ATH 416 Dig at McGuffey House and Museum
Students in professor Jeb Card’s Anthropology 416 class search for artifacts on a dig
at Miami's McGuffey House, built in 1833
(photo by Madeline Malloy)
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Anthropology at Miami emphasizes holistic approach to learning through experiences in a wide variety of courses, independent studies, and field research.
The core courses lay a foundation in biological anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology.From there, you build knowledge and understanding in areas of your own interests.
Students in anthropology are encouraged to study abroad and to participate in both Miami-based and international learning experiences.
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From the Chair
Cameron Hay-Rollins
Dear Alumni:
There is something magical about the ritual of graduation. As anthropologists, we understand that rituals have the power to transition people from one social category into another; through commencement we transform students into alumni. As I processed through a sea of red caps and gowns on graduation day, I felt the magic of commencement reminding me that the articles and books, papers and exams, projects and events, lectures and meetings that constitute the rhythm of the academic year have a purpose, one that is clearly apparent for you.
Those academic activities are the learning opportunities through which one gains the analytical and communication skills that open the pathways to careers. Commencement is an opportunity to take the long view on how coursework is preparation for life work, even if, when walking across the stage, the freshly minted graduate still doesn’t quite know what they will be doing next.
And that’s okay, because anthropology students have the skills to land on their feet. They know what it means to be human -- that is, that there are countless ways to live constructive lives in meaningful social worlds.
Our 100 anthropology majors, 30 anthropology minors, 19 archaeology minors, and 41 global health minors did amazing things this year. Our students have been on digs at Tel Akko in Israel, on San Salvador in the Bahamas, and on the grounds of the McGuffey Museum in Oxford. They have conducted field projects in places like Oxford and Cincinnati, as well as in places like Zambia, Poland, and South Africa. They have studied primates in the Cincinnati Zoo, and collaborated on projects to address infant mortality in Butler County. They have written grant proposals, transcribed and analyzed interactions, and in a single course on politics and power, interacted with seven visiting anthropologists from around the country. We had 18 majors and 9 minors present research at the Miami Undergraduate Research Forum this spring, and 3 of our students presented research at national scholarly conferences.
July 1, 2018 will mark my first full year as chair of the Department of Anthropology at Miami University. One of my deepest joys in this new position is meeting alumni and hearing about how they have applied their anthropological training and perspectives as they forged the path for their lives. I have met Miami anthropology alumni, who, this year, did everything from publishing scholarly articles to practicing medicine, from raising globally conscious children to running museums, from tracking bonobos to excavating sites. Our alumni have been actively engaged in politics, agriculture, music, counseling, reading, advocacy, and traveling.
Commencement for me is a day of pride in our students, celebrating their readiness to forge their paths as alumni. And it is a day of hope, knowing that through their deeds, in large and small ways, our anthropology alumni make the world a better place.
I look forward to learning about the paths you have taken since leaving Miami.
Cameron Hay-Rollins
Professor and Chair
Senior Terra Collier sees anthropology major as her passport to empathetic, impactful change
They say you never forget your first love. For senior Terra Collier, that’s the study of humans.
“I could not have seen myself studying anything other than anthropology,” Collier said. “Though economics is my other major, anthropology is definitely like my first love.”
Collier is a business economics and anthropology double major at Miami University. She had been accepted by the Farmer School of Business but declared a major in anthropology during her freshman year after taking ATH 175: Peoples of the World. Keep reading about Terra.
Guest Speaker Eric Hoenes del Pinal: How can a hymn divide a religious community?
Hymns are a component of religious practice, but as Dr. Eric Hoenes del Pinal explained to Miami students and faculty, they can also be a lightning rod of division within a community and a key factor in fostering conversion.
"They disturb," Dr. Hoenes del Pinal said. "They unsettle the sometimes uneasy peace that exists between all these congregations in what's an increasingly crowded religious marketplace."
Read more about the spring lecture by Dr. Hoenes del Pinal, who is a cultural and linguistic anthropologist and assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
ATH 416: Digging for Stuff 
It’s a chilly spring morning outside Miami’s McGuffey Museum. A group of anthropology students make their way down Spring Street around 10 a.m. toward the former home of William Holmes McGuffey.
The scene they enter resembles that of a murder investigation, with areas sectioned off by caution tape and six boarded-up holes in the ground.
But students in professor Jeb Card’s Anthropology 416 class see things a little differently. After setting down their backpacks, groups of three head to their designated hole in the ground, trowels and clipboards in hand. Each group steps into their sectioned-off area and removes the board covering the square hole. Continue reading about the dig.
Faculty Profile: Marchant Gives Commencement Address 
Reminding students that graduation was, from an anthropological perspective "a rite of passage" marking their transition from one phase of their lives to another, Professor Linda Marchant gave the keynote address at Miami's midterm commencement ceremony. 
Charles Kennick
Student Profile: Charles Kennick is one of the Ohio Public Leader Fellows 
For his fellowship in Miami's Ohio Public Leaders program, junior anthropology major Charles Kennick worked on 5 different projects for the Clinton County Port Authority, one consisting of redeveloping a site on city property which was currently unoccupied.
"I had to do a cost-benefit analysis to see how much it cost to operate the buildings when they're empty, and what we could do to make them more marketable," he said. Read more about Charles and his fellow students.
Guest Speaker: Baltazar de la Cruz Rodriguez 
On April 11, Baltazar de la Cruz Rodriguez, a member of the Alcaldía Indígena ancestral authorities of Cotzal, Guatemala, gave a talk entitled "Maya-lxil Cultural Rights and Megaprojects in Guatemala."
De la Cruz Rodriguez is Maya-Ixil, a member of the ancestral authorities from the Ixil Region located in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. He works to promote Ixil culture, identity, rights, and the defense of natural resources and indigenous territories in Guatemala. Read more about his lecture.
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