Message from the Chair: Dr. Todd Fenton

Dr. Todd Fenton, Department Chair

This edition of the Department of Anthropology newsletter recognizes and celebrates our recent graduates who have persevered and achieved their educational goals through a time of extraordinary adversity. As Chair of the Department and on behalf of the Anthropology faculty and staff, we give our sincerest congratulations to the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021. We are so proud of them and impressed by them. The ongoing global pandemic has wrought indescribable loss, grief, and uncertainty in so many aspects of our lives. In the face of such pervasive hardship, our graduates persisted through challenges and overcame obstacles to earn their degrees. We take great joy in commemorating this milestone that reflects their numerous achievements and the culmination of their triumphs and determination.

In this special newsletter issue, we feature our 2020 and 2021 PhD graduates and four of our exceptional undergraduate graduates who received their degrees this past spring. Next to each graduate’s name is the subfield of anthropology in which they specialize; however, they all embrace the diverse and holistic nature of our discipline.

Since the onset of the pandemic, twelve of our PhD students have earned their doctoral degrees. They completed and defended their dissertation research, which is briefly described in these articles. This feat represents a myriad of efforts in their enduring work over the years and the guiding mentorship from advisors and faculty. The journey towards a PhD involves many challenges, made more difficult by the pandemic, and these doctoral graduates have shown considerable strength through it all. The research and work over the course of these graduates’ careers have made significant contributions to the larger body of scholarly knowledge and have truly made an impact in the world.

All four of our featured graduated undergraduate students represent the Department of Anthropology’s outstanding seniors who have excelled in their coursework, conducted independent research with their mentors, and served as positive influences in their communities. As many traditional collegiate experiences were curtailed during their final year in response to health and safety efforts, our undergraduate students’ achievements are all the more commendable as they continually adapted with grace, diligence, and creativity.

Please join us in honoring our graduates and their many accomplishments and in appreciating their resilience. To all of our graduates, you have inspired us more than you know, and we look forward to celebrating your future successes.

To read the full newsletter, click here.