Student and Faculty Awards

Jason DeCaro with co-recipients of an Award for Outstanding Faculty/Staff-Initiated Engagement Effort, John Lochman, Ansley Gilpin, and Qshequilla Mitchell.

Numerous students and faculty were recognized for achievements and commitment this spring. Several undergraduates mentored by Anthropology faculty were recognized at the annual Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference as follows: Mark Ortiz, Honorable Mention for Oral Presentations in the Fine Arts and Humanities division (David Meek, faculty mentor); Taylor Lawhon, 4th Place for Oral Presentations in the Social Sciences division (Ian Brown, faculty mentor); Rachel Madey, 1st Place for in Emerging Scholars Fine Arts and Humanities Division and International Focus (Kathy Oths, faculty mentor), and Sommer Hallquist and Madeline Anscombe, 2nd Place in Emerging Scholars Fine Arts and Humanities division (Ian Brown, faculty mentor).

Lynn Funkhouser accepts her award from Ian Brown.
Lynn Funkhouser accepts her award from Ian Brown.
Jessica Kowalski accepts a DeJarnette Scholarship.
Jessica Kowalski accepts a DeJarnette Scholarship.
Greg Batchelder accepts the 2015 Maxwell Scholarship from Dr. Brown.
Greg Batchelder accepts the 2015 Maxwell Scholarship from Dr. Brown.

This year’s recipients of David and Elizabeth DeJarnette Endowed Scholarships in Anthropology are doctoral candidates Lynn Funkhouser and Jessica Kowalski. Doctoral student Greg Batchelder received the Allen R. Maxwell Endowed Anthropology Scholarship. The competitions were extremely tough, as always, so these honors are indeed great. For this year, each awardees will be receiving scholarships of $8,000 each to be used toward their research.

Achsah Dorsey, who received her M.A. in Anthropology in 2014, received the University of Alabama Outstanding Research by a Master’s Student Award for her thesis “Food Insecurity, Maternal Mental Health, and Child Well-Being in NW Tanzania.” This follows receipt of the same award in the Arts & Sciences in the fall 2014.

Katelyn Moss receives undergraduate honor from Dean Olin.
Katelyn Moss receives undergraduate honor from Dean Olin.
Taylor Lawhon, Jessi Mays, and Melinda Carr receive undergraduate honors from Cameron Lacquement.
Taylor Lawhon, Jessi Mays, and Melinda Carr receive undergraduate honors from Cameron Lacquement.

This year’s Honors Day allowed three of our outstanding undergraduates to be recognized. Katelyn Moss received a Dean’s Award of Merit, while Taylor Lawhon, Jessi Mays, and Melinda Carr were acknowledged as recipients of the “Smitty” and Hughes Awards. Taylor received the C. Earl Smith Award, which is given to the graduating senior with the highest GPA in Anthropology. Jessi and Melinda were co-recipients of the Lynn Hughes Award, which is given to students in Anthropology or Economics who capture the imagination of the faculty through potential, intransigence, inventiveness, perseverance, or a combination of qualities.

The following students received funding from the Graduate School for their proposals to the Graduate Student Research and Travel Fund: Mirjam HollemanLynn FunkhouserLessye DeMossDaniel LaDuRachel BriggsLisaMarie Malischke, and Paul Eubanks.

The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) selected Jason DeCaro as the 2015 recipient of the President’s Faculty Research Award for Arts & Sciences—Social Sciences. These awards, organized by the RAC and sponsored by our President and by the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, recognize select University of Alabama faculty members whose research or scholarship represents excellence in their field.

Chris Lynn receiving AS Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award from Dean Olin.
Chris Lynn receiving AS Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award from Dean Olin.
Jason DeCaro with co-recipients of an Award for Outstanding Faculty/Staff-Initiated Engagement Effort, John Lochman, Ansley Gilpin, and Qshequilla Mitchell.
Jason DeCaro with co-recipients of an Award for Outstanding Faculty/Staff-Initiated Engagement Effort, John Lochman, Ansley Gilpin, and Qshequilla Mitchell.

Dr. DeCaro and his collaborators Ansley Gilpin, Caroline Boxmeyer, and John Lochman were also recipients of the 2015 Center for Community-Based Partnerships Awards for Outstanding Faculty/Staff-Initiated Engagement Effort. In addition, David Meek and Sarah Morrow were recognized at the same event with a Community Engagement Fellowship Award.

Dr. Lisa LeCount was awarded a National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration grant for $21,412 and a College Academy for Research, Scholarship and Creativity Activity grant ($5,000). These grants were to support another season of the Actuncan Project—“Archaeological Research at Actuncan’s E-Group: Testing the Political Significance of Preclassic Lowland Maya Public Architecture.” E-groups are the earliest known public architecture on ancient Maya sites.  Multiple models have been proposed to explain their significance, the most recent of which suggests that Middle Preclassic (1000 to 400 B.C.) E-groups served as high-points on the geopolitical landscape to claim territory visible from them.  The proposed research seeks to test this model by excavating Actuncan’s E-group to discover the heights of early architectural stages and performing ArcGIS geospatial analyses (least-cost path and radial line-of-sight) to determine the territorial boundaries visible or walkable from contemporaneous E-groups within the upper Belize River valley.

Finally, Chris Lynn received the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award at the Undergraduate Honor’s Day celebration. This highly coveted award is issued each year by the Leadership Board of the College of Arts and Sciences and recognizes a single faculty member for his or her superior teaching ability and absolute dedication to students. This is a most deserving award for Dr. Lynn and a great honor for our Department.

Meek and Students Receive Grants and Awards

Dr. David Meek and students in his "Anthropology of Food" course enjoy the pleasant weather outside recently.
Dr. DeCaro presents Krause Award to Paul Eubanks (Photo: C.Lynn).
Dr. DeCaro presents Krause Award to Paul Eubanks (Photo: C.Lynn).

Dr. David Meek was awarded a $700 SECU Faculty travel grant from the Office of Academic Affairs to travel to the University of Mississippi and collaborate with scholars at the Southern Foodways Alliance.

At the annual Department Holiday party on December 18, doctoral students Rachel Briggs and Paul Eubanks were presented with the Panamerican and Richard A. Krause Prizes, respectively. Professor Emeritus Richard Krause is an archaeologist and cultural anthropologist who served the Department of Anthropology at UA for 31 years during a crucial period of development. Because of his commitment to graduate student training, the Krause Prize was established to recognize students who display academic excellence at the graduate level based on the promise of the student’s proposed thesis or dissertation. The Panamerican Award for Scholarly Excellence in Archaeology

Paul Eubanks was also a finalist in the “Three-Minute Thesis” that was sponsored by the UA Graduate School in November.

Achsah Dorsey (MA 2014) received the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Research by a Masters Student award for her biocultural work in Tanzania on maternal and child health. She is now a finalist for the University-wide honor. Achsah recently began PhD studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Blitz presents Panamerican Award to Rachel Briggs Photo: C.Lynn).
Dr. Blitz presents Panamerican Award to Rachel Briggs Photo: C.Lynn).

An outstanding group of Graduate School Research and Travel Award applications were received in the fall. The Anthropology Department can only nominate a limited number because of a requirement to provide matching funds. Nine applications were received, and five were nominated. The graduate school awarded funding as follows:

  • Erik Porth, $300 from the graduate school, $100 from the department
  • Lynn Funkhouser, $300 from the graduate school, $100 from the department
  • Jessica Kowalski, $300 from the graduate school, $100 from the department
  • Greg Batchelder, $100 from the graduate school, $100 from the department
  • Ashley Stewart, $100 from the graduate school, $100 from the department

Greg Batchelder was also the recipient of a $200 Research and Travel Grant from the UA College of Arts and Sciences toward traveling to Washington, DC to present ?? at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting.

Students Earning Fall 2013 Awards

Undergraduate Meghan Steel

Graduate Student Awards

Doctoral student Paul Eubanks received a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for his project “Caddo Salt Production in Northwestern Louisiana.” Congratulations to Paul and his adviser, Dr. Ian Brown. Paul is our seventh doctoral student to receive an NSF DDIG. This speaks, first and foremost, to Paul’s great promise as a scholar and also to the strength of our young doctoral program.

Doctoral student Erik Porth was received the Richard A. Krause Award at the 2013 Holiday luncheon. The Krause Award, established in 2008, is given in recognition of outstanding scholarship by a graduate student in Anthropology. Porth, whose research focus is the historical process of placemaking at Moundville, has consistently exemplified this in his dedication to research, teaching, and service to our department.

Master’s student Kelsey Herndon was honored with a Graduate Student Association award to support travel to the South-Central Conference on Mesoamerica to present “Structure from Motion Mapping and Remote Sensing at the Maya Site of Chan Chich, Belize.”

Undergraduate Meghan Steel
Undergraduate Meghan Steel

The Graduate School and Anthropology Department provide awards several times a year for meritorious research projects and for travel to present research at conferences.  A total of seven proposals were submitted to the Anthropology Graduate Committee for the Fall 2013 round, all of which were subsequently forwarded to the Graduate School for consideration and received awards. The following students (in alphabetical order) received awards in the fall 2013: Jolynn Amrine Goertz, to support travel to the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to present “Fragments and Field Notebooks: Franz Boas and the Chehalis Oral Tradition”; Paul Eubanks, to support travel to the Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC) to present “The Timing and Distribution of Caddo Salt Production in Northwestern Louisiana”; Lynn Funkhouser, to support travel to SEAC to present “An Analysis of Near-Mound Cemeteries at Moundville”; Jessica Kowalski, to support travel to SEAC to present “Mississippian Period Settlement Size and Soil Productivity in the Southern Yazoo Basin, Mississippi”; LisaMarie Malischke, to support travel to the Annual Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology to present “The Heterogeneity of Early French Forts and Settlements. A Comparison to Fort St. Pierre (1719-1729) in French Colonial Louisiane”; Ross Owens, to support thesis research on “How Smart Phones Affect Skin Conductance and Social Support Systems Among Students at the University of Alabama”; and Max Stein, to support travel to AAA to present “Religion as Resilience: Evaluating the Intersections of Religious Collectivity and Disease in Limon Province, Costa Rica.”

Undergraduate Awards

This year, the C. Earle Smith Award for the most outstanding senior goes to two students–Maryanne Mobley and Meghan Steel. The Hughes Prize for a student who shows great potential and perseverance goes to Katie Moss. They do our department proud with their excellent grades, drive and determination, and wonderful personalities.