Victim Researcher Profile

Researcher Photo

Amanda Leppert Leppert Gomes





University of South Florida



Bachelor's, currently enrolled as MA student


Applied Medical Anthropology



Previously, my engagement in research and community service centered on evaluating the assumptions of policy against social reality and promoting equitable social programs. Throughout my undergraduate career: • I conducted original fieldwork in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca Mexico for a study of the social impacts, including on wellbeing, of a green-energy mega-windfarm constructed in an indigenous community. Support for these projects assumed the increase of socio-economic wellbeing of this historically marginalized area. However, my analysis documented that due to lack of systematic efforts in social investment programs, the project increased levels of inequity in the community along historic trends. • As a research assistant for contracted work for the University of the Virgin Islands, I assisted in the completion of a complete community profile for the communities on the islands, locally compatible definition(s) of resilience, and recommendations for the island’s 5 year hazard mitigation plan. I worked with the Dominican migrant population on St. John, the “Frenchie” community on St. Thomas, established local researchers, government and civil service representatives, and various NGO institutions serving marginalized populations on the area. I conducted interviews on the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria and the inequitable restoration of various communities. • I served as the PMEL Lead for my university’s Engineer’s without Borders chapter where I used anthropological knowledge to engage community leaders in the development of a water source project in an indigenous community in rural Bolivia. I established evaluation metrics to ensure the project met community daily needs, in lieu of merely obtaining accessibility metrics. Currently, my research objectives as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow fellow align with promoting policy change necessary for helping gender based violence survivors along their healing journeys. With the understanding that survivor centered policy changes hold the potential to increase lifetime wellbeing of survivors, in addition to, mitigating emergent chronic health disparities among this group, such research of how specific current policy structures limit survivors access to resources in their healing journeys are vital. My experience as a Master's student in the Applied Anthropology Program at the University of South Florida has given me the skills to provide policy-relevant research necessary to guide policy initiatives aimed at confronting gender based violence. In this program, I have personal guidance from medical anthropologists with years of experience confronting structural policy issues at the intersections of immigration and health, socio-cultural aspects of HIV and AIDS, and refugee populations' health in the United States. My training is in qualitative and mixed-methods studies.


Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse, Dating Violence (Teen), Domestic and Family Violence, Sexual Abuse or Violence (other than campus sexual assault), Stalking



Community-based participatory research, Data collection, Ethnography, Needs assessment, Program evaluation, Qualitative studies