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Photo of Kathleen Smith-Wenning

Kathleen Smith-Wenning

Instructor of Anthropology

History and Anthropology
Howard Hall 326

Kathleen Smith-Wenning

Kathleen Smith-Wenning, MA, RRT is the Director of Health Related Professions at a northern NJ community college and her decades-long career spans both anthropology and the health sciences. The heart of Smith-Wenning’s research is health disparities which began during her graduate training in anthropology at Montclair State University.  Anthropology is now the vehicle in which to deliver health science education both at the bedside and the classroom. During summer sessions and winter break, Smith-Wenning’s students engage in community outreach and health literacy education to underserved populations in NJ and Oaxaca, Mexico. Kathleen’s interest in the cross-cultural delivery of respiratory care began as a Project Hope Respiratory Therapy Fellow at Hospital de Niños in San Jose Costa Rica, August 1989. This interest persists today with Oaxaca Streetchildren Grassroots in Oaxaca City, Mexico. Smith-Wenning serves as a member of the board for this organization which educates 600 of the most impoverished children in Oaxaca. In additions, Kathleen has also served as a volunteer child advocate for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, NYC.


MA Practical Anthropology – Medical Tract, Montclair State University

BA Social Science - History, Thomas Edison State College

AAS Respiratory Therapy, Brookdale Comm. College

Research Interests

  • Heath literacy in limited English speakers and other underserved populations
  • Asthma education outreach – underserved and immigrant urban communities
  • Indigenous language only speakers in NJ/NY
  • Immigrant Children’s Rights Advocacy



Health Literacy In Action: TEDx UConn

Additional Information

  • PROFESSIONAL STATEMENT: Enhancing the quality of life through education and development of courses and programs to contribute to and influence the health and well-being of communities at the local, state, national and international levels.
  • TEACHING AREAS OF EXPERTISE:Cultural Anthropology, Cross-Cultural Concepts in Health and Illness, Pediatric/Neonatal Respiratory Care, Pharmacology, Tobacco Treatment, Health Disparities