Case Western Reserve University



Department Highlights

Faculty News

Graduate News

Undergraduate News

Anthropological Student Association News (ASA)

Graduate Discourse News

Alumni News

Registration for spring semester began

November 12th.

The Spring 2013 course schedule is now available on line.


Eileen Anderson-Fye, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Cynthia Beall, Ph.D.

Atwood Gaines, Ph.D.

Melvyn Goldstein, Ph.D.

Lawrence Greksa, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor

Vanessa Hildebrand, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Lee Hoffer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Jill Korbin, Ph.D.

Janet McGrath, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Jim Shaffer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor


Kathleen Dowdell
Kimberly Racut

Barbara Reebel

Return to top

Anthropology Kassen Lecture Series

Dr. Margaret Lock

This year's Kassen Lecture Series featured Dr. Margaret Lock, the Marjorie Bronfman Professor Emerita in Social Studies in Medicine at the Department of Anthropology at McGill University. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Officier de L'Ordre national du Quebec, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Lock has received many awards, such as the Wellcome Medal of the Royal Anthropological Society of Great Britain and the Career Achievement Award of the Society of Medical Anthropology, American Anthropological Association.

Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Lock's research focuses on a comparative anthropology of medicine and biomedical technologies. She initially researched the 20th century revival of the indigenous Japanese medical system and has carried out ethnographic inquiries into adolescence, female mid life, and old age in Japan.

Her book, Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America, published in 1993 by the University of California Press, won six prizes including the Staley Prize of the School of American Research, the Canada-Japan Book Prize, and the Wellcome Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain.

In 2002 the University of California Press published Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death, also an award-winning book. This volume documents professional and public disputes in Japan and North America about the recognition of brain death as the end of human life in order that organs can be legally procured for transplant. A book written together with Vinh-Kim Nguyen that examines the global impact of biomedical technologies, entitled An Anthropology of Biomedicine, was published in 2010 by Wiley-Blackwell. This book has been awarded the American Publishers Association's 2010 PROSE award for Archeology and Anthropology. Lock is currently writing a book tentatively titled Entanglements of Aging and Dementia in the 21st Century.

Her lecture entitled "The Alzheimer Enigma amidst Global Aging" was held on October 15, 2012.

Return to top


Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye

Funded by a W. P. Jones Presidential Faculty Development grant, Dr. Anderson-Fye traveled to Belize over the summer with her three daughters to conduct a 10-year follow up research project on outcomes among the first high school educated cohort of young women in her focal research community.

Gabrielle and Tabatha Fye at a local school in Belize

Dr. Anderson-Fye received a School for Advanced Research (SAR) Advanced Study Seminar grant, along with Dr. Alex Brewis of Arizona State University, for Spring 2014 on the topic of "Obesity, Upward Mobility, and Symbolic Body Capital in a Rapidly Changing World." Together they have assembled a team of 10 international experts to participate in the week-long seminar and resulting publication.

Dr. Anderson-Fye also gave the welcome address for new students and their families at CWRU in August and she is chairing the 2012-2013 President's Committee on Child Care Options.

Return to top

Dr. Cynthia Beall

Dr. Beall was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a project "Genes and the fertility of Tibetan women at high altitude in Nepal." It will test the hypothesis that Tibetan women at high altitude in Nepal have more surviving children if the women themselves have certain genetic characteristics recently discovered to be involved in high-altitude adaptation.

Dr. Beall conducted fieldwork in the highland Tibetan areas of Nepal along with collaborators Professor Geoff Childs, Washington University, and Professor Sienna Craig, Dartmouth College. A dozen Tibetan students and villagers worked as research assistants trekking from village to village and visiting every household to collect reproductive histories and other data from more than 1,000 women over 40 years of age. Professor Childs made a short video of their fieldwork in Nubri and Tsum that is available at

Tsering Buti, research assistant for Beall's 'genes and fertility' project interviewing a study participant

Tsering Buti, research assistant for Beall's 'genes and fertility' project

interviewing a study participant

She presented several invited talks recently, including "Evolution and Human Adaptation to High-Altitude Hypoxia" at the World Leaders in Evolutionary Medicine Symposium, University of Michigan, "The evolutionary bases of human adaptation to cold and high altitude," at a conference on "High Altitude and Cold: Adaptation to the Extremes" at Cambridge University, and "Three patterns of human adaptation to high-altitude hypoxia and their evolutionary significance" at the 7th International Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) Seminar on Complexification and Simplification in Ecosystems, Human Health and Lifestyle in Asia, held in Kyoto Japan.

Dr. Beall's involvement in teaching, research, and science extends far beyond Case Western Reserve University. She was a visiting scholar from September 2011 to April 2012 at the University of Chicago, Department of Human Genetics. She is serving as an editorial board member of the Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health journal and is treasurer of the Evolution, Medicine and Public Health Foundation. She is a member of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) working group on evolutionary medicine, chaired by Mark Schwartz and Peter Ellison. This group of scientists and educators are working to develop model curricula aimed at infusing medical education with evolutionary thinking. She is also a co-organizer of Science Cafe Cleveland, a monthly informal gathering to talk about science at the Market Garden Brewery.

Return to top

Dr. Atwood Gaines
Dr. Gaines was one of four speakers asked to address the Peer Review Orientation Workshop held in Rockville, MD by the National Institutes of Health's Center for Scientific Research/Office of Behavioral Sciences Scientific Research on September 27th and 28th, 2012.
He has in press in Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry an article celebrating this year's Kassen Lecturer, Margaret Lock. The piece lists her articles of note and her books, as well as her many major awards. The journal has also dedicated this volume year to her.

Return to top

Dr. Melvyn Goldstein
Dr. Goldstein presented an invited lecture at the Eurasian and Inner Asian Seminar of the Department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University on October 9, 2012. His talk was titled: "Nomads, Pastures and the State: Change and Continuity among Mobile Pastoralists in Western Tibet, 1959-2012." He presented an invited paper at the 7th International Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) Seminar on Complexification and Simplification in Ecosystems, Human Health and Lifestyle in Asia, held in Kyoto Japan on October 24-27, 2012. His paper was titled: "Tibet Society and Changing Livelihoods in Rural Tibet." He also presented an invited plenary lecture at the 5th Beijing International Seminar on Tibetan Studies convened by the Beijing Institute of Tibetology August 4-9, 2012. His lecture was titled: "Pasture Privatization and Poverty Alleviation: Nomads of Western Tibet 30 years on, the struggle to modernize and preserve their way of life."
While in China, Dr. Goldstein conducted a new set of oral history research interviews with several important Chinese political figures from the Communist Party Administration in Tibet in the 1950's. The interviews were for volumes three and four of his A History of Modern Tibet Series.

A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State (Volume 1) and A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 2, The Calm before the Storm: 1951-1955 have already been published by the University of California Press and Chinese translations are in the process of being published by Hong Kong University Press and scheduled to appear together in 2013. Jing Wang, graduate student in the Anthropology Department, has been instrumental in helping to translate and edit these volumes. A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 3, 1955-1957: Storm Clouds Descend has just been accepted by the University of California Press and is expected to also be published in late 2013.

Return to top

Dr. Lee Hoffer

Dr. Hoffer received a one-year research project funded by the AIDS Funding Collaborative (AFC) to evaluate the Free Clinic of Cleveland's Syringe Exchange Program. Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez and Kelley Kampman, current graduate students in the Department of Anthropology, are the lead researchers on this work.

Return to top

Dr. Jill Korbin

Dr. Korbin has recently published a new book titled C. Henry Kempe: A 50 Year Legacy to the Field of Child Abuse and Neglect. The book was co-edited with Richard Krugman and published by Springer.

Return to top


Christine Borden-King-Jones Stephanie McClure

Christine presented a poster at the 2012 Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) annual meeting. The poster presentation called "Barriers and Facilitating Factors to Diabetes Self-Management and Treatment among the Three Affiliated Tribes" was based on pilot dissertation research.

Return to top

Stephanie presented preliminary dissertation findings in her paper presentation "The Salience of Gender: Femininity and Physical Prowess among African American Female Adolescents" at three conferences; the American Anthropological Association (AAA) annual meeting in Montreal, the 2012 Society for Cross-Cultural Research/ American Anthropology Association Childhood and Youth Interest Group (SCCR/AAACYIG) Biennial Conference, and the Annual Ford Foundation Conference of Fellows.

Return to top

Ariel Cascio Hillary Melchiors

Ariel recently published an article in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities titled "Neurodiversity: Autism Pride Among Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders." She also published a book review of The Autism Matrix by Gil Eyal, et al. in Health Sociology Review.

Return to top

In October, Hillary finished the data collection for her dissertation research titled "Adolescent Negotiation of Bicultural Environments: Expectations and Identity of Turkish-German Girls in Berlin, Germany."

Return to top

Yunzhu Chen Jonathan Metcalfe

Yunzhu, along with Arundhati Bharati, conducted data collection research at a Nepal site under Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye's National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project "Ethnographic Investigation of Fat Stigma in Three Countries."

Return to top

Jonathan completed his MPH, finishing his Capstone on explored experiences of persons with HIV who were on the waiting list to receive HIV medications under the Ohio Drug Assistance Program.

Return to top

Smaranda Ene Sarah Miller-Fellows

Smaranda presented a paper called "Faceless fatigue: ethical considerations on the elusiveness of CFS/ME" at the International NeuroEthics Conference this past October.

Return to top

Sarah, in collaboration with the Center for Global Health and Diseases, returned to Kenya this summer to conduct research on the relationship between schistosomiasis and subfertility of over 80 women in the Coast Province of Kenya.

Janell Friesen

Sarah Miller-Fellows in the Coast Province of Kenya

Return to top

Janell had an internship with the Cuyahoga County Health Alliance which was supported with an MPH Summer Internship Award.

Return to top

Charlotte Haney

Charlotte is teaching full time at the University of Houston Clear Lake. She published a paper "Imperiled Femininity: The Dismembering of Citizenship" in the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology and she co-authored a paper "Exposure and Exclusion: Disenfranchised Biological Citizenship among First Generation Korean Americans" that is forthcoming in Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. Charlotte is continuing her research in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Return to top

Michelle Nebergall

Michelle is continuing her dissertation work in Cape Town, South Africa, titled "Understanding the Personal and Social Aspects of Risk Perception amongst Vulnerable Youth."

Return to top

Jan E. Hanson Aura Newlin

Jan co-authored an article "Measuring HIV Self-Management in Women Living with HIV/AIDS: A Psychometric Evaluation Study of the HIV Self-Management Scale" which was recently published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JIADS).

Return to top

Aura is an Instructor of Sociology and Anthropology at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming.

Return to top

Drew Helmus Kristi Ninneman

Drew has been working on a breast cancer genetic epidemiology study and is currently working on his MPH Capstone, which is a qualitative study of men's preconception of health at MetroHealth Hospital.

Return to top

Kristi published "Variability in the Efficacy of Psychopharmaceuticals: Contributions from Pharmacogenomics, Ethnopsycho-pharmacology, and Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropologies" in a special section of Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. She is also serving as the Student Board Representative of The Society for Psychological Anthropology.

Return to top

Laura Howard Sarah Rubin

Laura presented a paper, "The New Medicalized Boundary between Adolescence and Adulthood: Controlling Emotion," using qualitative data from Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye's Transitions in Medication Experience (TIME) study at Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) meetings last spring. Laura also spent six weeks in Kenya with Sarah Miller-Fellows working on a reproductive health study in conjunction with the Center for Global Health and Diseases.

Return to top

In July, Sarah presented a paper entitled "A community of suffering: experiences of emotional distress and strategies of coping for Xhosa women in a South African township" at the 30th Annual International Congress of Psychology in Cape Town, South Africa.

Return to top

Kelley Kampman

Allison Schlosser

Kelley has been working on Dr. Lee Hoffer's research project "A Process Assessment of the Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland's Syringe Exchange Program (SEP)." Her fieldwork includes going out on the SEP van to do participant observations and to conduct interviews with clients of the exchange about their experiences with the program.

Return to top

Allison was awarded a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) International Scholarship and an Eva L. Pancoast Fellowship to attend the University of Amsterdam's Summer Institute on Addiction in Holland this past July. During her trip, Allison conducted exploratory research on the range and nature of addiction and mental health interventions in Rotterdam, the Hague, and Amsterdam.

Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez

Amsterdam Canal July 2012

Return to top

Sarah works as a research assistant for Dr. Lee Hoffer's Syringe Exchange Program (SEP) evaluation project and is project coordinator for his research project "Merging Agent-based Modeling Techniques and Ethnography: A New Analytic Tool for Studying Illicit Drug Use, Behaviors, Markets and Economies."

Sarah conducted a second round of pilot research in San Salvador, El Salvado in preparation of her dissertation research on the effect of gang violence on children. The pilot research was funded by the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship. She presented a paper, co-authored with Dr. Lee Hoffer, at the 2012 meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) titled "If I'm Desperate, I'll Do It: Addiction, Ethical Boundaries, and Risk Behaviors."

Return to top

Jennifer Shaw

In July 2012, Jennifer presented a poster on the psychosocial needs of Alaska Native/American Indian people with type 2 diabetes at a joint conference of the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) and the University of Hawaii - Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research in Anchorage, Alaska.

Congratulations to everyone for

all of these great achievements.

She also gave an oral presentation in August on Alaska Native community members' perspectives on suicide risk and prevention at the 15th International Congress of Circumpolar Health (ICCH) in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Return to top

Ruth Magtanong

Ruth published two chapters in the Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health and is co-author of "Negotiating Decisions during Informed Consent for Pediatric Phase I Oncology Trials" in the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics: An International Journal.

Return to top

Jing Wang

Jing spent the summer focusing on Tibetan language study in Lhasa, Tibet. She also received a renewal of her Wenner-Gren Wadsworth International Fellowship.

Return to top

Congratulations to the following

2011-2012 graduate students on completing their PhD's:

Nadia El-Sharaawi
Nadia finished her PhD dissertation entitled: "Living an Uncertain Future: An Ethnography of Displacement, Health, Psychosocial Well-being and the Search for Durable Solutions among Iraqi Refugees in Egypt." She is now a Global Migration Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Joseph Galanek
Joseph finished his PhD dissertation entitled "The Social and Cultural Context of Mental Illness in Prison" and is a postdoctoral fellow in Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

Meghan Halley
Meghan completed her PhD dissertation called "Negotiating Sexuality: Adolescent Initiation Rituals and Cultural Change in Rural Southern Tanzania." She is now a Researcher at the Department of Health Services Research at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute.

Return to top


Megan Bursley

When Megan received an e-mail from the Anthropology Department looking for students interested in spending three weeks abroad in Manot, Israel over the summer, she felt it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities; the opportunity for hands-on archaeological fieldwork.

"Case Western Reserve University had provided me with the theoretical knowledge on how an archaeological dig was supposed to operate, but now the university was providing me with a chance to actually put that knowledge into practice. The site itself couldn't be any more perfect for a student's first experience into archaeological fieldwork. We stayed in cabins that were air-conditioned and had fully equipped bathrooms with hot water for the shower! The walk to the cave every morning was picturesque, bright sunny days and an excellent view of the Mediterranean Sea from the dig site."
"Once at the cave, we had access to a wealth of information, not just about archaeology and human evolution, but of the Israeli culture and educational practices. Each day we excavated the cave with about 40-50 Israeli students from around the country who were there to get field experience for their degree. On the weekends and the last week of the trip we got to explore the country and learn about thousands of years of human history ranging from the early paleolithic all the way to current events. If you have the opportunity to participate in this trip during your time at Case Western Reserve University, I highly recommend that you go because it will be one of those things that you do in your life that you never forget!"

Manot Cave CWRU trip participants and scientists from various Israeli universities

Return to top

Derek Schadel

Derek received a Peter Witt Scholarship during the 2012 spring Academic Honors Assembly. This scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership and engagement in activities both on campus and in Cleveland neighborhoods.

Return to top

Mai Segawa

Mai was awarded a writing internship with The Key Reporter, Phi Beta Kappa's national online publication site for the fall semester. She will have the responsibility of conducting independent research and interviews, and preparing a minimum of six publishable articles for The Key Reporter.

Return to top

Registration for spring semester began November 12th.

The Spring 2013 course schedule is now available on line.

Return to top


The Anthropological Student Association (ASA) is a group of undergraduate students who share not just an interest in anthropology, but an interest in salient issues of culture that we face in a globalized and interconnected world. To better learn and combat these issues they host weekly discussions of a particularly interesting topic, they give back a certain level of cultural competency to whomever may need it in the community, and they host lecturers in the field who best display that which they value most. In addition, the group provides support for its members through peer advising and a sociable and open atmosphere.

The current executive board consists of Christie Ellis (President), Aaron Sepulveda (Vice President), Evan Ingram (Treasurer), Alaina Wodzinski (Secretary), Celena Kopinski (Public Relations Chair), and Danielle Turner (Freshman Representative). Traditionally, ASA meets every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Coffee House. If you are interested in joining please contact Christie Ellis at or join via online at:

Return to top


Graduate Discourse (GD) continues CWRU's tradition of being a body of unity and support for anthropology graduate students. Fall elections resulted in the selection of a new round of leadership for GD. Positions for 2012 are: Laura Howard, Administrative Chair; Janell Friesen, Professional Development Chair; Rebekah Kramer, Social Chair and Librarian; Jing Wang, Journal Chair; Raakhee Patel, Senator; and Frank Manzella, Senator.

Graduate Discourse is proud to announce the anticipated publication of a new issue of Graduate Discourse: The Case Western Reserve University Journal of Medical Anthropology.

Return to top


John Blangero, PhD

John (PhD, 1987), currently a Scientist in the Department of Genetics at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, was co-recipient of a $6.1 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The grant will support an ambitious effort to crack the genetic code for heart disease by completing full genome sequencing of 2,000 Mexican American individuals participating in the San Antonio Family Studies, a joint research project of the San Antonio Family Heart Study and the San Antonio Family Diabetes and Gallbladder Studies.

Return to top

Sarah Chard, PhD

Sarah (PhD, 2001), Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), in collaboration with J. Kevin Eckert (former CWRU faculty of 1979 to 1986) received $1.36 million in funding from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) for their three-year research project, "The Subjective Experience of Diabetes among Urban Older Adults."

Return to top

Christopher Dole, PhD

Christopher (PhD, 2002), currently Associate Professor of Anthropology at Amherst College, recently published Healing Secular Life: Loss and Devotion in Modern Turkey, University of Pennsylvania Press.

This book investigates the controversial position of religious healing in modern Turkey, demonstrating that the authority of the religious healer is deeply embedded within Turkey's history of secular reform, and that religious healing and secularism share a set of common stakes.

Return to top

C. Jeffrey Jacobson, PhD

Jeff (PhD, 2001) received a promotion to Associate Professor of Anthropology with tenure in the fall of 2010 at the University of Cincinnati.

His recent publications include "Disclosure and Self-Report of Emotional, Social, and Physical Health in Children and Adolescents With Chronic Pain -- A Qualitative Study of PROMIS Pediatric Measures" in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, "Work Experiences of Latina Immigrants: A Qualitative Study" in the Journal of Career Development, and "Temporal and Subjective Work Demands in Office Based Patient Care: An exploration of the dimensions of physician work intensity" in Medical Care.

C. Jeffrey Jacobson in Honduras conducting research

Return to top

Carmit McMullen, PhD

Carmit (PhD, 2003), has just been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to compare outcomes of two different types of reconstructive surgeries following bladder cancer surgery. Her grant, "Urinary Diversion Among Bladder Cancer Survivors: Cost, Complications, and QOL," aims to provide comprehensive comparative information to help guide treatment choices.

Currently, patients, families, and providers have little information about the long-term impacts of different types of urinary diversions that are created after surgery to remove the bladder (cystectomy). The study will survey 450 participants and will analyze medical record data from over 1,000 patients who are members of three Kaiser Permanente regions.

Return to top

David M. Stothers, PhD

David (PhD, 1974) was a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toledo for 38 years before retiring in 2011. His status as Professor Emeritus is in progress. He continues to actively carry-out research, field archaeology and laboratory analysis as Director of the Western Lake Erie Archaeological Research Program based at the University of Toledo.

In May 2012, Stothers was presented a Life Time Achievement Award by the Archaeological Society of Ohio. Over the years, Dr. Stothers has published or co-published more than 60 articles or book chapters from all time periods of Native American prehistory.

Stothers observing the Heckelman site

exploratory trench April 2012

From some of his early work he described the Princess Point Complex in Southwestern Ohio, he redefined the sequence of development in Northwest Ohio, Michigan and Southeast Ontario as the Western Basin Tradition, and he identified the linguistic /ethnological basis of both the Western Basin Tradition and Sandusky Tradition groups in prehistory. David is a community educator and organizer, a mentor of students, and has contributed greatly to archaeology in the region.

Return to top

Nancy Marie White, PhD

Nancy (PhD, 1982) is beginning her 30th year as an archaeologist and professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Her current research projects with graduate students include some fascinating sites in northwest Florida from a lost American town that existed only from 1836-1841 to a shell midden on St. Joseph Bay where stable isotopes of whelk shells harvested in A.D. 1250 show not only the season that Native Americans camped there but also how polluted the bay has become through the centuries.
Over the years she has received two outstanding undergraduate teaching awards and the Florida Anthropological Society's Ripley P. Bullen Award for work with avocational archaeologists. In addition to annual fieldwork in the summer jungles of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, White has worked in Borneo with hopes to return next year to help with the new anthropology program at the University of Malaysia Sarawak.

Nancy recently published a new book, co-edited with Keith Ashley, titled "Late Prehistoric Florida: Archaeology at the Edge of the Mississippian World" (2012, University Press of Florida.) The book describes many sites first recorded when herself, other students and their CWRU professor traveled from Cleveland one January between semesters to explore Florida archaeology.

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.