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Email: ariana4 at


Area of Interest

care; farmworker health; the US South; food sovereignty; U.S. immigration status


PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2024

MPH in Health Education and Communication, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 2015

BS, Biomedical Sciences, University of South Florida, 2007

Professional Background:

I served as a Global Health Fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti from 2016-2019. I also have experience as an intern with the USDA-Food and Nutrition Services and as a Research Consultant on a monitoring and evaluation project on increasing access to fresh produce in Dekalb County, GA.

Research and Activities:

I am a medical/sociocultural anthropologist interested in care, health, U.S. immigration status, racialization, and food sovereignty among farmworkers and their families working/living in rural Southwest Florida.  I am a Population Science Trainee at the Carolina Population Center; on the leadership team of the UndocuCarolina initiative; a member of the Graduate Certificate in Literature, Medicine, and Culture; and the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research.  I am from a Mexican migrant farmworker family, born and raised in Arcadia, Florida. I love cooking, gardening, plants, and most of the time, blending the three.

Recent Presentations:

Ávila, A. Essential or Expendable during the COVID-19 Pandemic? A lived experience on grieving the unjust and early deaths of vulnerable populations. American Journal of Public Health. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2020.306001