Congratulations to this year’s award winners and honor students!

Congratulations to this years award winners and honor students!

Anthropology Undergraduate Awards

Outstanding Junior: Deandre Miles

Outstanding Senior: Virginia Spinks

Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing: Cameron Barker

Anthropology Graduate Awards:

George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Whitney Easton and Daniel Thompson

Anthopology Honor Students

Cameron Barker

Yen Doan

Michelle Kagei

Katherine Nerses

Virginia Spinks

Bisan Salhi, MD, recognized on Doctors’ Day

Dr. Bisan Salhi is one of Emory’s medical faculty recognized on Doctors’ day. After reviewing 160 Emory physicians nominated by their peers, the recognition committee honored six outstanding faculty of the Emory School of Medicine.

Dr. Salhi is an emergency room physician at Grady Memorial Hospital, faculty in the Emory School of Medicine department of Emergency Medicine, and a PhD candidate in the Anthropology department. She researches homelessness, vulnerable populations, and emergency medicine.

Bioarcheologist Clara Alfsdotter is visiting the Anthropology Department at Emory for research



Clara Alfsdotter is a PhD student at Linneaus University in Sweden and an archeologist at the Bohusläns County Museum in Uddevalla.

She is working on the excavation site of Sandby Borg, a ring fort on the Baltic island of Öland in Sweden. Excavation is still in the early stages, but fascinating puzzles are already emerging. It seems that the inhabitants were brutally killed while many valuables such as gold, roman artifacts, and animals were left behind and were not looted afterwards.

“It’s intriguing that no females have been found yet,” says Alfsdotter. This absence ties into the questions of how and why this happened and makes the experts wonder what happened since. On top of these mysteries this site is also an exceptional and rare record of the Migration period life inside a ring fort – since the fort was abandoned after the assault, everything has just been left to decay inside the houses and on the streets after that day. Extraordinary details of the everyday life are found. For example, next to one house hearth, the skeletal remains of half a herring was discovered. Was someone brutally interrupted when preparing the food that day 1500 years ago?

Alfsdotter’s focus for this trip is research on learning and developing methodologies and theories for tracing the original position of the human bodies and why they came to rest in the way they did. What was the original position of the corpse and why? Can the acts of the perpetrators and victims be traced? Alfsdotter is at Emory University visiting Dr. Liv Nilsson Stutz, who has a long history of archaeothanatological research into how skeletal remains have been affected by taphonomic processes and mortuary circumstances.

Aerial View by Sebastian Jakobsson


Tawni Tidwell’s Research in Tibetan Medicine Featured in Emory News

Tawni Tidwell’s Research in Tibetan Medicine Featured in Emory News

This Summer, Anthropology PhD candidate Tawni Tidwell, the first Westerner to be certified in Tibetan medicine in Tibet, was featured in Emory News, with an interview in eScienceCommons. Tawni’s dissertation research focuses on how Tibetan physicians diagnose diseases, particularly cancer.

“I see myself as a bridge between Tibetan medicine and Western science,” says Tidwell, who became a Tibetan physician in 2015. “I feel like each has something to offer the other.”

Kendra Sirak’s Research on Ancient DNA Featured in Emory News

Kendra Sirak’s Research on Ancient DNA Featured in Emory News

This Summer, Anthropology PhD candidate Kendra Sirak’s research was featured in Emory News. Kendra is a visiting researcher at the Earth Institute at University College Dublin, where she is testing the DNA of people ranging from medieval Nubians to an ancient Chinese specimen to an Irish rebel.

Kendra describes her anthropological training at Emory:

“At Emory, I have learned how to think from a “biocultural” point of view. While many other anthropology programs stress only either a “biological” or a “cultural” approach, Emory combines the two.

I study the biology of past populations and I think about the way their culture and social environment could have influenced individual health and well-being, population demographics, patterns of morbidity and mortality, etc.”