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.”
Anthropology and Human Biology Major Farah Al Chammas is one of four outstanding Emory seniors who will be attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland on the Bobby Jones Scholarship.
“Emory has changed my life in every possible way and the Bobby Jones Scholarship is ensuring that that continues beyond my time at Emory. [At the University of St. Andrews] I will be pursuing a Masters in International Development Practice, which is an interdisciplinary degree that allows me to enjoy the taste of Emory’s liberal arts nature that I so loved and capitalized on as an undergraduate. It is an honor to be a representative for this institution that has opened my world so I can grow and give back to Emory itself and beyond.”
Please join us in congratulating undergraduates Esther Garcia, Grace Jarrett, Hannah Katz, and Sierra Stubbs, and graduate students Andrea Rissing, Christina Rogers, and Adeem Suhail. Undergraduate awards were distributed at the Honors and Awards Luncheon on Friday, April 26. See below for detailed award descriptions. We are so proud of our many talented and engaged students!
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellent and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing: Grace Jarrett for her paper “The Hair Salon: A Black Female Geography”
2019 Graduate Student Awards:
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellent and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing: Adeem Suhail for his dissertation “THIS IS NOT A GANG: Proxy Classes and Political Subjection in Lyari”
George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student: Andrea Rissing and Christina Rogers
For an Anthropology senior who has shown significant achievement in their undergraduate career, both academically as well as through extraordinary engagement and/or service relevant to their study in Anthropology.
For an Anthropology junior who shows great promise at this stage in their undergraduate career, both academically as well as through extraordinary engagement and/or service relevant to their study in Anthropology.
Marjorie Shostak Prize for Excellence and Humanity in Ethnographic Writing
In 1999 The Department of Anthropology announced the establishment of the “Marjorie Shostak Prize” to be awarded each year to an Emory student whose paper reflects original research on some aspect of human life experience. The prize commemorates the life and work of Marjorie Shostak, author of Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1981, republished 2000) and the sequel Return to Nisa (Harvard, 2000). These works were highly praised for the immediacy of the writing, the personal character of the ethnographic encounters, and the complete absence of jargon, without any sacrifice of anthropological accuracy or validity. The presence of the ethnographer as an individual in these writings gave the reader an opportunity to take her perspective and biases into account in evaluating the descriptions and interviews.
The award is bestowed on papers/theses that take a direct, personal approach to ethnography, without sacrificing validity or analysis, in keeping with the spirit of Shostak’s work. In the best submissions, human beings will come alive on the page, giving the reader a strong experience of the culture those people belong to. The writer will also attempt to analyze or interpret the experience, but with a minimum of jargon.
George Armelagos Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student
This annual award is to recognize graduate students in Anthropology who have demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching during their time at Emory. One goal of our graduate program is to develop the teaching skills of all doctoral students. This award is given based on a student’s record in teaching and contributions to the undergraduate program over the entire span of their career at Emory. The award is funded through an endowment set up by the late Professor George Armelagos – a distinguished scholar, teacher, and mentor. It was his desire that the department recognize graduate students who are exceptional teachers, and that this recognition might help them on the job market.
The Department of Anthropology is thrilled to report that Klamath Henry (19C) is the recipient of the prestigious Marion Luther Brittain undergraduate student award at Emory University. The Brittain Award, generally acknowledged to be the highest honor bestowed on a student by Emory University, is presented each year to two graduating students – one graduate and one undergraduate – from any of the nine academic divisions of the university. These students are considered to have performed the most “significant, meritorious and devoted service to Emory University, with no expectations of recognition or reward.” The award is made under provisions of a gift by the late Dr. M. L. Brittain, former President of Georgia Institute of Technology and an alumnus of Emory.
Klamath’s awards and accomplishments are numerous. This Spring, Klamath was recognized as a “100 Senior Honorary” by the Emory University Alumni Association and as a “2019 Graduating Women of Excellence” by the Center for Women at Emory. Last year she was awarded “Junior Student of the Year,” by the Department of Anthropology. She received a full scholarship for graduate study in Anthropology at the University of California at Fullerton, which she will pursue starting this Fall.
Klamath’s academic research, public scholarship, community work, and personal mission in life is centrally concerned with issues of diversity, inclusion, and representation. Klamath’s own background as a Shasta and Tuscarora woman guides her in this work. The Brittain award serves as a wonderful affirmation that Klamath is making – and has made — a significant and lasting impact on Emory University at many levels, including student life, academic life, our relation to space, and our future as a more engaged ethical community. Her work has been essential in shifting the Emory landscape towards increased representation of Indigenous peoples at Emory. This includes recognition of the Cherokee and Muscogee Creek people who flourished in this region and who took care of this land before the land dispossession and forced removals by the US government in the 1830s.
Just recently, Klamath’s experimental ethnography project – entitled Three Sisters Resiliency — was selected through juried review for inclusion in the annual Screening Scholarship Media Festival at the University of Pennsylvania. The project examines contemporary Indigenous sovereignty in relation to Indigenous food ways.
We are thrilled to announce that Rashika Verma, a recent Anthropology graduate, won first place in the Lambda Alpha National Honor Society Student Paper Competition for her paper, “Climate Refugees: Redefining Refugee Status and the Implications for Cultural Identities.”
Lambda Alpha is a national honor society recognizing academic excellence in the study of Anthropology, and is open to students who meet Anthropology credit and GPA requirements. Each school chapter is invited to submit one entry to the annual paper competition, and despite many strong submissions to our internal competition, Rashika’s paper stood out. The paper was originally written for her Anthropology of Humanitarianism class, taught by Dr. Aubrey Graham (16PhD and current Interdisciplinary Teaching Fellow at Emory’s Institute for the Liberal Arts).
“This paper is a reflection of my combined interest in climate change and humanitarianism,” says Rashika. “Dr. Graham’s Anthropology of Humanitarianism class was a powerful experience for me because medicine in many ways is a form of humanitarianism, and critically analyzing it’s successes and shortcomings through anthropological theory was eye-opening as I hadn’t really considered that angle before … The idea of climate refugees is still relatively new and I feel that as a society we haven’t had the difficult conversations about what we can/will do about the fact that people will be displaced from their homes because those homes are underwater and completely uninhabitable. Overall, it was a challenging and nuanced topic to explore, but it was fascinating to research and is something I know I’ll be thinking about moving forward in my personal and professional life.”
Rashika graduated from Emory College of Arts and Sciences this spring with a degree in Anthropology and Human Biology, and completed an honors thesis exploring doctors’ perspectives on food insecurity in an urban food desert. She is currently working as a Clinical Assistant at a Neurosurgery practice and plans to attend medical school next year.