Case Western Reserve University




-Department Highlights


-Faculty News



-Emeriti Faculty News



-Graduate News



-Graduate Discourse News


-Undergraduate News



-Alumni News



Return to top


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
Barbara Reebel
Kimberly Racut

Return to top

Anthropology Professor Honored for a Quarter Century of Fieldwork


On March 16, 2012 Dr. Melvyn C. Goldstein, the J.R. Harkness Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Center for Research on Tibet, participated in a Roundtable Panel titled "A Quarter Century of Fieldwork in Tibet: A Panel in Honor of Melvyn Goldstein" at the Association of Asian Studies Annual Meeting in Toronto.


sample image


Abstract Roundtable Panel:

Melvyn Goldstein has led a life of scholarly “firsts”, starting in 1968 with earning the first Ph.D. in Tibetan anthropology in the United States. Having first visited Tibet in 1985, he signed the first research agreement with the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences in 1986, and was the first western anthropologist to do fieldwork in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. His histories of modern Tibet are monuments in the field, and his A History of Modern Tibet, 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State is the only book on a Tibetan topic to have been awarded recognition by the Association of Asian Studies. He was also an early scholar to publish on Tibet in the Journal of Asian Studies. He is Co-Director of The Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University, which was founded in 1987.



Given the wealth of his experiences in Tibet for over a quarter century, he led the panel by discussing some of the changes and challenges in the practice of anthropology in Tibet. One of the central problems the panel considered is just how one can do anthropological research in Tibet: What are the limitations? How has the situation changed over the years? What are the differences between different regions of Tibet? And what we might expect for the future? Another topic for discussion was the overlapping role of history and anthropology in Tibetan studies. Scholars from Europe, the United States and China addressed these and other issues that arose in the discussions. Panelists: Bejor (Ben Jiao), Geoff Childs, Sienna Craig, Hildegard Diemberger, Melvyn Goldstein, Paul Neitupski and Charlene Makley.


Return to top

Anthropology Professor gives Pearl Memorial Lecture


Dr. Cynthia Beall, Distinguished University Professor and Sarah Idell Pyle Professor of Anthropology, gave the Pearl Memorial Lecture at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Human Biology Association at Portland, Oregon on April 11, 2012. In her lecture, “Fifty years of research on high-altitude adaptation in anthropology: Instrumentation advances, research designs and selected discoveries”, Dr. Beall provided an overview of her transformative work on alternative patterns of adaptation to high altitude hypoxia in populations around the world. her talk followed a plenary session, “A Half Century of High-Altitude Studies in Anthropology.”



Return to top

Pilot Phase of a New Research Project is launched


Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye has secured funding for the pilot phase of a new research project she is running on Global Fat Stigma. Anderson-Fye developed the project in partnership with Dr. Alexandra Brewis and a team of researchers at Arizona State University. The project investigates the communal and individual levels of obesity stigmatization around the world with a specific focus on upward mobility in the developing world. Graduate and undergraduate students will be collecting mixed-methods data in 8-12 international sites during summer 2012.



The CWRU Anthropology Global Fat Stigma team is funded by the Office of International Affairs and the Office of the Dean. In addition, two undergraduates will be funded by the Plimpton Experiential Learning Fellowship through the Department of Anthropology. Graduate student Stephanie McClure will be leading data collection in Jamaica along with one of the Plimpton Experiential Learning Fellowship recipients, Brittany Ratliff. Matriculating doctoral student Maureen Floriano will be conducting data collection in Belize with Dr. Anderson-Fye. The other Plimpton Experiential Learning Fellowship recipient, Arundhati Bharati, will return to Nepal for data collection. Planning for additional sites with graduate and undergraduate students is currently under way.



Return to top


The Department is very excited and pleased that, for the first time, over 100 students are currently majoring in Anthropology. 


This milestone event will be celebrated on May 1st

from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. in 201 Mather Memorial with pizza and cake

for all Anthropology majors.




Return to top


Welcome Dr. Lihong Shi


The Department is very pleased to announce that Dr. Lihong Shi will be joining the faculty in the 2013 – 2014 academic year.  Dr. Shi received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Tulane University in 2009. Following Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University and then at the Fairbanks Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard, she was awarded a two year American Council of Learned Societies Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis.  



Dr. Shi’s research focusses on the social and economic responses of rural Chinese families to the One Child Policy and the later modification of that policy which allowed rural families to have a second child if their first child was a girl. 



Return to top

Anthropology Spotlight Lecture Series


Dr. Micah Parzen

Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Museum of Man




This year’s Spotlight Lecture Series featured Dr. Micah Parzen, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Museum of Man. Dr. Parzen joined the San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) as its Chief Executive Officer in August 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University and a J.D. from UC Davis School of Law. Prior to joining SDMoM, Dr. Parzen was a Partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, LLP, where he served as the firm’s Pro Bono Program Coordinator. He has conducted extensive anthropological fieldwork on the Navajo Nation and is a long-time human rights advocate in the field of mental health law.



Dr. Parzen currently sits on the boards of the Western Museums Association, the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, the Balboa Park Online Collaborative, and the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program. He previously served on the board of ElderHelp of San Diego, where he led the organization as its president for two years. Dr. Parzen has been named a “40 Under Forty” by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, a “Top Young Attorney” by the San Diego Daily Transcript, and—more recently—one of San Diego Magazine’s “50 People to Watch” in 2012.



The lecture, titled "Anthropology, Museums, and Public Engagement," was held on April 20, 2012. These lectures are possible through the generous support of Mr. Jonathan Plimpton, Managing Director, International Business Management, Inc. and a 1970 graduate of Anthropology at Western Reserve College.



Return to top

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture


In April the Department of Anthropology, the Schubert Center for Child Studies and the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa co-sponsored a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, Dr. Richard Shweder.  Dr. Shweder, a cultural anthropologist and the William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development at the University of Chicago, gave a public lecture titled "When Cultures Collide: The Moral Challenge in Cultural Migration."  


Dr. Richard Shweder



William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor of Human Development

University of Chicago


His lecture examined a series of legal and moral questions about the proper response to norm conflict between mainstream populations and cultural minority groups in the United States, with special reference to a famous Supreme Court Case concerning the prosecution of Amish families in Wisconsin for refusing to send their children to high school. Dr. Shweder also met with several undergraduate classes and held a seminar with anthropology graduate students.



Return to top



Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye

Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye was awarded the 2012 John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring. This is awarded annually to two faculty members that have made exemplary contributions to graduate students through advising and mentoring. She has also been nominated for The Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, an award presented annually to two faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching.


Dr. Anderson-Fye and Dr. Jill Korbin, associate dean and director of the Schubert Center for Child Studies, served as editors of a special December edition of Ethos. The edited publication covers bridging research, practice and policy with regard to adolescent well-being. Anderson-Fye was Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance (Elsevier Press, 2012), she authored a chapter on “Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Body Image Human Appearance,” and she co-authored “Race, Ethnicity, and Body Image” with Stephanie McClure (CWRU doctoral candidate) and Maurita Poole (Emory University).




Return to top


Dr. Atwood Gaines

In addition to Dr. Gaines editing his Cultural Studies of Science and Medicine series, he will begin editing a second book series from Springer called Millennial Medical Anthropology.

Dr. Gaine’s and Dr. Eric Juengst’s article, “Origin Myths in Bioethics: Constructing Sources, Motives and Reason in Bioethic(s)”, was cited as the Number 1 article in the field of Bioethics worldwide since its publication in September of 2008 in Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, as ranked by BioMedLib’s multifactorial scoring algorithm system.



Return to top

Dr. Melvyn Goldstein

Dr. Melvyn Goldstein will receive the 2012 Frank and Dorothy Hovorka Prize at the upcoming commencement. This prize is awarded annually to recognize exceptional achievement by an active member of the faculty whose accomplishments in teaching, research and scholarly service have benefited the community, the nation and the world. Honorary Trustee Dorothy Humel Hovorka established this prize in 1994 in memory of her late husband, Frank, who was for many years a leading member of the university’s Department of Chemistry and an international authority in the field of electrochemistry.



Return to top


Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie

Drs. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Bruce Latimer and other colleagues, published a paper in the journal Nature, March 2012 titled "A new hominon foot from Ethiopia shows multiple Pliocene bipedal adaptations." This paper was an analysis of the February 2009 discovery of a 3.4 million-year-old partial foot that was found in the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia. Although this specimen came from the same area as the famous "Lucy" species, it did not belong to the same species, confirming the exciting discovery that two human ancestors co-existed during that same period. You can find out more about the discovery on the website for The Cleveland Museum of Natural History.


Return to top


Dr. Bruce Latimer


Dr. Bruce Latimer recently gave a Keynote speech, "The Perils of Being Bipedal," at the annual luncheon of the American Association of Physical Anthropology's 2012 annual meeting in Portland, Orgeon. He was also director of a meeting supported by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) held in Durham, North Carolina this past March, entitled "The Perils of Being Bipedal: an Evolutionary Perspective on Human Musculoskeletal Disorders."



This summer, he will be leading a group of students from Case to Israel to work in a new cave site called Manot. Manot Cave, located in the western Galilee, has been under investigation since 2008. The expected contributions of the Manot project in the coming years will be in sketching Upper Palaeolithic human migrations in the Old World, with an emphasis on the relationshsips between Near Eastern and European populations, and their relationship with the Neanderthals.



Manot Cave



Return to top


Dr. Charlotte Ikels

In September 2011, Dr. Charlotte Ikels served as the discussant for a panel on “Anthropogical History and Historical Anthropology” at a a symposium on “Ethnographic Histories/Historical Ethnographies: On Chinese Ground” sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center.


She also delivered two talks this spring. The first was a seminar presentation to the Department of Public Health at the University of Oxford on February 22, 2012. The talk was entitled “Bioethics in China: The Origins and State of the Field.” The second was at the Harvard-China Fogarty Conference on “Psychiatry and Mental Health in China: Challenges for the Next Decade” sponsored by the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School on March 23, 2012. Her talk was one of three on the topic of mental health care for the elderly and was entitled “Perspectives on Mental Health Care for the Elderly: The View from the Street.”


Return to top


Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship Award


Kristi Ninnemann and Allison Schlosser were awarded the Eva L. Pancoast Memorial Fellowship Award.



Return to top

Ariel Cascio


Ariel Cascio has been selected for a U.S. Student Fulbright award for 2012-2013 to Italy. The Fulbright Award will support Ariel’s dissertation research entitled “Psychiatries and Subjectivities Cross-Culturally: The Case of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Northern Italy.”



Return to top

Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez


Sarah Koopman-Gonzalez was a recipient of the Ruth Barber Moon award. This award is given to a graduate student who has demonstrated academic promise and leadership abilities.



Return to top

Sarah Rubin


Sarah Rubin received two awards: The Richard A. Zdanis Research Fellowship award of 2011-2012 and The Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship award. These awards were granted for support of her dissertation work on motherhood and emotional distress in a South African township.


Return to top


Allison Schlosser

Allison Schlosser will be completing a six-month pilot dissertation project that was funded by two awards: an NSF Research Experience for Graduates award and a Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities Graduate Research award. The project uses ethnographic methods to explore how clients in long-term residential addiction treatment configure their identities in relation to diverse treatment approaches, and how clients experience their identities and health risk behaviors during post-treatment transitions.


Allison was a co-guest editor with Kristi Ninnemann on a section entitled “The Anthropology of Psychopharmaceuticals: Cultural and Pharmacological Efficacies in Context” in Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry. The section was published in the March 2012 issue and includes her article, co-authored with Dr. Lee Hoffer, “The Psychotropic Self/Imaginary: The Subjectivity and Psychopharmaceutical Use Among Heroin Users with Co-Occurring Mental Illness.”


In March, she also co-organized a session entitled “Emerging Drug Ethnography: Exploring Drugs and Drug Use at the Borderlands” with Stacey McKenna (UC-Denver) for the Society for Applied Anthropology conference. She presented her paper, “The Social Life of Suboxone Across Institutional and Community Boundaries” (co-authored with Dr. Lee Hoffer) during the session.


Finally, Allison will be co-presenting a paper with Josh Roiland (SAGES) entitled “A Fourth Way to Tell the Story: Ethnography in Literary Journalism and Anthropology” at the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies conference in Toronto in May.


Return to top


Congratulations New Members of Phi Beta Kappa

Anthropology majors Lucy Bollinger, Matthew Clemens, Christine Hoquet, Anna Shapiro, and Sarah Hoffman were elected as members of Phi Beta Kappa by the Alpha of Ohio chapter at CWRU.


Return to top

Outstanding Achievement Awards in Anthropology


Congratulations to the following students who will receive awards for outstanding achievement in anthropology during the May graduation ceremonies.


Lucy Bollinger

Lucy Bollinger is the recipient of the Jonathan F. Plimpton Award. Lucy has been accepted by several medical schools and is currently deciding which to attend.


Matthew Clemens

Matthew Clemens was awarded the Ruth and Newbell Niles Puckett Award. Matt will begin pursuing his Ph.D. in paleontology in the Department of Geology at Southern Methodist University in the fall.


Rachel Siegfried and Michelle Menegay

The Callender Memorial Award will be shared by two graduating seniors, Rachel Siegfried and Michelle Menegay, both of whom are currently working towards meeting the requirements of both the B.A. and an MPH through the Integrated Graduate Studies (IGS) program. After completing her MPH requirements during the summer semester, Rachel will begin working as a health consultant for a local non-profit, Bioenterprise, helping to develop the Health Tech Corridor in Cleveland. Michelle is currently a graduate research assistant for the Research Association for Public Health Improvement (Ohio’s Public Health Practice Based Research Network, which is connected with the MPH Program at CWRU) and will become the Project Coordinator after graduation.



Return to top

Woranso-Mille Project Paleoanthropology Field Research

Phoebe Edwards and Jasmine Khan Undergraduate Experience


Phoebe Edwards and Jasmine Khan spent much of spring semester in Ethiopia working on the paleoanthropological project of Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Curator of Physical Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The following account of their experience was written by Phoebe:


“Anthropology 370 is a course that allows students to participate in paleoanthropology field research in the Afar region of Ethiopia. We worked as part of the Woranso-Mille project, which is led by Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, and has yielded significant hominin specimens, such as the Kadanuumuu partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis. For the duration of the field season we camped in the Afar and spent each day collecting fossils from different localities within the project boundaries. This included both hominin and non-hominin specimens, where the latter are used to understand the taxonomic diversity and distribution in the area, and to reconstruct the paleoenvironment. At the end of the field season we returned to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, where we worked at the National Museum of Ethiopia organizing and labeling the fossils we collected that season along with other preparation work such as assembling fragmented fossils and removing stone matrix from the bone. The entire course gave us a great deal of hands on experience in paleontology field and laboratory work—not to mention an amazing opportunity to be a part of a current, important hominin project.”




Return to top


Omar Gutierrez

Omar Gutierrez will either begin his medical studies at Harvard Medical School or, if he is funded, investigate strategies to improve health outcomes among tuberculosis patients with severe mental illness in South Africa.


Return to top

Rishi Sood

Rishi Sood will be working as a Program Analyst in the Office of Planning and Program Analysis at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He will be assigned to different divisions within the health department to work to improve their operations and project management.


Return to top


Graduate Discourse

Graduate Discourse (GD) continues CWRU’s tradition of being a body of unity and support for anthropology graduate students. This semester has been both busy and productive. GD meets every month and continues to organize professional development activities, such as Works in Progress, and participate in social activities.


Graduate Discourse is proud to announce the anticipated summer publication of a new issue of Graduate Discourse: The Case Western Reserve University Journal of Medical Anthropology. The journal will begin accepting new submissions in the fall.


Return to top


Marisa Abbe

Marisa Abbe recently accepted a position as Research Scientist in the Trauma and Injury Prevention Department at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Children’s Medical Center is the seventh largest pediatric hospital in the nation and is a Level 1 Trauma Center. Marisa’s research works to both understand the mechanisms of injury that lead children to the hospital as well as contribute to interventions aimed at community injury prevention. She also continues to teach in the Anthropology Department at the University of North Texas.


Rachel Irwin


After receiving a B.A. in Anthropology from CWRU in 2004, Rachel Irwin earned an M.A. in Medical Anthropology at Oxford University, followed by an M.A. in International Health Policy from the London School of Economics and finally a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  She studied the rituals and symbols of policy-making at the World Health Organization for her dissertation research.  She is currently working as a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.  For more information on Rachel’s life since graduating, see a recent article in AlumNews at:




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.