University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Ph.D., American Culture, expected 2023
Working dissertation title: On Haunted Grounds: Youth and the long History of Eugenics in Michigan, 1860-1990
Field Exams: Disability Studies; History of Reproductive Health, Rights, and In/justice; History of Medicine

M.A., American Culture, 2017
Advisor: Alexandra Minna Stern

M.P.H, Health Behavior and Health Education, 2015
Advisor:  Rachel Snow
Areas of Specialization: Reproductive Health, Adolescent Health, LGBTQI+ Health, HIV/AIDS

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

B.A., Arts & Humanities; B.S., Anthropology, 2013
Specialization: Bioethics; Science Technology and Society; Reproductive Health; Spanish and Latin America



  • Novak, NL, N Lira, KE O’Connor, S Harlow, S Kardia, AM Stern. Disproportionate sterilization of Latinos under California’s eugenic sterilization program, 1920-1945. American Journal of Public Health, 2018
  • Stern, AM, NL Novak, N Lira, KE O’Connor, S Harlow, S Kardia. California’s Sterilization Survivors: An Estimate and Call for Redress. American Journal of Public Health, 2017
  • Novak, N, KE O’Connor, N Lira, AM Stern. Ethnic Bias in California’s Eugenic Sterilization Program, 1920-1945. Ann Arbor: Population Studies Center, University of Michigan, 2016


  • KE O’Connor. Addressing and Redressing the Past: Notes from the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab.  University of Michigan American History Workshop Conference, Ann Arbor, MI. 2019.
  • KE O’Connor. Fighting for their Future: Youth Resistance to Michigan’s Eugenics Laws, 1910s-1940s. American Studies Association annual conference, Atlanta, GA, 2018
  • Molldrem, S, D Nasca, KE O’Connor. Science (Is Not) Fair: Interrogating Queerness and Biomedicine through Art, Event, and Critique. Society for Social Studies of Science (4) annual conference, Sydney, Australia, 2018
  • KE O’Connor. Incarcerated Boys and Reproductive Injustice: The Neglected Stories of California’s Eugenic Sterilization Campaign, 1919–1952. Paper accepted, unable to attend, American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, 2016
  • Novak, N, KE O’Connor, AM Stern. Eugenic Sterilization in California State Homes, 1919-1945: Using Sterilization Records and Census Records to Quantify Ethnic Bias in Sterilization. Paper presented at Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 2016


  • Disability History Association Graduate Award, DHA, 2018
  • Community Engagement Graduate Liaison, Ginsberg Center at University of Michigan, 2018
  • Youth Engagement Fellow, Rackham Engagement Fellowship, 2018
  • Spring/Summer Mentor Research Grant, Diversity in Graduate Education Project, 2018
  • Rackham Merit Fellow, 2015-2020
  • Diversity Allies Travel Grant, 2018
  • Riecker Graduate Student Research Fellow, Center for Education of Women, 2017-2018
  • Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant, 2017
  • Summer Mentor Research Grant, Diversity in Graduate Education Project, 2015


Instructor of Record, University of Michigan

Freaks, Ghosts, and Other Monstrous Bodies, Summer 2021 & Spring 2022

Graduate Student Instructor, University of Michigan

American Culture Pedagogy, Fall 2021
Health and Society, Winter 2022
American Values, Spring 2018
Politics and Culture of the 1960s, Fall 2017
Eastern European Cinema, Fall 2014

Research Supervisor, Eugenic Sterilization Project, University of Michigan, 2013-Present

Independent Study Supervisor, WOMENSTD 384, University of Michigan, 2014-2016


  • Community Engagement Graduate Liaison, University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center, 2018-present
  • Co-Coordinator, Disability Studies Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop, University of Michigan, 2018-present
  • Member, Disability Working Group/Caucus, Graduate Employees’ Organization, University of Michigan, 2018-present
  • Data Manager, Sterilization and Social Justice Lab, 2015-Present
  • Moderator, Sterilization and Social Justice: Past and Present conference, University of Michigan, 2017
  • Intern, Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health, 2014-15
  • HIV Test Counselor, University of Michigan, 2014-2016


Society for Disability Studies
Disability History Association
American Historical Association
American Studies Association
American Public Health Association