Kristy Maher


B.A., St. Michael's College
M.A., M. Phil, Ph.D., Yale University

Medical Sociology, Sociology of Gender, Statistics, Global Health

 Bio      |      Courses     |     Research     |    Vitae

I grew up in Western Massachusetts and received my undergraduate degree in Sociology from a small liberal arts college in Vermont called St. Michael’s College. I went directly on to graduate school at Yale University earning my M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology. Once graduating from Yale I knew I wanted a career at a small liberal arts college like my undergraduate experience. I loved the small interactive classroom environment and getting to know my professors and wanted to have that with my own students. I came to Furman in 1993. I served as the Chair of the Sociology Department for six years. My  main areas of interest include medical sociology, global health inequities, sociology of gender and community based evaluation research. I met my husband Paul Sheller while on sabbatical in 2007 (he was a safari guide on a trip to Africa I took to conduct research on TB). We married in 2008 and my "home away from home" is in Maun, Botswana where Paul lives full-time. We love to travel and have been to South Africa, Denmark, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and far!

Back to top


Soc 101 - Introduction to Sociology

Soc 242 - Sociology of Gender

Soc 234 - Medical Sociology

SOC 260 – Global Health Inequalities

SOC 475 - Seminar: Gender and Health

FYW - Curses, Cures and Clinics: A Global Health Seminar

Back to top


My research examines health care disparities and access to care issues. For years I conducted program evaluations for a variety of local agencies (see examples below) using "evaluation research", a type of methodology that employs sociological research methods to evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs. I have over ten years of experience conducting evaluations of programs designed to increase access to health care. My recent research involves exploring the cultural reasons behind the “Botswana Paradox” the fact that, despite all their best efforts, Botswana has the second highest rate of HIV in the world.

2012. Volunteer Research Consultant. Women Against Rape. Maun, Botswana. Provided data analysis assistance on a survey based project exploring knowledge and attitudes towards defilement and customary/common law in remote areas of the Ngami District (North Western Botswana). Provided feedback based on data trends to assist with development of educational outreach regarding the issues.

2011-Present. Evaluation Research Consultant. NSF Grant on "Environmental Uncertainties and Livelihood Thresholds in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.” By K.A. Crews, B.H. King, and K. R. Young. Evaluated the methodology of the project to assess its soundness in terms of data collection, analysis and research design. Reviewed yearly reports making recommendations on improvements to methodology (sampling, observation and survey instruments, etc.).

2004. Evaluation of the "Healthy Connections Program."United Way of Greenville County. Implemented a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the “Healthy Connections Program.” Organized data base of clients serviced by the program. Surveyed current and past participants. Gathered community wide data on emergency room use and Medicaid enrollment. Made recommendations to improve forms used in the program. Assisted in applying for additional grant funding.

2000. Evaluation of the "Babies and You Prenatal Outreach Program."March of Dimes, Greenville, SC. Implemented a qualitative analysis of“Babies and You” a prenatal health promotion program. Attended classes and coordinating meetings. Also surveyed (over the phone and via mail) past participates of the program. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS.

1999. Evaluation of the "Family Violence Intervention Program."Compass of Carolina, Greenville, SC. Implemented a qualitative analysis of the Family Violence Intervention Program. Attended classes for victims and perpetrators. Observed domestic violence cases in Family Court. Input and analyzed three years of exit surveys completed by program participants. Provide summary report to agency along with recommendations for a revised exit survey.

I also do a good amount of work with the United Way, again using my sociology skills in a real world environment with the hope of improving the community I live in. Here area a few examples of some of the activities I'm involved with:

2006-present. Outcomes Measurement Consultant. United Way of Greenville County. Served as a one-on-one consultant for individual programs funded by the United Way. Assisted in developing and refining Logic Model and Outcome Measurement Plan for funding proposals. Logic Models outline goals and objectives of programs as well as resources used to achieve these goals. Outcome Measurement Plans define how program results will be measured, gathered, and analyze to assess the efficacy of programs.

2004. Volunteer Research Consultant.Free Medical Clinic, Greenville, SC. Assisted in evaluating efficacy of program to ensure continual funding by the United Way. Provided assistance with “outcomes measurement”- research designed to measure the effectiveness of existing programs.

Back to top

Connect with Admission

Furman University is one of the nation's premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. We offer outstanding academics, opportunities for a broad range of talented students with a passion for learning, a robust arts program, and NCAA Division I athletics.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now