Blog Archives

And Now For Some Happy News

We deal with lots of bad news in our field of research.  Natural disasters, ongoing drought, household economic loss, environmental destruction, political change, epidemics, etc.  Bah!  Sometimes I wonder why more folks in our field aren’t taking depression medication – or maybe they are and I just don’t know it.  So when we get happy news we should definitely bask in it’s sweet aura while we can.

Lately, we’ve had a run of good news in our lab – internships, graduations, honors, and awards.  So here’s a virtual HIP HIP HOORAY!! shout out to our lab.

Alyssa Nutter will be traveling to The Gambia this summer for her master’s internship with the PEACE Program out of St. Mary’s College of Maryland.  She will be serving as both a program and research assistant, aiding American and Gambian student participants, teaching stats, and working to develop a comprehensive assessment model for the study-abroad program based on ethnographic methodology.   Dr. Bill Roberts, an applied anthropologist, program director and founder of the field school, will be her supervisor this summer.

Rebecca Alberda landed a masters internship with START, a national consortium for the Study of Terrorism And Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.  Her fieldwork will take her to Washington, DC – our nation’s capital and a place that experiences frequent disasters in the movies (and some would say in government).  While Rebecca can’t tell us a whole lot about her work this summer, it will involve improving risk communication to vulnerable populations for new technologies related to…  Hold on, someone is at the door.     Just kidding.  Effective risk communication surrounding new technology is extremely important – particularly in the area of natural disasters, epidemics, and other environmental change.

Jordan Tompkins‘ masters internship will take her to southern Mozambique where she will assist her supervisor, Dr. L. Jen Shaffer, with data collection on the Signals in the Noise research project.  conduct a small research project of her own mapping local mental models of the connections between ecological change and malaria.  In addition to her work as a research assistant, Jordan will be helping teach interdisciplinary research methods at a training workshop for Universidade Eduardo Mondlane students and faculty.

Katie Chen will graduate with honors this May from the anthropology department.   Her paid internship with the University Research Company, LLC. in the Human Resources/Business Development Department will continue through until early September.  Kate says that she really enjoys her work and hopes it develops into something full time, but if not she plans to look for another internship or job related to Human Resources.  She’s also interested in exploring issues of environmental health related to climate change at some point.  On a more personal note, she’s looking forward to her sister visiting from California this summer and knitting the Fourth Doctor’s scarf from Doctor Who in preparation for next winter.

After graduating with honors this May from the anthropology department, Raquel Fleskes will be heading to George Washington University in the fall to begin a masters in Anthropology.  She’s considering participating in their museum training certificate program.  Raquel also landed a paid internship with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for the summer.  She will be lab looking at animal bone samples from the Chesapeake Bay region in Dr. Doug Owsley’s lab.

Amanda Hathaway will also graduate this May.  She’s been working hard in the lab all term to complete our skull catalog.  We are down to 16 skulls that are either unidentified, unnumbered, or both.  I, and the ANTH 222 students, owe her MAJOR thanks for that tedious and long-suffering task!  After graduation, Amanda plans to head out to Colorado for work.

This summer Maria Sharova will be participating in SESYNC‘s Summer Internship Program.  She will be a paid intern working with Dr. Jennifer Hadden on an environmental policy project in UMD’s Department of Government & Politics.  Maria will return to the lab next fall to continue her visual research with historic African images as an honor’s thesis project.

Next Wednesday, 16 April, Jen Shaffer will receive the 2014 BSOS Teaching and Mentoring Award during the annual College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Faculty and Staff Recognition Reception.  I’d just like to say thank you to all my students, colleagues, teachers, mentors, and mentees over the years that have inspired me to do my best.  I also want to say thanks to my mom and dad, both teachers, for teaching me how to teach and inspiring me as well.