Laura graduated in 1997, with a BA in Anthropology and Spanish (with honors). After studying in Spain for a year, she returned to the US and received a Mellon Fellowship to pursue her doctoral studies in Cultural Anthropology under Dr. Laura Nader at the University of California-Berkeley. After a year of fieldwork among the Takana, an indigenous ethnic group in the tropical forest of northwest Bolivia, she completed her dissertation (PhD Berkeley 2005). She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the School for International Relations, University of the Pacific.
Brian earned B.S. degrees in Anthropology and Wildlife Biology in 1996, and Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences in 1997 from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal from 1997-2000. He received his M.S. From University of Florida in Agroforestry in 2004. Brian's research uses satellite imagery to analyze forest productivity on a landscape level to estimate the quantity of woody biomass that might be available for a bio-based industry plant, considering energy content and carbon balance, not just economics. The goal is to build dynamic models in a GIS database to examine scenarios for determining optimal size and sites of such plants. The scenario modeling facilitates considering various bio-fuel crops to optimize energy and carbon balance. Brian is president of the Bioenergy and Sustainable Energy Society. He is also a researcher at the University of Florida in the Phytoremediation and Short-rotation Woody Crops Renewable Energy Program while he works on his doctorate at U Florida.
Lucas graduated cum laude from K-State's anthropology program in 2001, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to conduct ethnographic research in an Ayoreo Indian village in Bolivia. This resulted in a documentary film (Asking Ayahai). He then went on to pursue graduate studies in anthropology at New York University, during which he received a Mellon Foundation Fellowship (2002), followed by several other awards. After completing 21 months of fieldwork with the Totobiegosode, a recently-contacted Ayoreo tribe in the Gran Chaco of northwestern Paraguay, he published several articles and completed a second documentary film (From Honey to Ashes). In February 2010, he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation Behold the Black Caiman: Politics, Desire and Becoming Ayoreo in the Gran Chaco. Dr. Bessire will be in residence at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the 2010-2011 academic year while funded by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Early Career Fellowship.
After graduating in 1994 (?), Bruce spent a season in Queretaro, Mexico, where he taught English as a second language and pursued a visual ethnography. He then continued his graduate studies in visual anthropology at Temple University, Philadelphia. After completing his Masters degree, he directed excavations of "disappeared" human remains in Panama, the gruesome legacy of a military dictatorship in his father's homeland. Bruce also did ethnographic fieldwork with Emberra Indians on Panama's Pacific coast. After several years of working for Panama's Truth Commission, investigating human rights violations and crimes against humanity, Bruce returned to Temple to complete his doctorate in anthropology, briefly taught visual anthropology at the University of Vermont, and now works at the KSU Foundation.
Christine Changho Bruneau
After graduating with a BA in Anthropology at KSU in 1994, Christine Changho traveled to the Philippines where he father's family had lived for several generations. She then returned and studied law at Tulane University Law School, obtaining her JD in 1998. Specialized in toxic tort defense; products liability; admiralty and maritime defense; environmental law, and general civil litigation, Chrissy has become a prominent lawyer in Louisiana. She has been admitted to the bar in several U.S. District Courts of Louisiana and Texas, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. A member of several legal associations, including the Association for Women Attorneys in Louisiana, she is an Associate in the professional law corporation Abbott Simses, New Orleans.
Alexandra graduated from K-State in 2008 with a BS in biology and anthropology where she spent three years working with the K-State archaeological collections and two years teaching fellow undergraduates about human biology and evolution in Intro to Physical Anthropology and Osteology labs. Alexandra is now studying biological anthropology and working as a teaching assistant at BinghamtonUniversity in central New York. She plans to earn her Master's degree in 2010 studying PacificIsland population genetics.
Chris A. Deter
Chris was a self-described "ski-bum" from Colorado, and then traveled to Namibia as an undergraduate. This helped spark her interest in anthropology. After graduation, Chris helped excavate human bones in Guatemala where thousands of Maya Indians had "disappeared." Killed by death squads, their bodied were dumped in mass graves. Years later, their bones were found and analyzed by forensic anthropologists. From Guatemala, Chris left for England, where she pursued her graduate studies at the University of Sheffield, and went on to research ancient human teeth at the University College of London, where she obtained her PhD in 2007.
Having graduated in 199?, John won a prestigious fellowship to study paleoanthropology under Dr. Wolpoff at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is now an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on Neandertals. Check out his blog.
Jenny [Schrag] James
As an under-graduate anthropology student, Jenny spent a summer studying Mennonite-Indian relations in the Gran Chaco of Paraguay. After graduation in 1994, she continued her studies at the University of Arizona, where she completed her Masters in Cultural Anthropology. Specializing in Applied Anthropology, she has been a researcher at the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology. Her projects included an ethnographic study of the social impacts of the offshore oil industry on workers and their families in Southern Louisiana. She has also worked on cultural resource projects with the National Parks Services and managed the data of a large-scale food security survey effort in Haiti. In 1999, Jenny and her husband moved to San Diego. She founded the San Diego office of an applied social science research firm and is now Vice-President of Harder+Company. Trained as an anthropologist, she has strong technical skills in social science research methods, participatory research, action research, data management, and decision-making. Also a proud mother, Jennifer manages and directs project treams involved in research and technical assistance for a wide range of funders, public agencies, and community-based organizations in California and beyond. Her projects include early childhood development, tribal education, child welfare, and the humanities.
Rose Wishall Ediger
With a BA in Anthropology and French (summa cum laude) at KSU in 2001, Rose entered the Graduate Program of Anthropology at the American University, Washington DC. Having completed her Masters, she is currently completing her doctoral thesis. This thesis is based on over two years of participant observation and interviews conducted in a francophone African Catholic congregation and among its members. She has attended weekly church services; prayer and committee meetings; congregation activities such as dinners, retreats, and prayer services; and she has interviewed congregation members—focusing on Central African women—and followed them in their daily routines. Rose focuses on the meanings of Christianity and Catholicism in this particular congregation, and on the ways that contact among various networks of people affect these meanings. In addition to completing her PhD, Rose is a mother of two, has worked as a research assistant at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, and presents her research at international conferences. In 2008, Rose won the prize for Best Qualitative Study at the Mathias Student Research Conference. Funded by an American University Dissertation Fellowship, she is currently writing her doctoral thesis titled "The Role of Identity in the Daily Life of Francophone, Christian African Immigrants in Washington, DC," and works as a Lecturer of Anthropology in Washington DC.
David R. Howell
Having graduated from our program in 1971?, David R. Howell chose a career with the US Federal Government. He was acting Director of Policy & Planning, Bureau of Immigration Enforcement and Chief of Policy & Strategy, Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. Now he is Acting Chief Human Capital Officer, US Citizenship & Immigration Services
Ryan Klataske graduated in 2006 from Kansas State University in Anthropology and Spanish. Passionate about travel, languages and other cultures, Ryan studied in Spain and Mexico and taught English in China during his undergraduate years. Following graduation, Ryan traveled through eastern Canada and Western Europe, working on farms in Canada, Belgium and France. Ryan entered the graduate program in Anthropology at Michigan State University in 2007 and completed his Masters degree in 2009. In June of 2010, he returned from a year in Namibia—his second trip to the southern African country—where he conducted doctoral fieldwork and served as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. His research examines environmental conservation, issues of land and natural resource use and complexities of rural change, and focuses specifically on the political ecology of conservation, conservancies and private land in Namibia. As part of his scholarship to southern Africa, Ryan also had the opportunity to travel through parts of South Africa and collaborate with an agriculture project and seed bank initiative among smallholder farmers in the central highlands of Angola. Much of Ryan's academic, professional and personal involvement centers on the relationship between environmental conservation and rural livelihoods. For a number of years, he worked on issues of wildlife and prairie conservation for a non-profit organization in Kansas and is currently assisting in the development of ecotourism for a wildlife sanctuary along the Niobrara River in northern Nebraska. He has received training in ecology and environmental sciences and, in addition to Anthropology, is pursuing a dual-PhD in the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program at Michigan State. An avid photographer, several of his photos have won awards and recognition. Although he always enjoys exploring new places, Ryan holds a special affection for his home and family ranchland in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Robert J. Losey
Dr. Robert Losey was raised on a cattle ranch in western Kansas and attended KSU from 1990 to 1994. He received his masters degree in 1996, and Ph.D. in 2002, both from the University of Oregon. In 2003 he was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Specialized in zooarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, and ethnography of the Pacific Northwest and Siberia, he is currently an associate professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta.
Clark Spencer Larsen
Hailing from Nebraska, Clark Spencer Larsen is an anthropologist who has become an internationally known specialist in bioarchaeology. After his BA in anthropology (with honors) at KSU in 1974, he pursued his graduate training in anthropology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (PhD 1980). In 1999, he became the Amos Hawley Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. That same year, he was elected President of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (1999-2001). In 2002, Ohio State University offered him a position as Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Ohio State University. He has spent most of his professional career directing the La Florida Bioarchaeology Project, involving the collaboration of scientists from the United States and elsewhere. Methods of analysis include biomechanics, paleopathology, dietary reconstruction (stable isotope analysis, tooth microwear). A popular account of the project is presented in "Skeletons in our Closet: Revealing our Past Through Bioarchaeology" (Princeton U Press, 2000). Dr. Larsen currently chairs OSU's Dept of Anthropology and co-directs the Global History of Health Project, involving the collaboration of scientists and study of skeletons from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
After graduating in our program with a BA in Anthropology in 1998, Mark continued his graduate training in cultural anthropology and sociolinguistics at Tulane University, New Orleans, where he is specializing in the Maya Indian cultures of Mesoamerica. His specific research interests focus on language maintenance, shift, and revitalization in conjunction with issues of bilingual education, economics, religion, and politics in Kaqchikel Maya and other indigenous communities throughout Mesoamerica. He married a fellow doctoral student, a Maya from Guatemala, and has completed his fieldwork among the Mayas of San Antonio Aguas Calientes and the Quinizilapa Valley, Sacatepequez, Guatemala. Mark is currently completing his doctoral dissertation at Tulane University.
In 2000, Abra successfully completed her BA in Anthropology at Kansas State University, where she was very active in Amnesty International, the African Student Union, Phi Beta Kappa, and served as editorial assistant for the Visual Anthropology review section of the journal American Anthropologist. After almost a year in Kenya, she returned to the US and worked for Cultural Survival, the Cambridge-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide (2001-2003). In addition to serving as its Africa News Editor/ East African Indigenous Rights Correspondent, she was Project Coordinator for the Simba Maasai Outreach Organization, Kenya (2002-2003). Deciding upon a politically-meaningful career in human rights, Abra then enrolled in the graduate program of American University in Washington DC, studying anthropology as well as law. In the next few years, she worked as Legal Intern at Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee/South African San Institute, and also as Legal Intern at Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. In 2005, Abra completed the International Human Rights Comparative Law Program in Europe. In the next two years, she served as student attorney in Washington College of Law's International Human Rights Legal Clinic. In 2007, Abra had completed her MA in anthropology and obtained an JD in International Law. Abra is now practicing as an Indigenous Rights Attorney in the Washington DC Metro area.
Lauren Markley graduated from our program in 1995 and continued her studies in physical anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada. There she completed her thesis, entitled "Hominid Paleoecology at the Mio-Pliocene Boundary," and her Master's degree in Anthropology in 1997. She has gone on to study jewelry design and metalsmithing, presently focusing on crafting unique one-of-a-kind jewelry.
Janelle Meyers Menard
Janelle completed her undergraduate studies at KSU with a BA in French and a BSc in Anthropology in 1994. Already interested in medical anthropology, she received a graduate fellowship to pursue a Masters in Anthropology at the University of Alabama, followed by a Masters in Public Health at the University of South Florida. Janelle is currently completing her PhD in Medical Anthropology at the University of South Florida. Her research interests focus on Caribbean ethnomedicine, medical treatment choice, Martinique, Haiti, political economy of cervical cancer, cancer epidemiology, cancer disparities, Caribbean immigrant women's health, cultural competency in U.S. health care, medical anthropology in public health.
While at K-State (2002-2004), Trever gained archaeological training and experience in the classroom and at several sites in eastern Kansas under the direction of Drs. Ritterbush, Logan, and Roper. After graduation he worked as an archaeologist out of Denver before enrolling in the graduate program in archaeology at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia (2005-2007). There he gained new experiences while studying and working in eastern Australia. He earned his M.A. in 2008. His thesis, which was based on fieldwork at Lake Mulurulu and Lake Mungo, focused on mid to late Holocene lithic reduction techniques in relation to mobility in the Willandra Lakes Region. Since returning to the United States he has been working as an archaeologist for R.C. Goodwin & Associates, a CRM firm based out of New Orleans, LA with offices in Frederick, MD, Tallahassee, FL, and Lawrence, KS, and Western Cultural Resources Management out of Sparks, NV. He has gained archaeological experience across the United States, as well as in the Pacific including with the first archaeological expedition on the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji. He remains interested in the archaeology of Australia, the Pacific Islands, and American Great Plains.
Matt attended KSU from 2000 to 2003 and graduated with a BA in anthropology. In 2006, he earned a Master's in anthropology with a minor in GIS from New Mexico State University. While at NMSU, he focused on the theoretical underpinnings of cultural resource management (CRM). During his summers at K-State and NMSU, Matt worked as a field archaeologist with the US Forest Service on the Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota and the Plumas National Forest in northern California. After obtaining his graduate degree, he worked for two years on the Plumas National Forest as a CRM archaeologist. Matt and his family have since returned to South Dakota where Matt is a district archaeologist on the Black Hills National Forest. There he manages historic and prehistoric archaeological sites on public land and protects them from damage caused by development, vandalism, and catastrophic wildfire.
Judith M.S. Pine
After graduating from our program at KSU in 1985, Judith continued her graduate training in linguistic anthropology at the University of Washington. Judy, who was an ROTC cadet, served in the Army for four years before returning to academia. She earned her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Washington, with a dissertation based on fieldwork among Lahu people in northern Thailand. Her ongoing research includes fieldwork among Lahu speakers in Thailand and in China. Judy is currently an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at Western Washington University. http://www.wwu.edu/anthropology/faculty/pine/index.htm
After graduation from K-State, Beth Shirley entered the Museum Studies Program at the University of Kansas. She completed her Master's degree in Museum Studies in 2009. While undertaking her graduate studies she served as the Lela Barnes Intern for the Library and Archives division of the Kansas Historical Society and a graduate assistant for the University Archives at Spencer Research Library at KU. Beth has also served as a research assistant and archaeological technician for the Kansas Historical Society. She presently serves as a museum professional out of Lawrence, Kansas, with special interests in Museum Education and Archives and Records Management.
Ben M. Shields
After graduation with a BS in anthropology in 2000, Ben Shields continued his studies in anthropology at the University of Alabama, where he completed his Masters in 2003 with a thesis An Analysis of The Archaic Human Burials at The Mulberry Creek (1CT27) Shell Mound, Colbert County, Alabama. Focusing on bioarchaeology and warfare of pre-contact foragers in the Southeast, he was then accepted I the doctoral program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Also interested in archaeological photography and forensic archaeology, Ben joined the Archaeology Unit of Newfoundland's Memorial University in 2006 and participated in archaeological Investigations in Nachvak Fiord, Newfoundland-Labrador, Canada. Ben is currently completing his doctoral research at UNC-Chapel Hill
Eric enrolled at K-State in 2004 to pursue a degree in Secondary Education with a specialization in History. However, he soon switched to Anthropology with special interest in archaeology. While at K-State, Eric gained hands-on training through the 2006 Kansas Archaeological Field School and worked on projects in the KSU Archaeology Lab and field under Brad Logan. Lauren Ritterbush provided encouragement to gain practical experience outside the university. Following the field school, Eric did CRM archaeology in Mississippi, Alabama (2006) and Wyoming (2007). In 2007 Eric was awarded the Patricia J. O'Brien Award for Outstanding Student in Archaeology. After graduating from K-State magna cum laude with degrees in Anthropology and History, Eric assisted Brad Logan with the 2008 field school, then took a position with RC Goodwin, a CRM firm in Lawrence, KS. He has since been involved with archaeology projects in a variety of places across the United States. He will be starting his graduate studies in archaeology at the University of Nebraska in August 2010.
Kenda grew up on a farm in rural Kansas, studied cultural anthropology at KSU and graduate with a BA in Anthropology and German in 2001. Interested in feminist anthropology, she continued her graduate training at the University of Iowa. After spending two years in Israel/Palestine completing her fieldwork and interning for the Mossawa Center, an advocacy center for Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel, she has returned to Iowa to begin writing her dissertation. Her research focuses on the cultural political implications of women's soccer in Israel, focusing primarily on the only Palestinian Arab women's soccer team in the Israeli league. Her work at the Mossawa Center focused primarily on writing position papers and recommendations to members of the European Parliament and Commission and other international actors whose policies affect the Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel. Kenda is now a Crossing Borders Fellow at the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and Ph.D. candidate in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Iowa.
After her BA in Anthropology at KSU in 1970, Merrily Stover pursued her graduate training in cultural and linguistic anthropology at the University of Hawaii. Her field research on land and social changes was conducted in American Samoa and supported by the National Science Foundation. Involved in distance learning since 1992 when she first taught for the British Open University in London, she served as Academic Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Humanities, in the Open Learning program, University of Maryland University College (1993-97). In 1997, she was selected for the inaugural program of the Certificate in Distance Education for Professionals, awarded by Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany, and the Institute for Distance Education, University System of Maryland. Dr. Stover also taught at University of London Birkbeck College, Monterey Institute of International Studies, and the University of Hawai'i in a special program in American Samoa. Currently, she is Professor and Assistant Dean for Communication, Arts, and Humanities, at the University of Maryland University College.
Past President of Nebraska's Writers Guild, author Stan Struble graduated from our program with a BA in Anthropology (1974). His publishing credits include articles and fiction novels, including Filth Eater and Sins of the Jaguar, both set in Mexico, as is his latest anthropological novel Descent Into Xibalba soon to be published in Spanish. Stan is a Family Teacher, certified Parent Trainer, a youth counselor at Boys Town, NE and an adjunct Sociology teacher for Metropolitan Community College in Nebraska.
John obtained his BA in anthropology at KSU in 1997. Long fascinated by the ancient Maya, he has participated in and led archaeological excavations in Central America (Guatemala and Honduras). After completing his Master's degree in anthropology at the University of Kansas (2001), he received his doctorate in Mesoamerican archaeology at Vanderbilt University (2009). His dissertation research at the site of K'o, Guatemala examined long-term patterns in power and wealth in ancient Maya economies, and was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society. His dissertation is available at http://etd.library.vanderbilt.edu//available/etd-03242009-093236/ Since completing his dissertation, John served as visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is presently an Archeologist with the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka.
Caroline [Chapman] VanSickle
Caroline graduated from K-State in 2007 with a B.S. in anthropology, her focus in physical anthropology. While at K-State, she was a TA for Prof. Finnegan's Intro to Physical Anthropology Lab course, held various officer positions in Anthropology Club, and participated in the very first Sapiens Symposium (all activities she would recommend to any current students). She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in paleoanthropology at the University of Michigan under Prof. Milford Wolpoff. Specifically, she studies the morphology of recent hominid fossils (e.g., Neandertals) and how to explain the fossils in terms of biomechanical requirements. She completed her coursework and preliminary exams in spring 2010 so is looking forward to her research. She is happy to talk to any K-State students about graduate school in general or Michigan in particular. She can be reached via email here.
After two years at the University of Southern California, Michael returned to the Great Plains and enrolled in his parents' alma mater. He graduated with a BA in Anthopology (summa cum laude), and continued his studies in cultural anthropology at the University of Virginia. He obtained a Jacob Javits Fellowship as well as a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and did his doctoral fieldwork in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Having obtained his PhD at U Virginia in 2005, he is now an Assistant Prof of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. Especially since Spring 2008, his pioneering work in digital ethnography and media ecology has attracted worldwide attention. In 2008, the Carnegie Foundation elected him a US Professor of the Year.
Sarah Engler Wesch
Sarah graduated in 1997 and went on to complete her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at American University in 2004. Her dissertation research explored how body image and conceptions of beauty were changing among women in rural Papua New Guinea under Western influence. She is now a clinical psychologist at Kansas State University Counseling Services.
Rebecca (Whitehill) Wood
Rebecca is currently the Finance Director for the City of Chanute,Kansas, home of the Osa and Martin Johnson Safari Museum. After graduating as an anthropology major in 1998, she served as Community Development Director and Interim Economic Development Director, City of Liberal, KS. After two years, she became an Economic Development Representative for the Kansas Department of Commerce Housing. Rebecca then returned to K-State, first as Assistant Director and Project Coordinator "Kansas Service-Learning Consortium", next as Interim Executive Director, Kansas Campus Compact (KSCC), and Assistant Director, Kansas Center for Rural Initiatives (KCRI). Then, she coordinated a $3.5 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program at K-State to advance women faculty in science, engineering, and mathematics. She completed her Master of Business Administration(MBA) at K-State in 2009,and moved to Chanute in 2010. In her career so far, she has worked on issues such as economic development, historic preservation, cultural diversity, civic engagement, and gender equity.
Brian T. Wygal
Brian is a 1998 alum with a BS in Anthropology. After graduating from KSU, he accepted a research position with the National Park Service in Alaska and received an MA degree in 2003 from University of Alaska, Anchorage. In 2005, he was the co-recipient of a National Science Foundation grant to investigate the archeology and paleoecology of the middle Susitna River region of Alaska. He later became a research archaeologist for Denali National Park and partnered with the University of Nevada, Reno to conduct remote wilderness surveys and excavations in an effort to interpret the cultural chronology of the central Alaska Range. Brian earned his PhD from the University of Nevada in 2009. His dissertation is available online at http://www.unr.edu/cla/anthro/wygal_dissertation09_ver2.pdf. Recently, Brian has been working as a government archeologist in central Wyoming, while continuing to present and publish his research on Subarctic and northern Great Plains prehistory. Since 2010, he works as an assistant professor of anthropology at Adelphi University in New York.