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anthropology Accomplishments

Apr 3, 2018
Karen Harry (Anthropology) co-edited the book Life Beyond the Boundaries: Constructing Identity in Edge Regions of the North American Southwest, which recently was published by the University Press of Colorado.

Mar 19, 2018
Barbara Roth (Anthropology) is the author of the book Agricultural Beginnings in the American Southwest, which was awarded the 2017 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in Anthropology/Archaeology. The book synthesizes current data on the introduction of domesticated plants and an agricultural way of life to U.S. Southwest.

Mar 12, 2018
Jeremy Smallwood (Astronomy), Sara Black (History), Tyler Stalbaum (Mechanical Engineering), and Cheryl Anderson (Anthropology) are the recipients of this year's Graduate College Outstanding Thesis & Dissertation Awards. Each year the college gives four awards — within each category, one for STEM and one for non-STEM. This year’s winners are: Outstanding Thesis (STEM): Jeremy Smallwood, master of science, astronomy, for  “Secular Resonances during Main-Sequence and Post-Main-Sequence Planetary System Dynamics” Outstanding Thesis (Non-STEM): Sara Black, master of arts, history, for “Homeland, Homestead, and Haven: The Changing Perspectives of Zion National Park, 1700-1930” Outstanding Dissertation (STEM): Tyler Stalbaum, doctor of philosophy, mechanical engineering, for “Ionic Electroactive Polymer Devices: Physics-Based Modeling with Experimental Investigation and Verification” Outstanding Dissertation (Non-STEM): Cheryl Anderson, doctor of philosophy, anthropology, for “The Bioarchaeology of Inequality during the Middle Bronze Age in Central Anatolia.

Mar 9, 2018
Kwang Kim (Mechanical Engineering), Debra Martin (Anthropology), and Gabriele Wulf (Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences) have been selected as UNLV's 2018 Distinguished Professor Award recipients. The awards recognize professors for their teaching and scholarship as well as their service to the community, the university, and their profession. Winners are selected by a committee of their peers. As part of the honor, each recipient receives a $5,000 addition to his or her base salary. The winners will be honored during the Academic Achievement Awards ceremony, which is set for 3 p.m. April 18 in the Student Union. Kim, the NV Energy Professor of Energy and Matter, was selected for this award on the basis of his scholarly record, and numerous grants and projects totaling millions of dollars. The award recognizes his contributions to UNLV through mentorship of diverse graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and visiting scholars. Selection committee members also lauded Kim’s ability to conduct research, while maintaining substantial administrative roles, such as chair of the mechanical engineering department. Martin, professor of anthropology, was selected for the award for her record of scholarly achievement, grants and awards, and service to her profession. The selection committee praised Martin for her scholarly and field work in bioarchaeology, which examines the effects of violence on human populations. Her work in creating an internship program with the Clark County coroner/medical examiner’s office is helping the community better understand patterns of violent death in Southern Nevada. Wulf, professor of kinesiology and nutrition sciences, was selected for the award based on her scholarly work and innovative teaching in kinesiology. The selection committee noted her published works, honors and awards, and the variety of courses that she teaches. Wulf’s work focuses on identifying key factors to learning motor skills and optimal performance, which can be applied to a number of fields such as sports, physical rehabilitation, performing arts, military training, and medical education.

Dec 13, 2017
Timothy P. Gocha (Anthropology), along with co-authors Kate Spradley and Ryan Strand of Texas State University, recently published a book chapter on their work trying to identify presumed migrants who have lost their lives crossing the U.S./Mexico border.  The chapter, "Bodies in Limbo," traces the movement of deceased migrants in South Texas through the system of identification and repatriation. Given significant differences in funding, resources, labor power, institutional support, and time, the timing and movement of bodies through the various medicolegal process are highly variable. In many ways, the fragmentation and differential support for volunteer forensic scientists have produced particular systems-level nodes where bodies may wait “in limbo” for years. The chapter considers constraints faced by forensic scientists and the systemic implications of those individual constraints, as well as addresses the steps anthropologists are taking to improve identification efforts. The chapter is from a recently published edited volume, Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation, part of the Bioarchaeology and Social Theory series from Springer publishers where Lincy Professor of Anthropology Debra Martin is the series editor.   

Dec 4, 2017
Daniel Benyshek (Anthropology) and Sharon Young (Anthropology and Undergraduate Research) and colleagues published the first clinical trial exploring the effects of human maternal placentophagy, the practice of eating one's placenta after giving birth. The study, which was published online in the journal Women and Birth Nov. 23, was covered in Science news on Dec. 1.   

Oct 30, 2017
Levent Atici (Anthropology), along with colleagues Suzanne Pilaar Birch of the University of Georgia and Burçin Erdoğu of the University of Thrace in Turkey, has published a research article in PLOS ONE. In the article they investigate Neolithic and Chalcolithic (8500-7000 years Before Current Era) animal management systems at Uğurlu Höyük on the Turkish island of Gökçeada in the northeastern Aegean Sea. Atici’s (PI) research, funded by National Geographic Society, focuses on one of the most revolutionary socioeconomic transformations in the history of humankind — the Neolithic Revolution, and sheds new light on the dispersal of fully-developed agropastoral lifeways of emergent early farming populations into Europe via Anatolia (present-day Turkey). They document that the first colonizers and settlers of Gökçeada were farmers who introduced domestic sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs to the island as early as 8500 years before current era, and that their animal management systems on the island clearly diverged from the mainland.  

Jul 5, 2017
Three UNLV graduate students recently received a national Love of Learning Award from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. They are among 100 award recipients nationwide. Erick López, a doctoral student in sociology, will use funds from the award to travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend a research methods training titled "Health Disparities, Health Inequities and Vulnerable Populations: Research Examining and Understanding Complexity" and hosted by the world-renowned Interuniversity Consortium of Political and Social Research in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Alfonso Toro, ’17 M.Ed, is a Teach for America ’15 corps member and a full-time 8th grade English teacher in the inner city. His passion lies in creating access for others and he believes that education is the key to opportunity. Alfonso will use the award to travel to Frankfurt, Germany, to pursue German language lessons. Shelly Volsche is a visiting lecturer with the Academic Success Center and a doctoral candidate in anthropology. She is completing her dissertation on the formation and practice of the childfree identity, including what this emergent identity can teach us about the postmodern era. She is an engaged professor who believes continuing to learn is at the core of creating community within her classroom and the broader UNLV community.

Jun 20, 2017
Forty undergraduates recently were awarded scholarships through the office of undergraduate research's summer undergraduate research funding (OUR SURF) program. These scholarships support undergraduate research, scholarship, entrepreneurial, performance, or visual art projects in the summer months. A total of $39,000 in funding was contributed by the following 11 colleges/programs: Allied Health Sciences Community Health Sciences CSUN Engineering Fine Arts Honors Liberal Arts Nursing OUR-UNLV Provost's office Sciences A full list of recipients is available online. To learn more about their projects, attend the Summer Undergraduate Research Forum on Aug. 9.  

Jun 6, 2017
Alan Simmons (Anthropology) recently participated in an invited interdisciplinary conference sponsored by the Australian National University. The conference and subsequent workshop addressed the impacts that ancient humans had on native island animal populations, including their possible role in the extinction of the latter. Simmons was subsequently extensively quoted in a piece published in Science that summarized the conference.