Nursing Alumna Wins Fulbright Grant

marina_web UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO nursing graduate and professional funk-style street dancer Marina Stankov-Hodge ’04 has received a Fulbright arts grant to teach dance choreography with an eye toward reproductive health education in Brazil’s favelas, or shantytowns.

Stankov-HodgeKnown by friends and fans as Nurse Boogy, Stankov-Hodge helped found San Francisco-based Sisterz of the Underground, an all female hip-hop collective that uses dance as a tool for education and social change. She has worked as a nurse at various Bay Area hospitals, including San Francisco General Hospital.

The idea of working in Brazil came after she watched a documentary on Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, and was inspired to travel there to live and work for two months in spring 2007. She found that her background as a professional break dancer, nurse, and health educator uniquely qualified her to understand the complex reproductive health issues young Brazilians face.

She plans to use the Fulbright, which will pay her living expenses, research costs, and travel costs, to coordinate a performance dance piece portraying reproductive health issues. The themes for the dance piece will come from a weekly discussion group on reproductive health that Stankov-Hodge intends to organize with youth from two Rio de Janeiro favelas, where one study found that 40 percent of adolescent girls drop out of school because of pregnancy.

Stankov-Hodge, who is currently conducting research for a master’s thesis on health policy at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland, is the third USF student to win a Fulbright.