Anthropology Department News 2014

Anthropology Department News 2014

Students research presented at PASSHE’s STEM Conference

STEM Conference

Three College of Liberal Arts students recently presented their URSCA-sponsored summer research at the PASSHE Undergraduate Research Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Conference at Slippery Rock University.

  • Laurie Ganey, psychology, presented "Development and Assessment of a Neuroscience-inspired Psycho-educational Workbook.” Her faculty mentor was Mary Katherine Duncan.
  • Lacy Marbaker, anthropology, was awarded second place in STEM for her poster, “The Effects of Susquehanna River Water Pollution on Decomposition of Sus scrofa domesticus: An Application of Forensic Anthropology.” She was mentored by Conrad Quintyn and Faith Warner.
  • Jaimee Saemann, anthropology, presented “The Cochlear Implant: A Technological Miracle or Cultural Supressor?” She was mentored by Faith Warner.

Into the rainforest

Jeanine Hubert

The days have begun swiftly molding together as more and more time flies here on the island of Ometepe. Literally, by 6 p.m. it's dark. Waking up at 4:30 a.m. is no longer as tiring, and sitting in a pile of dirt and leaves for hours whilst staring up and into the lives of our primate friends has become second nature.

— Jeanine Hubert '14 #BUAbroad

Hopewell Field School

Students unearth archaeological discoveries

Summer break has begun a little differently for a group of anthropology students, who have put their vacation plans on hold for a memorable field school experience in Ohio. Among the highlights so far, they say, have been learning the processes of an archaeological dig, discovering Hopewell artifacts and campfire conversations — along with a growing appreciation of wind and shade.

DeeAnne Wymer, professor of anthropology, and a group of students hit the road each spring in mid-May to spend four weeks in southern Ohio digging at a Hopewell habitation site. The archeological field school experience enables student teams to rely on new imaging technologies to uncover another living site of the Mound Builders from 2,000 years ago. #CollaborativeLearning

Life in the Dig

Lambda Alpha welcomes new members

Lambda Alpha

At the end of the spring semester, 25 anthropology students were inducted into the Lambda Alpha National Collegiate Honor Society in Anthropology in the Schweiker room of Andruss Library.

  • Gabrielle Vielhauer was recognized as Outstanding Senior in Anthropology
  • Erika Maxson was awarded the Wymer and Warner Anthropology Scholarship

In addition, graduating seniors, conference presenters, and student scholarship and grant recipients were recognized in the annul anthropology honors reception and induction ceremony.

2013-14 Department of Anthropology Highlights!

2014 Lambda Alpha Inductees: Serena Brooke Stackhouse, Patrick Vandergeest , Ashley Gianni-Bradford, Sarah Beam, Brianna Moller, Bryan Molk, Benjamin Tice, Laura Wilson, Shana Cuff, Lacy Marbaker, Sara Kwiecien, Tomisha Swank, Jennifer Cornell, Alicia Pucci, Stevie Spishock, Caitlin Walker, Alicia Johnson, Meghan Boarts, Jeanine Hubert, Timothy Carpenter, Michael Zielinskie, Kassandra Stachowski, Vikram Mookerjee, Jaime Saemann and Amy Deschaine.

Anthropology outreach group to local schools

Faith Warner, Ph.D., and DeeAnne Wymer, Ph.D., with anthropology majors Michelle Mattar, Gabby Vielhauer and Morgan Kelley developed three interactive displays in Forensic Anthropology, Archaeology, and Geography for the “Interactive Educational Expo-Families Learning Together” at St. Columba Catholic School in Bloomsburg. The expo brings together students and their families in an interactive learning activity and this is the second year that the Department of Anthropology has participated in the event.

Students shine at the PASSHE Undergraduate Anthropology Research Conference

Anthropology Research Conference

Anthropology and psychology students recently presented on a wide range of applied and theoretical original research topics at the 28th Anthropology Research Conference at IUP. Anthropology major Shannon Sursely was awarded the best conference presentation prize and Meghan Boarts was honorably mentioned, by selection of the host faculty members. The annual conference will be held at Bloomsburg University next year. The College of Liberal Arts, Anthropology Club, and Department of Anthropology supported student travel to the conference.

  • An Ethnographic Approach to the Availability and Accessibility of Autism Support Services and Networks - Shannon Sursely
  • “Lost in Translation”: The Spanish-English Gap in Language Acquisition - Katrina Taylor
  • Anthropologists and Missionaries: A Controversial Relationship - Meghan Boarts
  • Changes in Nutritional Eating Habits in a University Population - Jannelle Derr
  • Understanding the Effects of Divorce and Religion on College Students’ Life Expectations - Allison M. Ingenito and Sarah Arnold
  • “After You . . .” The Conscious and Unconscious Expression of Gender Roles in Door-Holding Behaviors - Jeanine L. Hubert
  • Gay and Lesbian Rights in Africa: African Perspectives at U.S. Universities - Bryan Molk
  • “Talking ‘bout My Generation”: An Exploratory Study of the Relationship between Baby Boomers and Generation Y - Gabrielle A. Vielhauer
  • Back to the Stacks: New Methods and Questions in the Longitudinal Andruss Library Ethnography Project - Rebecca Coco, Ian Johnson, Rachel Harris, Amber Weaver, Cassandra McMillen, Morgan Kelly
Anthropologists and Missionaries: A Controversial Relationship

Anthropology Undergraduate Research

Meghan Boarts (mentored by Faith Warner, Ph.D.)

During the colonial period through today, anthropologists and missionaries often work alongside one another in the field. Their relationships are usually strained in that while they work with the same populations, they have decidedly different goals. As early as the 1920s, Bronislaw Malinowski spoke out vehemently against the ethnocidal actions of missionaries as “dangerous and heedless tampering.”

While the perception of missionary work as ethnocentric and destructive of indigenous cultures continues to be a central one, I wondered if there were differing points of view and experiences held by the anthropological community towards missionaries. The purpose of this study was to assess the opinions and experiences professional anthropologists towards missionaries to gain insight into this unique, and often controversial relationship.

A survey was administered to over 3000 members of the American Anthropological Association, with 389 anthropologists responding to the central question if anthropologists have a negative opinion of missionaries. The survey asked members of the anthropological community if they believed it possible for anthropologists and missionaries to work peacefully and even collaboratively together in the field, and if anthropologists who have a religious background are more understanding and tolerant of missionaries.

A final question posed was if anthropologists believe it possible to be both a missionary and an anthropologist. The larger goal of this research is to hopefully improve the relationship and find points of commonality and agreement, in order to initiate a conversation that allows for practitioners from both fields and the peoples who are the focus of their attentions to benefit.

Honorable Mention at the PASSHE Undergraduate Anthropology Research Conference, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, April 12-13, 2014.

An Ethnographic Approach to the Availability and Accessibility of Autism Support Services​ and Networks

Anthropology Undergraduate Research

Shannon Sursely (Mentored by Faith Warner, Ph.D.)

This anthropological study is an investigation of the availability and accessibility of autism support services in the United States, with a focus on central Pennsylvania.  Surveys were administered and interviews were conducted within a criterion-based, artificially bound population of primary caregivers of individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders as defined by the DSM-5.

p>In total, 71 surveys were completed, three in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted, and several agencies providing support service were contacted.  The research revealed that the availability and accessibility of autism support services do not currently meet the needs of families and individuals affected by ASD in many ways and in differing degrees.  Furthermore, most of the research participants were not aware of agencies that provide ASD services and of those who were aware of agencies, most had learned of them through word-of-mouth from other caregivers.  I also determined that caregivers are greatly concerned about the future because ASD services for adults are limited.

p>My research addresses the need for increased services to meet the needs of the ASD and ASD caregiver population.  As we better understand the epidemiology of ASD, the diagnosis has expanded to cover a wider group of individual and services are expanding, but not quickly enough to meet the emergent realization that ASD rates are much higher than originally diagnosed and services are conversely much lower than originally believed to exist.

Awarded best presentation at the PASSHE Undergraduate Anthropology Research Conference, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, April 12-13, 2014.