Reproductive healthcare often gets brought into the headlines when organizations such as Planned Parenthood are under attack by false claims & fraudulent accusations. Mass media reporting is male dominated and rarely allows time for more than a sound bite.
Three experts in our community: Dr. Jennifer A. Sandoval, Dr. M.C. Santana and Anna Eskamani will discuss in depth what is at the heart and root of reproductive healthcare and the imperative to cultivate a socio-cultural climate that trusts women to make decisions about their bodies and health, while understanding the impact on women of color and LGBT individuals better. We will also touch on recent legislation and the role that abortion stigma plays in supporting restrictive bills.
About Our Guests
Jennifer A. Sandoval, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Faculty at the Nicholson School of Communication at UCF and holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from the University of New Mexico and a Master’s of Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law.
Dr. Sandoval brings her experience as a mediator, project manager, trainer, and consultant to the classroom and her research program at UCF. Her research focuses on the communicative elements involved in the intersection of identity, the body, and health policy. Currently, she is continuing to investigate these elements in the context of fertility tourism- specifically international surrogacy in India. Additionally, she examines the rhetoric of choice and Assistive Reproductive Technology for women, as well as looks at reproductive health access for the LGBT community. Dr. Sandoval also continues work with community based-participatory research projects focusing on health intervention in underserved and underrepresented populations. Jennifer has published this research with her colleagues in journals such as Health Education Research, Communication Monographs and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication.
M. C. Santana, Ph.D. is the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at UCF where she teaches First and Second Wave Feminism, Theory of Feminism, Women, Race & Struggle and Introduction to Women’s Studies, among other courses. She is a firm believer of action, not just talking! Her students think of her as funny and caring. She is co-Chair of the International Task Force of the National Women’s Studies Association and a national member of the American Association of University Women and Winter Park/Orlando branch. Dr. Santana has won five leadership awards and four teaching awards in the last 12 years.
Anna Eskamani serves as the Director of Public Policy and Field Operations for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. Anna holds dual bachelor degrees in Political Science and Women’s Studies and a certificate in Service Learning and was awarded Order of Pegasus – the highest honor that a UCF senior can receive. She also holds a masters in both Public Administration and Nonprofit Management with a certificate in Gender Studies. A Certified Nonprofit Professional, she will begin teaching at UCF with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program while pursuing a PhD in Public Affairs.
Anna is often recognized for her community involvement. She sits on boards of several nonprofit and political groups including the League of Women Voters of Orange County, Valencia College Peace & Justice Initiative, Women’s Studies Program at UCF Advisory Council, and Bithlo Advisory Board. She is the founder of Project Bithlo, an effort to streamline UCF engagement with the community of Bithlo. She was recently recognized by the Orlando Sentinel’s ‘Central Florida 100’ list, naming her as one of the most influential leaders in the greater Orlando region.
A passionate and focused individual, Anna is proud to call herself a feminist. Her writing has been published in the Central Florida Future, Orlando Sentinel, The Huffington Post, and Independent Journal Review.