We are pleased with all of the successes of our students, but the defense of a doctoral dissertation is a special achievement. We want to recognize the hard work displayed by three of our students for their landmark achievement this past fall.
Jenna James successfully defended her dissertation, “Social Houses at Carson Mounds, 22-CO-518 as Evidenced by Dental Morphological Analysis” on August 14.
LisaMarie Malischke successfully defended her dissertation, “The Heterogeneity of Early French and Native Forts and Settlements. A Comparison to Fort St. Pierre (A.D. 1719-1729) in French Colonial Louisiane,” on August 28. Jenna and LisaMarie also received their doctorates at the graduation ceremony in December.
Paul Eubanks successfully defended his dissertation, “Salt Production in the Southeastern Caddo Homeland,” on November 17.
We admitted six new doctoral students in the fall, including Adrienne Bryan (MA, UCLA), Lessye DeMoss (MA, UA), Kareen Hawsey (MA, UA), Jenna Hurtabise (MA, LSU), Avery McNeece (MA, Mississippi State), and Camille Morgan (MA, UA).
Several master’s students graduated in the summer 2015, including Lessye DeMoss, Johnna Dominguez, Kareen Hawsey, and Kelsey Herndon. Congratulations to the new MAs!
Subsequently, we welcomed a new class, including Anna Bianchi (BA, Birmingham Southern), Diana Simpson (BA, Wake Forest), Juliann Friel (BA, UA), Jake Aronoff (BA, Central Michigan), David Scott (BA, UA), Larry Monocello (BA, Case Western Reserve), and Robert Templin (BA, U of Pittsburgh).
Though most of our undergraduate majors graduate in May, several graduated in the summer and fall as well, including Laken Romine, Isabelle Andrade, Justin Beams, Megan Crawford, Michael Krause, Anne Lewis, and Lauren Nolan. Congratulations to those students—we wish them luck whatever their futures hold and hope they stay in touch!
Several of our faculty were invited to give lectures:
Dr. Bill Dressler was invited to the Departments of Anthropology and Public Health at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC on April 10 to give a lecture entitled “Cultural Consonance: Linking Culture, the Individual, and Health.”
Dr. Chris Lynn was invited to speak to the EvoS program at SUNY New Paltz in New Paltz, NY on April 13 and gave a lectured called “Transcendental Medication: Defraying the Costs of Analysis Paralysis.” Dr. Lynn also collaborated with colleagues Dr. Michaela Howells and Katherine Cully at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, who were invited to conduct a workshop called “Understanding Humans: Using an Anthropological Approach in STEM Classrooms” at the 1st Annual K-12 STEM Education Conference in Wilmington, NC on January 9.
Additionally, our Department was well-represented by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty at spring conferences, workshops, and events:
Alabama Archaeological Society Winter Meeting, Florence, AL, January 24
Eubanks, Paul N. Salt production technology in Southern Alabama and the Greater Southeast.
Alabama Science Teachers Association conference, Birmingham, AL, March 3-4
Lynn, Christopher D., and Greg Batchelder. Anthropology is Elementary: Translating the Science of Humanness through Hands-On Activities.
Caddo Conference Organization Annual Meeting, Arkadelphia, AK, March 27-28
Eubanks, Paul N. Salt production trends in the Caddo homeland and in the Southeastern United States.
Darwin Day Colloquium, Tuscaloosa, AL, February 12
Daugherty, Ashley, and Melinda Carr. Fireside Relaxation: A Burning Question.
Friel, Juliann. Reflections on Being Human.
Human Biology Association Annual Scientific Meeting, St. Louis, MO, March 25-27
Dominguez, Johnna T., Jason A. DeCaro, and Christopher D. Lynn. Tattooing as Protection against Enemy Arrows: Enhanced Immune Response among the Heavily Tattooed as an Allostatic Stress Response.
Lynn, Christopher D., JuliannFriel, William Evans, and Baba Brinkman. Evolution Education through Excitement and Anger: “Rap Guide to Evolution” Influences on Skin Conductance..
Louisiana Archaeological Society Annual Meeting, Leesville, LA, February 20-22
Eubanks, Paul N. A summary of the 20-14 excavations at Drake’s Salt Works.
Mississippi Archaeological Association annual meeting, Greenwood, MS, April 11
Funkhouser, Lynn and Daniel LaDu. The faunal record at Mazique (22Ad502): Initial impressions from the 2013 field season.
Kowalski, Jessica A. and H. Edwin Jackson. On the Mound trail: Mississippian polities in the Lower Yazoo Basin.
Malischke, LisaMarie. Watercolor ideal versus architectural reality: New interpretations of Fort St. Pierre, Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Northeastern Evolutionary Psychology Society, Boston, MA, April 9-11
Carr, Melinda, Ashley Daugherty, and Christopher Lynn. A Burning Question: Fireside Relaxation.
Lynn, Christopher D., and Max J. Stein. Religious Collectivity and the Behavioral Immune System in Limón Province, Costa Rica.
Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 15-19
Eubanks, Paul N. and Ian W. Brown. Salt production and economic specialization at Drake’s Salt Works.
LeCount, Lisa J. and David W. Mixter. Organized symposium Lowland Maya Territories: Local Dynamics in Regional Landscapes
LeCount, Lisa J. and David W. Mixter. Between Earth and Sky: The Social and Political Construction of Ancient Lowland Maya Territories.
Society for Applied Anthropology, Pittsburgh, PA, March 24-28
DeMoss, Lessye. Cultural models for life preparation: An exploration of young American men’s shared understandings of this developmental task.
Dressler, William W. What is generalized cultural consonance?
Morrow, Sarah Elizabeth. Shared beliefs without shared consensus: A look at experiential model development in food insecure women.
Oths, Kathryn and Hannah Smith. Rapid ecological, social, and cultural change in the Northern Peruvian Andes and its effects on child growth.
Read-Wahidi, Mary Rebecca. Continuity and change in Guadalupan devotion.
Weaver, Lesley Jo, Bonnie Kaiser, and Craig Hadley. Food insecurity and mental health in three settings: Preliminary results and future directions.
Southern Anthropological Society Annual Meeting, Athens, GA, March 9
González-Faraco, Juan Carlos, Inmaculada Iglesias-Villarán, and Michael D. Murphy. Youth Culture and HIV/AIDS in Spain.
Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL, April 7
Becerra, Fatima. Herbal medicine use in the Peruvian highlands.
Carr, Melinda, and Ashley Daugherty. A burning question: Fireside relaxation.
Forrister, Anna. 50 years of all deliberate speed.
Hallquist, Sommer and Madeline Anscombe. Dealing with death. A study of children’s changing grave themes and what they reveal about American society.
Lawhon, Taylor. An investigation of Caddo salt production at Drake’s Salt Works.
This past spring, five students came closer to completing their journeys to master’s degrees by presenting the results of their thesis research at our March and April colloquiums.
On March 6, archaeology student Luke Donohue presented “Group Mobility and Lithic Resource Use in the Archaic to Woodland Transition at the Morrow Site.” Bioarchaeology student Kelsey Herndon gave her talk on “The Embodiment of Status in the Mississippian Component of the Perry Site.” Both students graduated in May. Luke and Kelsey are currently working for Environmental Corporation of American as Project Archaeologists, based in Alpharetta, GA. They are responsible for visiting sites all over the Southeast and the rest of the U.S. and performing archaeological and environmental surveys.
At our April 24 colloquium, Kareen Hawsey, another archaeology student, presented “Vessel Morphology and Function in the West Jefferson Phase of the Black Warrior River Valley, Alabama.” Lessye DeMoss and Johnna Dominguez are biocultural medical students. Lessye presented “A Cultural Model of Life Goals for Young Men in the Roanoke Valley,” while Johnna gave her talk called “‘Nice Ink, Man’: A Biocultural, Mixed Methods Approach to Tattooing as Costly Honest Signaling Among Southern Women.”
Kareen and Lessye plan on sticking around for a while and have been admitted to our Ph.D. program. Kareen will be working with Dr. Brown to study the terminal Woodland in central Alabama. Lessye will continue her studies in the Biocultural Medical track with Dr. Dressler, studying cultural models of life goals in Alabama, how life goals are to be achieved, and affects on health when unable to manifest evidence of achieving widely shared goals (for example, not being able to buy a home or have nice clothes). Johnna is the Administrative Assistant at Seeds of Hope, the food justice ministry at the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in California where she is working to turn unused church yards into community gardens and improve community access to fresh vegetables. She aspires to continue to integrate her training in medical anthropology with the outreach ministry of the Episcopal Church.
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).
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.
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, JessiMays, 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 Holleman, Lynn Funkhouser, Lessye DeMoss, Daniel LaDu, Rachel Briggs, LisaMarie 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.
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’re very proud of our students, who continue to earn numerous accolades for their efforts in advancing anthropology. In the spring 2014, there were numerous award winners.
Paul Eubanks was the winner of the 2014 Bob Work Award for Scholarly Excellence in Archaeology for a paper entitled “The Timing and Distribution of Caddo Salt Production in Northwestern Louisiana.”
Kareen Hawsey and Paul Eubanks were the 2014-15 co-winners of the David and Elizabeth DeJarnette Endowed Scholarship, which is awarded at the annual spring DeJarnette barbecue at Moundville Archaeological Park. David DeJarnette, a southeast archaeologist, was the first anthropologist at the University of Alabama. The DeJarnette Scholarship is awarded each year to support graduate research about Moundville or Moundville-related topics.
Lauren Marsh, a 2014 graduate in anthropology, won a Fulbright Award from the U.S. State Department to serve in Sichuan Province, China as an English Teaching Assistant and conduct research on the Nutrition Literacy of Infant Caregivers during 2014-2015.
Max Stein, a PhD student currently conducting fieldwork in Peru, was the 2014 winner of the Allen R. Maxwell Endowed Anthropology Scholarship. This scholarship honors the late Professor Allen Maxwell, who was a pioneer anthropology of Southeast Asia and a longtime and much admired faculty member of our department. Professor Maxwell dedicated his career to the kinds of ethnographic and linguistic research that this scholarship is designed to support.
During Honors Week (March 31 – April 4), numerous Anthropology students were recognized for excellence. A committee of faculty emeriti selected Dr. Francois Dengah for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis. Elizabeth Wix, Lessye Demoss, Luke Donohue, and Paul Eubanks were recognized as Graduate Council Fellows. Kareen Hawsey was awarded a National Alumni Association License Tag Graduate Fellow, which is given to a resident of Alabama with potential to make an outstanding contribution to the people of the state. Brass Bralley was recognized as a McNair Graduate Fellow, which are awarded to low income, first-generation college students, or members of a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education.
Finally, the January 2014 round of the Graduate School Research and Travel Awards, which is available several times a year, was particularly tough, with 16 submissions. This is testimony to the efforts students and professors are giving to producing excellent proposals. We are delighted that all proposals submitted by the Department to the Graduate School received some funding. January 2014 awardees include doctoral students Rachel Briggs and Lynn Funkhouser and master’s students Achsah Dorsey, Emma Koenig, and Elizabeth Wix.