Marissa L. Nichols

Marissa Nichols


BA in History and Spanish, Bridgewater State University, 2014
MA in History, UNC-Charlotte, 2016
MA in History, Emory University, 2019

Research Interests

Modern Mexico
History of Public Health
Nursing History
Gender Studies

Dissertation Title

"Nurses, Indigenous Authorities, and Rural Health in Oaxaca, Mexico, 1934-1970"

Faculty Advisors

Yanna Yannakakis
Jeffrey Lesser
Kylie Smith


Marissa Nichols is a PhD candidate studying the history of public health and nursing in modern Mexico. Set in twentieth-century Oaxaca, her dissertation examines the role of visiting nurses and Indigenous health promoters in state-led rural health programs. She argues that nursing work reshaped how Indigenous communities and municipal authorities interacted with the state in mid-century Oaxaca. Her dissertation focuses on Mixtec and Mazatec communities and explores themes of gender and authority, development, and language/translation. Her research has been generously supported by a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship (U.S. Department of Education), H-31 Pre-Doctoral Grant (American Association for the History of Nursing), Professional Development Support Funds (Emory University), and George P. Cuttino Scholarships (Emory University). For teaching, she received the Martha and Bill Dobes Outstanding Graduate Teaching Fellow Award (Emory University).