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Department of Anthropology

Departmental News

Dr. Herrmann named collaborator on Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center Award

Congratulations to Dr. Nicholas Herrmann who has been named a collaborator on a Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC) Award. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center (HHRRC) was created in February, 2015, and seeks to promote the application of contemporary forensic science and forensic medicine principles to global humanitarian and/or human rights projects requiring special forensic assistance. The project Dr. Herrmann will work on is “Anthropological Analysis of Victims of the Soviet-Era in Georgia,” with PI Dr. Meri Gonashvili, who is a forensic anthropologist based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Other collaborators are Dr. Joseph Hefner (anthropology faculty at Michigan State University)and Ms. Kelly Kamnikar (PhD candidate at Michigan State University).

Daily Best Op-Ed by Dr. Kate Spradley

Dr. Kate Spradley recent published an Op-Ed titled "The Many Nameless Migrant Skeletons Buried Along America’s Border" in The Daily Beast

"The failure to properly investigate and identify the dead at our nation’s border is a culmination of systemic failures at multiple levels, creating a humanitarian crisis."

Anthropology Professors Awarded REP Grant Funding

Dr. Heather Smith was awarded an $8,000 Research Enhancement Program Grant by Texas State University to support her research on "Geoarchaeological Coring at Spring Lake, San Marcos, TX."

Drs. Kate Spradley and Nicole Taylor were awarded a $16,000 Research Enhancement Program Grant by Texas State University to support their research on "Migrant Death Practices: Understanding Institutional Decision-making in the Treatment of Unidentified Human Remains."

Dr. Kent Reilly | Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World exhibit opening

The museum exhibition, Spiro and the Art of the Mississippian World, which Dr. Kent Reilly has worked on for many years, is a reality! The exhibition will be at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum from February 12-May 9, 2021. “More than a decade in the making, this 200-object exhibition with companion publication and symposium were developed in collaboration with the Caddo Nation, the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, and scholars from over a dozen universities and museums from across the United States.”

Dr. Kate Spradley featured in Texas Monthly

Dr. Kate Spradley and Operation ID are featured in Texas Monthly magazine. “I really wanted to work in a border state,” Spradley says. “And when you’re teaching forensic anthropology, a body farm is a big draw for students. You typically get really good applications to a program like that, so I knew Texas State would be a very special place to work. It was an exciting time to join the school.”

In addition, there is a new federal bill, the Missing Persons and Unidentified Act, which will help identify will open up funding for organizations and agencies involved in identifying and repatriating the missing and the dead.

Drs. Emily Brunson and Monica Schoch-Spana to lead CommuniVax coalition

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health announced today the launch of CommuniVax, a coalition to strengthen the community’s role and involvement in an equitable vaccination campaign. The coalition will conduct rapid ethnographic research related to COVID-19 vaccination among historically underserved communities of color in the United States. Local research teams will listen to community members and work with them to develop suggestions on how to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine delivery and communication strategies. The coalition will synthesize and disseminate community viewpoints to national stakeholders to develop a more equitable and effective vaccination effort, with an enduring impact on public trust. CommuniVax will be led by Monica Schoch-Spana (The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security) and Emily Brunson (Department of Anthropology, Texas State University). CommuniVax has received a $2 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to fund this vital research. These funds will also be used to support graduate students.

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