie
Freie Universität Berlin 2002

Visiting Professor
Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences
Prishtina University, Kosovo
“Bioethics” 2002

Visiting Scholar
School of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University 2001-2002

Researcher
Department of Neurology
Humboldt Universität, Berlin 2000

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Centre for Advanced Eastern European Studies
Europa-Universität Viadrina
Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and Slubice, Poland. 1999-2000

Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
Fordham University
“Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” 1999

Visiting Researcher
Department of Psychiatry
University of Miami School of Medicine

Adjunct Instructor of Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
Rutgers University
“Anthropology of Development”
“Introduction to Anthropology” 1998

Section Instructor
Department of Anthropology
Columbia University
“Animals, Transformation and Secrecy” 1997

Instructor
Department of Social Sciences
Broward Community College
“Introduction to Anthropology” 1996

Instructor
Department of Social Sciences
Miami-Dade Community College
“Introduction to the Social Sciences” 1996

Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
School of Continuing Education
New York University
“World Cultures: Africa and the Caribbean” 1995

Adjunct Professor of Comparative Humanities
State University of New York (Old Westbury)
“African Cultures” and “Comparative Cultures” 1995

Instructor of Graduate Seminar
Department of Anthropology
Columbia University
“Intellectual Traditions in Social Theory: Kant to Dilthey” 1995

Section Instructor
Department of Anthropology
Columbia University
“The Interpretation of Cultures” 1994

 

Professional Academic Presentations:

Invited Academic Talks

“Fieldwork, Science and Technology Studies, and Cultural Aspects of Contemporary Bioemedicine” Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt University, Berlin, December, 2002

“The Voice as Gift: Anthropological Theory Toward a Greater Understanding of Alzheimer’s and Other Diseases” Department of Anthropology, University of Ireland at Maynooth, November, 2002

“Is there an Anthropological Imperative? On “Anthropology Representation” of Wernher von Braun and Other Things German,” University of Ireland at Maynooth, November, 2002

“Social and Cultural Anthropological Aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease” Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Germnay October, 2002

“Transdisciplinary Research and Fieldwork in Biomedical Science”, Institut für Soziologie, Freie Universität, Berlin, April, 2001.

“Perspectives on Dementia and Delirium in German Neuroscience and Bioethics as Related to the Greater Society,” Institute for Historical Anthropology, Freie Universität, Berlin, January, 2000.

“The Notion of Cultural Bias in the Pathology of Neurological Disorders,” Department of Anthropology, California State University, Chico, April, 2000.

“Where We Meet: Understanding Ancestral Experience and Alzheimer’s Disease,” Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz, February 1999.

“Beyond Elective Affinities: Anthropomorphism and the Cultural Construction of Brain Cells in Alzheimer’s Disease,” Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University, November 1998.

“A Mirror of Glass: Reflections on Fieldwork in Miami, Florida, ” Department of Anthropology, Rice University, February 1997

“Fieldwork and Writing History within Medical Anthropology,” Field to Text Series, Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, September, 1997

 

Academic Panels and Conference Presentations

“Assessing the Possible Future Role of Pluralist States and New Reproductive Technologies in Russian-German-US Relations,” Association for the Study of Nationalities, Seventh Annual Convention, New York, New York , April, 2002

“The Notion of Secretion in the Bioethics of Huntington’s Disease,” Center for Advanced East European Studies Meeting, Frankfurt (Oder), May, 2000

“Kantian Perpectives in the Bioethics of Huntington’s Disease,” History of Medicine Faculty, Center for Advanced East European Studies Meeting, Wittenburg, February, 2000

“Beyond the Living in the Dead: Maurice Leenhardt, Melanesian Biology, and Phenomenological Research,” panel on Memory, Death and Transformations, AAA Annual Meetings, November, 1999.

“Engineering Syncretic Beings: Dementia, Fibrous Systems and the Orientation of Melanesian Science,” Committee of the Anthropology of Science, Technology and Computers, Meeting, New York, June, 1999.

“Protection Behind Glass: Violence, Urbanity and Stigmas of the Rural in Contemporary Germany,” Conference on Rurality in Contemporary Europe,
Tipperary, Ireland, December, 1998

“The Great Beyond: Encountering Aliens and Old Selves in the Film Cocoon”
in an Interdisciplinary Conference on Science Fiction and Diasporan Syncretism at the Volksbuehne, Berlin, Germany, November 1997

“Telling Relations and Reification in Contemporary Medical Anthropology:
Problems to be Encountered,” Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, April, 1994

“Picasso and Potlatch: Image and Exchange in Two Modernist Contexts,” Department of Art History, Columbia University, December, 1993

“Plantation and Collection: An Approach to Possession and the Optical Unconscious in Middle America via the Experience of Delirium,” at a Symposium for Critical Historical Studies, Columbia University, New York, November, 1993

 

Academic Conferences and Panels Organized:

“Memory, Death and Transformations” AAA Meetings, 1999
“Poetry and Ethnography,” Columbia University, 1998
“The Boas-Benedict Series,” Columbia University, 1994, 1998
“A Series by German Ethnographer Klaus Neuman,” Columbia University, 1994 “The Angel of History Series,” Columbia University, 1995

“Explicit Sexuality: Art or Fallacy,” New York University, 1993

 

Other:

Facilitated support groups for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease

Built and used web-based database management systems to grow and maintain networks made up of a wide variety of professionals working to aid victims and prevent elder abuse and financial exploitation in a diverse population of 10 million;

Collaborated with key policy advisors in the Michigan Governor’s office and the State Legislature to decide on the implementation of proposed development policies, plans, and programs addressing culturally institutionalized barriers to safety implementation, crime investigation and prosecution of offenders;

Collected information and made judgments as to the most effective strategies to implement abuse prevention programs through focused meetings, interviews, and event coordination;

Conducted participant observation research in professional and local communities and organizations to assess how financial exploitation is understood, how to make it
better understood, and to design work systems, technologies, and environments that will be conducive to increased public awareness and reporting to proper authorities;

Constructed and tested data collection methods specifically designed to measure different forms of exploitation in various populations and settings;

Created data records for use in describing and analyzing professional and other social patterns and processes, using photography, videography, and audio recordings;

Developed intervention procedures in potential, suspected, and confirmed cases of elder abuse and financial exploitation, utilizing techniques including individual and focus group interviews, consultations, and participant observation of social interaction;

Enhanced the cultural sensitivity of professional curricula and training interactions in collaboration with legal and law enforcement professionals, healthcare professionals, as well as those in the social services and business;

Formulated general rules that describe and predict the development and behavior of professional groups and social institutions that may play a front line role in spotting and reporting financial exploitation;

Identified culturally-specific beliefs and practices affecting vulnerability and access to services for distinct populations and communities, in collaboration with legal, law enforcement professionals, as well as medical and public health officials;

Identified key individual professional collaborators for network expansion using reputational and positional selection techniques;

Planned and directed research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of distinct cultural groups, communities, and organizations vis-à-vis their potential for awareness and coming to play an active role in preventing exploitation;

Trained others in the application of anthropological and public policy research methods to solve problems in organizational effectiveness, communications, technology development, policy-making, and program planning;

Wrote about and presented Task Force research findings for a variety of specialized and general audiences in the US and EU.

Researched and wrote the most comprehensive analysis to date of the recent revisions to the US Federal Older Americans Act, with specific policy recommendations and questions for state and local leaders in services to the aging;

Worked closely with American Indian groups and their local services providers to strategize and create initiatives to increase the number of trained native healthcare professionals in various tribal communities;

Conceptualized and designed cost-effective communications and public relations tools for Michigan’s most active non-profit dedicated to increasing intergenerational work and contact between seniors and youth statewide;

Closely collaborated with the Council of Michigan Foundations to strategize and facilitate a growing interest and increase in funding programs dedicated to aging services statewide;

Worked with government staff and the Michigan State University Extension to increase funding and other support for Senior Project Fresh, a food service providing fresh farm produce to seniors in need;

Worked with the staff and leadership of the nonprofit Bringing the Eden Alternative to Michigan (BEAM), to increase the number of alternative living arrangements for those needing long term care services;

Collaboratively created and wrote funding strategies for Project Greenhouse, an initiative to build alternative living arrangement for inner city residents of Detroit;

Created a working liaison with the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute to work on collaborative projects to increase the safe and reliable mobility of senior in various areas of the state;

Collaboratively developed community policing strategies with Triad, a collaborative of the AARP, the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, and the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police;

Successfully advised a statewide workgroup dedicated to increasing cultural competency among civil servants and service providers throughout the state;

Served on the board of six million dollar, federally funded initiative to train direct care workers throughout the state on how to spot and report suspected cases of abuse in their workplaces;

Created a winning policy analysis and opposition strategy to proposed rate increases by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan;

Created awareness of and provided access to emerging assistive technologies dedicated to improving the lives of the disabled;

Created and implemented online project planning and supervision systems for state employees.

Advised the Office of Services to the Aging, private partner organizations, local Area Agencies on Aging, and communities regarding proposed programs, plans, and policies and their potential social, political and economic impacts on cultural institutions, organizations, and communities;

Built geographic information systems (GIS) to record, analyze, and cartographically represent the distribution of languages, cultural and natural resources, service use, and consumption patterns of specific aging populations;

Collected information and making judgments on aging programs and initiatives through observation, interviews, and the review of documents;

Conducted participant observation research in communities and organizations in nonprofit Michigan’s Aging Network and elsewhere to assess how work is done, and to design
work systems, technologies, and environments;

Collaborated with service development planners to decide on the implementation of proposed development policies, plans, and programs based on culturally institutionalized barriers and facilitating circumstances;

Planned and directing research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of distinct cultural groups, communities, and organizations;

Created, built and led committees in addressing current and future key issues in Law Enforcement, Public Awareness, and Public and Private Sector Collaboration

Created networks and led work with public and private sector leaders and groups to build innovative and successful policy and legislative solutions

Led risk assessment and management strategy for a major government Task Force Created and brokered legislative strategy for this major government effort Worked as the leader and main liaison between leaders and key representatives of:

Michigan’s Department of Community Health Michigan’s Department of Human Services Michigan’s Office of Financial and Insurance Services The Michigan State Police

The Governor of the State of Michigan (Policy Staff)
The Leadership of the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives
The US Congressional Office of Michigan 7th District
The Michigan Sheriff’s Association
The Michigan Association of Police Chiefs
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan Insurance
The Visiting Nurse Association of Michigan
Retirees of the United Auto Workers
Various Labor Leaders
The Bankers Association of Michigan
The Association of Michigan Credit Unions
Business Leaders Statewide
Leading Trial Attorneys Statewide
Leading Dementia Experts Statewide
The Michigan State Medical Society
Elder Law of Michigan
The Michigan State Bar (Elder Law Section)
The University of Michigan’s National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA)
Wayne State’s University’s Institute of Gerontology
A Variety of Nonprofit Service Providers to the Aging
The American Indian Community of Michigan
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community of MI
The Michigan Probate Court System

Built geographic information systems (GIS) to chart elder abuse and financial exploitation amongst Michigan’s ten million residents;

Collected information and make leadership judgments on directions for the Task
Force through observation, interviews, and the review of a variety of in and out-ofstate documents related to Task Force activity;

Developed intervention procedures to be used between government workers, nonprofit partners, Task Force members, and elected officials, utilizing techniques including individual interviews, consultations, and participant observation of social interaction In committee work;

Identified and explaining culturally-specific beliefs and practices affecting health status and access to services for distinct populations and communities, in collaboration with medical and public health officials;