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Greetings from SCU Anthropology

We hope your 2016 is going well! We have had an exciting and productive academic year in Anthropology! We have had a lot of fun this past year with our annual banquet (involving a competitive and exciting game of Anthropology Heads Up), a successful Anthropology and Sociology Undergraduate Research Conference, and many wonderful accomplishments by our Santa Clara University anthropology undergraduates. Morris Kim (Anthropology, 2015) was awarded the Nobili Medal, annually presented to the male student graduate judged outstanding in academic performance, personal character, school activities, and constructive contribution to the University by the faculty and the provost. Please see our student award section for our annual Anthropology awards.;

We are really excited to report recent publications that have involved SCU students and alumni. Dr Kealhofer worked with Morris Kim and Maxine DeVincenzi to publish “Phytoliths in Chinese foxtail millet (Setaria italica)” in the journal Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. Dr. Lee Panich has recently published work on obsidian artifacts from the Mission Santa Clara. He worked with several student research assistants to identify the geographic sources of 1020 obsidian artifacts that have been recovered on campus. Dr. Panich argued that Mission Santa Clara Native peoples maintained access to sources outside of the mission walls.  

Dr. Mary Hegland’s book Days of Revolution: Political Unrest in an Iranian Village continues to receive high praise in the form of book reviews and book awards. She was recently awarded the Gold Medal (World History Category) in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) and the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award, sponsored by the Alpha Sigma Nu and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. We are also excited to announce that she was invited to become a Fellow at the National Humanities Center during the academic year 2016-17 where she will work on her book on religion, rituals and politics in an Iranian settlement. We are also looking forward to the release of Dr. Matt Jobin’s second book in the Nethergrim Series, The Skeleth. It will be available in hardcover and Kindle on May 10, 2016. His first book The Nethergrim continues to receive accolades including New York Public Library’s list of Best Books for Teens and Texas Library Association’s 2015 Lone Star Reading List.

This year, we welcomed a new academic year lecturer to the department, Dr. Patrick Gallagher. Dr. Gallagher received his PhD from Stanford University. He examines environmental conservation in Coastal Belize and is teaching Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology, Anthropological Methods, and Political Anthropology.

We are looking forward to many exciting departmental changes. The College of Arts and Sciences has welcomed a new dean, Dean Debbie Tahmassebi. She is working hard to raise money for all of our departments and recruit new faculty! We will welcome a new faculty member in biological anthropology beginning in September 2016. In addition, we are examining our own curriculum and learning outcomes that will culminate in an external review of our program during Fall 2016.

We look forward to hearing more from our alumni, please find us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Happy 2016!
Michelle Bezanson
Chair, Department of Anthropology

Notes from the Field
  Anthropology and Environmental Studies and Sciences double major Julia Tawney spent Summer 2015 teaching in Bali.

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Faculty Updates
  Michelle Bezanson has had an eventful year.  During summer 2015, she worked in Zambia and Costa Rica.  She and Allison McNamara (’15) explored a new field site to examine juvenile vervet monkey locomotion.  

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  Patrick Gallagher thoroughly enjoyed teaching classes in environmental and political anthropology, anthropological theory and the introductory course to cultural anthropology.

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  Mary Hegland had a very active research year! She began learning about Muslim reformism, conducted reserach in Iran, and engaged students with interviewing Iranian-American women in the Santa Clara area.

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  Mythri Jegathesan spent two and a half months in Sri Lanka conducting research in and around tea plantations in Central Province and with migrant and NGO workers in the capital, Colombo.

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  Matt Jobin was honored in 2015 to have his first work of fiction, The Nethergrim, chosen as the SCU Book of the Quarter for spring.  In addition to teaching many of his favorite courses, he was able to draft, edit and complete the sequel to The Nethergrim, The Skeletch, which launches May 2016.
     
  Lisa Kealhofer was on leave in the Fall 2015 doing some writing and beginning a new research project in Cambodia.  She visited Angkor Wat for the first time, which she found truly amazing!

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  Sangeeta Luthra received a small grant for her ongoing research on Sikh American institution building in the post 9/11 period.  She presented papers on this research at two conferences.

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  Beginning autumn of 2014 and extending through the summer of 2015, Lee Panich conducted preliminary archival and field research for a new collaborative archaeological project with scholars from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Russell Skowronek, who taught at Santa Clara University from 1991-2009, was honored with the Norman Neuerburg Award, by the California Mission Studies Association.  The award recognizes outstanding contributions towards the study and preservation of California’s missions, presidios, pueblos, and ranchos.

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  Susan Babbel enjoyed her first year as Sr. Administrative Assistant in Anthropology. After total knee replacement surgery in November she can enjoy walking on such a beautiful campus once again.

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Class of 2015

Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

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Alumni: We would love to hear from you! What journeys in your life after graduation have led you to where you are today?  Read More »

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Santa Clara University
Department of Anthropology
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
Phone: 408.554.2794
sbabbel@scu.edu