Nicole Coffey Kellett
Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Kellett’s expertise is in gender, health, and economic development. She has conducted research on AIDS-related stigma and economic empowerment in West Nile Uganda, female inmates with mental health and substance use concerns in New Mexico, and microfinance programs for rural women in highland Peru. Currently Kellett is writing a life history of a female survivor of political violence in the rural Andes. Kellett has also become engaged with the issue of human trafficking in western Maine and has collaborated with local organizations and university coalitions dedicated to violence prevention efforts.
Represents a life history of a woman, Graciela, from a small rural highland community in Ayachucho, Peru who survived political violence enacted by government forces and the Maoist-guerilla organization, the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) in the 1980s and early 1990s wherein upwards of 70,000 individuals were killed and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their natal communities.
Examines the return of women prisoners to underserved rural communities and the perspectives of their closest social supporters through semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Challenges discourses of personal responsibility that detract from the structural violence and injustice shaping their experiences and considers policy implications and strategies to reduce recidivism.
Compares access to mental and physical health services as well as social support systems for female inmates within the corrections system and resource-depleted rural communities in New Mexico. Drawing from in-depth interviews with female inmates, the article provides nuanced explanations for female inmate recidivism.
Demonstrates the importance of programs that incorporate peer support, health education, and economic initiatives in fostering the unquantifiable factor of hope, drawing from focus groups with HIV positive women.
Describes how microfinance programs interface with labor exchange practices and have the potential to exacerbate economic inequality in the rural highlands of Peru, based on in-depth ethnographic research.
Kellet has been interviewed by newspapers, The Daily Bulldog and The Sun Journal, on human trafficking events co-organized with Lillian Lake at the University of Maine Farmington and Mt. Blue High School, April 2015.