Loyola University Chicago

Department of Anthropology

Student and Alumni News

New Alum Claire Abell Wins CSAS Undergraduate Paper Award

Claire Abell (BA '17) presented her original paper, titled "Sun, Sea, and the Romantic Other: American Travel Writing on Oman," as part of a panel organized by Dr. Kathleen Adams at the Spring 2017 Central States Anthropological Society Annual Meeting. Abell's paper was also entered in the CSAS Undergraduate Paper Competition, and she won the best paper award, which included a prize of $300.

’17 Anthro Grads and Recent Alumni Heading to Grad School

 Anthony Adams (’16) has been accepted into a Master’s program in Environmental Studies for environmental planning and management with a certificate in Geographical Information Science.


Nicole Claudio (’17) will begin her studies in the Master of Arts in Museology program at the University of Washington Seattle in Fall 2017.

Kait Madsen (’15) has been accepted to the Master’s program in Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She will attend on a full scholarship.

Maggie Miller (’17) will attend Trinity College in Dublin for a M.Phil. in Public History and Cultural Heritage in AY 2017-18.

Amanda Sorensen (’17) was accepted to the Smithsonian Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA), a NSF cultural anthropology graduate methods training program, with full funding to spend four weeks at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Her SIMA project considers how collector identity is represented in a particular collection, analyzing five Cheyenne collections that were collected by four collectors with very different identities. Amanda will also begin a Master’s program in cultural and museum anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Fall 2017.

Congratulations to Our Graduating Seniors!


The 2017 Anthropology Student Celebration, held on April 28, was bigger and better than ever, featuring dozens of student research posters, awards for outstanding graduating seniors, and plenty of merriment, as department faculty, staff, and students were joined by friends and family to recognize the impressive work and accomplishments of the last year.

This year's Chardin Award, presented to the most outstanding graduates in Anthropology, went to Emma Hall and Amanda Sorensen. The Buechel Award, recognizing substantial work on social justice issues alongside an excellent academic record, was given to Judith Kyrkos. As the outstanding graduate in the Anthropology-Sociology joint BA program, Margaret Meagher was presented with the Durkheim Award.

In the awards for each subfield of Anthropology, David Hanley was named outstanding graduate in Archaeology. The award for outstanding accomplishments in Cultural Anthropology was given to Nicole Claudio and Hannah Scott. And, in Linguistic Anthropology, Sofia Ballicora was recognized as the outstanding graduate.

Congratulations and best wishes to all of our award winners and graduating seniors!

LUC Anthro Students at the Society for Applied Anthropology 2017 Meeting

Loyola Anthropology was well represented at the 2017 SfAA's, with five students presenting original research, as well as participation by Drs. Adams and Gomberg-Muñoz. Titles and formats for each are below.

Katie Lantto chaired a panel called "Perspectives on Refugees, Migrants, and Immigrant’s Experience," on which she presented a paper titled "Doubly American: An Inspection of the Ethical Implications of Mexican Adoptions in the US."

As part of a panel on "Dealing with the 'C' Word: What Does 'Community' Mean in Museum Practice," Amanda Sorensen presented a paper titled "Hominid See Hominid Do: Visitor Perspectives on Human Evolution."

Mia LaRocca and Karina Fierro presented original research on "Latinx Health: Mapping Community Resources for Chicago’s Immigrant Population" in poster format, a project with contributions from co-author David Treering.

Alice Thompson also presented a poster titled "Falling through the Cracks: Gendered Implications of the DACA Application Process."

Abstracts and additional details on the 2017 SfAA meeting are available here: http://www.sfaa.net/files/9014/8969/0697/2017_Final_Program.pdf.

Elizabeth Bajjalieh and Claire Abell Present at CSAS 2017

Anthropology students Liz Bajjelieh and Claire Abell presented papers alongside Dr. Kathleen Adams at the 2017 Central States Anthropological Society annual meeting, held in Lincoln, Nebraska, in early April. The topic of the panel was "Touristic Imagery and the Shaping of Sensibilities about Self and Other." Claire's paper was titled "Sun, Sea, and the Romantic Other: American Travel Writing on Oman," and Liz's was titled "The Real Experience: Online Brochure Analysis of Peace Corps Advertising." Dr. Adams presented on her long-term ethnographic research in Indonesia, with a paper titled "Touring the Ancestral Homeland: Exploring Heritage and Revisiting Self and Other in the Hinterlands of Indonesia." The three Loyola anthropologists were joined on the panel by discussant Phyllis Passariello of Centre College. The panel is pictured above, from L to R: Bajjelieh, Adams, Abell, and Passariello.

Paper abstracts and additional conference details are available here: http://csas.americananthro.org/csas-2017-conference-abstracts/.

Student-Curated Exhibit of Indonesian Textiles Opening March 15

Grace Iverson, a Johnson Scholar and graduating senior in Anthropology, will open her exhibit Women's Work: Sumba Textiles from the May Weber Collection on the second floor of the Damen Student Center (outside the MPR rooms) on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. This exhibit is a result of two years of research in the collection and will feature 26 of the cloths from Sumba, Indonesia. The exhibit will run through April 15.

Loyola's Gannon Center for Women and Leadership is hosting an opening reception for the exhibit on March 15 from 4:30-6:00 p.m., at which Grace will present a gallery talk introducing the exhibit.

Alum John Maniatis Reflects on His Path to Museum Registrar

I always say to myself how lucky I am to get paid to work in a museum. I love my work. I love learning on a daily basis, with the intent of turning that knowledge into a product. The kind that a visitor to my museum can walk away with and enrich their lives. There is always a path to the job you love. You just have to put the map away at times and see where the path takes you.

In college I majored in Anthropology and Classical Civilization…bones and stones. Fast forward twenty years and here I am cataloguing 20th Century militaria. Most all of the artifacts that cross my desk as Registrar at the First Division Museum at Cantigny are mass produced. They are green, brown, made of cloth or metal. Occasionally they have been blown up. In some cases, the original owner died wearing/holding the object. In those cases, the job can be sobering. One thing for sure, work it is never dull. But it is a far cry from what I thought I would be doing... Read more here.

Students Have Starring Role in Puppet Exhibition

Anthropology students are taking a hands-on approach to help curate a new LUMA exhibition about Indonesian puppets. “It’s fun because this isn’t something most people really know about,” said Liz Bajjalieh, an anthropology major. “I’m taking this little shadow puppet from a little corner of the world, so an entire other world of people can experience it.” Read more here.

David Hanley Presents at Midwest Archaeological Conference

David Hanley, a senior major in Anthropology, recently presented original research from his 2016 Provost Fellowship project at the 60th Annual Midwest Archaeological Conference, held in October in Iowa City. His research was supervised by Dr. Dan Amick, and their MAC presentation was titled "Spatial Analysis of Subsurface Metal Artifacts at 11MH515: an Early 19thCentury Pioneer Farmstead in Northern Illinois."

Anthropology Gala and Senior Awards 2016

This year’s Anthropology Gala featured student research presentations from across the subfields, awards for outstanding graduating seniors, and live music performed by Drs. Arnold (guitar) and Amick (banjo).

Senior award winners were:

  • Samya Abu-Orf, Chardin Award (Outstanding graduate in Anthropology, pictured L above)
  • Naveen Kanji, Chardin Award (Outstanding graduate in Anthropology, pictured R above)
  • River Simpson, Buechel Award (Outstanding graduate working on social justice issues) and Outstanding graduate in Cultural Anthropology
  • Hannah Patten, Outstanding graduate in Archaeology
  • Rebecca Zavala, Durkheim Award (Outstanding graduate in the joint Sociology-Anthropology major)

Student Anthropology Research at Loyola's Weekend of Excellence 2016

Students presenting research in Anthropology at the Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium on April 15 included:

Amanda Sorensen with a Provost Fellowship project entitled "Indigeneity of the Past, Indigeneity in the Present," based on ethnography at National Museum of Mexican Art as part of Dr. Ruth Gomberg-Munoz's ANTH 317: Qualitative Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology

Grace Iverson with a project entitled "Women's Work and Creative Innovation in Textiles from Sumba, Indonesia," her research for a Johnson Scholarship utilizing the May Weber Collection, supervised by Dr. Catherine Nichols

David Hanley with a Provost Fellowship project examining molar wear patterns in Neanderthals and early modern humans, supervised by Dr. Kristin Krueger

Naveen Kanji with a project entitled "Health and Lifeways of the Late 19th and Early 20th Century Hayes Point Dump in Chicago," her research for a Provost Fellowship in 2015-16, supervised by Dr. Daniel Amick

Naveen Kanji (BS '16) Headed to Stritch

Graduating senior Anthropology major Naveen Kanji will attend Loyola's Stritch School of Medicine beginning in Fall 2016. Congratulations!

Anthro Students Receive LUROP Awards for 2016-17

Seven Anthropology students have received LUROP (Loyola Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program) awards for the coming academic year.

Amanda Sorensen, a rising senior Anthropology major, has been awarded a Provost Fellowship for her research project: "Visitors as meaning-makers on human evolution at the Field Museum’s Evolving Planet exhibit”. Amanda will work with research mentor Dr. Catherine Nichols as she completes her project.

Evan Chwa, an Anthropology minor, was awarded a Mulcahy Scholarship for this upcoming academic year. He will be working with Dr. Kristin Krueger on an experimental dental microwear project to better understand how microwear textures form with known diets, with implications for early hominin paleoecology.

Olivia Guzzardo, a rising senior in Anthropology, has received a Provost Fellowship for a research project titled "Metal Geophysical Survey and Artifact Spatial Analysis at the Walkup Farmstead." She will be working with Dr. Dan Amick.

David Hanley, another rising senior in Anthropology, has also received a Provost Fellowship. His project is titled "Examination of Faunal Remains at an Early 19th Century Pioneer Frontier Farmstead," supervised by Dr. Amick.

Additionally, Mia LaRocca, a rising Junior in Anthropology, has won a Social Justice Research Award.

Karina Fierro, a Senior majoring in Anthropology, has also won a Social Justice Research Award.

Karishma Bali has received a Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award.

Francesca Gervasi ('16) Awarded Graduate Fellowship at Merrimack College

Francesca Gervasi (’16) will begin her Masters of Education in Community Engagement at Merrimack College (North Andover, MA) in May 2016. She was awarded a fellowship, where she will be working at the nonprofit organization Bread and Roses. As a soup kitchen and community center, they provide assistance to people suffering from homelessness, addiction, mental illness, or abuse.

Chris Biersdorf ('14) Accepts Position at Shedd Aquarium

Loyola Anthropology alum Chris Biersdorf has accepted a permanent animal keeper position at Shedd Aquarium. He had previously been working at Lincoln Park Zoo's Farm-in-the-Zoo while also maintaining the internship at the Ape House. Chris notes that his new career "is a testament to the holistic nature of anthropology and the possibility of applying the field to a wide-array of careers. I am excited to be a part of the ever-changing field of animal husbandry and to provide new insights that might better the lives of captive animals."

Rachel Gonzalez ('13) to Attend University of Glasgow

Rachel has been accepted to the Masters program in Museum Studies at Glasgow. Congratulations!

Nicole Constantine ('15) to Intern at The Field Museum

Newly graduated senior anthropology major Nicole Constantine just accepted an internship position at the Field Museum working with one of their archaeological collections for the summer. She will be helping to catalog a 13th century shipwreck excavated from the Java Sea. The collection includes artifacts from Thailand, Korea and China.

Frank Walsh ('15) Awarded Fellowship for Study in Indonesia

Congratulations to Frank Walsh, a 2015 graduate in Anthropology and Art History, who was just awarded a fellowship from the USINDO (United States-Indonesia) Society for 2015 summer study of Indonesian language and culture in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Student Research and Awards Presented at Anthro Gala 2015

The 2015 Anthropology Gala celebrating student accomplishments and graduating seniors featured a large number of student research projects, including posters by students in Dr. Kristin Krueger's Dental Anthropology class, pictured below.

Annual awards for graduating students were also distributed. Anthropology seniors receiving departmental awards in 2015 were:

  • Kait Madsen: Chardin Award (Outstanding graduate in Anthropology)
  • Abby Stone: Chardin Award (Outstanding graduate in Anthropology)
  • Eddie Chong: Buechel, S.J. Award (Outstanding graduate working on social justice issues)
  • Kyle Sullivan: Outstanding graduate in Biological Anthropology
  • Emily Dattilo: Outstanding graduate in Cultural Anthropology
  • Chris Benson: Durkehim Award (Outstanding graduate in the Sociology-Anthropology major)

Anthropology Students Present Research at 2015 LUROP Symposium

Anthropology majors Abby Stone (photo above) and Naveen Kanji (photo below) recently presented posters featuring original research at Loyola's annual Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium, held on April 18. Their projects in biological anthropology and archaeology were mentored by Dr. Kristin Krueger and Dr. Dan Amick, respectively.

Grace Iverson Receives Johnson Scholarship

Grace Iverson has been awarded a Carroll and Adelaide Johnson Scholarship for her research: "Uncovering Gender through Textiles: An Evaluation of Female-Centered Objects in the Formation of Ethnographic Collections." Grace will study the production and collection of textiles from the May Weber Collection. Grace will be mentored by Dr. Catherine Nichols as she completes her project.

Christina Rodriquez Awarded Johnson Scholarship

Cristina Rodriguez has been awarded a Carroll and Adelaide Johnson Scholarship for her research: "Empowering Each Other: Leadership Development in an Immigrant Women's Collective." Christina will work with research mentor Dr. Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz as she completes her project.

Alice Thompson Wins Johnson Scholarship

Alice Thompson has been awarded a Carroll and Adelaide Johnson Scholarship for her research: "Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA): Gendered Dimensions of the Application Process." Alice will be mentored by Dr. Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz as she completes her project.

River Simpson Awarded Social Justice Research Fellowship

River Simpson won a LUROP Social Justice Research Fellowship for his research, "What Ever Happened to Class?: Lesson Learned from the Fight for 15." Dr. Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz will serve as research mentor for the project.

Emily Dattilo Headed to Grad School at Marquette U

Emily, an Anthropology and History major at Loyola, will be attending Marquette University's History (MA) graduate program in Fall 2015, where she will study museums and public history.

Haein Sung to Attend Graduate School at Columbia University

Haein Sung (2013) was accepted into Columbia University's School of Public Health and will begin a Master's program there in the fall.

Katie Day Good Joining Faculty at Miami University

Katie Day Good (2007) defended her Ph.D. dissertation in Communications at Northwestern University in December, 2014. Her dissertation was entitled "Bring the world to the child: Grassroots media and global citizenship in American education, 1900-1965.” In Fall 2015, Dr. Good will be joining the faculty at Miami University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film. She writes, ”True to my anthro roots, I will be teaching Intercultural Communication.”

Alum Ericka Menchen-Trevino Accepts Position at American University

Ericka Menchen-Trevino (2001) completed her Ph.D. in Communications at Northwestern University in 2012 (Dissertation title: "Partisans and Dropouts?: News Filtering in the Contemporary Media Environment"). She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Media and Communication Department at Erasmus University Rotterdam, but will be moving back to the United States this summer to take a position as an Assistant Professor at American University in Washington D.C.

Michele Statz Receives Ph.D. at University of Washington

Michele Statz, a Loyola Anthropology alum (2005), recently received her Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology and a graduate certificate in Comparative Law and Society Studies from the University of Washington. She is currently teaching at Carthage College. Her research centers on unaccompanied child migration from Fujian Province, PR China to the U.S. The project aims to contribute to the anthropologies of law and youth, as well as to scholarship on unaccompanied and separated youths' rights and representation.

Brooke Morgan Completes Ph.D. in Anthropology at SMU

Loyola Anthropology alum Brooke Morgan (2008) has successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation in Anthropology at Southern Methodist University. The title of her dissertation is "Folsom Settlement Organization in the Southern Rocky Mountains: An Analysis of Dwelling Space at the Mountaineer Site." Mountaineer provides unique circumstances for exploring how a Folsom community functioned in a long-term residential setting - something rarely seen in the Paleoindian archaeological record that was nevertheless an important part of hunter-gatherer adaptations. Her goal is to study the interrelated aspects of risk minimization, economic integration, and social relationships in Folsom society by drawing on concepts from household archaeology and hunter-gatherer ethnography and applying them within a human behavioral ecology theoretical framework. Ultimately, she says, this research should be applicable to investigation archaeological hunter-gatherer societies writ large.

Nicole York Headed to Graduate School at Purdue

Graduating Senior Nicole York has been accepted to the anthropology graduate program at Purdue University. Congratulations!

Anthropology Senior Eddie Chong Awarded Field Museum Internship

Graduating senior Eddie Chong, an Anthropology/Sociology major, was awarded an Anthropology Alliance Field Internship for Summer 2015 with the Science Action for Conservation and Community Center at the Field Museum. Eddie will be doing ethnographic work on industrial heritage in Calumet.

Alum Michelle Statz Launches Youth Circulations Website

Michele Statz (LUC Anthropology B.S., 2005) and Lauren Heidbrink are proud to announce the launch of their website, Youth Circulations (www.youthcirculations.com). As anthropologists who research unaccompanied child migration, Heidbrink and Statz recognize a glaring disconnect between the nuanced, transnational lives of the young people with whom they work and the active reduction of these youth into abbreviated tropes--vulnerable victim, delinquent, violent threat, and so--in policy reports and the media. They’ve created Youth Circulations to draw attention to the ways in which these representations delimit and decontextualize young migrants, as well as to highlight active counter-points, occasions in which youth are portrayed or self-represent as agentive, skilled, creative and relational actors. Youth Circulations aims to be a helpful resource for scholars, students and policy-makers.