In Vino Veritas

CONWAY, Ark. (June 24, 2013) – Hendrix alumna Hannah McGrew says the past year has had enough action to fill about five normal years.

Recently obtaining a job at Miguel Torres, a vineyard in Viña del Mar, Chile, that produces mainly fair trade and organic wines, McGrew credits her ability in landing the job to the Hendrix Odyssey program.

An anthropology sociology major from Albuquerque, N.M., McGrew completed nine Odyssey projects (three times the requirement for graduation), including four trips ranging from 10 days to six months abroad, before her graduation in 2012.

Before Chile, she worked as a research assistant for the public health department at the University of New Mexico. McGrew worked on writing National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Native American Research Centers for Heath (NARCH) grant proposals, Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) workshops and worked at a preschool as a part –time bilingual teacher.

Fluent in Spanish and Portugese, McGrew is currently an apprentice to the sommelier, a wine steward. Her work is mainly composed of assisting with wine tasting and wine education, as well as hosting foreign visitors and winery investors.

While she doesn’t plan on working at the winery long-term, she loves her job and believes it has fit well with her public heath trajectory, she said.

“I know it's hard to make the connection, but anthropology, and I think a liberal art education as well, teaches us to see the tendrils of interconnectedness in the things that we have done and learned,” said McGrew.

 “When you look at public health, I think it’s easy to associate the field with science and medicine and clinics. Of course that's a huge component, but public health is also about mentally and culturally healthy, cohesive communities,” said McGrew. “It has to do with the environment we live in, the food we eat and how it's produced; it has to do with the government and economy and who ultimately receives benefits from the two systems.”

While McGrew notes the inherent interest in wine, she is also interested in the “impact of wine and pisco production on Chilean culture, both good and bad,” said McGrew.

For her next project, McGrew hopes to conduct research that would benefit the company by augmenting their image as a socially responsible company within the international market and ultimately bring some preventive health education programs to surrounding communities, she said. 

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.