As an educator, Dr. Placek's goal is to provide a flexible and active learning environment that is inclusive of multiple backgrounds and learning styles, where all students feel comfortable engaging with the course material. In 2019, she co-taught a collaborative immersive learning course for students at Ball State University with Dr. Jean Marie Place and Dr. Jennifer Wies. The three collaborators were awarded a Provost Grant for their project entitled, “Healthy Moms, Healthy Communities: Understanding Perceptions & Evaluating Maternal Opioid Treatment in Muncie.”

The anthropology section of this project was geared toward investigating the social-ecological factors that contribute to opioid use in pregnancy and the postpartum period. Students learned how to employ anthropological methods to: 1) build an understanding of the factors that give rise to opioid use in pregnancy, and 2) develop a message geared toward educating the community on this critical health epidemic that afflicts the lives of women in the Muncie.

Healthy Moms.jpg

Click here to check out the results from our immersive learning class!

Art by BSU Anthropology Graduate student, Kathryn Loving

Courses Taught

Ball State University

ANTH 105: Introduction to biological anthropology (online and lecture)

ANTH 405/405: Human variation (lecture)

ANTH 406/506: Life history theory of growth, development, and reproduction (lecture)

ANTH 427/527: Culture and Medicine (lecture)

Washington State University

ANTH 316: Gender in a cross-cultural perspective (lecture)

ANTH 468: Sex, evolution, and human nature (online and lecture)

Ashford University

ANTH 101: Introduction to anthropology (online)