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Kyle Stich, B.A. '08, at an excavation site.

The Anthropology Department encourages students to pursue research in their areas of interest, and provides a variety of opportunities to work with faculty on research projects.  The research initiatives and current endeavors of several of our students are highlighted below. 

Current Student Research

Yesenia Taveras-Cruz

Yesenia is an NEIU McNair Scholar completing her research on primate biology, and is working with Associate Professor Lesa Davis. She is focusing on capuchin monkeys and hopes to intern this fall at the primate cognition labs of Dr. Dorothy Fragazy at University of Georgia learning more about research design and data collection in a lab setting.

Alumni Research and News

Sylvia Orellana (B.A. '12)

Sylvia successfully defended her thesis in spring 2014 and was awarded an M.A. in Anthropology from Northern Illinois University. Her research, based on her fieldwork in Bolivia, focused on the behavior and ecology of tamarin monkeys.


Kelsey Nordine (B.A. '12)

Kesley is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at Washington University of St. Louis, and is exploring the intersection of medical anthropology, ethnobotany, and archaeology to explore paleoethnomedicine among the Prehispanic Maya.

Gloria Yamauchi (B.A. '12)

Gloria is pursuing a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology at Western Illinois University. She plans to use educational computer technologies to assist NGOs in Guatemala.

Amanda Respess (B.A. '12)

Amanda is pursuing a joint Ph.D. in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan. Her research uses archaeological and archival sources to address developments in medical science that took place along the Maritime Silk Road trade routes. She is especially interested in the cultural developments these materials reveal as a window onto the identities and identity politics, past and present, that emerged from these cultural exchanges.


Walter A. (BJ) Clifford IV (B.A. '10)

Walter is pursuing a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of South Carolina, where he is studying interactions among and between contact-era Yamasee Indians and European colonists in the southeastern US.


Nicole DeFrancisco (B.A. '09)

Nicole completed her studies, all but dissertation (A.B.D.), in Anthropology at the University of California at Riverside. Her dissertation investigates ways in which local-level plant and water management relates to issues of inter-household power negotiations in rural hinterlands among the ancient Maya.

Sylvia Deskaj (B.A. '08)

Sylvia is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at Michigan State University, where she is conducting her dissertation research on human mobility and social aspects of death and tumulus burial in Bronze Age northern Albania.

Kyle Stich (B.A. '08)

Kyle is completing the M.A. program in Anthropology at Louisiana State University. His thesis examines the relationships between agricultural origins and ceremonial early states on the central Peruvian coast.


Ayla Amadio (B.A. '06)

Ayla completed her studies, (A.B.D.), in the Anthropology department at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. Her dissertation focuses on patterned and pervasive ritual symbolism through the use of animals and animal imagery in domestic and ceremonial contexts of Formative Oaxaca, Mexico.

Abigail Middleton (B.A. '05)

Abigail is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Missouri, where she is completing her dissertation on the in the development of agricultural communities in and adaptations to the high-risk littoral regions in Late Formative southwestern coastal Ecuador.


Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profiles

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