Student Spotlight March 2013
Amerisa Waters received both a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography and a Masters in Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS). She is currently working on a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Bioethics and Medical Humanities.
Specific areas of research (how you chose this research, why it interested you):
My research focuses on the incorporation of art into medical education and medical practice. I explore how the ideas of art and the practice of art can be used to address specific problems experienced in the medical system. I am interested in how the concepts and theories of art can be used to better understand the medical interaction, the medical space, and the experience of providing care. I am currently looking at how medical space is structured and examining how the theories and concepts of museum methods can be applied to medical space. In designing and creating museums there is an emphasis on interactions and an understanding that those interactions create a place of learning and experience. I look at how these methods can be applied to medical space and am asking the question of how medical space can be better shaped to account for patient and clinician experience.
How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?
Being in an interdisciplinary program, part of what I am learning is to see and understand the connections between disciplines. I think this will allow me to have a role in society that focuses on helping different professions and disciplines see how they are connected and guide them to learn from one another.
What accomplishment, academic or otherwise, are you most proud of?
In the fifth grade my design got chosen for the drug diversion mural. I designed and collaborated with classmates and teachers to draw and paint the “Juggle Dreams Not Drugs” mural which can still be seen today on Muhammad Ali between Brook and 1st Streets.
What made you go into this field of study?
My research is rooted in personal experience. While working on community engagement through collaborative art in the WGS program, a series of loved ones had very poor interactions with the medical system causing me to shift my research. After witnessing failings in the medical system, I used scholarly research as a method of exploring the question of why these experiences occurred and why they kept happening. I decided to continue at UofL in the Bioethics and Medical Humanities program in order to further explore how to use art as a means of addressing the problems my loved ones and I experienced.