Dr. Sirak received her PhD in 2018 for her dissertation on “A Genomic Analysis of Two Early Christian Cemetery Communities from Sudanese Nubia”, she is now a staff scientist at Harvard University. Her research bridges the fields of Ancient DNA and archaeology and helps shed light on social structures as well as the genomes of ancient populations.
Emory Anthropology alumni, Drs Yulia Chuvileva (PhD 2019) and Sarah Lyon (PhD 2005), recently published an article in Inside Higher Ed called “Doctoral Training Should Meet the Equity Moment.” In it they argue that while academia helped create the theoretical groundswell that mainstreamed inequity as a problem, it must now ready the next crop of PhD’s to lead the social-change charge. The piece offers suggestions for how to do so, arguing that the effort could also help address the graduate-student mental health crisis.
Jennifer Sweeney Tookes earned her Phd with a dissertation on Rice and Peas in the Diaspora: Food, Health and the Body among Barbadian Migrants in Atlanta and is now an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Georgia Southern University.
The Anthropology department is proud to recognize our 2021 honors graduates: Margot Bailowitz, Olivia Blackman, Isabella Cantor, Makda Mulugeta, and Anna Wachspress. In a year which presented unusual research challenges, these students persevered with creativity and resourcefulness, completing rich projects on topics ranging from Native American COVID-19 campaign artwork to the experience of couples aging together in assisted living. One project, a documentary film following an Atlanta-based civil rights organization, was the first film-based project to be completed in the Anthropology department. All projects were completed under the supervision of faculty advisors and committee members from within and outside of Anthropology, with support from faculty honors coordinator Dr. Debra Vidali. These students were honored in a virtual Anthropology Honors and Awards Ceremony on May 3rd, and graduated with honors at the Emory College graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 16.
You can read more about this year’s honors students and their projects at http://anthropology.emory.edu/home/undergraduate/opportunities/honors-2021.html. Please join us in congratulating these students on their hard work and accomplishment!
The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our 2021 student award winners! Please join us in congratulating undergraduates Isabella Cantor, Katherine Morgan, William Johnson, and Phoebe Einzig-Roth, and graduate students Elena Lesley and Luisa Rivera. Undergraduate awards were conferred at a virtual celebration on Monday, May 3.
2021 Undergraduate Student Awards
Outstanding Senior Award: Isabella Cantor and Katherine Morgan
Outstanding Junior Award: William Johnson
Marjorie Shostak Award for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnography
- Isabella Cantor for her honors thesis “End-of-Life Perspectives Among Couples Aging Together in Assisted Living: A Narrative Approach”, advised by Mel Konner.
- Phoebe Einzig-Roth for her class project “Coping with COVID: Patient Perspectives”, directed by Debra Vidali.
2021 Graduate Student Awards:
George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Elena Lesley and Luisa Rivera
For award descriptions and past winners, visit our Departmental Awards webpage.
Willen, associate professor at UConn, established the Pandemic Journaling Project along with Katherine Mason, Assistant Professor at Brown University. In addition to giving a voice to people from different areas and backgrounds, this project will create records of how people felt throughout this historic event. In the New York Times article Willen and Mason voice some of their early analysis.
Most national, mandatory flour fortification standards do not align with international recommendations for iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 levels was published in Food Policy and can be viewed on Science Direct.
“Above all, I’m so grateful for the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Helena Pachón. I’m so excited to see that the results of our work are now available to be shared with others.”
Co-authors are Britt Broedersen, Nancy J. Aburto, Aashima Garg, Mary Serdula, Filiberto Beltrán Velázquez, Eugene C. Wong and Helena Pachón.
Andrew (Andy) Wooyoung Kim (‘15C), PhD candidate in biological anthropology at Northwestern University and an alumnus of Emory Anthropology and Development Studies, recently spoke on South African TV and radio to discuss his current work on the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among communities and healthcare systems in Johannesburg. Speaking on his ethnographic work that he wrote about in an opinion piece published through the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, Andy describes the tireless efforts of grassroots mental health organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic and the promise of telepsychiatry as a future mode of service delivery in South Africa.Andrew (Andy) Wooyoung Kim (‘15C), PhD candidate in biological anthropology at Northwestern University and an alumnus of Emory Anthropology and Development Studies, recently spoke on South African TV and radio to discuss his current work on the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among communities and healthcare systems in Johannesburg. Speaking on his ethnographic work that he wrote about in an opinion piece published through the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, Andy describes the tireless efforts of grassroots mental health organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic and the promise of telepsychiatry as a future mode of service delivery in South Africa.
Since August 2019, Andy has been conducting his dissertation fieldwork on the intergenerational effects of trauma from apartheid. He collaborates with a 30-year longitudinal birth cohort study called Birth to Twenty (also known as “Mandela’s Children) to understand how traumatic experiences that pregnant women faced during the dissolution of apartheid affect the health and biology of subsequent generations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic cutting his data collection short, he took advantage of his existing research infrastructure to evaluate the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, identify community psychosocial needs, and connect families to critical social services. He writes about these experiences in a forthcoming special issue on COVID-19 in the American Journal of Human Biology.
At Northwestern, Andy is currently being advised by fellow Emory Anthropology alumni Christopher Kuzawa (PhD MSPH 2001) and Thomas McDade (PhD 1999). His research has been published in Scientific Reports, Social Science & Medicine, Transcultural Psychiatry, andthe American Journal of Physical Anthropology. His dissertation research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Read and hear more about his work below!
TV interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02KicFbJp90
Radio interview: https://www.702.co.za/podcasts/196/the-best-of-afternoon-drive-with-joanne-joseph/349175/covid-19-has-changed-the-way-sas-only-toll-free-mental-health-helpline-works-heres-why-it-matters
Original research article: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.13.20130120v1 (in press at Psychological Medicine)
What does it mean to produce scholarship through sound? The Experimental Ethnography at Emory working group just published a conversation on Mixtape Scholarship with Dr. Kwame M. Phillips (Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy; Emory Anthropology PhD 2014). Dr. Phillips and co-author Dr. Shana L.
Redmond’s essay/mixtape “The People Who Keep on Going”: A Listening Party, Vol. I appears in The Futures of Black Radicalism, which is being promoted this Summer as a free e-book by publisher Verso Books. The playlist “is a people’s songbook, a soundtrack to the improvisational life and living of Blackness under the control of white supremacy. This is an effort to pull forward and give a name to what our bodies tell us with every needle drop, to hold tight that which combines individual voice and people’s rebellion . . . ” (Redmond & Phillips, 2017:207). Dr. Debra Vidali (Emory Anthropology; Faculty director for the Experimental Ethnography at Emory working group) took this as an opportunity to talk to Dr. Phillips about multimodal argumentation, ethnographic documentation, listening parties, and a playlist for the Futures of Black Radicalism. “The People Who Keep on Going” mixtape is hosted on Dr. Phillips’ TheDreadstarMovement site. Experimental Ethnography @ Emory
Dr. Dietrich Stout (Emory Anthropology) interviews Dr. Marcela Benitez about her work with Capuchin monkeys and her interest in their social behavior. Dr. Benitez is a postdoc at GA State University and will join Emory’s Anthropology Department as an assistant professor in January 2021.
Dr. Mel Konner (Emory Anthropology) is interviewed by Dr. Lynne Nygaard as part of CMBC’s “Inside the lab” series. Dr. Konner speaks about his upcoming course “Evolution of Childhood” and his research interests.
Dr. Christina Rogers Flattery (PhD 2019, postdoc at Harvard) reflects on her experience as a CMBC Certificate student during her time at Emory.