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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Practicing Medicine: Health Care Culture and Careers

June 3-July 26, 2019


Sam Beck

Sam Beck, director of the program, is a social and cultural anthropologist with a PhD in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. He has carried out research in the Middle East and different parts of Europe. His interests focus on disparity issues in the United States, medical culture, urban issues, knowledge production, ethnographic methods, ethics, intergroup relations (ethnicity, race, class), and feminism.

For a number of years, Beck led the Cornell University College of Human Ecology's Urban Semester Program*, an experiential learning program that offered students an opportunity to intern in low-income neighborhoods in New York City, aiding social justice nonprofits in housing, education, and health while earning academic credit. The Urban Semester Program was the precursor to this program.

Beck coedited the books Toward Engaged Anthropology and Public Anthropology in a Borderless World and has written or cowritten numerous journal articles, including "Facilitating the initiation of the physician's professional identity: Cornell's urban semester program" (Perspectives in Medical Education, 2014).

Beck has received numerous awards from Cornell University, including Outstanding Educator, the Merrill Presidential Scholar Award, the Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Award, and the Award for Outstanding Community and Public Service from the College of Human Ecology.

*For more about the Urban Semester Program, read Beck's article Facilitating the initiation of the physician’s professional identity: Cornell’s urban semester program.


Amber Warner is the program assistant for this program. She has worked for Cornell for more than 17 years, first in Ithaca as an academic and career advisor at The Hotel School and now in New York City, where for the past seven years she has coordinated the College of Human Ecology's Urban Semester Program, the forerunner to this program.

An Ithaca native whose parents are Cornell alumni, Warner still feels very connected to the Cornell community. She now lives in New Jersey with her family and in her spare time can often be found at a hockey rink, soccer game, or baseball field.

Warner is happy to answer any questions about the program and can be reached via email at or by phone at 212.746.2273.