Engaging Global Health and Anthropology Students in Research on Substance Use Recovery
Dr. Hay-Rollins (2nd from right) engages her global health and anthropology students in research
on substance use recovery. Her team works to transcribe, organize, and analyze the data
gathered from surveys and focus groups.
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Upham Hall
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:
After a semester of dipping their toes in ethnography via a mini-ethnographic project or diving in headfirst into a visual ethnography project or a primate behavior study at the Cincinnati Zoo, our students are finalizing their projects and departing for their winter break. When they do, a remarkable quiet blankets Miami. In this quiet, I note that  2019 has been a year of change including a new opportunity for anthropology students.
Two of our wonderful faculty members, Dr. Linda Marchant and Dr. Perry Gnivecki, retired as of last May. For thirty years, Dr. Marchant served Miami as Professor of Biological Anthropology, and in many roles including the first chair of the independent Department of Anthropology and Director of University Honors. Dr. Gnivecki served Miami for 17 years, as the sole Archaeologist on Miami’s Regional Hamilton campus. Both of these colleagues were feted with images and letters from many of you. If you have not yet had a chance to contribute, you may still do so by sending images and notes to me; I’ll print them out to include in their binders.
On a related note, I am thrilled to announce a new scholarship for incoming students: the Dr. Linda Marchant Anthropology Academic Scholar. This scholarship, with a generous initial endowing gift by Rob and Nancy Tolley, will offer support to one high-achieving incoming Anthropology student that is renewable for up to three years and is associated with additional funding to allow the student to pursue research. The Dr. Linda Marchant Anthropology Academic Scholarship helps to enable the best and brightest students an opportunity to study Anthropology at Miami University and become one of our alumni. In their note about their gift, Rob and Nancy Tolley wrote that they give so that “Somewhere in the future, unknown and undocumented to any of us, a Miami alumnus will help someone in some quiet way.”
There are many ways alumni can help  our current and future students. Some alumni visit classrooms, some open the doors to internships, some donate funding and some donate time. Our students yearn to be inspired by how others before them have found pathways from courses and undergraduate research to careers. If you would like to help our students in some quiet way, chat with me at Winter College (February 28-March 1) or give me a call (513-529-9242). In the meantime, I wish you a peace-filled and restorative winter season. 
Cameron Hay-Rollins
Professor and Chair

Mitchell Singstock
Mitchell Singstock
Dr. Morag Kersel (center) speaks with Miami students
Dr. Morag Kersel (center) speaks with Miami students
Jeb Card
Dr. Jeb Card
Department News
Anthropology major among Provost Academic Achievement awardees
Mitchell Singstock (’20) is one of ten Miami seniors to receive a 2019 Provost’s Student Academic Achievement Award.
International Archaeology Day Lecture
Dr. Morag Kersel (DePaul University) delivered the 2019 International Archaeology Day Lecture at Miami University, “The (W)hole story of Looting, Loss, and Landscape.” 
Faber Scholar Lecture
Dr. Robert Lemelson (UCLA) engaged Miami students and faculty in November with his public lecture, “Theory and Practice in Visual Psychological Anthropology,” and his multi-media, immersive exhibit, “Tajen Interactive.” See the story below.
Faculty News
Jeb Card (Assistant Teaching Professor) is profiled by The Miami Student for innovative teaching in his newly designed sprint course, “Investigating the Paranormal.
M. Cameron Hay-Rollins (Professor) has engaged students in her ongoing research project on Recovery Housing.
Given that the greater Cincinnati area is one of the epicenters for opioid-related overdos deaths, and that recovery from opioids and other substances is incredibly challenging, for the last two years, Dr. Cameron Hay-Rollins has been working on research teams with colleagues and students to better understand the dynamic situation. Since summer 2019, the Recovery Housing Study, funded by Interact for Health, has explored the current landscape of and need for recovery housing. Interact for Health is working to improve health for all people in a 20- county region surrounding Cincinnati, with one of its strategic priorities being to address the opioid epidemic. This project enabled research opportunities for Miami Anthropology majors and Global Health minors.
The Recovery Housing research team (pictured at the top of this newsletter) works to transcribe, organize, and analyze the data gathered from surveys and focus groups. Miami alumnus Abbe Lackmeyer (MA in Gerontology) is the project manager of this research. Anthropology majors Isabel Morin, Michelle Afful, and Nik Sawade are using their transcription skills acquired through studying linguistic anthropology are ensuring that peoples’ perspectives on substance use and area needs for recovery housing are precisely represented in the data. And Global Health minor Maggie McCutcheon is organizing data to explore what recovery housing locally means.
In addition, the Global Health Minors in Dr. Hay-Rollins’ Global Health Seminar in Fall 2019 had the unique opportunity of presenting their course projects to Senior Program Officer Sonya Carrico and Evaluation Officer Michelle Lydenberg from the non-profit foundation Interact for Health, as well as to Miami’s Dr. Jim Oris, Vice-President for Research and Innovation, and Dr. Chris Makaroff, Dean of the College of Arts and Science, and also a board member for Interact for Health. In order to be ready to do such a thing, students studied in class to develop a scholarly understanding of the difficulties of substance use recovery. Second, they were trained in research ethics and added to the research protocol, so that they could see some of the de-identified transcribed qualitative data to better understand local perspectives on recovery. Finally, each student created a fact sheet for one of twenty counties in the greater Cincinnati area, summarizing publicly available epidemiological data on substance use and health care resources in light of the needs as represented in the qualitative data. On November 12, 2019, these students had the unique opportunity of presenting their work to administrative leaders of the university as well as professionals at Interact for Health.
Robert Lemelson
Ethnography and Immersion: Simulating the Balinese Cockfight with Dr. Robert Lemelson
Written by Katie Lockhart & Abby Sheely
Technology has drastically changed how we engage with the world, so why hasn’t the majority of scholarship adjusted to engage students in a similar way?
The University Honors Program and Department of Anthropology welcomed 2019 Faber scholar Dr. Robert Lemelson to Miami University on October 29th, 2019. Dr. Lemelson is a visual and psychological anthropologist, ethnographic filmmaker, and adjunct professor of anthropology at UCLA.
Lemelson engaged Miami students and faculty with his work filming and documenting Balinese cockfights. This included an immersive, multi-media exhibit that showed different perspectives on this traditional ritual. The exhibit, Tanjen, is one example of what Lemelson termed a sensory visual ethnography movement, the goal of which is to engage viewers in a way that simulates our non-linear consumption of information through technology.
An interactive website that accompanies the exhibit includes how people and animals prepare for the fight, ritual dynamics, interviews with participants, how the animals are cared for and, of course, the fight itself. The website also delves deeper to include animal welfare views on this practice within and outside of Bali, the addiction of gambling and how it reflects gender differences within Balinese culture. In his presentation, Dr. Lemelson included examples of how political and other social conflicts are settled through cockfighting. This insightful presentation demonstrated an exciting way to experience anthropological research, especially in our increasingly technology-dependent world.
The physical exhibit, Tanjen, used film clips from each aspect of a cockfight, displayed on large screens arranged in a circle. These enabled viewers to be immersed in the ritual by standing in the center, or consider one scene at a time by circling the perimeter. To learn more and to absorb the experience yourself, you can visit the Interactive Tanjen website.
College of Arts and Science at Miami University
120 Upham Hall • Oxford, OH 45056 
Phone: 513-529-8399 • Email: anthropology@MiamiOH.edu
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