BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Ann McElroy, PhD, associate professor of
anthropology at the University at Buffalo, will receive the Society
for Applied Anthropology's 2012 Sol Tax Distinguished Service Award
in recognition of "long term and truly distinguished service to the
The award, which will be presented during the 2012 Annual
Meeting of the SfAA in Baltimore, Md., March 28-31, was established
to honor the memory and career of Sol Tax, PhD, an internationally
renowned University of Chicago anthropologist who organized
anthropology as a global discipline and helped establish the field
of "action anthropology," an approach in which researchers work to
help solve social problems.
McElroy joined the UB faculty in 1971 as a specialist in
psychological anthropology and arctic ethnology. Her research
expanded to the emerging field of medical anthropology, and in 1979
she co-authored "Medical Anthropology in Ecological Perspective,"
now in its fifth edition.
With her fellow UB faculty members, McElroy developed a series
of applied research and training programs, including Research
Careers in Anthropology, an MS/PhD track in anthropology and social
epidemiology, and an MA concentration in applied medical
These programs have offered students opportunities for applied
research on migrant farm worker health in Western New York,
services for refugees and immigrants in inner city neighborhoods,
the community integration of persons with traumatic brain injury,
alternative childbirth management options, and study of gaps and
needs in services to Niagara County families affected by trauma,
grief and loss.
McElroy also served on the faculty advisory committee that
helped established the Center for Disability Studies at UB, which
now offers an interdisciplinary master's degree, and she is
preparing for publication the text "Disability and Diversity:
Anthropological Approaches to Impairment and Disability."
Her additional activities in applied anthropology include
research on educational change in rural Iran, clinical training in
geriatrics in southern Germany, participatory action research among
farm labor activists in northern California and several years as
consultant to childbirth reformers and midwifery advocates in
Western New York.
McElroy's longitudinal research in Inuit communities includes
work with elders in four Baffin Island communities, where she
recorded their memories and narratives of encounters with
missionaries, traders, teachers and other agents of change as
children and youth in the 1920s and 1930s. This research is
published in "Nunavut Generations: Change and Continuity in Baffin
Island Inuit Communities" (Waveland Press Inc., 2008).
A member of the Society for Applied Anthropology since 1976 and
a Sustaining Fellow since 2001, McElroy coordinated a health
network as part of the SfAA Committee on Regional and Special
Interest Groups and Affiliations, chaired the national organizing
meeting of the Resource Group in Health and Anthropology, and
co-organized and co-chaired the Health and Anthropology Network
symposium, "Knowledge Utilization in the Health Policy Process."
This symposium led to the publication of "Making Our Research
Useful: Case Studies in the Utilization of Anthropological