Brian B. Johnson, PhD, MPH, MA, Academic Director
Dr. Johnson is a cultural medical anthropologist whose academic and professional specializations include critical perspectives on health, medicine, and healing; traditional medicine and intercultural health; violence and social suffering; political and social movements; and indigeneity in the Americas, primarily the Andean region. He holds a PhD in sociomedical sciences and anthropology from Columbia University, and master’s degrees in public health and Latin American studies from UCLA. Brian has lived and worked for over 20 years in numerous Latin American countries—primarily Bolivia, where he has collaborated with national governments, nongovernmental organizations, and indigenous social organizations on both technical and academic projects for primary healthcare, community health, and social development. These include positions of senior leadership (e.g., health coordinator and national director) in differing organizations, and numerous independent consultancies. In the US, Brian has worked with community programs promoting healthcare access for underserved populations in Los Angeles and New York City; and as a visiting professor at Trinity College (Hartford, CT), where he taught medical anthropology, the political economy of health and disease, and introductory classes in sociocultural anthropology. Prior to becoming academic director in Chile, he was traveling faculty with the SIT / International Honors Program Health and Community: Globalization, Culture, and Care, conducting courses focused on medical anthropology, public health, and research methods in Brazil, South Africa, and India.
Daniel Poblete, Academic Coordinator
Dr. Poblete received his doctorate in social anthropology, with a specialization in issues of cultural diversity and citizenship, at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain. His professional focus concentrates on the analysis of processes of cultural recognition, including themes associated with the study of intercultural and multicultural issues in Chile and throughout Latin America. A native of Santiago, Daniel has conducted ethnographic work for over a decade in both northern and southern Chile; and internationally in both the Ecuadorian Andes and with groups of Ecuadorian migrants in Madrid.
Norma Contreras, Student Services Coordinator
Norma holds a professional degree in administrative management from the Universidad de Tarapacá, in Arica. She has been with SIT since the spring of 2013 and is responsible for arranging and monitoring student homestays, in addition to overall care of student health and personal needs. Previously, Norma and her family were a homestay family for SIT students, beginning in 2010.
Clara Salinas, Language Coordinator
Clara holds a master’s degree in intercultural bilingual education and a bachelor’s degree in language and communication, from the Universidad de Tarapacá. She has worked as a teacher in higher education and as an instructor at the Universidad de Tarapacá, teaching classes in oral and written expression and mass media as a learning tool. She has worked with SIT since 2014.
Faculty and lecturers may include:
Fresia Caba Burgos, PhD, MPH
Dr. Caba received her doctorate in public health with a specialization in epidemiology from Mexico's National Institute of Public Health. She also holds a master's degree in public health from the University of Chile; degrees in biological sciences and health management from Galille College in Israel; and several degrees in epidemiology and qualitative methods. She has more than 20 years' experience teaching undergraduate and graduate students at institutions such as the University of Chile, the University of Tarapacá, and the University of Santiago.
Roxana Gálvez, MS
Roxana completed her studies at the University of Tarapacá, with a BA in midwifery, obstetrics, and neonatology. In 2000, she joined the Health Service of Arica directing HIV/AIDS prevention projects. In 2001, she joined the Dr. Juan Noé Hospital as the head midwife in charge of the Center of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (presently UNACESS), a position she holds today.
Roxana holds a degree in logistical management within health and has a postgraduate degree in HIV/AIDS education. She coordinated the regional working group of HIV/AIDS advisors from 2000 to 2006 and is still an integral member of that committee.
Patricia Huber, MD, MPH
Dr. Huber studied medicine at the University of Concepción and completed postgraduate work in public health at the University of Chile. She also obtained a master's degree in epidemiology and occupational health from the University of Chile. Additionally, Dr. Huber has a certificate in social management and public policy from the Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Chile.
Between 2005 and 2008, Dr. Huber was head of the Health Service of Arica's Epidemiology Unit and later head of the Department of Information in Health and Production Services for Health. Patricia is now medical director at the Arica center of the TELETON Foundation.
Ester López, PS, SW, MHR
Ester obtained a degree in social work from the University of Valparaíso and a degree in psychology from the University of Tarapacá. She also holds a certification in rationalist mental psychotherapy from the Institute of Mental Therapy of Santiago. She graduated with a certificate in family mediation from the Technological University of Chile. She holds a master's degree in human resources management from the University Arturo Prat and the University of Valparaíso. Currently, Ester is head of the Mental Health Unit of the Health Service of Arica, in charge of mental health teams and community psychiatry.
Rodrigo Valencia Severino, MPH, MBA
Rodrigo has a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Valparaíso and a master's degree in public health, with a concentration in public health promotion, from the University of Chile's School of Public Health. He received an MBA from the University del Mar in the management of public health centers and institutions. He also holds a master's degree in participatory management and healthy communities from the Complutense University of Madrid. Rodrigo has gained experience teaching in the primary pedagogy in education and pre-school programs at the University of Tarapacá. He currently works in the Department for Coordination of Medical Networks in the Arica Municipal Health Services.