Graduate Student Directory

Lucia Vitale
  • Title
    • Ph.D. Student
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Politics Department
  • Phone
    (831) 459-4450 (message only)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Merrill College Academic Building, 123
  • Mail Stop Merrill/Crown Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95264

Research Interests


·      Global health

·      Health Systems Strengthening

·      Foreign aid

·      International development

·      Latin America

·      Medical missions

·      Surveys/ ethnography/ mixed methods research/ Participatory Action Research


Biography, Education and Training

Lucia Vitale is a PhD student in the Politics Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Vitale holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she graduated with honors in International Studies, Italian Studies and with a minor in Education Policy Studies.

After graduating with her B.A. in 2015, Vitale taught English in Comayagua, Honduras, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic (DR). She currently works as a contractor for USAID’s Local Works program, where she investigates documentation issues, and assesses the needs of farmer’s cooperatives and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the community level. 

Vitale collaborates closely with a medical mission and an international health NGO along the DR/Haiti border. Her research focuses on how foreign medical resources received by local communities can engage in Health Systems Strengthening. She is interested in exploring how this fits into current Global Health literature by considering access to primary care in rural places in the developing world. 





Honors, Awards and Grants



Selected Publications


·       Rehrig, J., Vitale, L., Moore, L., “Evaluating Patients Using Mission Services in the Dominican Republic” International Journal of Academic Medicine. Accepted for publication December 2019 

·       Vitale, Lucia. Institutions Map: Viability Information Guide. United States Agency for International Development/ Dominican Republic mission. 2019.

·       Vitale, Lucia. Border Documentation. United States Agency for International Development/ Dominican Republic mission. 2020.

·       Peace Corps Official Blog Contributor 

·       Former editor and contributor of "Your Daily Vìvere" Peace Corps Blog: 

Selected Presentations

  • "Frameworks for Understanding COVID-19" lecture April 2020
  • "Who Governs? COVID-19 Response Around the World" lecture April 2020
  • "The Social Lives of Numbers: Interpreting COVID-19 Data" lecture May 2020