About Us

NEH Narrative in Tandem Faculty Participant List:
Project Directors:
Juliet McMullin, Tiffany Lopez and Paul Lyons

Juliet McMullin, Ph.D
Dr. Juliet McMullin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside specializing in Cultural and Medical Anthropology. Dr. McMullin has had an enduring interest in the production of health knowledge and inequalities. The central focus of her work has been to understand the social organization and practice of medical knowledge as it is created and constrained within a political economy of health. Her research examines the contexts in which political struggles over health embody inequality and reflect efforts at reconfiguring individual subjectivities and social structures. These issues are explored through the topics of cancer, cultural meanings of health, and pediatric injury. Importantly, she has a passion for translating that interest to her work with local communities and students. Her current research examines the field of graphic medicine, the social and material role of graphic novels in narrative medicine and health inequalities.

An advocate of community based participatory research, Dr. McMullin worked with the Pacific Islander Health Partnership and Christen Marquez on Talk Story, a Cal Humanities Community Story Project Grant in which stories from Southern California’s Pacific Islander community were collected. In 2011, she help to establish the Medical Narratives Colloquium at University of California, Riverside, a multi-disciplinary group of scholars with interests in the intersections of humanities and medicine. The colloquium has become an active workgroup on campus funded through the UC Riverside’s Center for Ideas and Society, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award.

In her role as a professor, Dr. McMullin actively engages students with the local community through collaborative learning and research. Inspired by a diverse and often first generation of college student body, she initiated a student project in her 2010 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology where students created a video on “What it’s like to be a college student at the 5th most diverse campus in the US”. In 2013, based on Arthur Frank’s work, “Lettings Stories Breathe” she designed an undergraduate student project titled “Letting Stories Inspire” that explicitly engaged students with local Riverside community based organizations. The students collected illness narratives, and worked with local artists to illustrate a moment of the narrative. The final works were displayed at a two-day Medical Examinations conference.

Dr. McMullin is the author of The Healthy Ancestor: Embodied Inequality and the Revitalization of Native Hawaiian Health, and co-editor of the School of Advanced Research volume Confronting Cancer: Metaphors, Advocacy, and Anthropology. She is an active member of the UC Global Health Initiative, a board member for the Society for Medical Anthropology, and co-organizer for the Center for Ideas and Society Medical Narratives workgroup.

The Healthy Ancestor
Confronting Cancer
Talk Story Project
Diverse Student Project

Tiffany López, Ph.D
Dr. López is a Professor in the Department of Theatre, and Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair at the University of California, Riverside. She has over twenty years of experience as a leading scholarly voice that fosters dialogue and programming among academics, artists, practitioners, and audiences and a national reputation for her work within Chicana/o and Latina/o arts communities. Dr. López’s research, teaching, and creative activities focus on issues of trauma and violence and the ways that theater, literature, and art provide avenues for cultural healing and community building. As a hybrid scholar and creative artist, Dr. López has dedicated her career to expanding opportunities in higher education through the arts and staging conversations about their role in fostering personal transformation and social change.

Dr. López is editor of the anthology Growing Up Chicana/o (William Morrow & Co., 1993) and Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (2005-2012). She has published numerous essays, articles, chapters, and reviews in books and journals. She is presently completing a book project, The Alchemy of Blood, about art as a form of engaging with issues of trauma and violence, and collaborating on a biography with visual artist Barbara Carrasco. Her play adaptation of Tomás Rivera’s And the Earth Did Not Devour Him was recently performed at UCR with plans for it to be performed at the University of Texas in 2013.
Her publication activity includes co- editorship of Chicana/Latina Studies (2005-2012), and her writing has appeared in numerous journals and books, including Theatre Journal; Art Journal; The Panza Monologues; Real Women Have Curves & Other Plays; Performing the U.S. Latina and Latino Borderlands; and Captive Audience – Prison and Captivity in Contemporary Theater. She is a founding member of the Latino Theater Alliance of Los Angeles and serves on the national advisory committee of the Latina/o Theatre Commons and the editorial board of American Studies.

Among her awards, Dr. López is a 2004 Fulbright Scholar to Spain and the recipient of grants from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation for her work on intellectual diversity and the creative arts. Her work with students has been recognized by a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research (2009).

Paul Lyons, Ph.D
Dr. Lyons is a physician, educator and published author currently serving as the Senior Associate Dean of Education at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. He has worked collaboratively for well over a decade with multiple educators exploring the intersection of literature and medicine. Dr. Lyons’ research interests in issues involved in health and wellness have resulted in collaborative educational offerings in medical ethics, nutrition, Public Health, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response and green space development. His work in education and medical education has been recognized regionally and nationally by the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Humanism in Medicine Award, American Medical Student Association’s National Golden Apple for Teaching Excellence Award, a Lindback Foundation Award, Temple University’s Great Teacher Award, and the Russell and Pearl Moses Endowed Medical Award for Outstanding Teaching.
He has served as a media medical expert for a wide variety of news organizations including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Prevention magazine, USA Today and local television, newspaper and radio outlets. Dr. Lyons has constructed a unique core curriculum for the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine that reflects the emerging needs of future physicians facing a healthcare system that is rapidly evolving in new and unusual ways.

More information about Dr. Lyons can be found on the UCR School of Medicine webpage:

William Dunlop, Ph.D
Dr. Dunlop is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. His research explores the ways in which people make sense of themselves and the lives they lead. For many, such sense-making efforts manifest via the construction of a coherent and compelling life story, wherein the narrator draws ties between his or her past, present, and future. Such stories convey both the uniqueness of the individual as well as the timbre of the social and culture contexts that this individual is a part of.
In his recent research, Dr. Dunlop examined life stories in relation to variables such as health behavior and psychological well-being. Specifically, he explored the role that the construction of a redemptive story, wherein an individual construes a negative experience as leading to an improvement in the self, plays in the recovery from substance abuse. His work also considered the relation between the motivational content of life stories and well-being.
Dr. Dunlop was the recipient of the Society for Research on Identity Formation’s dissertation award, and his research has appeared in scholarly outlets including Health Psychology, the Journal of Personality, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Rickerby Hinds
Rickerby Hinds is a Professor of Playwriting in the Department of Theater at the University of California, Riverside and the creator and director of the Califest Hip Hop Theater Festival and one of the pioneers of the theatrical genre know as Hip-Hop Theater. Hinds is originally from Honduras, where he lived until he was 13, at which time he immigrated to the US – Los Angeles.

He holds an MFA in playwriting from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television where he was twice awarded the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Award for best play. He is known for his unique ability to challenge conventional notions of the stage while remaining respectful of its long history and traditions. His visionary work spans the gamut of human experiences: examining the issues of race and history in American sports and society; the social and cultural conflicts of Spanish-speaking immigrants of African-descent forced to choose between the limiting racial categories offered within American society; and the global issue of exploitation of children, to name a few.
Hinds’ foundational Daze to Come changed the dramatic arts forever when it debuted in 1989. As the first ever full-length play to use the founding elements of hip hop as the primary language of the stage, he introduced the genre of hip hop theater to the world. Daze To Come along with Hinds’ subsequent works have empowered an entire school of young playwrights to speak to the world in the language of hip hop. In addition to his mission to open up the theater to a diversity of voices and experiences, Hinds’ work highlights his ability to craft stories and dialogue that impact audiences across racial, educational, economic and generational lines. His work seeks to elevate both its practitioners and its audiences to new levels of human understanding.
Among the entities that have supported his works in the form of commissions, grants, and fellowships are; the Ford Foundation, Showtime Television Network, the GeVa Theatre in New York, the Mark Taper Forum, Cornerstone Theatre, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The New Los Angeles Theater Center; Stanford University, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University of Houston, Howard University and the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Goldberry Long
Goldberry Long is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. She was born and raised in Taos, New Mexico.  Professor Long received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the recipient of the James Michener Fellowship, The Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, and the Hackney award for the first novel.  Her novel, Juniper Tree Burning, was published in 2001.  Professor Long is also the recipient of the 2012 University of California, Riverside Innovative Teaching Award.
Reviews of her work, Juniper Tree Burning include:

–Publishers Weekly
“Long exquisitely mines the bitter themes of guilt, resentment and dashed hopes, depicting the desperate search for normalcy and the valiant spirit needed to pursue the quest. Anyone who has ever been a prickly pear, or loved one, will identify with this sheer wonder of a heroine”

–Vancouver Sun

“. . .stunning. . . .in its passion and courage and deep concern for the human condition it’s almost 19th century, reminiscent of traditional masters like Tolstoy and Melville. That’s right, Tolstoy. . . breathtaking. . .”

— Chicago Tribune
“Underscoring . . . Juniper Tree Burning is Long’s clear conviction that stories – whether fairy tales or those of our own lives. . . are sacred medicine, bringing hope, healing and the gift of transformation.”

Michael Nduati
Dr. Michael Nduati Biomedical Sciences program at UCR, earned his BS from UCR and MD from UCLA. While at UCLA completed a joint MD-MBA program. He then went to do his Family Medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana. After his residency he earned his MPH from Harvard with emphasis in Healthcare Management & Policy. After his returned from Boston he worked as a hospitalist with KP Fontana for a couple years.
As the UCR School of Medicine was starting up, he was offered a job as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, and has been here for the past 2 years. Since being here he has also taken over responsibility of the LACE program became the Director of Hospital Medicine, overseeing our UCR hospitalist programs (the main, current one being at Riverside Community Hospital).
Michael’s research interests include innovations in medical education (such as the LACE program), introducing public health education as a core curriculum to the medical students, medical humanities, clinical leadership (and its effects on physician engagement and productivity), and community preceptor & entity recruitment & retention (just to name a few).
He is actively involved in organized medicine, and serves on the Riverside County Medical Association (RCMA) Board of Councilors, as the Chair of the Academic Practice Forum for the California Medical Association (CMA), and as the UCR SOM representative to the American Medical Association (AMA) Section on Medical Schools. He is also very active with the James Wesley Vines Medical Society & Foundation, which is comprised of a group of local IE black physicians. He is also a member of both the society & foundation, and serve as the Elma Vines Summer Health Academy Director.

Kate Sweeny, Ph.D
Dr. Sweeny is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of The Life Events Lab which researches threat management at the University of California, Riverside. Her research examines how people give news of, prepare for, and respond to negative life events. The processes by which people anticipate the possibility of bad news, pass along bad news to others, and respond to the events that ultimately occur are the subjects of her diverse but interconnected research program. Her research incorporates the study of risk judgments, coping, decision-making, emotions, social cognition, health, and communication.
Dr. Sweeny’s research projects include uncertainty navigation and the social psychology of healthcare. In her work on uncertainty navigation, she explores the difficult waiting periods people frequently face when they anticipate uncertain news regarding their or their loved ones’ health, relationships, professional prospects, and academic outcomes. Her work around waiting periods and uncertainly has focused in detail on bracing for bad news. As people get closer to the “moment of truth,” they tend to become more and more pessimistic about their likely outcomes in an effort to avoid disappointment in the case of bad news. Currently, her research on waiting has expanded to include a number of strategies, and she has developed a model of uncertainty navigation to depict the process people go through during difficult waiting periods.
In her research on the social psychology of healthcare, she has several ongoing projects related to physician-patient relationships, including verbal and nonverbal behavior in physician-patient interactions, bad news delivery, medical decision-making, and embodied approaches to patient care. The quality of physician-patient relationships has significant consequences for patients’ adherence to treatment recommendations, satisfaction with care, and health outcomes. Ongoing projects examine patients’ experiences with surgical care in collaboration with the Riverside County Regional Medical Center, including analysis of audio-recordings of surgical consultations; consequences of patients’ expectations for surgical outcomes, and physicians’ approaches to communication with pediatric asthma patients in collaboration with the Los Angeles Breathmobile Program.

Chikako Takeshita, Ph.D, MS, MBA
Dr. Takeshita is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at the Universality of California, Riverside. Her interdisciplinary training and research incorporate science and technology studies (STS) and feminist studies. Her current research explores the cultural formulation of cesarean section and women’s embodied knowledge of surgical birth.

In 2012 Dr. Takeshita’s book, “The Biopolitics of Contraceptive Development: Population, Women’s Bodies, and the IUD,” was published, tracing the development of the intrauterine device from the 1960s to the present. Her work demonstrates that various social interests, including the desire to restrict global population grown, the threat of medical malpractice litigations, attacks from parties opposed to abortion, and women’s aspiration for better reproductive control have all played a significant role in directing scientific research on the device. Dr. Takesita was awarded the 2010-2011 American Fellowship Short-term Research Publication Grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to support the work.
Sharon Rushing, MPH, M.A., PhD Student in the Department of Anthropology

Clifford Trafzer
Dr. Trafzer is a professor in the Department of History and the Costo chair of American Indian Affairs at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Trafzer has also served as an archivist for Special Collections at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and as a museum curator for the Arizona Historical Society. Born to parents of Wyandot Indian and German-English descent, Dr. Trafzer’s work focuses on Native American social-cultural history, the American West and oral traditions. He has published numerous works addressing American Indian history, including his co-authored work, Renegade Tribe: The Palouse Indians and the Invasion of the Inland Pacific Northwest which won the Washington Governor’s Award for the best non-fiction in Northwestern history, and his work Earth Song, Sky Spirit which won the Penn Oakland Award. Additional awards and honors include the Wordcraft Circle Book Award for best non-fiction, the Rockefeller Foundation National Endowment Research Fellowship, the Humanities Research Institute Fellowship, and the San Diego State University Outstanding Faculty Award.

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