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Meet Anthropology alum Bonnie Harvey, MA '16
Meet Anthropology alum Bonnie Harvey, MA '16

After spending two years in Peace Corps- Malawi, Bonnie Harvey, MS ’16 moved to Portland to work with Dr. Jeremy Spoon, PSU associate professor of anthropology, on his Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) projects in Nevada. 

While in the Peace Corps, Bonnie worked as a Community Health Advisor in the rural health clinic of Usisya, Nkhata Bay. As she learned the local language of Chitumbuka, and adjusted to living without electricity or running water, Bonnie helped a local nonprofit create AIDS Peer Education clubs, supported the rural clinic, brokered the donation of mosquito nets and water filtration systems, taught English Literature and Biology in the local secondary school, facilitated income generation for an orphan care center through the production of peanut oil, held training sessions on gender equity for local health workers, and provided sanitation training and supplies to combat disease spread.

In her first year at PSU, Bonnie worked closely with Dr. Spoon on his Numic Project—planning and implementing annual “Gathering for Our Mountains” stewardship events with over 150 multi-generational Nuwuvi (Southern Paiutes) and US Federal Agencies. Her interest grew, and she went on to enroll in the Applied Anthropology Master’s program with a research focus in stewardship. For her thesis, she interned with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Trail To Every Classroom program and studied if using the Appalachian Trail (AT) as a teaching tool for getting kids outdoors created community AT stewardship in rural Appalachian communities.  

Bonnie is now preparing to return to Usisya, Malawi where she will be working for a nonprofit she partnered with during her Peace Corps days. She will apply what she learned about community development and applied cultural anthropology to help the nonprofit, Temwa, complete a program evaluation of their reforestation, HIV/AIDS education, crop diversification, and micro loan programs.

Learn more about Applied Anthropology at Portland State University.