Brown University
Development Studies

"The struggles I’ve personally witnessed in addition to my longstanding interest in health disparities motivated me to further research this issue for my senior thesis in Development Studies."

Yvette Schein ’16

Student Spotlight: Yvette Schein ’16

Concentration: Development Studies

What is your thesis on and how did you become interested in this topic?

My thesis examines the health-related experiences of East African refugees resettled in Rhode Island. I began tutoring with BRYTE (Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment) in my freshman year and was matched with a then five-year-old and his family. Spending so much time with them over the last four years I became very aware of the barriers they face on a daily basis in accessing health and social services. The struggles I’ve personally witnessed in addition to my longstanding interest in health disparities motivated me to further research this issue for my senior thesis in Development Studies.  

My goal in this research is to examine the social, cultural, and political factors that shape health and access to health services. I began my research with the questions, “what are the barriers that East African refugees in Providence face in accessing healthcare? And how do access and utilization relate to health care experiences in previous countries and expectations for the U.S.? By interviewing members of the East African refugee community I hope to gain insight into these questions. With the rising number of refugees coming to the U.S., I believe finding answers to these questions will become increasingly important.