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'Reading' Burial Sites for Insights Into Health and Migration

Anthropology Ph.D. student Cristina Tica receives prestigious Fulbright Award to fund research in Hungary during the upcoming academic year.

Campus News  |  Jun 13, 2018  |  By Francis McCabe
Portrait Christina Tica

Cristina Tica, a UNLV doctoral student in anthropology, was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research in Hungary during the upcoming academic year. (Lonnie Timmons III/UNLV Creative Services)

Cristina Tica, a UNLV doctoral student in anthropology, was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to research abroad, gathering insights on health, disease, trauma, and migration pattterns. Tica will spend the upcoming academic year studying skeletal remains in Hungary with colleagues at Eötvös Loránd University and at the Hungarian National Museum. She developed an interest in the region while working on her master’s degree, which involved studying archaeological skeletal collections from Romania.

UNLV Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Debra L. Martin said Tica’s work will provide important insights into the ways that migration affects health through a close examination of historic populations in Eastern Europe.  

“Cristina is an expert at ‘reading’ the burials of long ago people for information on identity, health and trauma. This project brings together a range of topics of importance today -- namely understanding the short and long term effects of migration on individuals and communities,” Martin said.

Tica will focus on the Sarmatians, who inhabited the Great Hungarian Plain during the first four centuries of the common era. Tica’s work will contribute to bioarchaeological data to assess health, trauma and mobility patterns of Sarmatian groups.

“The opportunities presented through the Fulbright program will not only allow me to conduct my research, but also to explore the country more and immerse myself in the culture,” said Tica.

Earlier this year, UNLV School of Medicine professor Katherine Hertlein, whose ongoing research examines the effect of technology on human relationships, was named a Fulbright Scholar.

Hertlein, the program director for the UNLV School of Medicine’s Couple and Family Therapy Program, will expand her research on technology and relationships in Austria.

Tica and Hertlein are among the more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2018-19 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

The Fulbright Program, which operates in over 160 countries around the world, offers competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists. Fulbright alumni include 59 Nobel Laureates and 82 Pulitzer Prize winners.