NEWS & EVENTS
The city of Memphis is all about test driving new civic projects and our students
are always excited to be involved! On Saturday, April 13th, a combination of community
organizations and University of Memphis students put on the latest in a series of
exciting local events. This time the focus was on our own university neighborhood at the corner of Highland St. and Walker and the event included a killer line up of local
musicians, pop-up shops, an artists' market, and a volunteer-built garden. Visit
the Memfix facebook page or In the Field for more information.
This April, undergraduate student Jeanne Hanna attended the Student Research Forum
on campus and won first place for her thesis research on Islam and the Tennessee state
legislature. She has also presented her project at the Works in Progress Seminar in
November 2012 and the Posters at the Capital event in Nashville this past February.
Later this month she will be attending the National Conference on Undergraduate Research
and hopes to present her poster at the 2013 AAA conference in Chicago.
Graduate students Jennifer Earheart and Traci Petty also attended the 2013 Student
Research Forum and earned second place in the graduate social sciences division. Their project was entitled "Barriers
to Mental Health Care for Latino Immigrants in the Mid-South."
On March 30, 2013, graduate students Cole Bradley and Theo Davies participated in
the first Interdisciplinary Case Competition with the School of Public Health. The
goal of this competition was to create innovative, community-based approaches to addressing
childhood obesity in Shelby County. Congratulations to Theo Davies and his team for
winning second place!
Graduate student Kenny Latta organized this semester's Guest in the Garden speaker
series. Students, faculty, and local community members were all welcomed to attend
this four-part weekly lecture series which began on Wednesday, March 27. Topics ranged
from how to plant a bee-friendly garden to the history of community gardens in the
Many of our graduate students attended this year's conference for the Society for
Applied Anthropology in Denver. Sarah Donovan, Jennifer Earhart, Therese Petty, Anna
Gattuso, and Karen Connolly all presented research from their class projects or practica
at this wonderful national conference.
Alum Amy Santee's blog Anthropologizing features interviews with several of our recent Department alums including Mia Madison, Allison Hennie, Harmony Farner, Amy Schaftlein, Jesse Smith, and Susanne Salehi. Visit Amy's blog to find out about the adventures of these former Anthropology Department
Graduate Students as they transition from academia to full-time practitioners.
Dr. Charles Williams, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, is featured
in the May issue of the Society for Applied Anthropology's News. His colleagues,
Drs. Stan Hyland and Linda Bennett conduct an oral history interview with Dr. Williams
that begins with his undergraduate studies at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi
in the 1970s and continues through his 35 year career at the University of Memphis
in the Memphis Model of applied anthropology! Check out the feature article on 2002
MA Medical Track Grad Njathi Kabuia. The article in the Independent Weekly in Raleigh
North Carolina reports Njathi's recent three month work trip to Kenya where he worked
with farmers introducing organics seeds, composting and creating new recipes for the
At the annual August 2012 meeting of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty, Dean
Henry Kurtz awarded Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman a Dunavant University Professorship. This
award is given in recognition of exceptional achievement in teaching, scholarship,
service, and outreach. Such accomplishments are reflected in the leadership Dr. Finerman
provided for the Department of Anthropology's recent celebration of the 35th anniversary
of the Master's program in applied anthropology. The reunion surrounding
the celebration drew legions of alumni from across the country and from around the
Mid-South, and its great success is a testament, in part, to Professor Finerman's
vision, energy, and commitment.
Dr. Finerman received her PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles in
1985. She specializes in research and teaching in applied medical anthropology, focusing
on family health and caregiving, international health services delivery, medical choice
and change, human sexuality and childbirth, ethnomedicine, and mental health. She
was a Fulbright Scholar in 1999 and has received The University of Memphis Outstanding
Young Researcher Award, the University of Memphis Distinguished Teaching Award, the
College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Thomas Briggs Foundation
Excellence in Teaching Award.
Dr. Stan Hyland of the University of Memphis has been selected to receive the 2012
Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology. Hyland, a professor of
anthropology and head of the School of Urban Affairs & Public Policy at the University,
will be honored at the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting in November.
The Kimball Award was initiated by royalties from Applied Anthropology in America,
a volume dedicated to Kimball, who taught that "the study of human behavior should
be of service to people." The award has been presented every other year since 1984.
Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, the award now provides a $1,000 prize.
The Kimball Award honors exemplary anthropologists for outstanding recent achievements
that have contributed to the development of anthropology as an applied science and
that have significant impact on public policy. The anthropological contribution may
be theoretical or methodological. The impact on public policy may be in any area ¬–
domestic or international – including biodiversity, climate change, energy, international
relations, medicine, public health, language conservation, education, criminal justice,
development, or cultural heritage.
Since joining the U of M in 1976, Hyland has received 30 major honors. His research
interests include neighborhood revitalization, community building, social entrepreneurship,
and economic development. He has been involved in major community initiatives throughout
Shelby County, including Uptown, the University District, College Park, and Lakeland.
Dr. Robert Connolly, Associate Professor in Anthropology and Director of the C.H.
Nash Museum at Chucalissa, published an article in Museums and Social Issues on the last five-years of engagement between the Museum and the Southwest Memphis
Community. (The journal which Connolly co-edited features articles by three other
Anthropology alums.) As well, his recent blog post on this work discusses the "co-creative" engagement and links to the new website, African-American Cultural Heritage in Southwest Memphis.