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Table of Contents

Greetings from Department Chair
, Ruthbeth Finerman

An old Hausa proverb proclaims that "abundance will make cotton pull a stone". If true, our program could move mountains with the abundance of activities we're juggling. The Anthropology Department is enjoying one of the most exhilarating and   productive years in its history, and you'll find this newsletter packed with exciting announcements and features.  

Our most thrilling announcement is that we've recruited three  superbly talented new faculty members. Drs. Keri Brondo and Katherine Lambert-Pennington are swiftly revitalizing our urban track. Keri joins us from Michigan State, where she researched work organizations and development projects in the United States and Honduras. Katherine, a Memphis native, completed doctoral work at Duke and brings research strengths in human rights and identity in the U.S. and Australia. Dr. Robert Connolly, the new Director of Chucalissa, obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and managed Louisiana's Poverty Point archaeological site. Robert teaches courses in museum studies and Native American culture, and has begun strategic planning for Chucalissa. Check their news at 

We are also conducting a new faculty search for a biological anthropologist specializing in health. Interviews begin this spring to fill the position before next fall. Please contact us if you would like to attend the candidates' public presentations. 

This year we will also play host to a joint meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology and Society for Medical Anthropology March 26-30, 2008 at the Memphis Downtown Marriott. Dr. Satish Kedia is SfAA Program Chair, while I Chair the SMA Program. We plan a packed schedule of sessions, forums, tours and special events, many featuring the work of our own alumni and colleagues. Featured SMA events will include a plenary and reception on March 26, a Medical Anthropology Student Association careers forum on March 27, and an SMA chartered sunset riverboat cruise on March 28. Read more in this newsletter, and visit for details and to register for the meetings. Contact us if you'd like to assist with the conference.

The department has also established an invaluable Community Advisory Board.  Members include alumni and community leaders who offer guidance so that our program can continue to meet the changing needs of the Mid-South. Board members offer insights and experience to help our department fulfill its mission to improve the quality of life in the region. This year, they are spearheading several initiatives, including an orientation for our new faculty, practica and internships for our students, and assistance with the SfAA/SMA joint meeting. Please contact us if you are interested in joining the Board.

Not enough on our plate? We are also preparing for a combined Program Review and Academic Audit during this academic year. This crucial review will shape the funding and very future of our department. As a part of the self-study report required for this review, we plan to survey some of our recent alumni. So, many of you will hear from us soon! 

Let's not stop there. This year the department will again break its record for the number of Masters' candidates in urban and medical anthropology, and once again we've funded fully 80 percent of our graduate students through assistantships or grants. We have also expanded internship and service learning opportunities for our talented undergraduates. Despite recent cuts in federal and state research funding, our faculty members have kept us near the top in the College in external support. Our faculty and instructors also continue to set a standard for excellence in teaching, student mentoring, and community engagement.

If you think we have an abundance of action, you haven't seen our alumni. Several are featured in this newsletter, but I particularly want to acknowledge that Eric Robertson (B.A., Anthropology, 2003) was recently honored with a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award, John Barrie; Claire Haik, and Liz Pulver were honored with our department's Outstanding Community Service Award; and, Shannon Wiley received our Outstanding Anthropology Senior Award. 

Bob Talbert of the Detroit Free Press observed, "Have you noticed that even the busiest people are never too busy to take time to tell you how busy they are?"  Please send me your own news, and let us celebrate your abundance of achievements.  ^top

Memphis Hosts SfAA Conference in March 2008

Dr. Satish Kedia, SfAA 2008 Program Chair

Planning for the 2008 SfAA Annual Meeting (March 25 ' 29) is well underway. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Memphis, which was the site of the 1992 SfAA conference. The city, with its long history of cultural diversity, world-class music, and Southern cuisine, is an exciting place to get together for a stimulating intellectual rendezvous. 

Our theme, 'The Public Sphere and Engaged Scholarship: Opportunities and Challenges for Applied Anthropology,' will allow colleagues from a variety of  backgrounds to share their work. Participants are encouraged to explore innovative ways in which to participate more prominently in public discourse while addressing pressing human issues in local and global communities.

The balance between academia and activism is another area of inquiry that will allow scholars and practitioners to assess applied anthropology's role in the community and its many possibilities for influence. This conference will truly celebrate applied anthropologists' immense contributions in the public sphere at local, national, and international levels.

Memphis is an ideal venue for our meetings, with its history of applied anthropologists working with social issues such as urban development, historical and structural racism, environmental pollution, health disparity, poverty, crime, and addiction.  Furthermore, engaged scholarship is one of the priorities of the University of Memphis, as faculty and alumni network and partner with various nonprofit and governmental organizations.

We hope that this conference will help set the agenda in the twenty-first century for applied anthropology, in terms of both content areas and in our ability to engage with the community and make tangible differences in the lives of those we work with through direct action and community advocacy.


Society for Medical Anthropology Biennial Meeting!

Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman, SMA 2008 Program Chair

The SMA program will include an outstanding plenary session and welcoming reception for SMA members. The plenary, scheduled for late afternoon on Wednesday, March 25, will explore 'The Political Construction of Global Communicable Disease Crises,' highlighting anthropologists' insights on research, policy, and program intervention.

In addition, the SMA program will include daily featured and volunteered SMA symposia, poster sessions and workshops; a special Medical Anthropology Student Association workshop and reception; student parties; and a medical anthropology student poster competition.

A truly unique meeting highlight will be a chartered sunset cruise on the Mississippi River aboard an authentic paddlewheel boat. The cruise will include a cash bar, and a reception sponsored by The University of Memphis. Tickets for this chartered cruise - exclusively for SMA members - may be purchased through the SfAA website. Note that a limited number of tickets are available for the chartered cruise event, so reserve yours early! ^top

Department Establishes Community Advisory Board
By Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman

Our department is nationally recognized for offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate education, for its focus on applied research which benefits the public, and for its commitment to community outreach. To further our mission, we have expanded our partnership with the public by organizing a Department of Anthropology Community Advisory Board. Board members include alumni and community leaders who offer guidance so that our program can continue to meet the changing needs of the Mid-South. Currently, the Board includes representatives from agencies such as Christ Community Health Services, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, Memphis City Government, Memphis & Shelby County Health Department, Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, Pink Palace Museum, Shelby County Schools, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee State Congress, United Housing, and United Way of the Mid-South.

The Advisory Board spearheads a number of initiatives. For instance, members are currently helping to promote undergraduate internships and service learning, as well as graduate practica; developing a community orientation for new faculty; supporting the spring 2008 SfAA and SMA joint meeting; offering guidance on our 2008 program review and academic audit; and assisting with departmental advancement.

Board members are asked to attend two meetings per year, and to offer insights and experience to help our department fulfill its mission to improve the quality of life in the region. Board members are also invited to attend as special guests at departmental events each year. If you would like to join the Board, of if you would like to nominate someone, please call 901-678-2080 or email We are grateful to our Board Members for helping our department sustain its reputation for excellence and community collaboration.  ^top

Introducing Our New Faculty

Dr. Keri Brondo

I am pleased to join such a wonderful department full of engaged students, faculty, and alumni!  While I became 'official' this Fall semester, I was fortunate enough to ease into the department and campus by teaching a summer session of 'The Cultural History of American Communities.' Through engagement with the students in American Communities (both the summer class and the one I am currently teaching), and Urban Anthropology, I am slowly familiarizing myself with Memphis neighborhoods and community-building efforts. 

By means of introduction to those of you who do not yet know me, I earned my PhD from Michigan State University in 2006 in sociocultural anthropology with certificate concentrations in Culture, Resources and Power; Gender and International Development; and Latin American Studies.  In my dissertation writing years, I served as the Assistant Director of the Women and International Development Program and Coordinator of the Gender, Justice, and Environmental  Justice Specialization at MSU.  Simultaneously, I began to collaborate on research projects with Dr. Marietta Baba in organizational anthropology.  That collaboration translated into a postdoctoral research position at the Future of Work Project at MSU, and then into an Adjunct Professor position in MSU's Anthropology Department, a position I continue to hold today.  I maintain active research agendas in both gender, development, and identity politics in Honduras and work practices and organizational culture in the US. 

The two interdisciplinary projects I am currently working to write up are: 1) a case study exploring moral economy within a General Motor's lean manufacturing environment in Lansing, Michigan and, 2) a socioeconomic evaluation of the establishment of the Cayos Cochinos Marine Park in Honduras on the Afroindigenous Garifuna population off the north coast of Honduras.  The research on lean manufacturing is expanding this Spring: my colleagues at MSU and I will be conducting interviews focused on health and well-being in lean manufacturing environments.  I am particularly interested in exploring the differential impacts of lean manufacturing work processes by gender, ethnicity, and age.

I continue to remain active in both the Society for Applied Anthropology and the American Anthropological Association, and presented two papers at each conference this year.  In addition to personal research presentations at the AAAs in San Jose, I organized a double-session entitled 'Critical Intersections: Women Practicing Anthropology Beyond the Ivory Tower,' an invited session sponsored by the Committee on Status of Women in Anthropology and the National Association of Practicing Anthropologists.  Panelists in this session shared their personal stories, complete with challenges and triumphs, of how they navigated their successful careers.  I was also honored in San Jose by being elected as the 2006-2007 Chair of the American Anthropological Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology (COSWA).  Yet the highlight of my San Jose trip truly was the opportunity to interview for the University of Memphis position!

I am very grateful to be a recipient of the Donovan Travel Award from CAS this fall semester, which will help offset the costs of attending the 2007 AAA meeting.  This year I have co-organized COSWA's invited session focused on parenting and professionalism.  This panel will bring together a myriad of perspectives on balancing work and family responsibilities within the field of anthropology, and features speakers at various stages of their career trajectory from academia, non-profit, and corporate settings.  I will be presenting a paper in this double-session.  I have also been heavily involved in the development and administration of COSWA-sponsored gender 'climate' surveys of academic and practitioner anthropologists.  The academic climate survey data, was administered in 2006; the data is currently under analysis at the University of North Texas, under the leadership of Christina Wasson.  Our team aims to have a final report posted on the AAA website by February 2008.  I am serving as the team leader for  COSWA's most recent climate survey, this one focused on practitioners.  We had a wonderful group of practitioners representing an array of work experiences (from consultants to nonprofit/NGOs to corporations) help inform our survey development, ensuring that we were asking the 'right' questions.  The survey opened November 5, 2007.  Dr. Bennett and Harmony Farner, a graduate student in our department, have provided invaluable assistance throughout this process, both in shaping the survey design and in the administrative details.  In addition to its focus on the gendered dimensions of practicing anthropology, the survey was also designed to gather valuable data on the experiences of practicing anthropologists in general, adding to the important work that PAWG has been doing.  For other COSWA events and news please visit our website:  

In addition to activity with our professional organizations, I participated in two interdisciplinary conferences this past year.  I attended the 13th National Labor-Management Conference, a major national labor relations conference organized by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and presented in a session I organized with my MSU colleagues, 'Manufacturing Success in a High Wage, Employment Security Environment.' And for the second year in a row, I attended and organized an event at the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC).  I co-organized a workshop (with Lisa Robinson) called 'Border Crossings: Negotiating Corporate-Academic Research Collaboration' at EPIC 2006.  Through a mix of panelist presentations and break-out sessions, participants in this session explored three general topics: the process of corporate-academic collaboration (access and engagement); academic freedom, proprietary information, intellectual property, publishing responsibilities, and presenting 'actionable' results; and, the intersection of institutional, professional, and personal ethics.

Here on the new home front, with the help of my wonderful students in Urban Anthropology, I have been working to develop research partnerships with local community-based organizations and businesses to serve as service-learning sites for participatory action research leading toward community development and socioeconomic vitality in the mid-South region.  Students in my Urban Anthropology class are currently involved in service-learning research activities in the Belt Line community, collaborating with Jacob's Ladder (a CDC operating in the community) on an organic urban gardening project, a community mural project, and curriculum development for children's programs at the Belt Line Children's Center.  Another team of students is working with youth at St. Luke's to identify the attributes of healthy communities and assets in the University District neighborhoods.

I have also had the pleasure of serving as the faculty advisor the Anthropology Club, enabling me to meet more of our majors and learn about their talents and goals.  We have lots of exciting projects planned for this year, including increased community outreach and the production of a department video. Thank you again to all the staff, students, alumni, and faculty who have so warmly welcomed me into the department.  I look forward to continuing to grow with you all!  ^top

Dr. Robert Connolly

My background in anthropology started in Ohio where I received my B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Cincinnati and then my doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I benefited from programs that incorporated the four subfield approach to education in anthropology.  Although my primary research focus is archaeology, I consider myself an anthropologist first and foremost.   My initial research interest was the organization of corporate space in the prehistoric New World.  In my doctoral dissertation I utilized linguistic and built environment models to hypothesize function and meaning of 2000 year old earthwork complexes of the Hopewell culture in the Ohio Valley.   Upon completing graduate studies, I took the position as the Station Archaeologist at the Poverty Point earthworks in Northeast Louisiana.  Besides curation responsibilities for the several hundred cubic feet of excavated materials and associated records from the site, my research focused on the technological and social organization of Native Americans who built and occupied the set of six concentric ridges and numerous earthen mounds constructed of the complex around 1800 B.C.

Over the course of these research projects, although I conducted some field excavations, I relied more on collections and field notes often gathering dust on museum shelves.  Through this process, I became keenly aware of the often untapped potential that awaited archaeologists in our curation facilities. As well, my interest increased for developing educational avenues for the public to more fully appreciate the cultural heritage of the Eastern Woodlands.   

My evolving research over the past 20 years logically lead me to museum studies.  Besides utilizing the untapped potential of previously excavated collections, I am interested in exploring and implementing creative and informative means for developing a greater appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of our region in school, museum, and other public venue contexts. Chucalissa, where I started work on July first of this year, is an ideal place to carry out that research.

Besides my formal research interests, I enjoy a wide range of other lines of study and exploration.  These include a 10-week field season at the Kinal site in the Peten of Guatemala, several trips to the Lake Yojoha region of Honduras with Habitat for Humanity, a few Medical Mission trips among the Kuna and Embera in Panama, and other travel in Central America.  Most recently, my wife Emma and I participated in a delegation of Mississippians to Turkey as part of the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue.

Before joining the University of Memphis staff I most recently I was the Station Archaeologist at the Poverty Point earthworks in Epps Louisiana and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

I am currently teaching Museum Practices and will teach a Native American Ethnography course in the spring.  Although my primary teaching will be in the area of Museum Studies I look forward to developing related courses particular as related to my research interests in Native American studies.

There are many opportunities for students to get involved at Chucalissa, located in southwest Memphis adjacent to the T.O. Fuller State Park.  See our website at for detailed directions.  We have the need for student assistance in graphic design, web development, artifact processing, exhibit design, video work, museum guides, community outreach, assistance with visiting school groups, gardeners, organizing files, data entry . . . to name a few.

Coming up this fall, the Chefs and Chiefs  dinner is a fundraiser organized by the Friends of Chucalissa that will take place on November 19th.  We are currently developing a series of presentations on topics from the prehistory of the Midsouth to contemporary Native American issues.  The Chucalissa newsletter and website will announce these events.

Besides my formal research interests, I enjoy a wide range of other study and exploration including a 10-week field season at the Kinal site in the Peten of Guatemala, several trips to the Lake Yojoha region of Honduras with Habitat for Humanity, a few Medical Mission trips among the Kuna and Embera in Panama, and other travel in Central America. Most recently, my wife Emma and I were members of a delegation of Mississippians who traveled to Turkey as part of the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue.

To view other areas of interest to Dr. Connolly, visit      ^top

Dr. Katherine Lambert-Pennigton

Since I'm writing this for the departmental newsletter, I thought I would introduce myself by way of talking about how I came to make anthropology my vocation and the work I'm doing now. I discovered" anthropology as an undergraduate through a very indirect route. I was an Interdisciplinary Studies major at Miami University in Ohio and got to design my own concentration. I was introduced to anthropology through a topical course on cross-cultural coming of age processes. As I worked my way through the course readings, I realized that the ones that interested me and resonated with me most were ethnographies. So, I took a couple of anthropology courses alongside of several English courses in contemporary African-American literature. I was able to combine both of those interests in my senior thesis, which focused on the anthropological training and research of Zora Neale Hurston. Initially, when I applied to graduate schools, I was interested in the history of anthropology and why certain people, like Hurston, and certain topics, like folklore, were often marginalized. I decided to go to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to work on a Master's degree in anthropology under Dr. Faye Harrison. In the course of my graduate work, and with the tutelage of Dr. Harrison, my interests shifted to issues of race and social inequality in post-colonial settler nations. I decided to focus on Indigenous Australia, specifically urban Indigenous people as there were few people studying urban Indigenous issues at the time. I chose to do my work in La Perouse, a former Aboriginal reserve community just outside of Sydney. My initial field work spanned three months, and I commuted to the community from the city during the week and spent the weekends in the community at Aboriginal friends' houses. Ultimately my Masters thesis focused on the social history of the community, drawn from oral history interviews that I conducted with residents, and the contemporary social conditions that shape their daily survival.

After graduation, I returned to Memphis and began working in the non-profit sector at United Way of the Mid-South in the fund distribution area. My job was to coordinate volunteers to read agency proposals, make site visits, and determine the level of funding for applicant agencies. Additionally, I collaborated with the city of Memphis to administer HOPWA funds to provide housing and social services for persons living with HIV/AIDS and evaluate the programs throughout the year. I left the United Way and Memphis to pursue a Ph.D in Anthropology at Duke University. With funding from Fulbright and the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies I returned to La Perouse to do my dissertation field research. My work in La Perouse focused on how community organizations interface with government officials and policies and the implications of those interactions for the everyday dynamics of family life, community development programs, cultural tourism, and repatriations.

I am a native Memphian, so coming home to Memphis after my dissertation research and being hired by the University this year brings me full circle in many respects.  Prior to joining the faculty, I consulted on a living civil rights history project sponsored by Rhodes College. The Crossroads to Freedom Digital Archive Project ( links a digital archive of civil rights materials to community engagement and education in Memphis and the Mid-South.  Drawing on anthropological and non-profit skills, I assisted with grant writing, identifying content and other archival resources, and oral history interviews. 

I am currently building toward a local research project in College Park and the Soulsville area.  Initially, the project began as a service-learning project for students in Applied Anthropology in the fall of 2006.  Collaborating with United Housing, Inc. we evaluated the non-profit's impact on the residents and stakeholders in the College Park neighborhood and training and participation in the local real estate industry. Moving beyond this initial collaboration,  I am interested in further investigating the personal and social impacts and challenges of transforming a former housing project into a community of homeowners, as well as examining the current assets and needs of the community. In the coming months, I will be working with area residents and organizations to write a history of the College Park area documenting the changing social landscape of the community.  ^top

Faculty Updates

Linda Bennett , Professor & Associate Dean, College Of Arts and Sciences

Two major organizational anthropology projects have commanded much of my attention this past year.  First, the Practicing Advisory Work Group (PAWG) of the American Anthropological Association'which I chaired'made its final report to the AAA Executive Board in fall 2006. 

The final report was based on more than two years of research by the PAWG group and University of Memphis and Florida International University graduate students, including interviews with practicing anthropologists and advice provided in peer review by an expert panel.  In its final report, PAWG recommended a series of specific actions that the AAA can take to develop more effective and inclusive programs and services for practicing anthropologists in upcoming years.  Since PAWG's tenure is complete in 2007, the Group recommended that a standing AAA committee be established to help facilitate implementation of its recommendations over the next several years, with the active participation of AAA Sections, Officers and Executive Board members, and AAA Staff.  In response to this recommendation, at the spring meeting of the Executive Board, a Committee on Practicing, Applied, and Public Interest Anthropology was established.  Membership on the new committee will be announced during fall 2007.  Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the various PAWG reports can contact me (  

The second organizational endeavor is the Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs (COPAA), an independent organization that was founded at the University of Memphis in 2000 with the involvement of representatives from nine

departments of anthropology having a strong commitment to applied anthropology.  While COPAA is an independent organization, it has regularly met at the time of the SfAA and last year was a co-sponsoring organization for the SfAA meetings.  Having the mission "to collectively advance the education and training of students, faculty, and practitioners in applied anthropology," COPAA has gradually expanded the number of member departments, to 24.  We look forward to being a co-sponsoring organization for SfAA in the 2008 meetings here in Memphis.  

For COPAA I co-organized a panel discussion on the organization at the 2006 AAA meetings regarding its "Accomplishments and Future Aspirations" and participated in a session on "Tenure and Promotion for Applied Anthropologists: Dean's and Chairs' Perspectives" at the 2007 SfAA meetings.  I submit regular columns to the SfAA Newsletter on COPAA.  Please check out our website:

In summer 2007 I returned to Croatia'where I have been traveling to since 1970'in time to be present for the inauguration of the new home for the Institute for Anthropological Research.  I have been involved with the work of colleagues at the Institute's since the early 1980s.  During the time I was in Zagreb this past summer, I gave a power point presentation on Applied Anthropology in the U.S. at the Institute.  Additionally, I discussed future participation in a study of cultural and linguistic identity in Croatia.  I anticipate returning to Croatia annually.

In fall 2007, I gave two power point presentations in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University.  One was on "Collaborative Anthropological Research in Former Yugoslavia and Contemporary Croatia," and the second had to do with "The Consortium for Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs (COPAA): Implications for Students and Faculty."  If anyone is interested in receiving copies of the power points, please feel free to contact me.  

In my role as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the College of Arts and Sciences, I have worked over the past two years with colleagues representing approximately ten disciplines to develop a proposal for an interdisciplinary Ph.D.

program in Urban Affairs and Public Policy which would be housed within the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy (SUAPP).  This proposal has been approved by the University of Memphis Council for Graduate Programs and will need to be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents and the Tennessee Higher Education Council before it can be initiated.  Additionally, I have been involved in launching the Master's in Public Health program this fall under the Directorship of Dr. Marian Levy.  Anyone who is interested in learning more about the MPH program can contact Dr. Levy at 

As the various faculty reports in the newsletter indicate, our faculty members and students are integrally involved and take major leadership roles in professional anthropology associations and are very well connected to interdisciplinary initiatives at the University of Memphis.  ^top

Ruthbeth Finerman , Professor

I've been phenomenally busy over the last year with administrative duties, teaching, and research. In addition to heading our program I've collaborated with our university partners, including the Honors Program, Museum Studies, University College, and new Masters Public Health. I am also chairing our department's current search for a new faculty line in biological anthropology, with a focus on applied health. I encourage local alumni and interested community members to attend presentations by these candidates in early spring 2008. I've also been busy mentoring our newest faculty members, who have already strengthened our training in urban anthropology and museum studies.

My role as Program Chair for the Society for Medical Anthropology spring 2008 meeting here in Memphis has proven particularly demanding. I've organized a major plenary for the conference, on 'The Political Construction of Global Infectious Disease Crises'. This panel will use infectious diseases as a foundation to explore the roles of culture, globalization and political maneuvering as these influence health policy, funding priorities, responsiveness, and public awareness in the face of global epidemics. The issue is especially timely for the U.S., as the current election year could yield profound changes in the political landscape for addressing national and international health. I've also coordinated preparations for Medical Anthropology Student Association forum on careers in medical anthropology, and won an award from the university's Academic Enrichment Fund to support that event. One of the most exciting spring 2008 SMA events I've coordinated is a chartered sunset riverboat cruise, complete with a cash bar and reception sponsored by our department. Space is limited for this tour, so if you're an SMA member please visit soon to purchase tickets.

I still offer undergraduate and graduate classes, including our methods seminar and medical anthropology courses for our thriving medical anthropology track. We recruited a record number of talented new graduate students this fall, and I've already been fortunate to recruit several to assist on my local research.

I published a review in the June 2007 edition of American Anthropologist. Over the last year I also consulted with St. Jude's International Outreach Program to develop a culturally appropriate patient informed consent process in El Salvador, and we co-authored an article recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Developing World Bioethics. I also helped their Program develop evaluation tools for community health worker training in HIV prevention.

In summer 2007 I began new research with Dr. Teresa Cutts of Methodist Healthcare on a 'Faith-Based Health Asset Mapping Project'. Memphis is the first U.S. city to apply this new participatory action research methodology, originally developed in Africa for the World Health Organization. New graduate students Patience Jarrett and Katherine Pritchard worked on the project pilot in Whitehaven. The effort included GIS mapping of community health assets, on-site participant-observation, interviews, and teams of neighborhood leaders who identified and evaluated their area's perceived assets. The project will expand to other Memphis neighborhoods in the next three years, and several of our graduate students are expected to join in this project.

Most recently, I was invited to partner with Lynda Sagrestano, Director of the U of M Center for Research on Women, Joy Clay of PADM, and Phyllis Betts of SUAPP, to evaluate the state-funded infant mortality intervention, 'Community Voice'. The initiative trains gatekeepers in high risk neighborhoods to serve as community health advocates to prevent reproductive health problems. Several of our graduate students will assist with this evaluation over the next four years.

Ross Sackett and Anthropology major Chris Cosby also continue to work with me on our preliminary study of pesticide exposure among indigenous families in Ecuador. This significant new health risk reflects globalization and cash cropping pressures. We hope to collect additional field data in summer 2008 for a planned publication and potential intervention initiative. ^top

Stan Hyland
, Associate Professor & Head, School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy

This past year I have read three major books that have changed my thinking about the future of cities and the kinds of engaged scholarship that I, my colleagues, my students and my community partners should be involved. The one at the top of the list is Judith Rodin's, The University and Urban Revival: Out of the Ivory Tower and Into the Streets.  Rodin is the President of the Rockefeller Foundation and past President of the University of Pennsylvania. Her premise is that urban colleges and universities have found themselves surrounded by the crime, poverty and infrastructure decline that has occurred in most U.S. cities. Rather than building moats and insulating themselves many universities have laid out paths of engagement. David Perry's book, The University as Urban Developer: Case Studies and Analysis, documents how universities have become real estate developers, incubators for businesses and drivers for technological transfer. One critical but often overlooked role of the university is as collaborator in building capacity for community-based organizations or strengthening communities. This latter role is where anthropologists (practicing or academic, student or alumni) can and should have a major impact.

I have been involved in two major university efforts aimed at exploring and expanding the role of the University of Memphis in strengthening communities at both an institutional and departmental level. The first is in the neighborhoods and commercial areas that surround the U of M. As chair of one of the seven focus areas for the Provost, that of Community Initiatives, we launched a major university effort that brought together faculty from all the Colleges, Business Affairs, Students Affairs, the merchant association, six neighborhood associations, an umbrella association, a community development corporation, the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Planning and Development. Over the past year we collectively found previous plans and studies, socio-demographic data including crime mapping and created a web page to share our information'

In the spring semester we focused ten academic courses on strengthening community efforts in the University Area Neighborhoods. This fall five courses built upon our previous efforts. Drs. Bennett and Clay evaluated our course efforts through an engaged scholarship lens that assessed how and where community involvement worked best. From my perspective, our collective efforts are creating and carefully documenting a knowledge base that can be compared and contrasted to the efforts of other colleges and universities. Past urban anthropology graduate Steve Barlow became the director of the University Community Development Corporation and is committed to involving more faculty and students in meaningful collaboration.  A major community capacity building initiative called 'Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design' is being planned for February.

A second major effort aimed at strengthening communities at the departmental level is our Health Information Project (HIP) in the Uptown neighborhood. Launched in September 2005, this two-year project was designed to develop and disseminate a health promotion message. Cynthia Sadler is the project coordinator and over twenty graduate and undergraduate anthropology students have participated in this project. The goal was to develop a participatory process that would engage the community and link its members with health professionals in ways that the traditional dissemination models do not. Over the last several years, our efforts in community building and neighborhood redevelopment in Memphis urban neighborhoods have led us to shift our focus from programs and physical restoration to the methods of engagement, specifically, the ways in which we connect, communicate, and work together with community members and stakeholders to address the issues challenging a neighborhood's survival.

With this in mind, our intention was to formulate a message that reflected an African-American community's vision of community health and would link information to action, and furthermore, to develop an interactive dissemination process for that message to effect behavioral/environmental change that would improve individual and community health. It was our intention that, regardless of the message, the dissemination process could be replicated in other urban minority communities.

We targeted the Uptown neighborhood of Memphis. Although this neighborhood is undergoing revitalization through local and federal efforts, it is still like most urban neighborhoods, afflicted by poverty, unemployment, violence, drugs, vandalism, deteriorating homes, broken families, and lack of education. Consequently, it lacks a strong civic infrastructure and is beleaguered by significant health disparities that deserve attention.

The foundation of our model was a partnership with Humes Middle School. Humes serves students in grades 6 through 8, 96% of whom are African-American. Situated in the middle of Uptown, the students attending Humes, and their families, face serious challenges to their social, economic, and physical well-being. We chose to work directly with sixth graders from this school for several reasons. These students were just beginning to face new health issues with the onset of puberty, they had links to both older and younger generations, and they were not yet working or driving'making them more likely to be available for the various programs'but were still independent enough to get around their neighborhood on their own. Lastly, they had the basic capacity and skills required for participation.

These students proved to be enthusiastic participants. With staff support, they gathered community-based information through interviews. They connected with their neighborhood physically through community clean-up projects, and technologically, through social networking sites. Through this process, the students created relationships and came to a new working understanding of their neighborhood, with all of its assets as well as its problems. In coordination with the other partners (Neighborhood Christian Center, Humanities Tennessee, and a local recording studio), not only did these students develop the health message and dissemination products, they gave artistic expression of their neighborhood, its identity, its heritage, and their vision for its future with two video documentaries, a photography exhibit, and song.

Thomas Friedman's seminal book, The World Is Flat, notes
that we are moving to a knowledge economy. The U of M must position itself through its engaged scholarship efforts to create a better future for Memphis and its neighborhoods. ^top

Satish Kedia
Associate Professor & Director, Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation, I-SATE

This has been an eventful year for policy research at the Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation (I-SATE). In addition to I-SATE's ongoing TOADS and ADAT projects, Tennessee's Access to Recovery (TN-ATR) program has added a new dimension to I-SATE's research, as we collected, analyzed, and interpreted data from TN-ATR providers across the state. I-SATE has also begun collecting gambling treatment data from three state-funded providers.

During 2006, I published a journal article, two encyclopedia entries, a book chapter, two book reviews, and two monographs on program evaluation. I also published a case study, entitled Facilitating Group Communication in Empowerment Evaluation: A Case Study of Substance Abuse Treatment Effectiveness.My co-edited volume on Applied Anthropology has turned out to be one of the two best sellers in this area, nationally and internationally.

Outside the university, I am committed to a number of professional endeavors. I was named the Program Chair for the 2008 SfAA conference and was successful in slating the conference to be held in Memphis. I am currently serving as co-editor for the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin, the signature publication of NAPA, a section of the American Anthropological Association. Additionally, I am a reviewer for the International Journal of Ecology of Food and Nutrition, the Journal of National Medical Association, and Medical Science Monitor as well as a book reviewer for The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and American Anthropologist.

I was invited to make a presentation concerning substance abuse at two community events. I discussed the cost-benefit ratio of substance abuse treatment at a public meeting in Memphis entitled, Breaking the Cycle and Reducing the Stigma, during National Recovery Month in September. I also made a presentation entitled, Myths and Facts Regarding Methamphetamine Addiction Treatment, at the 2006 National Summit on the Methamphetamine Epidemic, also in Memphis. ^top

Charles Williams , Associate Professor & Director,
Tennessee Alcohol and Drug Prevention Outcome Longitudinal Evaluation (TADPOLE)

Dr. Williams continues to have an active teaching, research, advising, and community services agenda.  This summer, Dr. Williams and his former graduate student, Dr. Mohamed Kanu, Tennessee State University worked with the State Office of Minority Health (OMH), Community Coalition Advisory Committee (CCAC) and Dr. Rosemary Theriot of Tennessee State University Department of Health Administration and Health Sciences to complete a special funded project through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) entitled: Tennessee HIV Needs Assessment Survey for People of Color.

During the Fall Semester 2007, Dr. Williams has been working to revise his favorite course: Africa's New World Communities in order to offer it to students of the University Honors Program in the Spring Semester 2008.  This course focuses specifically on the dispersion of enslaved Africans throughout the Atlantic World.  Dr. Williams will teach 'Diaspora, Displacement and Culture: Understanding Contemporary Patterns in Human Mobility and Transnational Processes in the Post-Modern World' in the Spring for the University College's Master's of Liberal Studies Program.

Dr. Williams continues his grants-funded research in the area of program evaluation of alcohol and drug prevention with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (TDMHDD), Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (DADAS), and the Office of Prevention Services (OPS).  Additionally, he is serving in his third year as Special Advisor and Advisory Council member of a five-year federally funded initiative entitled: Tennessee Strategic Prevention Framework ' State Incentive Grant (TNSPF-SIG).  In this capacity, Dr. Williams continues to work directly with DADAS, and serves as a consultant for TDMHDD in its contractual relationship with Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE).

In March 2007, Dr. Williams was invited to present a paper at the National Society of Allied Health Conference in Atlanta, GA entitled, 'Mutual Aid for the New Millennium: Changing the Consequences of Lifestyle Choices through Community-based Initiatives' (with M. Kanu, E. A. Williams, and R. Jackman).

Dr. Williams' other research related and community services activities during the Spring and Summer of 2007 involved his cooperative efforts with OPS and TDMHDD in sponsoring Tennessee's Annual TADPOLE Training Conference/Workshop for the states' alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) prevention provider agencies, August 10, 2007 at Montgomery Bell State Park and Hotel in Burns, Tennessee.  Also, Dr. Williams participated in the Tennessee Prevention Congress, August 20-22, 2007 sponsored by Tennessee Associate of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO) where he conducted a mini workshop entitled: Future Directions in ATOD Prevention: National Outcome Measures NOMs). ^top

Faculty Awards

Dr. Hyland Receives Faudree Professorship

Dr. Stan Hyland was awarded the Ralph Faudree University Professorship for a three-year period (2007-2010).  The Faudree Professorship honors Dr. Hyland for his significant contributions to its educational, research, outreach and service missions and bring national and international recognition to the University and to our community. This faculty rewards program was designed to help the University retain its best and brightest faculty and to advance the University's goal to become a first-rate urban research university.  Congratulations Dr. Hyland!

Dr. Kedia Receives a Dunavant Professorship

Dr. Satish Kedia, Associate Professor of Anthropology, has been awarded a Dunavant Professorship for a three-year period (2007-10).  This is truly an honor, as the College of Arts and Sciences awards usually one endowed professorship in the social sciences area annually, with awardees receiving $5,000 per year for three years to support their research programs.  Outstanding achievement is the major consideration for the Dunavant Professorship, with nominations sought for faculty who demonstrate exceptional achievement in teaching, scholarship, service, and outreach. In her nominating letter, Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman noted, 'Satish's record of scholarship is exceptional. He has had remarkable success in building an externally-funded research program as Director of the Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation (I-SATE) and through his other collaborations, securing nearly $7 million in support since 2000. Satish has produced a significant body of policy reports, peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and edited volumes. In addition to his teaching and research strengths, Dr. Kedia is an admirable citizen to the department, university, and profession.

Press Release: Dr. Kedia helps bring a 1.6 million NIH grant to study addiction and stress

The University of Memphis has received a nationally competitive $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a wireless skin patch sensor system, 'AutoSense,' which will allow scientists to collect real-time data on exposures to addiction and psychosocial stress in individuals' natural environments.

A multidisciplinary team of researchers is collaborating on this innovative effort. The U of M team consists of Dr. Santosh Kumar, the principal investigator, from computer science, Dr. Satish Kedia from anthropology, and Dr. Kenneth Ward from health and sport sciences; a neuroscientist, Dr. Mustafa al'Absi, at the University of Minnesota; an electrical engineer, Dr. Emre Ertin, from The Ohio State University; and several biomedical and materials scientists from SpectRx Inc.

'AutoSense will significantly advance the state-of-the-art in behavioral sciences studies that are still dominated by patient self-reports and in-lab studies, neither of which provides accurate, real-life data,' said Kumar. 'By applying the wireless sensor network technology to important behavioral sciences questions, this project opens up opportunities for new scientific breakthroughs.' Kedia, who directs the Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation, said, 'Currently there is no technology available to assess addictive behavior and its relationship to stress in real time. This multidisciplinary project has tremendous potential to take behavioral research to the next level of methodological sophistication.' Ward, who directs The University of Memphis' Center for Community Health, commented, 'Abuse of psychoactive substances such as alcohol and nicotine causes hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in the U.S., but progress in prevention and treatment has been slowed by our crude measurement tools. This new technology is exciting because of its great potential to advance this field.

Congratulations Dr. Kedia for Award-Winning Scholarhsip !

Congratulations to Dr. Kedia, who contributed a chapter to an edited book that has just won an award from the National Communication Association. We appreciate your contributions to award-winning scholarship!  The book, Facilitating Group Communication in Context: Innovations and Applications with Natural Groups (2 Vols.) will receive the 2007 Distinguished Book Award from the Applied Communication Division of the National Communication Association at the NCA convention on Friday, November 16 at the Applied Communication Division Business Meeting. ^top

Staff News

Paulette Wilkerson

aulette Wilkerson is the Administrative Associate I for the department of Anthropology Chair. 

Currently, Ms. Wilkerson has excelled in working with the University's new banner system. She assists Anthropology students and faculty/staff with advising, permits, and other needs as they arise. She handles these matters with tact while continuing to monitor and control the department budget. Her exposure to grants and foundation accounts has been essential. Ms. Wilkerson has been invited to become a member of the Cambridge Who's Who Among Executive and Professional Women and inclusion in the upcoming 2008 "Honors Edition" due to her mastery of administrative skills over the last twenty years.  Her biography will be printed in the Cambridge issue for executive administrative professionals. In addition to her many hats Ms. Wilkerson is working towards a B.S. in Paralegal Services at the University of Memphis.

Evell Ballard

Our office administrator, Evell Ballard is closing in on twenty years with the University of Memphis.  For ten of those years she has worked in the Anthropology department and before that she was employed with the energy institute and with human resources. Her job in the department includes continued help with the coordination of the upcoming SfAA meetings in the spring and, as she says, answering a lot of phone calls.  Beyond that, she is the go to person to answer any questions you would have about the department. Evell is one person who helps to keep the department running as smoothly as possible.  A lifelong resident of Memphis, outside of the department Evell is an active member of the Mississippi Boulevard Church.  Currently, she also keeps busy studying for the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) exams.

And a special thanks to our student workers, Jerika Avington and

Michelle Plymel, for all their great work in the department!


Alumni News

Mairi Albertson, MA

I completed my M.A. in 1998, and began working for the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development (HCD), where I am still employed today. In my role as Planning Administrator, I oversee planning efforts for HCD and the Memphis Housing Authority. The past nine years have been an exciting time for these agencies. MHA has transformed itself from a troubled public housing agency to being very close to a high performing agency. Similarly, HCD has defined itself as a nationally recognized agency. The reason? A rethinking of roles and creation of strategies necessary to create change in some of the most distressed communities in the City. 

In my position, I have the responsibility for developing resources and creating plans for the agency, specific projects and programs, neighborhoods, and in some instances, city-wide. A background in Anthropology has proven to be indispensable in terms of collaboration, outreach, and perspective. In all of our efforts, we engage a diverse network of organizations, including residents, government institutions, educational institutions, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and businesses. Additionally, the research undertaken as part of revitalization planning is comprehensive, as we recognize that the issues facing these communities are complex. Our team looks at demographic patterns and tracks them over time, community assets and challenges, incentives, histories, and linkages between existing and planned initiatives. There will always be challenges in community development, however, my background in anthropology has provided me with the knowledge to examine and develop new strategies and relationships aimed at building both physical and human capital in our communities.

Steve Barlow, MA

Steve Barlow, a graduate of the urban anthropology track in 1996, was named the first Executive Director of the University Neighborhoods Development Corporation (UNDC), a private not for profit charged with revitalizing the community surrounding the University of Memphis. The UNDC was formed in 2004 by neighborhood residents, business and property owners, and the University of Memphis. Steve began his position August15.  Since 1994, Steve has been active in community organizing and economic development efforts in the Memphis region.  He was instrumental in the development of the LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation, where he served as Associate Director for five years.  He is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Mississippi, and formerly practiced with the Memphis office of Bass Berry & Sims in the Commercial Lending and Real Estate division. 

This is a unique opportunity to develop creative public/private partnerships and to strengthen relationships of key stakeholders in the University District,' Steve shared in an August 15 press release. 'I believe this is a pivotal time for the organization and for the neighborhoods it serves.  I look forward to building on past successes in the neighborhood and to working with the diverse, committed university and community leaders to bring positive change.

Wendy Barlo, MA

After graduation in May 2007, I headed to Detroit where I am employed with a team of anthropologists conducting research on the organizational culture of General Motors.  I am currently involved in three exciting projects; a study that examines researcher's perceptions of their workspaces, a study about collaborative culture in auto plants, and an evaluation of a new integrated healthcare management program jointly sponsored by GM and Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Although the experience has been demanding, I have enjoyed the opportunity to employ the strong ethnographic research skills that I developed at the University of Memphis.  I look forward to seeing everyone in Memphis at the SfAA Meetings this spring!

Dr. Christina Blanchard-Horan

The University of Memphis Department of Anthropology provides an excellent foundation in a variety of settings for students interested in applied research. I have been asked to present you with my personal experiences. I must first say that during my student years, I was involved in the medical and urban tracks. At that time, I worked closely with four faculty members who nurtured my growth, Drs. Linda Bennett, Ruthbeth Finerman, Stan Hyland, and Charles Williams.

Prior to and since graduation in 1996, I have worked primarily in the medical field. My work has increased in scope from local, to state, to national, and finally to the international arena. During my program at the University of Memphis, Charles Williams supported my efforts to obtain funding for a visual anthropology study of medicine in Sierra Leone. After graduation, I began my professional career by leading qualitative research at Medical Services Research Group (MSRG). At MSRG, I worked with sociologist Dr. Rick Thomas on projects such as investigating medically indigent care and community health services. I used many of the skills I'd learned during my program. For example, SPSS and GIS were used to analyze data and enhance reports. My work at MSRG was followed by two years as a research study coordinator at the University of Memphis Prevention Center. There I coordinated research projects and functioned as the senior health educator. Supervising staff, reviewing charts and informed consent forms, and conducting interviews with patients, it was my job to ensure protection of human subjects under study.

Cindy Martin was aware that I was looking for something even more challenging. She noticed an article in the Commercial Appeal and contacted me. Medicare & Medicaid Services wanted to address disparities in healthcare for underserved populations. The article indicated that they had contracted with a for-profit organization, the Center for Healthcare Quality to provide support to Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) located throughout the United States and the U.S. Territories. Thanks to Cindy's tip, I was fortunate enough to land a job in the field of Disparities.  I was honored to work closely with decision makers at Medicare and evaluation of and facilitate training for QIOs.  I sat on a national advisory panel for disparities-in-care for underserved populations. It was at this time that Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman and I worked together on a project to assess perspectives on breast cancer education materials with the QIO in Tennessee.

While at the university, I worked at a community development corporation in Orange Mound under the supervision of Dr. Stan Hyland. My work on this project helped prepare me for what would be my later work in urban, peri-urban, and rural communities of Uganda, where I examined health behavior and healthcare financing (which used a model similar to that of mutual aid societies). As a faculty mentor on this project, which was funded by an NIH grant provided through Christian Brothers University, I had the opportunity to collect data for my Doctoral degree in Health Services. The results from findings at one site were reported in my dissertation titled "Malaria Treatment-Seeking Behavior in Uganda: Health Microinsurance among Engozi women."

After completion of my fieldwork in Uganda, I chose to move to the Washington, DC area, because the numerous government and non-government organizations located in DC offered opportunities I could not find elsewhere. For a short time I worked as a consultant providing education on Microinsurance to a division of The World Bank. Within a year of my arrival, I landed a position as an international program specialist at Social & Scientific Systems, Inc., where I would be contributing to the development of AIDS clinical research units in resource-limited settings (RLS).  My previous study- coordinator experience provided me with the background to work in the clinical field. My anthropological background afforded me the necessary understanding of cultural issues at sites in Africa, South America, and India. My doctoral work in Uganda helped me in my efforts to engage communities in resource-limited settings.

My work on this project, funded by the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Division of AIDS, has focused in two areas, improving community input in clinical research and acting as a liaison among U.S. based researchers, NIH, and the tudy coordinators in resources limited settings (RLS). Each clinical unit is required to have a community advisory board. I have combined qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate their training needs. My conclusions led to improved training among CABs in RLS. In addition, I led efforts to have training conferences offered only in the U.S. in other regions of the world. As a result of my initiative to document the challenges and solutions of clinical research site development in RLS, I have been privileged to work with some of the most noted AIDS researchers in the world and to present and publish findings.

Regardless - or possibly despite my other education and experiences - I will always consider myself an anthropologist first and foremost.  Students smart enough to pursue a degree from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Memphis should take every advantage of the faculty's willingness to engage and nurture the real world experience.  And do not shrink from the world at large: consider opportunities beyond the Memphis realm!  I am thankful for this opportunity to express my gratitude for the support of my Memphis colleagues and mentors.

Robert Brimhall, MA

After graduating in 2004 I was employed by the City of Memphis, Division of Housing and Community Development as a Planning Analyst. I was responsible for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, demographic and housing research and statistics, and writing narratives for documents for viewing by policy makers to help direct/coordinate revitalization efforts in Memphis. After two years there I was employed by the Memphis Area Association of Governments (MAAG), a quasi-governmental entity of Shelby County Government, as a Planner C. My responsibilities included researching and writing narratives for state grants and conducting an annual infrastructure survey of West Tennessee towns, cities, and counties for the Tennessee Assembly Committee on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR). I did that for one year.

Currently, I am employed by General Dynamics Information Technology/K-Lo, Inc. as a Document Specialist/Technical Writer contracted to the Department of the Navy. I am working on writing and editing the documentation for the business process modeling of a software migration from an antiquated Career Management System to a more modern system. I'd say the skills I make the most use of are demographic research, report writing, interviewing (e.g., at meetings), and note taking.  The most practical course and the one that I have used what I learned the most is Methods (Thanks Dr. Finerman!).

Melinda Chow, MA

While I was at U of M's graduate program in anthropology from 1999-2001, I benefited greatly from assignments, practicum or otherwise, that required really going out into the community.  Being out there gives you the best idea of how your anthropological knowledge can be used to serve people.  Shortly before graduation, I heard about an Americorps VISTA position working on an area-wide civic assessment and engagement initiative, the Memphis Civic Index Project (later renamed Memphis CAN!'Civic Action Now!).  Admittedly, the VISTA salary, if one could even call it that, was not at all attractive, even if the issues on the project were.  The benefits of this particular experience however were many.  I learned about many different facets of Memphis and Shelby County, and got a fairly holistic view of how some things in an urban area worked.  I was also able to make valuable connections with people who would help me in my not-so-distant future at the time.  

The organization with whom I worked during my VISTA assignment also employed a consultant from a national organization, the National Civic League (NCL), which had a Washington, D.C. office at the time.  A position became available in their D.C. office shortly after I completed my VISTA.  I worked for NCL a little over a year, and then became interested in another organization based there, the National MultiCultural Institute.  My D.C. experience was great, and I learned a lot from it.  Part of my learning happened because I reached out another U of M anthropology grad alumnus, Lora McCray.  Lora got me involved in volunteering with the Washington Area Women's Foundation, and through this, I was able to see more of how a foundation's grant process works.  I moved back to Memphis in 2005, and began working with Reginald Milton at the South Memphis Alliance (SMA), a civic engagement organization focusing on South Memphis neighborhoods.  Again, many of the connections I made previously were valuable in both getting this job, and in being relatively successful with it.  I worked with Reginald to encourage SMA board and community members to be more active, to make SMA more visible, and to bring SMA to the next funding level. 

I have been working at the National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, KUT Austin, part of the University of Texas, for almost a year.  Although I was involved in college radio as an undergraduate at Mississippi State University, it was my nonprofit and volunteer experiences that were most relevant.  Much of what I do pertains to community outreach and research.  I am responsible for regular assessments of our "Get Involved" program, which produces a weeklong audio and web feature once-a-month on a local nonprofit organization with volunteer opportunities. 

On the ethnography project, NPR has lately been interested in getting more in-depth qualitative listener data than their survey and focus group methods can provide'the kind of qualitative data only ethnographic methods could reveal.  They chose Austin to be the pilot for this new way of acquiring listener data.  This has been the very first ethnography of public radio listeners, and the first time NPR has ever worked so closely with an affiliate station.  On the researcher side, this project involved an NPR researcher, a consultant hired for their experience performing ethnography with companies, and five members of the KUT Radio staff.  In terms of the method employed in this project, it can be most easily described as rapid ethnographic assessment, since participant-observation and in-depth interviewing occurred over a time period of only two weeks, and the funding for this project only allowed us to observe and interview 12 people.  I was directly involved in interviewing, observation, and preliminary data analysis.  I assisted on introducing station staff to the ethnographic method, producing interview tools, and general project coordination.  It has been a really interesting experience so far, and I hope to be able to present on this topic in the upcoming SfAA meeting in Memphis.

Claire Haik, MA

Claire began her association with the Health Information Project (HIP) during the fall of 2006. In search of anthropological field experience, she was referred to the project by Dr. Stan Hyland. HIP, which works with Humes Middle School students, has become a relational model for transforming individual lives and the community. 

Initially, Claire assisted students in completing homework assignments and other tasks related to the project. While most efforts with the students were data-driven, Claire, who is a self-taught artist, incorporated her artistic skills into her field experience. Through the use arts and crafts, she was able to broaden her relationship with the students and became a mentor and friend. She also demonstrated that as anthropologists we must use multiple levels of interaction when developing sustained and trusting relationships with project participants.

Claire's involvement with the project exemplifies volunteerism and a desire to learn. She did not receive a 'grade' or paid compensation. Yet she came to the Neighborhood Christian Center daily to work with the students from Humes School. Although she graduated from the University of Memphis in December 2006, she continued working with the Humes students until she moved to Philadelphia in February 2007.

Jason Hodges, MA

As I write a summary of my real world experiences following graduation I find it difficult to believe that only four months ago I was sitting in a classroom working on readings, papers, and comprehensive exams. Needless to say, 'time' in these preceding months has been an elusive concept. Taking on the responsibilities of parenthood, moving across the country in a Penske truck with all my belongings plus three cats and one dog as my co-pilots, leaving behind my lifelong home along with friends and family, and beginning a new job have all combined to produce a snowball of emotions ranging from anxiety to pure joy. If I could summarize these past months in one word I would describe it as wonderment. This wonderment, however, runs the gamut from that joyous awe of seeing the sunrise over the Cascade Mountains and hearing my daughter's first cry to that utter helplessness of not knowing how to stop my daughter's crying or realizing I am starting a new life two thousands miles from the only home I have ever known. Either way it has been a learning experience and I am grateful for every new challenge that arrives.

Soon after graduation I accepted a position at the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) in Portland, Oregon. HSRI was founded over thirty years ago as research center aiming to assist federal and state governments in enhancing services and supports to families and individuals living with varying forms of mental and/or physical disabilities. HSRI's goal being to deinstitutionalize individuals with disabilities by providing support and services within their communities rather than in isolation from the community. HSRI has branched out to conducting research in the field of Family and Children Services, providing technical assistance to various levels of governments, increasing research in the area of mental health, and providing support to self-advocacy groups (empowered individuals living with developmental disabilities). In the near future, HSRI's Oregon office is seeking to move into the area of community co-ops through collaboration with other community NGO's assisting low-income families who may or may not be living with developmental disabilities. The Oregon office also houses the Child and Family Services Team (CFST), of which I am a member.

Currently the CFST is working on two projects and I am an active participant in both. The Evaluation of Ohio's Title IV-E Waiver is a ten year long evaluation seeking to understand the impact of various children services strategies on permanency placements for children within the child welfare system.

Following the recent trends in 'best practices' for child welfare, Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) has embarked on a new path to utilize 'best practice' strategies to increase permanency and wellbeing for children and families under different levels of investigation in child welfare. These strategies included in-home care, family team management models, kinship placements, enhanced substance abuse care, managed care, family support services, and enhanced visitation models. HSRI's role is to collect both qualitative and quantitative data in order to document outcomes for the children involved in each of these strategic models. My role as a researcher has been to collect data coming in from 18 counties in Ohio, document ways in which each local county's Children Services Agency is implementing these strategies, and conduct qualitative data gathering through interviewing, observations, and focus groups. Through the Ohio project I have been given a crash course on the ins-and-outs of the child welfare system. I have also been given the opportunity to work with individuals from diverse disciplines including the fields of social work, psychology, sociology, and education. Recently I was asked to lead the research involving kinship placements in the Ohio child welfare system and I am submitting an abstract to the Society for Applied Anthropology with the hopes of presenting a paper on the topic at the SfAA conference in Memphis, TN.

The second project that I am currently involved in is the Evaluation of Independent Living Programs (ILP) in Oregon. ILPs are programs that target foster youth who are aging out of the foster care system (18-21 years). ILPs are typically contracted out by the Department of Human Services and are required to provide these youth with various levels of life skills training. ILPs are given some amount of flexibility in the ways in which they deliver these services, but they are held to certain State initiated mandates. HSRI's role in this project is to conduct site visits for all of Oregon's ILPs and write-up reports for each ILP. The evaluation includes all day interviews with staff, youth, manager, DHS caseworkers, and foster parents. It is a rapid assessment methodology that requires the ability to gather as much information about a program as possible within a short period of time. I have grown to enjoy these visits because they provide me with a chance to learn innovative ways in which programs work with at-risk youth. Through this experience I have gained further knowledge on the latter half of the child welfare system.

Research methodologies, skills, and perspectives inherent to anthropology provide us with a better than adequate toolkit to serve in the field of policy and social service analysis. In the few months at my new position I have on numerous occasions provided my colleagues with a differing perspective based on my 'view' as an anthropologist. Furthermore, I take great pride in speaking with those individuals on the receiving end of social services/policy and giving them voice in the analysis and critique of various child welfare policies. From a holistic perspective, and as a researcher-advocate very much interested in political economic issues, understanding the components of child welfare has opened yet another realm of life touched by economic forces. I look forward to continue gaining knowledge in this field and providing analysis from an anthropological background.

To sum up, I am eternally grateful for the education, training, and support I received while at U of Memphis. I think of everyone in the Department often and I look forward to seeing you in December and/or March at SfAA. In the meantime, if anyone wants picture of my baby girl (Opal Madigan Hodges), is interested in child welfare issues, looking for a job in the Pacific Northwest (I'm making connections!), or would just like to say "Hi" please feel free to email:

Margaret Harrison McNutt, MA

I started working at my beloved Pink Palace Museum 24 years ago. For most of that time I was Registrar of Collections. I took a five years hiatus, working in International Adoptions, as Assistant Curator for the WONDERS Exhibition Series and Curator of the Mississippi River Museum at the Tunica RiverPark. As rewarding as those jobs were, I jumped at the chance to return to the Pink Palace in a new role.  In the three years I've been back, as Museum Specialist (kind of a utility curator), I've still worked in the Collections, and also helped the Education Department produce "Suitcase Exhibits" which are sent out to local school, have worked on a number of exhibits. I also research and write "Memphis Moments," short vignettes on Memphis history, which Museum Director Steve Pike, reads on WKNO radio.

But much of my time has been devoted to the "Connections" program, a comprehensive plan to present the history of African Americans in this area from antebellum days through the modern era. This initiative was a long time coming. For the first thirty-three years of the museum's existence, black visitors were allowed in the Pink Palace only on Thursdays. In 1960, five LeMoyne College Students were arrested here for "disorderly conduct," meaning they came on the wrong day. The charges were later dismissed, but it still took a Supreme Court decision, in 1963, to fully desegregate the museum. We hope that the Connections   program can help right this wrong.

So now we are actively working to build our collection of artifacts relating to the black   community and presenting a exhibit on the African American experience. I was curator of the three latest in this series ' One Day is Not Enough: Desegregation of Memphis Public Facilities through the Lens of Ernest Withers; J. O. Patterson, Sr.: The Bishop and the Man, and our current exhibit In Spite of Race: The Robert R. Church Family of Memphis.(The Special Collections at the University provided much of the research material and lent many of the artifacts for the Church exhibit.) The Connections plan also includes a major exhibit on African American Memphis in 2009, re-vamping of our permanent Historic Black Memphians exhibit, additional educational programming, and interviews with African American leaders. And we're anticipating a proposed renovation of the museum's exhibits in which the history and culture of African Americans in the Mid-South will be thoroughly explored.

I've been happily involved with the Anthropology Department since 1964. I have worked with anthropology students, alums and faculty in a variety of projects, co-taught the museum studies class, am on the Board of the Friends of Chucalissa, and just became a member of the Anthropology Department Community Advisory Board. On a personal level, my favorite teacher, Charles McNutt, is my now my father-in-law, and former department chair Linda Bennett, my second favorite teacher, is my best friend. I love this department!

Chad Morris, MA By Sarah Kennedy

Chad Morris, an alumni of our master's program, has since moved on to even higher education while implementing what he has learned in graduate school to work in the outside world.  Morris graduated with a masters in medical anthropology in the spring of 2001 and after marrying that summer started work on his PhD through the University of Kentucky.

His dissertation is focused on five different community-based public health coalitions, located in Kentucky and Florida, that have been formed to address topics such as obesity and substance abuse prevention.  The project is being funded in part through the Florida Prevention Research Center, using Center for Disease Control monies. The research critically examines the rhetoric and actuality of community participation in each coalition, in addition to examining dissemination of coalition-derived ideas and programs. The research will be utilized by the study coalitions and others to improve community collaboration in the creation of programs designed to improve local health outcomes.

Chad is currently teaching a graduate applied anthropology course, among others, at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.  He is applying what he learned as a student from Professors Bennett, Finerman, Hyland, Kedia, and Sackett to teach his students.  His ease with speaking and teaching in front of others began while in graduate school.  He noted he has always looked forward to presentations, and knew that he wanted to pursue public speaking and teaching in his future.  Last year, his research on the intersection of nutrition and culture led him to be chosen as the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Texas Dietetic Association. With his dissertation nearing completion, he is currently seeking tenure-track academic employment for next year and beyond.

Morris has also spent time using his applied background outside of academia.  He spent the summer after 9/11 working in New York City helping to coordinate an asthma partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he worked with diverse stakeholders such as the New York Times, the American Lung Association, community health educators, and city political officials to create programs and policies aimed at improving air quality, treatment and education citywide.

As I concluded my conversation with Chad Morris he left me with a piece of advice that we have indeed all heard at least once, but that should be mentioned again as the fall semester gets underway.  While we as students have this great opportunity in front of us we need to remember to take advantage of everything that presents itself. The skills we learn and the networks that we create now will pay pleasant (and often unexpected) dividends in the future.

Liz Pulver, MA

After receiving my master's degree in May, I returned to Fort Wayne, Indiana to participate in the Student Research Fellowship Program, a summer research program sponsored by the Indiana University School of Medicine and Midwest Alliance for Health Education. I worked with Dr. Tom Gutwein, physician and president of Parkview Hospital's emergency department, to conduct a study titled, "Who are they and why are they here? A snapshot of 'frequent flyers' to an urban hospital emergency department (ED) serving 65,000 patients per year."  Using SPSS, I cross-analyzed retrospective patient data on frequent and all ED patients to the study hospital with frequent and all ED patients nationally.  Dr. Gutwein and I presented our research poster and manuscript at the program's research forum on August 8th and he will present our research at the American College of Emergency Physician's annual meeting in Seattle in October.

Upon completion of this program, I took a contract assignment for Context Research, a Baltimore-based research based firm which uses ethnographic techniques to conduct marketing and product design research.  During the fieldwork period, I conducted and analyzed 3 hour, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with participants in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. I plan to continue working with Context Research on a contract basis as I explore full-time career opportunities and enjoy travel within and outside of the United States. 

Jamie Russell, MA

After the completion of my degree, I spent seven years working in reproductive health as a clinic manager in a few different clinical settings, including Planned Parenthood Golden Gate in San Francisco.  Little did I know that my Anthropology degree would lead me to the world of supervision!  People kept asking me how my degree fit in with my work, especially the administrative aspect of reproductive health.  It took me awhile to formulate my response; yet, when I did I was pleased with the response I received.  My party line consisted of some variation of, "Well, it takes someone who understands people and cultural differences to positively impact health care delivery AND be a good supervisor at the same time."  This normally stopped the questions so that I could continue doing the work I loved, such as developing policy and protocol, developing culturally appropriate trainings, and helping to implement new client-centered services.  I loved, and still love this work; however, somehow I found myself returning to Memphis after 4 years, and leaving reproductive health full time.

After returning to home, I found myself back in the world of HIV/AIDS-related work which began during my graduate school experience.  I worked at Friends For Life Corp. (FFL), a non-profit organization serving HIV infected and affected individuals, as the Director of Client Services.  FFL delivers case management, transportation, housing, food pantry and social-related services, i.e. support groups, to around 1600 individuals.  I also had the opportunity to support a recent Anthropology graduate student, John Barrie, with his practicum which proved a very rewarding experience for me.  

During my work at FFL, I had the pleasure of teaching ANTH 3200 (Peoples and Cultures of the World) to undergraduate students. I'm not sure, but I think I learned more through preparing and teaching the class than my students did!  Teaching kept me busy on top of my already busy schedule; however, it was a truly rewarding experience.

In May 2007, I was offered a position in Nashville at Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) as the Director of HIV/AIDS/STD Prevention Services.  My charge in this position is to oversee all Sexually Transmitted Disease and HIV/AIDS prevention services for health departments and funded community-based organizations, such as Friends For Life Corp., across the state. TDH is fortunate to receive both federal and state funding to support our prevention initiatives, and part of my job is to oversee all prevention funding, including over $9 million in grants.  In this position, I have the opportunity to write new grants to secure funding for new services such as rapid HIV testing, develop statewide policy for counseling and testing services, work directly with our project officers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and manage all prevention grants and reporting.  Most importantly I'm able to support the staff working in the field in both rural and urban settings everyday to help reduce the transmission of STD's and HIV through education, testing and treatment. 

I am fortunate to have such a broad range of training through this graduate program.  With my practicum and research experience I was able to position myself very nicely in the professional world, and because of this I have secured work in fields that I feel very passionately about, such as HIV/AIDS and reproductive health.

Paige Walkup, MA

As a child my parents and I moved every 2-3 years. Although moving so frequently had its perks, it greatly skewed my sense of community and home. It was not until I came to Memphis that I truly found a sense of community to call my own. An integral part of my sense of community developed is rooted in the friendships and professional relationships that I forged in the U of M Anthropology Department.

When I first made the decision to go to graduate school I thought the choice would be simple and that my path would mirror my past.  Essentially, I would move somewhere, finish school and plant my own series of temporary roots across the countryside. Memphis seemed like a logical place to begin this journey.  I liked the University, there was BBQ and a rich cultural history; just enough to hold my attention for a couple of years, or in this case ten years.

I am not sure when it first happened, but after several months of trying to convince my friends around the country about how eclectic Memphis was, I myself started to believe it and to experience it first hand. I was surrounded by people who cared deeply about the community they lived and worked in and it quickly changed my life.

My first exposure to the engagement level of our department was at an impromptu luncheon that the graduate students had for me when I first came to visit the department. I had toured several programs and it was the first time the students had willingly agreed to meet with me.  Within about five minutes it was obvious that each student had forged their own path in the department and the community, some in the medical realm others in urban revitalization and contract archaeology. The thing that grabbed my attention was that each of the students took a unique level pride in the projects they were working on and they each spoke strongly of the network of resources that had been presented to them through the department.

As I began my first semester in the department I was offered two opportunities for special project work. The first was in partnership with the Assisi Foundation and focused on assessing medical resources for local immigrants. The second was a position at the Shelby County Department of Housing working on the completion of their consolidated annual performance and evaluation report for the US Housing and Urban Development.  Both of these projects afforded me with the opportunity to network with local professionals and faculty and to begin to build social networks that led to my current position and passion for Memphis.

During my second semester, Dr. Stan Hyland identified an opportunity for me to work with a new nonprofit housing provider, United Housing. This internship involved a little bit of everything but relied heavily on my grant writing experience. As the organization grew over the course of graduate school and the last eight years, my position has transformed from intern to office manager, to fundraiser and eventually to my current position as marketing and resource development director.

During the last eight years at United Housing, several key things have occurred. First, I was placed in a work setting run by a fellow anthropologist and UM alumni who encouraged my skill development and who pushed me to build professional networks that allowed me to grow as a professional. Second, I began to understand the strong link between the anthropology department and the success of its alumni in the community. The department strives to maintain relationships with its alumni that in turn assist their graduate students in defining their career paths. This mutually beneficial system allows the department to provide a myriad of service learning options for its students while providing skilled labor to local practitioners and nonprofits. This system encourages students to stay and become a part of the larger community and establish roots that have longer term impacts than most other small departments. Lastly, as I built my own networks I was able to identify key community projects that allowed me to volunteer in areas related to my professional strengths and my personal interests in the arts.

Acting as a community volunteer is where I most clearly began to see the impact our department had on the community. The web of social service, arts and civic programs that the department and its alumni touch upon on a daily basis is overwhelming. What moved me the most, however, was that as anthropologists and community volunteers we are not just engaged because of specific skills we possess ' we are engaged in support of community change.  As anthropologists we work well other professionals to identify strategies that address critical issues from neighborhood blight to the accessibility of the arts. It is our networks that build and maintain our community.

This realization greatly impacted both my professional and personal outlook, and ultimately tested my theories regarding teamwork and leadership. Although there are natural leaders full of charisma, I believe a successful leader is one who builds his or her networks, is able to identify key resources during a time of need, and is able to sustain these relationships for the benefit of the group or organization they are leading. Alumni from the anthropology department are at the helm of directing community change in Memphis and without their innovation, United Housing and many other agencies in this community would not be where they are today.  ^top

Alumni Awards and Announcements

Eric Robertson was honored with the University of Memphis Outstanding Alumni Award.

Jamie Russell was promoted to Director of the HIV/STD Prevention Program to oversee all HIV/STI prevention for the State of Tennessee

Marla Robertson just accepted a position with AmeriCorps as the Manager of the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, MA.  Inside the center is an art gallery, performance space, and studios, for community events and workshops.

Tanchica Terry was awarded the prestigious David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship at St. Louis University. ^top

Student News

Jamie Alexander-Dillion

This summer I worked as a research assistant on the ongoing medication study, "Learning from Organizational Error", at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Preventive edicine. My responsibilities included data mining, aiding in the IRB process, and editing transcripts. I worked throughout the months of June, July, and August. It was a very rewarding experience.

Bridgette Collier

This summer, I worked with the Health Information Project on identifying health disparities within one North Memphis community. Over the course of the summer, the H.I.P. team participated in activities that led to the creation of four new documentaries, including a music video featuring our debut song, 'The Power of One.' My involvement with H.I.P. continues the bond created by former U of M students in our effort to create a long-standing relationship through the ties of community engagement.

Harmony Farner

My summer began with a visit to the Yucatan Peninsula, where my husband and I toured Mayan ruins in Chocchoben, located near the border of Belize. It was both amazing and humbling to be in the presence of the remains of such a remarkable civilization. For the remainder of the summer I volunteered for the Freewill Shelter and Outreach located in Humboldt, TN. This facility provides shelter and religion-based counseling for the homeless and those who have been recently released from jail or prison. My responsibilities included writing articles about the shelter to be published in two local newspapers, job placement of residents, and applying for grants. The grant money received enabled us to complete renovations on the women's shelter and to get the men's shelter up and running. We received grants totaling $5,000 from Home Depot and Lowe's and worked with local churches to establish monthly monetary donations as well as donations in clothes, food, books, etc.

Mary Fryman

This past summer I was accepted to the MHIRT program through Christian Brothers University. Along with Kasey Mekonnen of the University of Maryland Baltimore and Julia Hanebrink of Christian Brothers University, I conducted research in Ishaka, Uganda, located in Bushenyi District in the southwestern part of the country. While there we assessed the efficacy of bednet education following sensitizations conducted during the summer 2006, acquiring our data through semi-structured interviews and a focus group. Once our research was completed, we were able to spend a few days in the Sesse Islands relaxing. Afterwards, we traveled north to Gulu to assist Ben Lyon of Rhodes College and Jenifer Meeks of the Univeristy of Memphis in recording the life histories of ex-child soldiers. As MHIRT's research is ongoing, I would encourage anyone interested in international research to apply for acceptance for the summer of 2008.

Jennifer Meeks

Over the summer I was fortunate enough to be accepted to the MHIRT program, funded by the National Institutes of Health and administered by Christian Brothers University. Along with Ben Lyons of Rhodes College, I conducted research in the IDP camps of Gulu/Amuru District in Northern Uganda, home to the longest-running civil war on the African continent, a war that is characterized by the abduction of children and young adults to serve as soldiers, servants, and sexual slaves. Building on previous research, we assessed the psychosocial interventions available to war-affected children in the region. We also collected the life histories of individuals who had been abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army, the rebel group engaged in fighting with government forces.

Katherine Pritchard & Patience Jarrett

From June to the beginning of September, we interned for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare on a Health and Faith-Based Assets Mapping Project of South Memphis. The target areas were Whitehaven, the 38106 and 38109 zip codes, and the Tchulahoma/Raines area. We created Geographic Information Systems, listing health and faith assets such as hospitals, churches, church health centers, childcare centers, neighborhood associations, and even hair salons and barber shops. The maps were then used in an asset based community development or capacity focused approach known as Participatory Inquiry into Health Assets, Networks, and Agency (PIRHANA), a strategy which encourages empowerment and change from within the community. PIRHANA was developed by Rev. Steve De Gruchy and Rev. Sinatra Matimelo from the School of Religion and Theology of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. With Rev. De Gruchy and Rev. Matimelo as facilitators, the Methodist team held two separate PIRHANA workshops, a health seekers workshop and a health providers workshop. The workshops served not only as tools to instill a sense of ownership and empowerment to the community, but as a learning experience for the researchers. The PIRHANA exercises revealed the participants' knowledge and wisdom of their targeted communities, allowing us to locate the health gaps and the communities' exemplar providers.  Since the workshops, the information has been compiled into two separate reports, a health seekers report and a health providers report, and distributed among the participants. The prospective goal of Methodist Healthcare is to run more workshops consisting of different sample populations, such as the youth, and eventually compiling the data into a resource available to the public. 

Christen Reeder

Christin Reeder conducted an evaluation for the Memphis Community Development Partnership from May 2007 to September 2007 on Leadership Memphis' 2006 Grassroots Leadership Training Program. Alumni from the Grassroots Training Program represented a variety of organizations, non-profits, and clubs throughout Memphis. The purpose of the evaluation was to investigate if graduates from the program used their leadership training in applied community initiatives. If the graduates used their training in applied settings, how did it work out? Evaluations such as these are helpful for many reasons. Alumni feedback can affect the quality and development of the training curriculum for future programs. This feedback can also define possible gaps between classroom training and application of the training in real world settings; feedback accumulated in this manner can also promote further expansion of the local community knowledge base.

Semi-structured surveys were administered to interested alumni. They were asked to rate their understanding and use of the leadership curriculum. Many alumni strongly agreed that they had increased understanding of leadership qualities and skills. They also reported increased sense of self-confidence and self-awareness after graduating from the program. Increasing internal capacity and confidence is a vital aspect of leadership training; but, the benefits of leadership training must materialize into applied organizational initiatives.

The quality and depth of the leadership curriculum was meant to result in long term and short term benefits for the alumni and their organizations. Long term and short term benefits of the leadership training were defined in the survey as: promoting positive public visibility for their organization, recruiting volunteers, circulation of neighborhood newsletters or publications, neighborhood festivals, clean-ups, neighborhood watches, presence at political events, grant writing, partnerships with other organizations, resource sharing, website/blog development, and development of further leadership training. Each of the alumni indicated one or more of these activities occurring post Grassroots training. 

Alumni indicated that they have used their training in a variety of settings, both personal and professional.  Even though the alumni indicated that they valued the training and considered it effective, they felt that the absence of City funding placed them in a position where they couldn't use their training as they would like. Alumni either asked for funding in the surveys or they asked how to acquire it. Incorporating an optional training session on procuring resources and how to use those resources may provide alumni with supplementary tools for turning leadership training into applied initiatives. This could increase degree at which change occurs in Memphis. Providing venues of feedback like evaluations to training initiatives can encourage efficacy and assist in the development of sustainable relationships among stakeholders of all types. ^top

Student Awards

Anthropology Outstanding Senior Award

Shannon Wiley will complete her BA in Anthropology this spring, having made the Dean's List every semester. She spent six years as a volunteer with La Leche League International, working to empower families and strengthen parenting and the mother-infant bond through education and access to resources. Shannon herself is the proud mother of four children. She will attend the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law here at the University of Memphis starting this fall.

Anthropology Outstanding Student Service Award :

John Barrie , a relocated Scotsman, fell in love with an American and found his way to Memphis. En route, he saw the light and abandoned his lucrative engineering work to pursue his second passion: Anthropology. John completed his BA in Anthropology at The University of Memphis in spring of 2005 and transitioned directly into our MA program. His new career will focus on advancing health care for disadvantaged populations. Towards this end, he received training in HIV prevention and testing, and has also developed skills in mental health care, particularly for non-English speaking immigrants. John will complete his MA this spring, and will then spend part of this summer in Guatemala, refining his Spanish language skills. He hopes to become fully trilingual in Spanish, English, and Scottish.

Claire Haik completed her BA in Anthropology at The University of Memphis in fall 2006. During her final semester, she was a dedicated volunteer for the Health Information Project (HIP) under the direction of Dr. Stan Hyland. HIP, sponsored by SUAPP and funded by the Urban Child Institute, works with Humes Middle School to transform individual lives and the community. Claire tutored students, adding arts and crafts activities to stimulate learning. Soon, students turned to her as a mentor and friend as well. Claire did not receive a grade or paid compensation for her HIP work. Her volunteer spirit reflects the best of service learning and engaged research. Although she graduated in December 2006, she continued working with the Humes students until her recent relocation Philadelphia, where she will begin graduate studies.

Elizabeth Pulver came to the graduate program in Anthropology at The University of Memphis in the fall of 2005 from undergraduate study at Indiana University. Within days of her arrival, she began dedicated volunteer work with the Red Cross, aiding refugees from Hurricane Katrina. Liz took a crew of students to New Orleans that winter to work on cleanup efforts, and has remained fully engaged with disaster relief agencies throughout her time in Memphis, collecting data to improve the quality of disaster services. Her practicum included an upgrade in information and referrals through Memphis' 2-1-1 program. After completing her MA this spring, Liz will complete a research fellowship with the Indiana University School of Medicine, and then pursue her career as an applied medical anthropologist, improving the quality of life and health in the community.  ^top

Faculty Publications, 2006-2007

Peer Reviewed and Book Chapters

 Brondo, Keri Vacanti and Laura Woods.  2007.  'Garifuna Land Rights and Ecotourism as Economic Development in Honduras' Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area.'  Ecological and Environmental Anthropology. 3(1): 2-18.

Connolly, Robert. 2007. An Assessment of Radiocarbon Age Results from the Poverty Point site Louisiana Archaeology Volume 28.

Camp, J.,  R. Barfield, V. Rodgriguez, A. Young, R. Finerman and M. Caniza. (forthcoming) 'Challenges Faced by Research Ethics Committees in El Salvador: Results from a Pilot Study.'  Developing World Bioethics .

Finerman, R . 2007. 'Review: Globalization, Health, and the Environment: An Integrated Perspective.' American Anthropologist 109(2):383-384.

Hyland, Stan and K. Maurette. 2006. 'Values for Building Sustainable Communities for the Twenty-First Century: An Engaged Scholarship Agenda. Chapter in Sustaining and Reimagining Community in a Globalizing World '

Kedia, Satish. Careers in anthropology. 2006. In Encyclopedia of anthropology. 1. , edited by H. James Birx, 138-141. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Kedia, Satish. 2006. Practicing anthropology. In Encyclopedia of anthropology. 1. , edited by H. James Birx, 176-181. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Kedia, Satish . 2006. Facilitating group communication in empowerment evaluation: A case study of substance abuse treatment effectiveness. In Facilitating group task and team communication . Vol. 2 of Facilitating group communication in context: Innovations and applications with natural groups , edited by L. Frey.Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Kedia, Satish . 2006. Health Impacts of Forced Displacement: A Case Study of Tenri Dam in India. Adivasi: Development, Displacement, and Rehabilitation ' Journal of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute , Bhubaneswar: India, Volume 46, Number 2, December Issue. pp. 122-131.

Kiser, Laurel J., Linda A. Bennett , and Sarah Jane Brubaker.  (In press). Exploring Ritual and Routine Processes Related to Healthy Adolescent Development.  Children, Youth, and Environments.

Lambert-Pennington, Katherine. (Forthcoming, 2007).  What Remains? Debating Repatriation, Culture, Authenticity, and Empowerment Oceania.

Petersen, Mario, Satish Kedia , Pam Davis, Lisa Newman, and Carrie Temple. 2006. Eating and feeding are not the same: Caregivers' perceptions on gastrostomy feeding for children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 48 (9): 713-717.

Westermeyer, Joseph, Linda A. Bennett , Paul Thuras, and Gihyun Yoon.  (In press). "Substance Use Disorder Among Adoptees: A Clinical Comparative Study" American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse .   

Williams, Charles and Jebose O. Okwumabua.  2007.  Building Community Coalition Toward Syphilis Elimination: Perspectives of Community Residents and Organizations. Journal of National Society of Allied Health . 4(4), Spring/Summer 2007.

Williams, Charles and Mohamed Kanu, Rosemary Theriot, A Dexter Samuels, and Revlon Briggs.  2007.  An Evaluation of HIV Prevention Services in the State of Tennessee . Journal of National Society of Allied Health.  4( 4), Spring/Summer 2007.

Policy Briefs and Technical Reports

Bennett, Linda A. The Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs.  Column in Society of Applied Anthropology Newsletter, November 2006, February 2007, and August 2007.

Brondo, Keri Vacanti and Natalie Bown.  2007.  Economic Structure and Attitudes Towards Conservation in Honduran Coastal Villages.  In Operation Wallacea Science Programme Annual Report, edited by T. Coles, D. Smith, and R. Field. UK: Operation Wallacea. 

Brondo, Keri and Laura Woods.  2007.  Operation Wallacea Social Science Field Report 2006.  In Marine Field Research Summary: Cayos Cochinos Marine Site, June-September 2006 .  UK: Operation Wallacea LTD, 2007.

Buchanan, Tk, L. Harris, Stan Hyland . 2006. 'HOPE VI Evaluation: Dixie Homes Baseline Report. Memphis Housing Authority.'

Clay, J., Stan Hyland , S. Schmidt . 2006. 'Lead Hazard Control Interim Evaluation Report 2.' Shelby County Government.

Cutts, T., S. Matimelo, S. de Gruchy, R. Finerman , et al, 'Participatory Inquiry into Religious Health Assets, Networks, and Agency.' Methodist Healthcare Report Fall 2007.

Finerman, R. 'Medical Interpreter Experiences and Narratives.' St. Jude Children's Research Center Report , Spring 2007.

Kedia, Satish . 2006. Treatment effectiveness for repeat DUI offenders in Tennessee 2004-2005 . Memphis, TN: Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation, the University of Memphis. Distributed 3,000 copies.

Kedia, Satish . 2006. Substance abuse treatment effectiveness in Tennessee 2004-2005: Statewide treatment outcome evaluation . (ISBN: 0-09718291-8-7). Memphis, TN: Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation, The University of Memphis. Distributed 3,000 copies. http:/

Williams, Charles . 2007.  Tennessee Alcohol and Drug Prevention Outcome Longitudinal Evaluation (TADPOLE) Annual Report of Outcomes: Fiscal Year 2006/07, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Office of Prevention Services, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Williams, Charles . 2007.  Tennessee Alcohol and Drug Prevention Outcome Longitudinal Evaluation (TADPOLE) Annual Reports to Agencies, Fiscal Year 2006/07, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Office of Prevention Services, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Williams, Charles. 2007.  Tennessee Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) Evaluation Report, Fiscal Year 2006/07, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Office of Prevention Services, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.
Williams, Charles . 2007 Office of Minority Health Black Health Initiatives Program Outcomes: Annual Report of Outcomes for Minority Health-2006-07, Office of Minority Health, Tennessee Department of Health.

Williams, Charles. 2007 Office of Minority Health Black Health Initiatives Program Outcomes: Annual Report to Agencies-2006-07, Office of Minority Health, Tennessee Department of Health.

Williams, Charles . 2007 Tennessee HIV Needs Assessment Survey for People of Color Report, Office of Minority Health, Tennessee Department of Health and Community Coalition Advisory Committee.

Book Reviews

Kedia, Satish . 2006. Review of Gray areas: Ethnographic encounters with nursing home culture― School of American Research advanced seminar series , Philip B. Stafford, ed. American Anthropologist , 108 (2): 439-440.

Kedia, Satish and Sunil Khanna. 2006. Review of Tribal Health and Medicines , A.K. Kalla and P.C. Joshi, eds. Medical Anthropologist Quarterly , 20 (2): 268-269.

Lambert-Pennington, Katherine. 2006. 'Botany Bay: Where Histories Meet,' (), Australian Historical Studies (4).


Hyland, Stan. 2006. 'Uptown: A Neighborhood of Change and Contrasts. Twenty minute video on inner-city middle school students' perspectives of change in their neighborhood and their views on what constitutes a healthy neighborhood. Accompanied by story board and cultural heritage guide.' ^top

Conference Presentations, Posters, and Symposia Organized

Bennett, Linda. 2007. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs (COPAA): Accomplishments And Future Aspirations.  American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November 27-December 2, 2007.

Bennett, Linda. 2007.  Tenure and Promotion for Applied Anthropologists: Deans' and Chairs' Perspectives.  Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings, Tampa, FL.

Brondo, Keri . 2007. Gender, Work and Family in Anthropology: An Overview.  Paper presented at AAA Committee on the Status of Women Invited Session: Introductory Family and Profession: A Gendered Perspective. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November 27-December 2, 2007.

Brondo, Keri and Natalie Bown.  2007.  Conceptualizing Garifuna Community in the Cayos Cochinos Marine Protected Area.  Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 31, 2007.

Brondo, Keri, Marietta Baba, Inez Adams, Christine LaBond, Kate Patch, and Maria Raviele.  2007. Rethinking Moral Economy in the American Rustbelt where Only the Resourceful Survive.  Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 31, 2007.

Finerman, Ruthbeth . 2007. ThePolitical Economy of Disease Transmission and Prevention.  American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November 27-December 2, 2007.

Lambert-Pennington, Katherine. 2007. A Community School or a School for the Community? the dynamics of education and culture in an urban Aboriginal Community. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, November 27-December 2, 2007.
Abraham, Jane., Jennifer M. Kadrovich, and Satish Kedia. 2006. Using Education to Abate Domestic Violence Among Offenders.  Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Baba, Marietta and Keri Brondo.  2006. Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Context: Historical, Geographical, and Cultural Factors.'  Part of 'Manufacturing Success in a High Wage, Employment Security Environment. 13th National Labor-Management Conference.  Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.  August 16-18, 2006.

Barrie, John. and Ruthbeth Finerman. 2006. Transforming Medical Interpretation: A need to Reconcile Generations. Poster presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Bennett, Linda and Linda Whiteford.  2006. Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs (COPAA): Accomplishments And Future Aspirations.  American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, San Jose, CA.

Brondo, Keri.  2006.  Positioning Identity: Negotiating Garifuna Indigeneity for Land Rights on Honduras' North Coast.  Paper presented in the session 'Dangerous Intersections of Indigeneity in Latin America.'  Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.  November 19, 2006.

Brondo, Keri and Marietta Baba. 2006.  The Invasion of the Job Snatchers: Moral Pollution and the Dialectics of Place.  Paper presented in the Invited Session: The Moral Sources of Competitiveness. Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Brondo, Keri and Lisa Robinson.  2006.  Border Crossings: Negotiating Corporate-Academic Research Collaboration.  Workshop Organizer.  Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference.  September 25, 2006.

Brondo, Keri.  2006.  Session Organizer.  Critical Intersections: Women Practicing Anthropology Beyond the Ivory Tower.  Invited session jointly sponsored by the Committee on Status of Women in Anthropology and the National Association of Practicing Anthropologists.  Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.  November 17, 2006.

Crosby, Christopher and Ruthbeth Finerman. 2006.Globalization, Pesticide Access, and Health Risks in the Andean Ecuador.  Poster presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Fryman, Mary and Satish Kedia. 2006.Factors Contributing to the Initiation of Methamphetamine Abuse. Poster presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Hanabrink, Julia and Crystal Ton. 2006.Implementing Malarial Prevention through Education in Uganda. Poster presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Hyland, Stan . 2006. Urban Neighborhoods of Change and Contrast. Tennessee Humanities Southern Festival of Books. Session organizer and presenter. Memphis, TN. 2006.

Hyland, Stan . 2006. Community Building for the twenty-First Century: next Steps. Society for applied anthropology Meetings. Vancouver, BC. 2006.

Hyland, Stan . 2006. Preparation for and Documentation of Scholarship. Society for applied anthropology Meetings. Vancouver, BC. 2006.

Hyland, Stan . 2006. 'Building Strategic Partnerships in Neighborhood Revitalization.' Neighborhood Leadership Conference. Memphis Division of Light, Gas and Water.

Hyland, Stan . 2006. Setting the Stage: Citizens as Partners in Policy Making. Cooper-Jones Initiative Sixth Annual Martin Luther King,. Jr. Commemorative Conference, University of Tennessee Health Policy Center. (with P. Betts).

Hyland, Stan . 2006. Using Information to Evaluate Outcomes: HOPE VI in Memphis. University of Memphis. (with L. Harris and P. Betts).

Hyland, Stan . 2006. Transformation of Local Governance. The Memphis Experience of HOPE VI Programs and Neighborhood Development. (with L. Harris and P. Betts). Urban Affairs Association. Montreal, Quebec. 2006.

Kedia, Satish . 2006. Mono- Versus Polydrug Use Among Publicly Funded Clients in Tennessee. Poster paper presented in Addiction Health Services Research: Understanding the Community Perspective, University of Arkansas fro Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, October 23-25, 2006, Little Rock, Arkansas

Kedia, Satish . 2006. Integrating health impact assessments (HIAs) in development projects: A 3-phase health assessment and care (HAC) policy solution. Paper presented in Health Issues 2, chaired by Henry Ascher at the 10th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM 10) , June 18-22, 2006, Toronto, Canada.

Kedia, Satish. 2006. Forced displacement and embodied distress. Paper presented in Living with trauma: Applied anthropological approaches part II (SMA) at the World on the Edge, the 66th Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), March 28-April 2, 2006, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Kedia, Satish, Kenneth D. Ward, George E. Relyea, and Marie A. Sell. 2006. Willingness to quit smoking among substance abuse clients. Poster presented at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), February 15-18, 2006, Orlando, Florida.

Lambert-Pennington, Katherine, 2006. Koori Inside and Out: Hailing, Difference-making, and the Politics of Indigenous Recognition in Australia. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting.

Pulver, Elizabeth . 2006. Long Term Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees in Memphis TN: A Role for Anthropology.  Poster presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Relyea, George E., Satish Kedia, Kenneth D. Ward, and Marie A. Sell. 2006. Factors that predict client-collateral agreement of tobacco use after substance abuse treatment. Poster presented at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), February 15-18, 2006, Orlando, Florida.

Sylar, Valerie . 2006.Challenges with Retaining Substance Abuse Clients in Telephone-bases Smoking Cessation Intervention.  Poster presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Wright, Rachel . 2006. Evaluation of a School Nutrition Program in a Public Charter School.Poster presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings.  March 28-April 2, 2006.

Ward, Kenneth D., Satish Kedia, George E. Relyea, and Marie A. Sell. 2006. Predictors of nicotine dependence among alcohol and substance abuse clients. Poster presented at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), February 15-18, 2006, Orlando, Florida.  ^top

Chucalissa Update
By Dr. Robert Connolly

Mission Statement:  As an integral component of the University of Memphis, the mission of the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa is to protect and interpret the Chucalissa archaeological site for the benefit of the University community and the public, to provide high quality educational experiences on past and present Native American cultures of the Mid-South, and to pursue new knowledge of these cultures through research as part of the University's explicitly multicultural and multiethnic educational orientation.

Today, this mission is carried out in three ways.  First, through tours of the Museum and Site, special presentations and events, outreach to the community and school groups, and in University of Memphis coursework in anthropology, archaeology, museum studies and related disciplines.  Second, through conservation and preservation practices at Chucalissa and promoting such practices in all program and educational settings.  Third, through research programs that maximize interpretation and minimize the destruction of cultural resources at Chucalissa.

In the coming year we will build on this tradition through a wide range of programs and projects including: an updated orientation video for site visitors; update traveling trunk exhibits for use in the school system; update and expand our contemporary Native American culture exhibits; provide regularly scheduled guided tours of the site and museum; develop an archaeological laboratory exhibit; expand on-site and off-site programming; and continue to provide research and other opportunities for the University of Memphis community including a wide range of student practicum projects, internships, and volunteer opportunities. Contact the Museum Director, Robert Connolly ( ) or stop by for a visit.  Directions to the museum, located eight miles from downtown Memphis can be found at  Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and ideas. ^top

By Bridgette Collier

This year the Anthropology Club is looking to engage in activities that both interest our club members and reflect our passion for anthropology.  We will continue past club activities such as our Brown Bag lunch series, which features guest speakers with interests reflecting one of the four subfields of anthropology. We held the 2nd Annual Anthropology Club Picnic at Chucalissa Museum on November 3rd.  It was a great opportunity for club members and faculty to get to know each other. As always we will be participating in various volunteering activities throughout the city; be sure to help support and sponsor the club as we embark on our first club sponsored volunteer event, Gulu Walk, on October 20 th.  It is also important to note that we are aware of the upcoming SfAA conference and are planning on participating in numerous ways, including creating a t-shirt that will be available for sale. If you would like to hear of all of our upcoming events or to become a part of the Anthropology Club, please contact either Dr. Keri Brondo (, or Bridgette Collier ( Thank you and we look forward to seeing you throughout the semester!  ^top

Congratulations to our Graduates

Congratulations to our Graduates!

Spring 2007

John Barrie

Wendy Bartlo

Brigitte Billeaudeaux

Terri Bokros

Laura Chistenbury

Jason Hodges

Elizabeth Pulver

Crystal Ton

Rachel Wright

Fall 2007

Letoshia Foster

Christin Reeder

Bridgette Collier

Valerie Syler




Please consider joining other alumni and friends of the Department in making a gift in support of the Anthropology Enrichment Fund.

Please return this form to: The College of Arts & Sciences, The University of Memphis, 107 Scates Hall, Memphis, TN 38152-3450.

Enclosed is my gift in the amount of $______ made payable to 'The University of Memphis Foundation.' 

Tell us which programs you wish to support (check all that apply):

Graduate Student Support ________

Travel to Regional and National Conferences ______

Presentations at Regional and National Conferences ________

McNutt Lecture/Scholarly Speakers Series ________

Other (please describe)  ____________________________________________


Your Name                                                                                               Degree/Year


Address City/State/Zip


Home Phone                            Business Phone                                   Email

I understand that all gifts are deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Consider our Matching Gift Program to double, or even triple, the size of your gift through your company's matching gift program. Some companies will match the charitable donations of retirees and, in some cases, gifts by an employee's spouse. The human resources department of your company can supply with the appropriate forms, which should be returned along with your gift.

The Department of Anthropology appreciates the generous contributions of time and resources from its many alumni and friends.

If you are interested in volunteering your time with Department Projects, please contact Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman at

Web address:    ^top

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
Department of Anthropology | 316 Manning Hall | Memphis, TN | 38152-3530 | Phone: 901-678-2080 | Fax: 901-678-2069
Last Updated: 6/25/13