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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.

We are grateful to the many former students, colleagues, and other donors who made possible the establishment of our newest scholarship opportunity for our students, the "Jim Knight." According to the resolution, they "contributed $13,687.36 to The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama to honor Dr. Knight and to promote the education of students in the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Alabama." This was matched by $12,500 in Capstone Foundation funds as directed by the College of Arts and Sciences to be used for the same purpose. To ensure the continuity of this and other efforts to fund our students and programs, we humbly welcome tax-free donations toward the Knight Endowed Scholarship or any of the following initiatives:

The Allen R. Maxwell Endowed Anthropology Scholarship is awarded to support graduate student research in the areas of ethnography or linguistic anthropology. Established through a bequest from Dr. Maxwell's estate, it is our first award specifically dedicated to ethnographic or linguistic field research.

The Anthropology Club Fund supports the activities of the Anthropology Club, which includes camping trips, workshops, and guest speakers each semester. The opportunity to participate in Club activities is critical in fostering the ethic of collegiality and professionalism so import to our Department.

The Anthropology Field School Gift Fund goes to the support of our undergraduate field schools in archaeology. Our field schools receive no budget from the University and depend heavily on these gifts for supplies and operating expenses. Our annual field schools for undergraduates date back to 1956, and, traditionally, they are among the most memorable experiences of our alumni.

The Anthropology Lectureship Fund goes to support distinguished guest speakers from outside the University. We try to have at least four guest speakers per year. These speakers greatly enrich our undergraduate and graduate programs by exposing our students to prominent ideas by the leading lights in our discipline.

The C. Earle Smith Award is given for academic excellence at the undergraduate level in anthropology. The annual award goes to the graduate senior in anthropology having the highest overall grade point average. Names of former "Smitty" Award winners are prominently displayed on a plaque in the Department.

The David and Elizabeth DeJarnette Endowed Scholarship in Anthropology is awarded to support graduate student research on Moundville or Mesoamerica-related topics. Each spring, the award is made during the popular DeJarnette BBQ, held at Moundville Archaeoligical Park on the Saturday of Honors Week. Since it was founded in 1993 by Sarah and James Caldwell, the endowment has steadily grown. In recent years, our DeJarnette Scholars have received awards of as much as $6,000.

The Evolution Education Fund (EEF) supports evolution education activities organized by and in conjunction with the University of Alabama. EEF supports evolution education broadly construed and across academic and professional disciplines. Funded activities include the Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution (ALLELE, http://evolution.as.ua.edu/), organized and hosted by the Evolution Working Group; Darwin Day activities hosted by the Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) minor and Club, which are housed in the Department of Anthropology (http://evolutionarystudies.as.ua.edu/); Speaking Evolution TV series and teacher resource site (http://www.speakingevolution.org/); and other evolution education-related programs and opportunities.

The Hughes Prize recognizes students who have captured the imagination of the faculty by potential, intransigence, inventiveness, perserverance, insight, or a combination of those traits.

The Panamerican Consultants, Inc. Award (formerly The Bob Work Award) is a graduate student paper competition with a monetary prize. Archaeology graduate students submit papers for review by a faculty, and the winner receives recognition at our annual Holiday party.

The Richard A. Krause Award is given for academic excellence at the graduate level in anthropology. The recipient of this annual award is chosen by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department based on classroom performance and the promise of the student's proposed thesis or dissertation research project.

The Vernon James Knight Endowed Scholarship in Anthropology will be awarded to students enrolled in the Anthropology graduate program who are conducting research on the anthropology of art and design, with a preference for iconography projects. Secondary consideration shall be given to undergraduate majors with the same research interests.

Checks directed to any of these initiatives should be made out to the UA College of Arts and Sciences and mailed to the Department at the address below. If you would like to discuss a contribution, please contact Department Chair Ian Brown (ibrown@ua.edu) or College of Arts & Sciences Director of Development Kathy Yarbrough (kathy.yarbrough@ua.edu).

 

Lisa LeCount, Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Anthropology, honoring Katelyn Moss, recipient of the Hughes Prize, and Meghan Steel (on right), co-winner of the C. Earle Smith Jr. Award (Photo by I. Brown).
Lisa LeCount, Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Anthropology, honoring Katelyn Moss, recipient of the Hughes Prize, and Meghan Steel (on right), co-winner of the C. Earle Smith Jr. Award (Photo by I. Brown).

At the Spring Undergraduate Honors Day, Katelyn Moss and Meghan Steel were presented awards for their standings as the top Anthropology majors in the 2014 graduating class. Dr. Lisa LeCount presented Steel with the C. Earle Smith Jr. Award and Moss with the Hughes Prize.

Francois Dengah judging 2014 Anthropology Undergraduate Research Poster Competition entries (Photo by I. Brown).
Francois Dengah judging 2014 Anthropology Undergraduate Research Poster Competition entries (Photo by I. Brown).

Trever Chidester placed 3rd for Oral Presentations in the Social Sciences at the 2014 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) conference. URCA presenters from the Department of Anthropology also competed in the first annual Anthropology Undergraduate  Research Poster Competition. Emerging Scholar Hannah Smith (Kathy Oths, faculty mentor) won first prize for "A Decade of Change: The Effects of Cultural and Environmental Change on Child Growth in Peru" (award $200). There was a tie for second prize between Trever Chidester (Keith Jacobi, faculty mentor) for "Denisovans: From a Pinky to a People" ($100) and Lauren Nolan and Nathaniel Graham (Chris Lynn, faculty mentor) for "Religious Signaling and Commitment in the Central Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa" ($100 split between the co-authors). All three winning posters have been mounted and displayed in the hollowed halls of the ten Hoor ground floor.