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.
The Department of Anthropology expanded its community outreach activities this past spring. The Department began participating in the Tuscaloosa Magnet School Elementary (TMSE)-UA Partnership in 2010 by offering a 12-week course in "Anthropology" in the fall. This past year, we offered "Anthropology of Costa Rica" in the fall and "Anthropology of Madagascar" in the spring. Anthropology of Costa Rica was led by doctoral student Greg Batchelder and capitalized on his research experience there and complemented the Magnet School's ethos as an International Baccalaureate Program. Anthropology of Madagascar was led by doctoral candidate Lynn Funkhouser and was chosen because of the Evolutionary Studies program's sister relationship with an EvoS program in Madagascar.
In addition to teaching Anthropology of Madagascar at TMSE, Arcadia Elementary started a similar partnership program, and we offered the course there as well. In all cases, courses are led by graduate students and taught by upper-level Anthropology undergraduates who have excelled in the program. Instructors draw from a workbook of lessons we have developed over the past several years but are also responsible for developing one lesson and activity from scratch. Thanks to Taylor Burbach, Meghan Steel, Andrea Roulaine, Erica Schumann, and Juliann Friel for teaching our elementary students this year. Imagine what our discipline will be like when undergraduates arrive who have been exposed to the anthropological perspective since 3rd grade!
For the fall 2015, we have established a formal service-learning course called "Anthropology is Elementary" that will be taught by Lynn Funkhouser and can be taken for 3 credits by undergraduates who have completed the introductory courses in all four subdisciplines. Students will be placed at TMSE, Arcadia, or---a new location---Tuscaloosa Magnet School Middle. Spots are still open, so contact Lynn for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But that's not all! We have participated annually in Woodland Forrest Elementary School's DiscoverFest as part of their Earth Day celebration. This year, several of our graduate students spent the day teaching elementary students about archaeology via "garbology," or using simple household trash as a means of understanding the cultures of the people who left it behind. Thanks to Lynn Funkhouser, Sarah Morrow, and LisaMarie Malischke for their efforts on behalf of our community children!
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.
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."
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."
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.