Claudia Santelices


Research Assistant Professor

Health Sciences


Dr. Santelices has worked on several research projects covering a wide range of topics, among which are substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and cervical and breast cancer. Her research has had strong emphasis on migrant populations in Connecticut, including Mexicans, Guatemalans, Jamaicans and Brazilians. Prior to joining the IUHR in October 2008, Dr. Santelices was an Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Community Health Research at the Hispanic Health Council in Hartford, CT and Center for Health Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) at the University of Connecticut. At the Hispanic Health Council, she served as the leading ethnographer on several federally funded studies among which are, Syringe Access and HIV Risk (NIDA), Farm Workers and Drinking Behaviors (NIAAA), and Building Community Response to Risk of Emergent Drug Use (CDC). At the Hispanic Health Council, Dr. Santelices also served as the leading ethnographer and program evaluator on several pilot studies and programs, among which are, HIV Risk among Migrant Farm Workers (CIRA, Yale), Second-Hand Smoke and Health Risk among Puerto Rican Children (University of Connecticut, Center for Health Intervention and Prevention), Breast and Cervical Cancer Education Pilot Program for Hispanic Women (National Cancer Institute and National Council of La Raza), Rapid Assessment of Latina Teen Pregnancy Beliefs, Attitudes and Behaviors (CT Department of Public Health), PERLAS-Cultivating our Womanhood (CT Department of Public Health), and PRIDE- The Way We Are! (CT Department of Public Health) At the University of Connecticut, Dr. Santelices served as the project director of Project PHRESH.comm, a CDC funded study on sexual behaviors and condom negotiation among African American and Puerto Ricans in Hartford. During her eight years of involvement on substance abuse related studies, she also served as consultant ethnographer on two international studies, Assessing Oral HIV Testing among Brazilians Drug Users in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (NIDA) and Migration, Drinking Behavior, and HIV Risk in Rural Mexico (Fogarty International). Dr. Santelices has publications in several professional journals.


Merrill Singer, Claudia Santelices, Derrick Hodge, Zahira Medina, Marisa Solomon. Assessing and Responding to a Community Health Risk: Second-Hand Smoking in Puerto Rican Households. Practicing Anthropology, 2010 [In Press]

From Street Research to Public Health Intervention: The Hartford Drug Monitoring Project. Merrill Singer, Claudia Santelices, Greg Mirhej and Hassan Saleheen; in Anthropology and Public Health; edited by Robert Hahn and Margaret Inborn. Oxford University Press. [In Press]

The Role of Drug Users in the Brazilian HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Patterns, Perceptions and Prevention. Scott Clair, Merrill Singer Francisco Bastos, Monica Malta, Claudia Santelices and Nelaine Bertoni. HIV/AIDS: Global Frontiers in Prevention and Intervention; Cynthia Pope, Renee T. White, and Robert Malow, eds. [September 2008]

Bridging the Divide: Drinking among Street Drug Users. Merrill Singer, Hassan Salaheen, Greg Mirhej, Claudia Santelices. American Anthropologist 108:3, 502-506, 2006

Tomorrow is Already Here, Or Is? Steps in Preventing a Local Methamphetamine Outbreak. Merrill Singer, Greg Mirhej, Claudia Santelices, Erica Hasting, Juhem Navarro, Jim Vivian. Human Organization, Vol. 65, No. 2, Summer 2006

When the Drug of Choice is a Drug of Confusion: Embalming Fluid Use in Inner City Hartford, CT. Merrill Singer, Greg Mirhej, Susan Shaw, Hassan Salaheen, Jim Vivian, Erica Hasting, Lucy Rohena, DeShawn Jennings, Juhem Navarro, Claudia Santelices, Alan H.B. Wu, Andrew Smith, and Alberto Perez. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. 2005; 4 (2): 73-96

Lessons from the Field: From Research to Application in the Fight Against AIDS among Injection Drug Users in Three New England Cities. Merrill Singer, Tom Stopka, Susan Shaw, Claudia Santelices, David Buchanan, Wei Teng, Kaveh Khooshnood, Robert Heimer. Human Organization, Vol. 64, No. 2, Summer 2005

Migration, Health and Labor Conditions in Shade Tobacco Farms in the Connecticut River Valley. Michael Duke, Claudia Santelices, Anna Marie Nicolaysen, Johan E. Galarza Rivera. Research Focus Newsletter, Vol.2, Number 1. Fall 2004

Production and Working Conditions in Shade Tobacco Farm in the Connecticut River Valley (La Producci�n y las Condiciones Laborales en las Fincas del Tabaco de Sombra del Valle R�o Connecticut) Michael Duke, Claudia Santelices, Anna Marie Nicolaysen, Johan E. Galarza Rivera. Revista Chilena de Antropologia Visual, May 2004, Vol. 3.

Street Outreach in Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS Research: An interview with HHC Outreach Worker Lucy Rohena. Claudia Santelices. Research Focus Newsletter, Vol.1, Number 2. Fall 2003

Drogas y VIH/SIDA en El Barrio: Un Atisbo Etnogr�fico Urbano. (Drugs and HIV/AIDS in the Neighborhood: An Ethnographic Glimpse) Claudia Santelices, Anna Marie Nicolaysen, Julie Eiserman, Wei Teng, Thomas Stopka, Merrill Singer. Revista Chilena de Antropolog�a Visual, Vol. 3.

The Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Community-Based Health Research. Anna Marie Nicolaysen, Thomas Stopka, Merrill Singer, Claudia Santelices. Practicing Anthropology, Vol. No.3, Summer 2003

Risk among Puerto Rican IDU’s in El Barrio: An Ethnographic Glimpse. Claudia Santelices, Thomas Stopka, Merrill Singer, Anna Marie Nicolaysen. Practicing Anthropology, Vol. No.3, Summer 2003

Public Health Interventionists, Penny Capitalists, or Sources of Risk? Assessing Street Syringe Sellers in Hartford, Connecticut. Thomas Stopka, Merrill Singer, Claudia Santelices, Julie Eiserman. Substance Use & Misuse, Vol. 38, No. 9, pp. 1339-1370, 2003.

Rapid Assessment of Latina Teen Pregancy Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behaviors. Claudia Santelices, Merrill Singer. Final Report prepared for the Connecticut Department of Public Health, August 2003.

“No somos la migra”: The challenges of research among stationary Mexican farmworkers in the Northeastern United States”. Michael Duke, Claudia Santelices, Anna Marie Nicolaysen, Teodoro Torres. Practicing Anthropology, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 26-29, 2003

Ethical Dilemmas Created by the Criminalization of Status Behaviours: Case Examples from Ethnographic Field Research with Injection Drug Users. David Buchanan, Kaveh Khoshnood, Thomas Stopka, Claudia Santelices, and Merrill Singer. Health Education & Behavior, Vol.29 (1): 30-42 February 2002.