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Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

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Kathryn Luchok

Title: Senior Instructor
Department: Anthropology
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies
Phone: 803-777-4007
Resources: CV [pdf]


Kathryn J. Luchok, PhD, is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and a faculty affiliate in the Department of Anthropology. Her expertise is in medical and applied anthropology, and she is cross trained in Anthropology and Public Health. She specializes in women’s reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum, maternal and child health, and health equity. Her work is interdisciplinary, and she has research experience in the US, Togo, Nigeria and Nepal. She is very engaged in the community serving as a technical advisor to Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network, a featured speaker at Save the Children Action Network events, a speaker at Rotaract Carolina and Timmy Global Health and March of Dimes and a member of the SC Birth Outcomes Initiative (serves on the Birth Equity, Access and Care Coordination, and Quality and Patient Safety Workgroups). Her service to the College of Arts and Sciences includes membership on the CAS DC Advisory Committee, the CAS By-Laws Committee, and the Medical Humanities Faculty Advisory Committee. For WGST she serves on the WGST 112 Textbook Committee and the WGST Online Program Committee. She is a Walker Institute affiliate (African Studies Program). She holds graduate faculty status and can serve on graduate committees (master’s theses and dissertations).


  • PhD, Health Education and Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH)
  • MA, Anthropology, UNC-CH
  • BA, Sociology and Anthropology, West Virginia University, Morgantown


  • ANTH-WGST 388 Cultures, Pregnancy and Birth
  • WGST 113 Women’s Health
  • ANTH 102 Understanding Other Cultures
  • ANTH/WGST 392 Global Women’s Health


Dr. Luchok has obtained over $5.6 million in research funding in her career, and she involves students in her research projects. Her work has supported numerous graduate and undergraduate students and her research mentorship led to 4 nominations for graduate teaching awards and in 2018 she was a finalist for an Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. She currently oversees senior honors theses and the research of a WGST Graduate Certificate student on an anthropology of birth study on factors affecting the choice of home birth. She regularly presents at national conferences and encourages her students to also present. Much of her work uses a mixed methods approach—both qualitative and quantitative data collection and centers around sociocultural factors that affect health and well-being. She has led research projects on occupational stressors and emotional health during pregnancy and the postpartum, factors affecting women’s adherence to follow-up after an abnormal Pap test and examining the weathering hypothesis in birth outcomes disparities. She led the analysis of the USC Campus Climate Surveys for three years and led a project to implement and evaluate innovative workshops to increase reproductive literacy of teens in the foster care system. She is Co-PI of the Mellon funded Feminist Humanities grant and is designing a Feminist Research Methods Course with Dr. Suzanne Swan. Her publications have garnered over 1251 citations in Google Scholar and her work has received national, state and University media attention.

Selected publications

Nkwonta, C.A.*, Hilfinger Messias, D.K., Felder, T. & Luchok. K.J. (2021) Intervention to Reduce Stigma and Improve Knowledge of HPV and Cervical Cancer in Nigeria: A Community-Based Assessment. Family & Community Health. 44(4), 245-256. DOI: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000309

Fan, X.*, Luchok, K.J. Dozier, J. (2020) College students’ satisfaction and sense of belonging: Differences between underrepresented groups and the majority groups. SN Social Science, 1(1), 1-22. 

Nkwonta, C.A.*, Hilfinger Messias, D.K., Felder, T. & Luchok. K.J. (2020) Increasing HPV Vaccination and Cervical Cancer Screening in Nigeria: An Assessment of Community-Based Educational Interventions. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 41(1): 89-99.

Luchok, KJ & Robinson, LG (2017). Using sticky ideas to promote reproductive health literacy: The Reproductive Anatomy Tool Kit©. MOJ Women’s Health 5(3): 00125.

 Torres, M, Smithwick-Leone, J, Luchok, KJ, Rodman-Rice, G. (2012). Reducing maternal and child health disparities among Latino immigrants in South Carolina through a tailored, culturally appropriate and participant driven initiative, California Journal of Health Promotion. 10 (Special Issue: Health Disparities in Latino Communities): 1-14.

 Nkansah-Amankra, S*, Luchok, KJ, Hussey, JR, Watkins, K, & Liu, SX. (2010). Effects of maternal stress on low birth weight and preterm birth outcomes across neighborhoods of South Carolina, 2000-2003, Maternal and Child Health Journal, 14(2):215-26.

 Nkansah-Amankra, S*, Dhawain, A, Hussey, JR, & Luchok, KJ. (2010). Maternal social support and neighborhood income inequality as predictors of low birth weight and preterm birth outcome disparities: Analysis of South Carolina Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System survey, 2000-2003, Maternal and Child Health Journal, 14(5):774-85.

 Luchok, KJ, (2010).Unmet need for family planning in Region IV, Contraception 82(2):197.

Prabhu Das, I, * Parra Medina, D, Messias, DH, Luchok, KJ, Richter DL (2009). Making it happen: Follow-up decision-making among low-income African-American women with abnormal Pap test, Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association 254-259.

 Martin, AB*, Crawford, S, Probst, JC, Smith, G, Saunders, RP, Watkins, KW, & Luchok, KJ. (2007). Medical homes for children with special needs: A program evaluation, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 18 (4), 916-930.

 Eggleston, KS, Coker, AL, Luchok, KJ, & Meyer, TE. (2007). Adherence to recommendations for follow-up to abnormal Pap tests. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 109, 1332-1341.

 Coker, AL, Eggleston, KS, Meyer, TE, Luchok, KJ, & Prabhu Das, I. (2007). What predicts adherence to follow-up recommendations for abnormal; Pap tests among older women? Gynecologic Oncology, 105, 74-80.

 Eggleston, KS, Coker, AL, Prabhu Das, I, Cordray, ST, & Luchok, KJ. (2007). Understanding barriers for adherence to follow-up care for abnormal Pap tests, Journal of Women’s Health.16, (3), 311-330.

Gilmore, HC*, Luchok, KJ, Martin, AB, McKeown, R & Evans, A. (2006). Short birth intervals and the risk of school unreadiness among a Medicaid population in South Carolina, Child: Care, Health & Development, 32(4), 423-430.

Morrison, KE*, Luchok, KJ, Richter, DL, Parra-Medina, D, & Williams, L. (2006). African- American survivor’s insights on help-seeking from informal networks, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21(11), 1493-1511.

 Coker, A, Bond, S, Madeleine, M, Luchok, KJ, & Pirisi, L. (2003). Psychosocial stress, HPV, and cervical neoplasia, Psychosomatic Medicine 65:644-651.

*indicates student


  • Mentored Elizabeth Collins’ research that led to a paper awarded the WGST Emily Thompson Women’s Health Award, Spring 2023.
  • Women's and Gender Studies Faculty Teaching Award, 2021
  • Nominated for the Michael J Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2021.
  • Awesome Student Supervisor Recognition, 2021.
  • Finalist for Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor Award, 2017.
  • Crescent Award, SC Coalition for Healthy Families, May 2016.
  • Nominated for Heroes in the Field of Maternal and Child Health Award, Palmetto Health, 2013.
  • Reproductive Rights Award, SC Coalition for Healthy Families, October, 2009.
  • Nominated for USC Michael J. Mungo Graduate Teaching Award, March 2005 and March 2006.
  • Nominated for USC Arnold School of Public Health James A. Keith Excellence in Teaching Award, April 2005 and April 2006.
  • Kentucky Colonel, highest honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky for my work with migrant and seasonal farmworkers, July, 2000.

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