Department Accolades
The Florida Anthropological Society recently honored the USF Department of Anthropology with a special award to recognize our program’s contributions “to the understanding and preservation of Florida’s archaeological and anthropological heritage.”
Faculty & Staff Spotlight
Congratulations to Dr. Antoinette Jackson, who was recently promoted to Full Professor!
Congratulations to Brittany Vojnovic, who was recently elected Parliamentarian for the USF Staff Senate!
Now Playing... at a Theater Near You
Dr. Erin Kimmerle was featured in the National Geographic documentary, Expedition Amelia,
which debuted on October 20, for her forensic assessment of human remains discovered 80
years ago in the South Pacific that are believed to be those of famed aviator Amelia Earhart.
Dr. Robert Tykot appeared in a new documentary on the Smithsonian Channel, entitled Pompeii: Bodies in the Basement, on November 25, which highlights his isotopic analyses of individuals from the nearby town of Oplontis in southern Italy.
Anthropologists in the News
Dr. Rebecca Zarger (pictured here) was featured by WUSF News on November 1 for her presentation of her recent research on Tampa residents’ perceptions of climate change, which found that 68% of participants think Tampa leaders should consider climate change in all relevant decisions they make. Alumna Rebecca O’Sullivan, Public Archaeology Coordinator for the West Central Region office of the Florida Public Archaeology Network based at USF, was interviewed by WUSF Public Media on October 16 about FPAN’s recent research on Zion Cemetery, believed to be the first American-American cemetery in Tampa. Ph.D. candidate Carrie LeGarde’s research with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to identify USS Oklahoma sailors who perished in the Pearl Harbor attacks over 77 years ago was featured on June 17 by the Coloradoan (part of the USA Today network). Research by alumna Dr. Sarah Smith (now Assistant Professor of Public Health and Co-Director of the Health Disparities Institute at SUNY Old Westbury) on birth migration to Guam was included in the latest edition of Youth Circulations, an Internet news service for research, art and activism around youth mobility and the politics of representation. Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center announced on November 7 that Ph.D. candidate Zaida Darley has been selected to serve as the new Director of the museum and heritage center. Dr. Christian Wells and his students are currently featured by USF News ( for their EPA-funded work to clean up and redevelop blighted properties in the University Area Community.
Super Students
Undergraduate major Alyssa Martin (pictured here) received the William H. and Anna K. Eigenbrod Anthropology Scholarship from the USF Department of Anthropology to travel to China. Undergraduate major Samantha Morancy received a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to attend Dr. Jonathan Bethard’s bioarchaeology field school in Transylvania, Romania.
Ph.D. students Kris-An Hinds (pictured here) and Liotta Noche-Dowdy have both been awarded a McKnight Dissertation Fellowship, a program designed to address the under-representation of African-American and Hispanic faculty at colleges and universities in the state of Florida. Ph.D. candidate Laura Leisinger was awarded a Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant for her research on the “Wellbeing and Precarity of Haitian Temporary Protected Status Recipients in South Florida.” Ph.D. candidate Gianpiero Caso received a grant from the Rust Family Foundation for his dissertation work on “Recipes for the Living and the Dead: Technological Investigation of Late Bronze Age Ceramics for a Specific Audience: The Case Studies of Sant'Angelo Muxaro and Polizzello.” Ph.D. candidate Kendal Jackson received the John W. Griffin Award from the Florida Archaeological Council to support his dissertation research, “Geoarchaeology of Late-Holocene Estuarine Seascapes in Tampa Bay, Florida.”
Ph.D. student William Lucas (pictured here) received the Latino Graduate Fellow Award from the USF Office of Graduate Studies. The Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group awarded the 2019 Graduate Student Travel Award to Ph.D. student Breanne Casper to present her research at this year’s AAA meetings in Vancouver, “Unscripted Change: A Critical Analysis of Rehabilitation Rhetoric in “Natural Recovery.” Ph.D. candidate Sarah Bradley received the Love of Learning Award from the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, reflecting her “superior academic record and life/career ambitions.” M.A. student Amanda Ward received a Conference Travel Scholarship from the Southeastern Museums Conference to attend the SEMC conference in Charleston, SC, where she will report on her MA internship experience with the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center. M.A. student Dina Rivera was selected as the 2019 Register of Professional Archaeologists Ethics Intern, a national paid internship to maintain and expand the resources in the Archaeological Ethics Database. M.A. student Nadege Nau received the American Ethnological Society Small Grants Award for her thesis research on the labor of anthropology professors at the State University of Haiti.
Amazing Alumni
Dr. Kristina Baines was awarded a 2019 Course-Hero Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching. She is currently Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Guttman
Community College in New York City.
Paola Gonzalez received the 2019 USF Status of Latinos (SoL) Alumni Award. She is currently an Environmental Scientist with the California State Water Resources Control Board (a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency).
Dr. Janelle Christensen is the new President of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida, pictured here with Representative Jennifer Webb (District 69).
Dr. Jason Wilson and Ph.D. student Heather Henderson have been selected as co-investigators of the Tampa General Hospital/USF Emergency Medicine/TEAMHealth ED Project NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Site, as part of the ED-INNOVATION (“Emergency Department-INitiated BupreNOrphine VAlidaTIOn Network Trial”) project, funded by the National Institutes of Health HEAL Initiative.
Where Are They Now?
Dr. Lauren Johnson has been promoted to Associate Professor and Department Head of the Culture, Language, & Leadership Department in the College of Education at the University of North Georgia. She was also recognized with one of UNG’s Diversity Champion Awards for her efforts to prepare minority teachers in the Hall County and Gainesville City school systems.
Dr. Cassandra Workman is a newly appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
Dr. Ashley Maxwell recently joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, working as a Lecturer alongside Assistant Professor Dr. Jason Miller.
Naomi Mojica (BA, 2019) recently enrolled in the MA program on the Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation at the University of Sussex.
Faculty Awards & Honors
Dr. Thomas Pluckhahn (pictured here) received a USF Outstanding Research Achievement Award from USF President Steve Currall. Dr. Charles Stanish received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Robert Tykot was elected President of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. Dr. Heather O’Leary received the 2019 Case Studies in the Environment Best Article Award for her article “Pluralizing Science for Inclusive Water Governance: An Engaged Ethnographic Approach to WaSH Data Collection in Delhi, India.” Dr. Antoinette Jackson was selected by the American Anthropological Association to take part in the “Write to Change the World” workshop organized by The Op-Ed Project, which works with anthropologists to help them publish op-ed pieces about their research in major national news media.
New Faculty Grants
Dr. Christian Wells (pictured here) and colleagues at the CDC of Tampa received an Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help unemployed and under-employed residents of the historically African-American community of East Tampa develop the skills and earn the certifications necessary to secure full-time careers in environmental and brownfields remediation. Dr. Wells and his team from the University Area CDC also received a Community-wide Assessment grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to continue their brownfield redevelopment projects in the University Area Community. Dr. Charles Stanish received a National Science Foundation grant for collaborative research (with colleagues at the University of Maine) to study, “The Ecological Context of Early Settlement in a Southern Peruvian Coastal Valley circa 5000-1000 BP.” Dr. Kathryn Weedman Arthur received a National Science Foundation grant to study “Frontier Landscapes in the Horn of Africa: Communities of Resistance or Resilience.”
Dr. Diane Wallman (pictured here) was awarded a National Geographic Exploration grant (with colleagues from Northwestern University, Syracuse University, the University of South Carolina, and local collaborators) for archaeological research on indigenous (Kalinago) interaction with Europeans at a 16th-17th century colonial trading outpost on the Caribbean Island of Dominica, entitled “Where Strangers Meet: Archaeological Investigations at La Soye 2, Dominica.” Dr. Kevin Yelvington received a Frederick B. Artz Summer Research Grant from Oberlin College to visit the school’s archives to study the papers of sociologist George Eaton Simpson (1904-1998), who did ethnographic fieldwork in Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Nigeria in the 1930s-1960s. Dr. Kiran Jayaram received a grant from the American Jewish World Service to assist with publication of the proceedings of a March 2019 workshop in the Dominican Republic entitled Island Anthropologies: Anthropological Knowledge Production in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Dr. Christian Wells received a 2019 University Nexus Initiative grant from USF to collaborate with colleagues at San Diego State University for a research project entitled, “Improving Water and Sanitation Infrastructure in Marginalized Communities.”
Notable Reads
Greenbaum, Susan D., Glenn Jacobs, and Prentice Zinn, Editors (2020). Collaborating for Change: A Participatory Action Research Casebook. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ.

Oueslati-Porter, Claire (2019). Gender, Textile Work, and Tunisian Women’s Liberation:
Deviating Patterns. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Heppner, Rebekah (2019). Losing Felicitas: A Story of Growing Up, Catholic School, and White Flight in Chicago. Self published. For more information, contact

Delaere, Christophe, José M. Capriles, and Charles Stanish (2019). Underwater Ritual Offerings in the Island of the Sun and the Formation of the Tiwanaku State. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(17):8233-8238.

Flansburg, Carroll, Christina M. Balentine, Ryan W. Grieger, Justin Lund, Michelle Ciambella, Deandre White, Eric Coris, Eduardo Gonzalez, Anne C. Stone, and Lorena Madrigal (2019). Fetal Hemoglobin Modulators May be Associated with Symptomology of Sickle Cell Trait Football Players. Southern Journal of Medicine 112(5):289-294.

Rivara, Ana. C., and Lorena Madrigal (2019). Early Maturity, Shortened Stature, and Hardship: Life History Trade-offs as Possible Indicators of Social Stratification and Income Inequality in the U.S. American Journal of Human Biology 31(5):e23283.

Wilson, Jason W., Roberta D. Baer, and Seiichi Villalona (2019). Patient Shadowing: A Useful Research Method, Teaching Tool, and Approach to Student Professional Development for Premedical Undergraduates. Academic Medicine 94(11):1722-1727.

Kihlstrom, Laura , Mecca Burris , Jess Dobbins, Emily McGrath, Andrew Renda, Tristan Cordier, Yongia Song, Kim Prendergrast, Karen Serrano Arce , Elisa Shannon, and David Himmelgreen (2019). Food Insecurity and Health-Related Quality of Life: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Older Adults in Florida, U.S.  Ecology of Food and Nutrition 58(1):45-65.
Burris, Mecca , Laura Kihlstrom , Karen Serrano Arce , Kim Prendergast, Jessica Dobbins, Emily McGrath, Andrew Renda, Elisa Shannon, Tristan Cordier, Yongia Song, and David Himmelgreen (2019). Food Insecurity, Loneliness, and Social Support among Older Adults.  Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition , https//
Globetrotting Professors
Dr. Elizabeth Bird, Professor Emerita, is the keynote speaker for “The Forgotten Stories: Nigeria-Biafra War and its Genocide,” at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg for International Human Rights Day (December 10).
Dr. Heide Castañeda gave an invited lecture on border studies at the Université Ibn Zohr in Agadir, Morocco; pictured here with Fulbright recipient Dr. Tara Deubel.
Dr. Elizabeth Miller recently presented research on growth and the microbiome in preterm infants at the 'World of Microbiome: Pregnancy, Birth and Infancy Conference' in Milan, Italy.
Dr. Kevin Yelvington gave a guest lecture on wine tourism to the Anthropology of Tourism course at the Universidad de Alicante in Spain.
Dr. Rebecca Zarger, as part of her NSF NRT “Strong Coasts” project, was able to see and learn about coral restoration on several cayes off the coast of southern Belize as a part of her summer field course lead in partnership with Dr. Maya Trotz from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.
Dr. Robert Tykot was the invited opening speaker at conferences in both Palermo, Sicily (L’oro nero che veniva dal mare: Workshop sulle sorgenti di Ossidiana nel Mediterraneo centrale) and Cagliari, Sardinia (Lo scambio e distribuzione dell'ossidiana da Monte Arci oltre la Sardegna).
Dr. Nancy White (with support from a USF Humanities Institute Summer Grant) and a student field crew (led by Ph.D. student Chris Hunt; pictured above) investigated the lost Florida panhandle town of old St. Joseph, Gulf County, which was founded in 1836 by cotton merchants and subsequently wiped out by 1841 from hurricanes, a yellow fever epidemic, and a fire.
Dr. John Napora visited New York City this past summer to witness a Sufi ritual where, as he describes, “the Muslim group whirled themselves, like the famed ‘whirling dervishes’ of Turkey, into states of ecstasy as they simultaneously sought to bring themselves closer to God and manifest the Divine.”
Dr. David Himmelgreen was an international invited speaker at the University of the Free State’s Strategic Conversation on Food Insecurity in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Summer 2020 Education Abroad
USF Anthropology
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