Dr. Tara Hefferan

Tara Hefferan


Affiliate Professor 

Internship Coordinator for Anthropology

Office: 224 Lake Michigan Hall

Phone: (616) 331-8924

Email: [email protected]

5/3 Community Walk 2016

5/3rd Community Walk 2016.  With participants from Dégagé Ministries, Heartside Ministries, and Calvin College Nursing.

Dr. Tara Hefferan is an applied anthropologist, with research and teaching interests that span medical and cultural anthropology to include women's health, economic development, faith-based organizations, community engagement, and power/knowledge.  She earned the Ph.D. in anthropology from Michigan State University, with dissertation research that examined faith-based partnerships linking Catholic parishes in Michigan and Haiti. Her work has been published by Kumarian Press in the book Twinning Faith and Development:  Catholic Parish Partnering in the US and Haiti.

Dr. Hefferan has also co-edited with Julie Adkins and Laurie Occhipinti two books focused on faith-based development:  Not by Faith Alone:  Social Services, Social Justice, and Faith-based Organizations in the United States and Bridging the Gaps:  Faith-based Organizations, Neoliberalism, and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Dr. Hefferan has co-edited with Keri Brondo a special issue of the NAPA Bulletin entitled "Intersections of Faith and Development in Local and Global Contexts."

Currently, Dr. Hefferan is working with the Inter-Collegiate Alliance for Health and Well-Being (ICAHW), which she co-founded with nursing faculty from GVSU, Calvin College, and University of Detroit-Mercy.  The ICAHW is a novel inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional movement to better health within low-income and homeless communities in Grand Rapids by encouraging community walking groups.  With her students, Dr. Hefferan has interviewed community members in the Heartside and Westside neighborhoods in order to produce personalized life-history "memory books" for walking group participants.  In Spring 2016, Dr. Hefferan and Dr. Susan Harrington (GVSU Nursing) received the GVSU Office of Community Engagement's "Emerging Engagement Award" for this work.

Page last modified August 22, 2018