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Rebecca J. Hester

Rebecca J. Hester, Assistant Professor

Rebecca J. Hester, Assistant Professor
Rebecca J. Hester, Assistant Professor

Department of Science, Technology, and Society
235 Lane Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8359 |

Rebecca Hester is an assistant professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society. Her recent research examines contemporary accounts of “biological danger” and the social, political, and scientific implications of preempting, preventing, and eradicating such danger. Her courses at Virginia Tech include “The Foundations of Social Medicine” and “Monsters, Zombies, and Cyborgs.” She is currently developing an education abroad experience focused on health in the Caribbean.

  • Global Health
  • Latin American Migration
  • Socio-cultural Studies of Health and Medicine
  • Critical Security Studies
  • Critical race and gender studies
  • PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • MA, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dean’s Advisory Committee on International Initiatives
  • Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Science and Technology in Society
  • Medicine and Society Minor Curriculum Committee
  • Adviser to Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena
  • Senior Fellow at the Center to Eliminate Health Disparities, University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Best Dissertation in Latino Studies, Latino Studies Section Dissertation Award Committee, Latin American Studies Association, 2010
  • Chancellor’s Post-doctoral Fellow, Latina/Latino Studies Program, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2009-2010
  • President’s Dissertation-Year Fellowship, University of California Santa Cruz, 2007-2007


  • Hester, R.J. (2014) Bodies in Translation: Public Health Promotion in Indigenous Mexican Migrant Communities in California. In: Alvarez, S., de Lima Costa, C., Feliú, F., Klahn, N., Hester, R.J., and Thayer, M. with Cruz C. Bueno, editors, Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas, Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.  

Journal Articles

  • Hester, R.J. (2015) Cultural Competency Training and Indigenous Cultural Politics in California, Latino Studies Vol. 13, No.3, pp.336-338.
  • Hester, R. J. (2012, December). The Promise and Paradox of Cultural Competence. In HEC Forum (Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 279-291).
  • Hester, R.J., (2015) Biology as Opportunity: Hybridization from a Molecular Point of View. In: Hurt, S. and Lipschutz, R. eds. Hybrid Rule and State Formation: Public-Private Power in the 21st Century, New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Hester, R.J. (2016) Culture in Medicine: An Argument against Competence, Critical Medical Humanities Reader, Edinburgh University Press, In press.
  • Mary Moody Northern Endowment, Galveston, TX (Hester, R.J. PI) $2,500.00. “A Qualitative Research Project to Document Community Opinions on Welcoming Central American Refugee Children into the Galveston Community,” 2014.
  • National Institutes of Health, Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program, (Hester, R.J. PI) $21,161.27 “Power and Medicine: Exploring Curricular Innovations for Addressing Health Disparities,” 2011-2013.
  • Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund (Hester, R.J. PI) $28,000.00. “Hear Our Voice: Capturing the Perspective of St. Vincent’s Patients,” 2011-2011.
  • Programa de Investigación en Migración y Salud (PIMSA),University of California Office of the President, California and Mexico, (Hester, R.J., Co-PI with Pat Zavella and Dolores Paris Pombo) $40,000.  “Health Promotion in Indigenous Mexican Communities in Oaxaca and California,” 2006-2008.

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