span class="style122" style="text-align:left">Return to top


Woranso-Mille Project Paleoanthropology Field Research

Undergraduate anthropology major, Adriana Thompson, worked in Ethiopia this spring on the paleoanthropology project of Professor Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Curator of Physical Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology. She plans to use some of the data collected this field season for her capstone project.

“When I found out I was going to Ethiopia, I wasn’t sure what to expect; I was excited and terrified simultaneously. The first day in Ethiopia, I began working in the museum lab and thus, it was the start of my nine-week adventure. I started with attempting to piece together a fossil skull as I struggled to learn vertebrate osteology. For example, being able to distinguish bovid post-crania from suid post-crania and so on. After two weeks of lab work and osteological study, we headed out to the field. There, I bonded with the field crew while washing, bagging and searching for fossils. In regards to the search, we mostly surveyed. Surveying for fossils consisted of walking around for hours, head down and eyes peeled. Every fossil found had to be cataloged. This meant identifying to the genus, what the bone was, what side it was from (if applicable), and taking note of the Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. “
“If Dr. Haile-Selassie called for a surface scrape, it meant we were all crawling about on hands and knees, collecting every piece of bone on the surface and removing all other rocks. If he called for a pick, it meant we were raking up the sediment of the scraped area, putting it through a sieve and picking through what remained to find bone. If we found a crumbling in situ bone, it meant it was time to break out the plaster casting. While everyday in the field seemed the same, each day also brought new surprises and discoveries. I was never quite sure what to expect. At the end of the five-week field season, we headed back to the city, and I was back in the lab. However, this time I was prepping, sorting, and labeling fossils as well as gluing them together. When all this was done, I assisted in the hand over of the fossils to the museum, and then it was back to CWRU for me.”

Return to top


Outstanding Achievement Awards in Anthropology

Congratulations to the following graduating seniors for their outstanding achievements in anthropology. Heidi Wagner and Alexander Shappie for winning the Ruth and Newbell Niles Puckett Award. Sarah Zavaleta and Alexandria Drake for winning the Callender Memorial Award. Nimish Mital and Sharif Sabe for winning the Jonathan F. Plimpton Award. Lawrence Monocello for receiving the James Dysart Magee Award.

Return to top



Return to top



Shannon Groll

Alexander Shappie

Shannon Groll won second place in Social Sciences at the Intersections: SOURCE Symposium and Poster Session for her poster “Permission to Be Fat? Tacit Societal Approval to Resist Fat Stigma in Belize and Jamaica."

Return to top

Alexander Shappie will be moving to Norfolk, Virginia in August to begin work on a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the Virginia Consortium.

Return to top



In an effort to connect the Anthropology Department at CWRU, the Anthropology Student Association (ASA) was created to bring together undergraduate students in anthropology. ASA is a community centered around discussion and intellectual curiosity in which students have the opportunity to explore educational, cultural, and service opportunities in Cleveland, and share their passion for anthropology with the campus community. The Anthropological Student Association, in partnership with Newman Catholic Ministries, hosted a Fair Trade Valentine’s Day Sale in February. They sold a variety of Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolates, and jewelry and all proceeds went to support the Partners in Health, the East Cleveland Meal Program, and the Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America. This organization also works closely with Lambda Alpha, the National Collegiate Honors Society for Anthropology, to provide resources to undergraduates in the department.


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Christie Ellis, Hannah Low, and Maggie Kuhl at the Fair Trade Valentine's Day Sale



Marisa Abbe

Marisa Abbe (CWRU 2010) recently accepted a position as Director of the Emergency Department (ED) Research at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas. She continues to be a Research Scientist in the Injury Prevention Service conducting research on the traumas that bring children to the hospital as well as how to prevent them. Children’s is a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, the fifth largest pediatric hospital in the nation, and has the second busiest pediatric ED in the nation.

Return to top

Jennifer Shaw

Jennifer Shaw (CWRU 2013) published an article this past December in the American Journal of Public Health entitled “Risk, Reward and the Double-Edged Sword: Perspectives on Pharmacogenetic Research and Clinical Testing among Alaska Native People.” The article was co-written with colleagues from Southcentral Foundation and the University of Washington.

Christopher Dole

Christopher Dole (CWRU 2002) is now Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Amherst College. He recently completed research on a project concerned with humanitarian psychiatry and the long-term social and psychological effects of catastrophe in Turkey.

Return to top


Elizabeth Olson

Elizabeth Olson (CWRU 2009) published Indigenous Knowledge and Development: Livelihoods, Health Experiences and Medicinal Plant Knowledge in a Mexican Biosphere Reserve with Lexington Books in February. The book provides an ethnographic account of a group of indigenous people living in a natural protected area in west central Mexico.

Return to top

Colleen Walsh

Colleen Walsh (CWRU 2011) accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the School of Health Sciences in the College of Sciences and Health Professions at Cleveland State University.

Return to top


Copyright © 2010 Case Western Reserve University

Department of Anthropology Website

The Department of Anthropology, a leader in the field of Medical Anthropology, offers cutting edge emphases for both undergraduates and graduates. Visit the website.