Fall 2017 - Spring 2018, Volume 18


NMSU Anthropology had another terrific year! 

The Anthropology students and faculty profiled here are just a few of those who have received funding and recognition for their research and teaching. A complete list of award-winning faculty, students, and successful graduates is available here.

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NMSU Department of Anthropology
NMSU University Museum

We have funded students working both internationally and locally on projects as diverse as archaeological stewardship, food security and sufficiency, the culture of medicine, Native American art and material culture, and decolonizing methodologies. 

We invite you to share in our Department's success and our students' accomplishments. Your support matters!

Dr. Rani T. Alexander
Academic Department Head and Professor of Anthropology
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Faculty on Sabbatical 2017-2018

Dr. Fumi Arakawa (below right) and Dr.Mary Alice Scott (below left) were awarded sabbaticals for the 2017-2018 academic year by the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Fumi Arakawa holds the Oversee Visiting Fellowship at the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) in Japan. He is collaborating with Professor Atsunori Ito, an associate professor at Minpaku, who conducts the project entitled “Documenting and Sharing Information on Ethnological Materials: Working with Native American Tribes.”  As a part of the project, Dr. Arakawa's work has focused on the Mimbres culture and people, particularly how ceramics recovered from some Mimbres sites were used in southern New Mexico. The main goal is to understand hidden meanings on Mimbres ceramic designs and motifs by interviewing contemporary Native American artists. The collaborative research between Minpaku and the NMSU University Museum centers on listening to Native American artists about their own interpretations of Mimbres pottery designs.

Dr. Mary Alice Scott will apply her expertise in medical anthropology, health disparities research and curriculum development in collaboration with the Southern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency Program at Memorial Medical Center. Their joint project will support resident training activities in rural and underserved settings such as the Community Health Centers, Critical Access Hospitals and rural practice sites throughout southern New Mexico. These activities will expand the curriculum she developed in 2016-2017 which includes education and training on social determinants of health, applied research to improve education and health outcomes, and evaluation of education and training. These activities will enhance residents’ ability to engage rural communities and address the social determinants of health.
Both faculty members will return in fall of 2018!

2017 South Diamond Creek Archaeological Field School

Associate Professor and University Museum Director Dr. Fumiyasu Arakawa recently led a six-week field school for anthropology students and enthusiasts in the Gila National Forest.
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New Emeritus Faculty - Brenda Benefit and Monte McCrossin
Congratulations on your retirement

Dr. Brenda Benefit (left) and Dr. Monte McCrossin (right) retired from NMSU in 2018, capping off distinguished careers in research and teaching in biological anthropology. 

Dr. Benefit focuses on the evolution of Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene catarrhine primates (Old World monkeys and apes) in Africa, paleoecology, dental variation, and dental correlates of diet (including functional morphology and enamel microwear) in living and fossil primates.

Dr. McCrossin's interests include fossil evidence for human evolution, paleoanthropology of Africa, the ecology, behavior, and adaptive history of non-human primates, dietary and locomotor adaptations, and paleoecology. He served as director of the University Museum from 2007 to 2014. 

Since 1987, they have collaborated on the excavation, analysis and description of a diverse 15 million year old primate community fossilized in middle Miocene deposits on Maboko Island in a small gulf of Lake Victoria in Kenya. The Maboko fossils include some of the oldest and best-preserved remains of primates that may be ancestral to modern monkeys and apes, and several extinct ape species had unusual adaptations. They look forward to continuing human and non-human primate paleontological research and publication in retirement.

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W. Thomas Conelly

Dr. Conelly retired after 6 years of teaching in the Department of Anthropology at NMSU. He specializes in ecological anthropology, agricultural change, and development. He worked as an applied anthropologist in the Philippines and Kenya. Dr. Conelly’s more recent research focuses on frontier settlement, agricultural change, and demography in a 19th century Amish community in Pennsylvania.

He is also a photographer with a special interest in ethnographic photography and the American southwest. Four selections below include the Tortugas Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial, New Mexico Rodeo, and the southern New Mexico State Fair

His Visual Anthropology class is beloved by students and will be sorely missed!
More of Tom Conelly's photos are here.

NMSU Anthropology researcher receives IMPACT grant for interdisciplinary projects

Dr. Lois Stanford will study the impact of Southern New Mexico dietary practices on the gut in collaboration with Drs. Ivette Guzman and Mary O'Connell, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences and Dr. Brigit O'Donnell, Food and Consumer Sciences.
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NMSU Anthropology professor studies evidence of historic trade route

Dr. Kelly Jenks, assistant professor of anthropology and her students at New Mexico State University are conducting archaeological research on El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, a Spanish-Colonial period trade route extending from Mexico City to Santa Fe.

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NMSU Anthropology faculty collaborate on grant to study Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

An interdisciplinary team of anthropologists, geologists, biologists and geographers from New Mexico State University is helping the Las Cruces office of the Bureau of Land Management by locating and recording natural and cultural resources on the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.

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Anthropology Researchers Compile Oral History of Mid-Century New Mexico

Dr. Kelly Jenks and Dr. Mary Alice Scott from New Mexico State University’s Department of Anthropology are traveling around the state to collect stories about daily life in rural New Mexico during the early- and mid-1900s. Their goal is to record these “oral histories” before the memories are forgotten.
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Skies of New Mexico
Photo by Tom Conelly

NMSU Students Receive Archaeology Scholarships

Esmeralda Ferrales (below right), Kayla Brown, and Melissa Pérez (below left) received the 2018 Cheryl L. Wase Scholarship from the Society for American Archaeology. Ferrales and Brown previously received the scholarship in 2017 and 2016 respectively.
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2017-2018 Conference Calendar

Faculty and Students made over 22 research presentations at local, regional, and national conferences this year. Venues included:
The Pecos Conference, August 10-13, 2017, Pecos, NM.
The 20th Biennial Jornada Mogollon Conference, El Paso, TX.
The 2018 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, January 3-6, New Orleans, LA.
NMSU Southwest Health Disparities Research Conference, Las Cruces, NM
The annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, April 11-14, 2018, Washington, D.C.

Braeden Dimitroff talks to Dr. Barbara Mills about his poster at the SAAs, left.

University Museum

The New Mexico State University Museum hosted several new exhibits in 2017-18.
Coyote Made Me Do It - Contemporary Indigneous Works on Paper
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Wendy Red Star: The Four Seasons Series, An Inscription of Identity - in collaboration with the NMSU Art Gallery, the University Museum.
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“Defending Truth and Memory: The Path Towards Justice in Guatemala,” from Feb. 1 through June 30. The exhibit features 35 photos of the indigenous people of Guatemala.
Read More.

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