at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
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Congratulations, Erin McConkey!

Please join us in congratulating Erin McConkey for receiving a Soroptimist Founder Region PhD fellowship! The Soroptimist Founder Region Fellowship, Inc. includes a $10,000 unrestricted grant to support the completion of the awardee’s degree.

Erin McConkey is an anthropology student in the College of Social Sciences whose dissertation explores the socio-material entanglements surrounding the production and use of snake antivenom in Thailand. It critically examines how human and nonhuman relationships transform medico-scientific ideas about the body, medicine, and labor. McConkey hopes her work will bring to light avenues for reducing the number of snakebites and improving access to safe and effective treatment.

McConkey was previously awarded a 2022 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad award and a 2019-2020 FLAS Fellowship for her research.

“This project is important because a snakebite defies conventional medical categories, which complicates its treatment,” McConkey said. “I work with doctors, nurses, veterinarians, scientists, snake handlers, and snakes themselves to understand how they make sense of their experiences with snakebite and antivenom, the life-saving medication that treats it. With this research, I hope to contextualize discrepancies in the medico-scientific imagining of snakebite.”