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3MT winners with Dean Franko, including Sandra Lucia Almeida Zambrano, Anjana Venkatesan, Jordan Rippy, Territa L. Pool, and Courtney Andrews (Source: http://graduate.ua.edu/news/anjana-venkatesan-wins-the-ua-3mt-competition/).
3MT winners with Dean Franko, including Sandra Lucia Almeida Zambrano, Anjana Venkatesan, Jordan Rippy, Territa L. Pool, and Courtney Andrews (Source: http://graduate.ua.edu/news/anjana-venkatesan-wins-the-ua-3mt-competition/).

Several students and faculty received grants, awards, and other honors this past fall. Congratulations to all. You make us very proud!

Students

Doctoral student Courtney Andrews placed fourth in the 3rd annual Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. The Alabama Center for Public Television is working on stories about the finalists and the 3MT that should air in the spring.

The College of Arts & Sciences selected Johnna Dominguez's (MA, 2015) thesis entitled "'Nice Ink, Man': A Biocultural, Mixed Methods Approach to Tattooing as Costly Honest Signaling among Southern Women" for the 2015 Outstanding Thesis Award and Paul Eubank's dissertation "Salt Production in the Southeastern Caddo Homeland" for Outstanding Dissertation Research Award. She will be recognized at Honors Day in the spring. Congratulations to Johnna, Paul, and their advisers, Drs. Chris Lynn and Ian Brown, respectively.

The College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Creativity and Research Academy (UCRA) awarded $500 to undergraduates Ashley Daugherty, Nick Roy, and Caitlyn Walker (Dr. Chris Lynn, adviser) toward travel expenses to present “Sexual Fluidity Positively Influences Group-Oriented Prosocial Behavior” at the American Association for Physical Anthropology conference in Atlanta, GA this spring.

At the 2015 holiday party, Paul Eubanks was awarded the Panamerican Award for Scholarly Excellence in Archaeology, while Jessica Kowalski was presented with the Richard Krauss Award for Teaching, Research, and Service by a Graduate Student in Anthropology.

Thanks to generous support from the graduate school, a number of our students have received funds for research or conference travel for the fall term. They are: Martina Thomas ($300), Paul Eubanks ($300+$300 supplement as a graduate ambassador), Mirjam Holleman ($300), Clay Nelson ($200), and Rachel Briggs ($200). Each of these students also has received $100 from the Anthropology Department toward presentations at Southeastern Archaeology Conference, American Anthropological Association annual meeting, and elsewhere.

Faculty

Dr. Lesley Jo Weaver received an NSF Senior Award for her work on food insecurity and mental health in Brazil. This is a collaborative 3-site project with her colleagues at Emory and Duke who work in Ethiopia and Haiti, respectively. It consists of two separate grant submissions, one from UA with Jo as the PI, and one from Emory With her colleague as the PI. The grant supports 3 phases of research scheduled to span 3 years in each site.

Congratulations to Dr. Jason DeCaro (and Psychology collaborator Dr. Ansley Gilpin) on the receiving of a major grant from the Imagination Institute. Imagination Institute "grants are aimed at the development of better ways of assessing and promoting imagination and creativity," according to the Penn News press release. Drs. DeCaro and Gilpin "will receive $199,940 to advance the measurement and improvement of fantasy orientation and imaginative play in children. They aim to answer two important questions to propel research in childhood imagination: How is children’s imagination best defined and measured? and can imagination be stimulated to enhance children’s development?”

Dr. David Meek is the recipient of a $1,000 travel award. By virtue of this award, The Academic Conference and Presentation Committee recognizes his participation in The 6th International Conference of the Network of School Gardens, which "will support the dissemination of community engagement research and scholarship and provide relevant training opportunities."

 

 

In June 2013, Dr. Jason DeCaro got a chance to set the record straight when Evolutionary Psychologist Geoffrey Miller put his tweet in his mouth with the following:nyu5n-3-web

Dr. DeCaro, who subsequently tweeted from his own account what a degrading and unwarranted claim Miller had made, was contacted by The NY Daily News. Dr.  DeCaro pointed out that "Current human biology and health psychology research show conclusively that a combination of genetics and social environment have far more to do with obesity than does 'willpower,' contrary to what people often assume."

In October, Dr. Chris Lynn was interviewed for an article on glossolalia (speaking in tongues among Charismatics and some other religious practitioners through the ages) and stress reduction. Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization dedicated to brain research. The article discusses Dr. Lynn's dissertation fieldwork among Pentecostals in upstate New York, which compared rates of speaking in tongues to salivary biomarkers of stress and found some preliminary evidence for a relaxation effect.

CW / Emily Young
CW / Emily Young

In November, Dr. Lynn was also interviewed about UA's Evolutionary Studies program, housed in the Department of Anthropology, for the newsletter EvoS Illuminate, published by the EvoS Consortium. In it, Dr. Lynn highlights the program at Alabama, discusses his evolution blogging efforts, and background. Later that month, Dr. Lynn and EvoS Club President and Anthropology major Taylor Burbach were contacted by The Crimson White for an article about the EvoS program. The article highlighted the importance of the program for UA students and the outreach efforts they're engaged in for the community.

In December, Ph.D. student Tina Thomas published a piece in Anthropology News entitled "Multiple Worlds Theory and 'High Risk Girls' Versus Those that 'Stay Inside'" about her research into risky behavior among teenage girls in Alabama and HIV risk. Alabama has one of the lowest rates of condom use among high school students in the United States, and Thomas' research has found that this may be due, in part, to girls' conceptualization of the protection afforded by condoms. According to Thomas, many of her participants believe that condoms have a high failure rate because of notions that they can clip off or break easily. Thomas' continuing research seeks to understand the cultural models underlying these beliefs in high- and low-risk groups in Alabama.