In my capacity as director of graduate studies, I am proud to announce that incoming graduate students, Nikita Das and Elias Plata Espino, are two of the three recipients in the College of Arts and Sciences of the CAS Climate Change Fellowship."
-Vasiliki Neofotistos, Director of Graduate Studies
Elias Plata Espino plans to use Mexico’s Sierra Tarahumara as a case study to analyze in his dissertation, titled “The impact of violence on environmental conservation policies: insights from the Sierra Tarahumara case study,” factors, including community violence and drug trafficking, that compromise efforts geared toward environmental conservation. Elías’ dissertation will shed light on the social and political factors that need to be accounted for when it comes to the design and implementation of initiatives to combat climate change.
Nikita Das plans to analyze in her dissertation, titled “Valuation of Electricity in Rural India: An Ethnographic Study” how India’s rural community valuates electricity in the context of government efforts to further rural electrification and reduce carbon emissions. Nikita’s work has practical implications as it helps government officials and policy makers make decisions regarding the use of clean and green energy, and ensure energy access and energy security while combating climate change in India.
Ashley Cercone and Erika Ruhl received Fulbright student grants. Cercone will travel to Turkey to analyze early Bronze Age ceramics from archaeological sites using technology such as laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and portable X-ray fluorescence (p-XRF). Ruhl travelled to Finland to research the subject of children’s identity and agency in pre-modern Finnish burial textiles.
Amandine Eriksen was honored at the 15th annual Celebration of Student Academic Excellence as a recipient of the 2018-19 Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate Teaching Assistants.
Ariel Taivalkoski and Bobbi Hornbeck received National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grants. Both students are conducting dissertation research on the Rat Islands in Alaska. Hornbeck’s project is entitled, Exploring Monumental Mound Construction in the Rat Islands, Alaska. Taivalkoski’s project is entitled, Technological Choice and Human-Animal Relationships: A Bird’s Eye View from the Rat Islands, Alaska.
Brittany Kenyon-Flatt was awarded a visiting scholar fellowship at the Field Museum of Natural History to support her dissertation research on taxonomic efficacy in the macaque skeleton.
Laura Labarge received a dissertation research grant from The Leakey Foundation for her project, The ecology of fear in wild samango monkeys. The project focuses on the ecology of predator avoidance, including how humans might alter antipredator behaviors in wild samango monkeys inhabiting the Afromontane forests of northern South Africa.
Ashlee Hart was awarded a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (DCF) for her dissertation, Convening Cultures in Thrace: Evaluating Interaction Through Ceramic Technological Choices.
Mark Conaway received a dissertation research grant from The Leakey Foundation for his project, Hominoid postcranial integration in relation to function and evolutionary history.
Patrick Willett was awarded the Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) Residential Fellowship in Istanbul for the 2018-19 academic year for his dissertation project, Transforming Landscapes of Southwestern Anatolia: Social and environmental change in the territory of Sagalassos during the Holocene.
Over the summer, I was able to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea. While there, I decided to conduct research on the high suicide rates within the country. What I found was that there were two primary groups affected by this and for very different reasons. The first group affected were young adults or teens. They had such an immense pressure placed onto them by society to be the best students. They would study all throughout the day with little or no time left over for leisure activities. Everyone was competing to get into the same colleges and for the same jobs. The second group affected were the elderly. Traditions have been changing amongst the younger generations due to modernization. Whereas the family would take care of the elderly in the past, this has been changing in recent times. On top of all of this, mental illnesses were not seen as treatable conditions but problems with the individuals that could reflect poorly on the family. It was very interesting being able to talk to locals about their viewpoints on suicide, and even more so seeing how many were affected by it in one way or another.
First Place: Rebecca Biermann
Second Place: Erin Pinkston
First Place: Kenneth Starr
Second Place: Bailey Quinn
Honorable Mention: Deana Defranco