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
Goodrich C. White Professor Emerita Peggy Barlett was recently honored during the Emory Office of Sustainability Initiative’s Virtual Earth Day Celebration with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Prof. Barlett has served on the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Emory since 1976. In her tribute to Prof. Barlett, who retired in Summer 2020, Prof. Bobbi Patterson highlighted Prof. Barlett’s many contributions to Emory’s national leadership in campus sustainability, her service to students, and her numerous academic accomplishments.
From Professor Barlett’s innumerable contributions to the field and practice of sustainable food, her ignition of long-term commitments to sustainability among Emory faculty through her creation of the Piedmont Project, and her path-breaking leadership on behalf of women faculty at Emory, her impact has been immeasurable.
At the same event, Anthropology staff Eva Stotz was named Outstanding Sustainability Representative. Prof. Bobbi Patterson (Religion) and Prof. Eloise Carter (Biology – Oxford) were also honored with Sustainability Lifetime Achievement Awards. Videos of the event are available online.
Carol Worthman, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor Emerita of the Department of Anthropology, has received the 2021 Society for Psychological Anthropology Lifetime Achievement Award. The award “honors career-long contributions to psychological anthropology that have substantially influenced the field and its development. The award seeks to recognize the work of individuals whose sustained involvement in psychological anthropology has had a major impact on research directions, on the wider visibility and relevance of the field, and on the growth of a community of scholarship addressing issues of culture and psychology.“
Professor Worthman integrates anthropology, human development, and neuroscience to investigate the bases of differential well-being with a particular focus on adolescent and global mental health. She has conducted collaborative biocultural and biosocial research in thirteen countries, including Kenya, Tibet, Nepal, Egypt, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and South Africa, as well as in rural, urban, and semi-urban areas of the United States.
PhD Candidate Elena Lesley has been selected by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation as one of 23 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for 2020-2021. The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for PhD candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values.
Her dissertation examines Buddhist-influenced mental health interventions in Cambodia. Since first traveling to Cambodia in 2004, Lesley’s work in the country has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, a Fulbright fellowship, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Blakemore Foundation, among others. The results of her research have appeared in Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, the journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention, the U.K. literary magazine Granta, Necropolitics and Remembering Genocide.
Lesley has a BA from Brown University and an MS from Rutgers University. Before coming to Emory, she worked as a journalist in the U.S. and abroad, and also as a Senior Research Specialist at Princeton University.
Naomi Tesema (C20), earned her BS with honors in Anthropology and Human Biology. She received the Atwood Award for her honors theses titled “Mobile Phone Apps for HIV Prevention Among College-aged Black Women in Atlanta: Preferences and Prototype.”
Anna Wachspress, a junior majoring in anthropology and human biology, received an honorable mention for “Lori Loughlin and the College Admissions Scandal: Frame Analysis of Online Entertainment Magazines,” an assignment for Sociology 289: Crime and the Media.
The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our 2020 student award winners! Please join us in congratulating undergraduates Isabel Slingerland, Claire Biffl, Emma Hanlon, Evan Amaral and Rebecca Rusnak, and graduate students Sara Kauko and Shreyas Sreenath. Undergraduate awards were conferred at a virtual celebration on Friday, April 24. See below for detailed award descriptions. We are so proud of our many impressive students!
2020 Undergraduate Student Awards
Outstanding Senior Award: Isabel Slingerland
Outstanding Junior Award: Evan Amaral and Rebecca Rusnak
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellent and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing:
Claire Biffl for her honors thesis “Experiences of Aging, Kinship, Death, and Independence in an Independent Living Facility”
Emma Hanlon for her honors thesis “Negotiating Spirituality: Ritual, Language, and Space in the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta”
2020 Graduate Student Awards:
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellent and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing: Shreyas Sreenath for his dissertation “Black Spot: An Account of Caste and Discards in 21st Century Bangalore”
George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Sara Kauko and Shreyas Sreenath
The Anthropology department is proud to recognize eleven seniors who successfully defended honors theses, most of them holding defenses remotely and completing their projects from home after the University closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Their projects, the culmination of a year (or more!) of independent research and writing, were completed under the supervision of faculty advisors and committee members from within and outside of Anthropology, with support from faculty honors coordinator Dr. Kristin Phillips. These students were honored in a virtual Anthropology Honors and Awards Ceremony on April 24th. One student, Rachel Kim, graduated from Emory in December, and the others are scheduled to graduate with honors on May 11.
Please see below for a full list of theses, and join us in congratulating these students on their hard work and accomplishment!
Claire Biffl – Experiences of Aging, Kinship, Death, and Independence in an Independent Living Facility
Advised by Kristin Phillips
Elisabeth Crusey – “Does anybody have ibuprofen?”: An Investigation of Emory Undergraduates’ Over-the-Counter Analgesic Use
Advised by Bisan Salhi (School of Medicine)
Emma Hanlon – Spiritual Community, Sacred Congregation: Ritual, Discourse, and Space in the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
Advised by Anna Grimshaw
Sarena Ho – Father Absence and Young Adult Romantic Relationship Ideals
Advised by Craig Hadley
Jahnvi Jain – Effects of a Brief Breath Focused Mindfulness Meditation Intervention on Heart Rate Variability and Dissociation in Patients with PTSD and Dissociation
Advised by Negar Fani (School of Medicine)
Adama Kamara – The Politics of Empowerment and Black Female Sexuality: Perceptions Through the Lens of Atlanta’s Trafficking Networks
Advised by Bayo Holsey
Nora Keathley – Latinx Women and Labor in the Digital Age: Exploring Childbirth and Medical Authority Through the Use of YouTube
Advised by John Lindo
Rachel Kim – Representation Matters: Changing Portrayals of Asian-Americans in Hollywood Films from 1993-2019
Advised by Anna Grimshaw
Riana Peskopos – The Queer Female Medical Narratives
Advised by Anna Grimshaw
Ruhika Prasad – Mental Illness and Pregnancy among Women in Mysore, India: Health Provider and Women’s Perspectives
Advised by Joyce Flueckiger (Religion)
Naomi Tesema – Mobile Phone Apps for HIV Prevention Among College-Aged Black Women in Atlanta: Preferences and Prototype
Advised by Rasheeta Chandler (Nursing) and John Lindo
A list of all previously completed Anthropology honors theses is available at
Anthropology and human biology graduate Abbe McCarter received the Bradley Currey Jr. Seminar Award for her project “Food Insecurity on the Cattaraugus Reservation.” This was part of her honors thesis titled “Windows into the Lived Experiences and Health Consequences of Food Insecurity on the Cattaraugus Reservation: Implications for Indigenous Peoples’ Food Sovereignty”. She graduated in May with highest honors.
“I am beyond grateful for the Rose Library and their consideration for the Bradley Currey Jr. Seminar Award. This award allowed me to travel to the Seneca Nation of Indians’ Cattaraugus Reservation and conduct first hand qualitative and quantitative research. The experience as a whole provided me with significant lessons in conducting anthropological research as I examined the lived experiences and health consequences of food insecurity and sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples. I am certain that this award, the mentorship of Dr. Vidali and the rest of Emory’s Anthropology department, and the completion of my honors thesis, contributed to me achieving my current position – as the 2019/20 Melvin Ember intern with HRAF at Yale University working with some of the most important minds and data in cross-cultural research. Having the opportunity to travel to the Cattaraugus Reservation was absolutely critical, and allowed me to foster relationships with interlocutors in the field and embark upon a course of study which will continue to grow for years to come thanks to the Bradley Currey Jr. Seminar Award!”
She is one of eleven Emory students who recently received undergraduate research awards for their library research. Read more in the Emory News Center.
Anthropology major Katya Bobrek was one of six recent Emory graduates to receive NSF funding and the only one to be awarded the prestigious grand right after receiving her undergraduate degree. She graduated in May with high honors in Anthropology and Human Biology. The title of her honors thesis was “Genomic Analysis and Natural Selection Scan of Mexican Mayan and Indigenous Populations” and her advisor was Dr. John Lindo.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity given to me by NSF. What excites me the most about my research is its interdisciplinary nature. I would never have found this niche if not for the education I received at the Emory Anthropology department. There I discovered my love of anthropology, health, and scientific research. It’s because of Emory Anthropology that I found what I am most passionate about.” Katya Bobrek
Kristen graduated in May with highest honors in Anthropology and also minored in Sustainability. She has worked with the Office of Sustainability Initiative on the zero waste policies.
“I have learned so much about how to make change happen thanks to the sustainability initiatives at Emory. Through collaborating with administrators, faculty, staff, and student peers in the process of working towards a sustainable Emory, I have met inspiring people across the University and forged connections that contribute not only to my sense of place but also to my professional development.
Through working as a student employee with theOffice, I have also been able to understand the links between my education in theclassroom and real-world translation and application. I think people are so fundamental to understanding sustainability and sustainable outcomes, so studying anthropology has been as necessary supplement to my sustainability work and a fundamental influence in my thinking. Both working with OSI and studying anthropology were invaluable for my skills development, my understandingof people and the world around me, and the evolution of my sustainable vision for the future.”