Graduate & Professional Studies

Stories of Graduate Student Success: Melanie Lorenz, doctoral candidate in the Department of History

Melanie Lorenz, doctoral candidate in the Department of History, was recently awarded the Cyril E. Smith Trust Fellowship. The Smith Family Fellowship supports doctoral level graduate students in the humanities. This award is meant to allow students whose academic work requires travel to spend an academic year fully immersed in their studies. 

Lorenz’s research looks at the intersection of medical professionalization, anti-immigrant sentiment and reproductive health through the experiences of immigrant midwives. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, immigrant midwives faced a complex web of challenges when they arrived in the United States. Her research looks at their stories and how these formerly valued healthcare providers experienced a significant loss of professional status after arriving in a country that had very different childbirth standards. Lorenz plans to examine the historical context to analyze how nativist ideas impacted the erosion of immigrant midwives’ standings in the healthcare community.  

Lorenz plans to present her research at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine in 2024. 

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