Dr. Lucy M. Cohen earned her PhD in Anthropology from Catholic University in 1966, and served on our faculty from 1969 until 2012. Over the course of her accomplished career, Dr. Cohen often told her students that she never intended to use anthropological tools and concepts just to study communities of people, but instead to actively work to help improve their lives. To this end, she helped create the field of Medical Anthropology in the late 1960s, which investigates cross-cultural understandings of health, illness, and care in order to advocate for ethical, effective, and sustainable approaches to well-being. Dr. Cohen was also at the forefront of what is known colloquially as “backyard anthropology." Well into the 1980s, anthropological fieldwork was still expected to be carried out in "exotic" locations. Dr. Cohen shirked this expectation early on by asking traditional anthropological questions—about tradition and adaptation, kinship and ideology, social structure and subsistence—but with cosmopolitan research subjects. Her scholarship, at the intersection of health, immigration, and culture, focused on Latina communities and public health in DC and its suburbs.

Dr. Cohen passed away in July 2021, but created a scholarship fund to support the study of Anthropology at CUA. Anthropology and Archaeology majors may apply for up to $1500 in support of ethnographic and archaeological field school scholarships, student research scholarships, and study abroad scholarships. These scholarships operate on a reimbursement fund basis. To apply, Anthropology majors should email a one-page letter detailing what they will use the scholarship to support, including a detailed budget and explanation of how it will benefit their Anthropological studies to samuels@cua.edu. They will also be expected to submit a short report upon the completion of their field school, research, or study abroad explaining how, specifically, the experience contributed to their anthropological or archaeological education.