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Meet Jennifer Carroll, Medical Anthropologist

The Belltower on a warm spring day.

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology is happy to welcome anthropology professor Jennifer Carroll, who joins NC State for the Fall 2021 semester. In order to introduce her to our amazing students, faculty, and staff, I sat down with her for a virtual interview.

Carroll is a medical anthropologist who describes herself as a “harm reductionist first, and a scholar second”. She is highly passionate about her work, defining the field of medical anthropology as one that encompasses both public health science and social science. Carroll characterizes the field as one that is determined to “understand how people live in their bodies and navigate the world”.

headshot of Jennifer Carroll
Jennifer Carroll

She originally began her undergraduate years as a physics major. However, after taking an anthropology class as an elective she fell in love with the subject, describing it as “a way to understand how we produce knowledge about people.” Her newfound love for the subject inspired her to receive a Master’s degree in sociology before going on to achieve her Ph.D. 

Her research interests investigate how drug policy impacts real people. She was drawn to this subject after volunteering in a kitchen at a youth shelter, which allowed her to learn from the experiences of others. Carroll worked on drug policy at the CDC before moving to North Carolina. Carroll said that she was drawn to North Carolina specifically because of the abundance of harm reduction work being done here. Since moving here, she has been very involved in local activism, and has partnered with a number of syringe services programs for research and service delivery. 

Carroll is very excited to join the NC State community because the university values both in and out of the classroom learning, and she is really looking forward to being able to work with both students and faculty in our department!

headshot of Samantha Aiken

This post was written by Samantha Aiken, a junior studying anthropology and microbiology with minors in forensic science and global health and a Department of Sociology and Anthropology student ambassador.