Skip to Main Content

Anthropology Departmental Awards

Anthropology majors achieve amazing things, and one way the department supports and rewards them is through formal recognition of their accomplishments. Annually, the department presents five writing awards, one major research award, one award for visual work, and one award for service to current students. These awards—along with other student accomplishments—are celebrated at an annual student recognition ceremony in their honor.

Award Submission Information

The Awards Committee uses a blind review system for all submissions. Submissions are judged on originality (independent, novel, distinct approach), organization, clarity, theoretical sophistication, creativity (when applicable), and use of empirical data to support arguments for submission for "Best Paper" awards. Stand-alone posters do not qualify as eligible submissions. Papers or creative work must have been produced after April of the previous calendar year and meet the following guidelines:

  • Submitted directly by the student by e-mail to Erica Keener
  • Be anonymous (i.e., no direct evidence of the author's identity, the professor, or the course).
  • Show evidence of IRB approval (if applicable).
  • Include a separate page with: the author's name, email, award category, and paper/project title. The cover page title must match the title on the submission. 
  • Follow style guidelines for the AAA, APA, or SAA.
(Note: submissions may be considered in multiple award categories, but individuals are eligible for only one award per year.)

Departmental Awards

Kathy Erbaugh Senior Service Award

Funded by the Carol E. Kist Fund, this award recognizes a senior who has demonstrated outstanding service to the Dept. of Anthropology as an anthropology student. Faculty or Senior Staff nominations should include a letter of recommendation identifying at least three ways in which the student has demonstrated outstanding service to the department and its students over multiple semesters.

Recent Recipients:

  • 2023: Ashley Morris Ashley’s extraordinary service to the Department includes a complete plan to overhaul the department website to bring it into compliance with new university requirements, and working as an Office Assistant for two years.
  • 2022: Emma Fanning Emma was recognized for her work with the Anthropology Club including her initiatives in creating a new partnership with the Myaamia Center, and for making anthropology more visible online.

Carl Jantzen Award: Best Work in Cultural Anthropology

This award is funded by the Carol E. Kist Fund and is named in honor of Carl Jantzen, a cultural anthropologist who taught at Miami for over 30 years. It recognizes a distinguished paper or creative work that uses cultural
anthropology theory and/or method to examine a case study or explore a comparative topic in contemporary and/or historical perspective.

Recent Recipients: 

  • 2023: Kathryn Sullivan “'Seeing' the Game through Language: Communication techniques to simulate reality in the primarily verbal medium of D&D" (Honorable Mention: Ashley Morris "Model United Nations: A Fictional Space - An Ethnographic Research Study”
  • 2022: Kayleigh Reimueller "The Discrimination and Enslavement of Afghan Women Under the Taliban" 

Award for the Best Work in Linguistic Anthropology

Funded by A. Robert and Nancy Tolley, this prize recognizes a distinguished paper or creative work that uses a linguistic anthropology approach to analyze empirical data and present original findings.

Recent Recipients:

  •  2023: Kayleigh Reimueller "Smashing Stereotypes: Gendered Performance During Super Smash Bros Play"

Award for the Best Work in Biological Anthropology

Funded by the Carol E. Kist Fund, this prize recognizes a distinguished paper or creative work that examines the biological and behavioral adaptations, variability, and evolution of human beings and non-human primate

Recent Recipients: 

  • 2023: Nico Jaworski "Vocal Communication, Intra- and Inter-Individual Distinctiveness, and Group Decision Making in Lowland Woolly Monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii)" (Honorable Mention: Elisabeth Frank "Effects of age/sex on grooming behavior in a group of captive bonobos (Pan paniscus)"

Ronald and Judith Spielbauer Award: Best Work in Archaeology and Material Culture

This award is funded by A. Robert and Nancy Tolley and was founded by anthropology students to honor
Ronald and Judith Spielbauer, who taught for the Dept. of Anthropology at Miami University
for nearly 40 years. The prize recognizes a distinguished paper or creative work that analyzes
past or present human societies through material culture remains.

Recent Recipients: 

  • 2022: Izzy Hidasi "Media Review of the ‘Flower Burial’ at Shanidar Cave" 

Award for the Best Work Expressing a Holistic Approach in Anthropology

This award is funded by the Carol E. Kist Fund. The Dept. of Anthropology fosters a four-field understanding of human variation. This prize recognizes a distinguished paper or creative work that uses theoretical and/or methodological approaches from at least two sub-disciplines.

Recent Recipients: 

  • 2023: Autumn Spencer "The Japanese Butsudan and Sacred Waste"
  • 2022: Erin Lindberg, Ivan Wehner, Emma Fanning, and Lela Troyer "What's Reality? How Science and Pseudoscience Circulate Online" 

Award for the Best Visual Work in Anthropology

This award is funded by the Dept. of Anthropology and recognizes a distinguished work of visual representation (e.g., photo essay, digital collage, artistic creation). All works need to be submitted electronically as a pdf file or a short video. Submissions should be accompanied by a ~150-word exposition of the visual work. Award winners will have their work displayed in the Upham 180 lab corridor.

Recent Recipients: 

  • 2023: Josie Adamson, Samantha Catchpole, Nico Jaworski, Mack Lotz, and Kyra Lough "How to Talk to Women: Exploring How Gendered Language is Used Against Women on Miami University’s Campus" (Honorable Mention: Shelby Ayers, Lindsay Douglass, Ashlee Greathouse, and Ashley Morris "Making Sure Healthcare Actually Cares: Discussing the Miami University Health Insurance Plan"
  • 2022: Emma Fanning and Ivan Wehner "Seven Generations Forward" (Honorable Mention: Andrew Kolb and Cash Perry "Can't You See Ms. Brie?")

Rebecca Jeanne Andrew Memorial Award

This award, funded by the Rebecca Jeanne Andrew Memorial fund, recognizes distinguished students who wish to conduct research in the field of primatology.

Recent Recipients:

2023: Billy Browning "Use of medicinal plants in the diet of spider monkeys and woolly monkeys from the
Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador"

2023: Maya D’Souza "Do social networks and behaviors differ amongst Colobus monkeys (Colobinae
guereza) in captivity versus the wild?"

2023: Nicholas Guetersloh "Effects on travel velocity in wild woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii) at Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador"

2023: Noah Scruggs "Intergroup dynamics of lowland woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha
poeppigii) in Amazonian Ecuador"

2022: Nico Jaworski "Vocal Communication and Group Decision Making in Lowland Woolly Monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii)"

2022: Elisabeth Frank "Research on non-maternal adult female and infant interactions among woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii) in the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Amazonian Equador"

2022: Finn Cooper "Research on adult male and infant interactions among woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii) in the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Amazonian Equador"

2021: Isabel Hidasi "Zoo observation research of captive Hamadryas baboons in the Prospect Park Zoo"

2020: Valeria Gabbard, and Jamie Weiner "Research project to extract and analyze DNA from lowland woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagotricha poeppigii) fecal and tissue samples that were collected at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Amazonian Ecuador"

2019: Kate McCoy, Gillian Mescher, and Abby Sheely "Temporal variation of long calls and their use in New World Monkeys (Ateles belzebuth, Lagothrix lagotricha poeppeigii, Plecturocebus (Callicebus) discolor, and Alouatta seniculus)"

2019: Amber Warren "The functionality of vocal communication in lowland woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagothrichia peoppigii) from the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador"

2018: Emma Brzezinski "Bioarchaeology excavations at the Giecz, Poland archaeological complex"

2018: Nicole Schapker "Foraging strategies and navigation patterns in black howler monkeys, (Alouatta pigra) at Palenque National Park, Mexico"

2017: Emma Brzezinski and Nicole Schapker "Paleoanthropology research program organized by the Murcian Association of Paleoanthropology"

2017: Caitlin Douglass "Rank related differences in the quality of vocalizations in male spider monkeys (Atleles belzebuth) at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador"

2016: Deron Clark "Activity budgets of red-backed squirrel monkeys (Saimiri oerstedii)"

2016: Kristine Camper "Investigating the necessity of realistic enclosures in zoos by observing abnormal behaviors in Perodicticus potto"

2015: Jordan S. Martin "Individual differences in the affiliative, play, and activity behaviors of captive bonobos (Pan paniscus)"

2014: Jordan S. Martin "Multi-Method Analysis of Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Personality Structure"

2013: Chelsea Menke "Project focusing on the nature of group dynamics among Bonobos"

2013: Colin Brand "Study and research of bonobo biology and behavior and captive species management"

2013: Andrea Blackburn "Observation of object manipulation in Costa Rican White-Faced Capuchins (Cebus capucinus)"

2012: Dane M. Weeks "Research on social play in captive bonobos"

2012: Emily Lea Stefani "Project focusing on the socio-sexual behavior of captive bonobos"

2012: Jacob D. Negrey & Amanda N. Friend "Observing chimpanzees at the Chimfunshi orphanage"

2012: Colin M. Brand "Examining vocal communication in four species of gibbon"

2011: Andrew Beth Blackburn "How does the activity and amount of visitors affect the spatial positioning of captive black-handed spider monkeys?"

2011: Jacob Negrey "Mantled Howler Monkey, “Long Calls: Effects of Habitat-Dependent Acoustic Influences"

2010: Amanda Friend "Study of Play Behavior in Captive Gorillas"

2009: Ashley Sackett "Female Behavior and Activity Budget of Captive Pan paniscus"

2009: Maura Reilly "Examining Diet and Ranging of Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) at Yasuni National Park, Ecuador"

2008: Maura Reilly "Activity budget and play behavior of captive apes: a comparative study"

2008: Timothy Harding Webster "Well digging and insectivory of chimpanzees of Semliki, Uganda"

2007: Timothy Harding Webster "Cortical and cancellous bone ratios in human and ape calcanei"

2005: Christopher Newman "Metatarsel and phalangeal ratios of great apes and humans applied to Australopithecus afarensis"

2005: Christie Grafinger "Atelinae feeding ecology at Tiputini Biodiversity Station"

2005: Lauren Sarringhaus & Ginger Stanley "Adaptation of chimpanzees to retirement at Chimp Haven Sanctuary"

2005: Alysha Kocher "Laterality of hand function in captive chimpanzees at the Primate Foundation of Arizona"

2005: Melanie Beuerlein "Playback of recorded calls to wild gibbons in Khao Yai National Park"

2004: Jacklyn Ramsey & Samantha Russak "Ecology of Mantled Howling Monkeys on Ometepe Island"

2004: Daniel Pesek "Conservation Ecology of the Endemic Red Howling Monkey"

2003: Lauren Sarringhaus "Bilateral Asymmetry in the Upper Arm Bones of the Chimpanzee"

2002: Jessica Lodwick "The Monkey’s Working Day: Activity Budget from Rising to Retiring"

2002: Sabrina Bourgeois "Environmental Enrichment of Laboratory Primates, especially Baboons, at Southwest Primate Research Center"

2002: Stephanie Bogart "Cultural Evidence in Wild Cebus capucinus"

2000: Janaé Arno "Assessment and Evaluation of the Environment and Behavioral Ecology of Savannah Chimpanzees"

1999: Robert O'Malley "Quality of Pair Bonds in Captive Gibbons, Phuket Sanctuary"

1999: Heather Leasor "Feeding Behavior in White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys at La Suerte"

1999: Jamie Horvath, Megan Croswell, & Robert O'Malley "Ecological Assessment for Future Chimp Haven Enclosure: Caddo Parish, Louisiana"

1998: Emily Sonderman "Grooming Behavior of Captive Chimpanzees at Yerkes Primate Center"

1998: Heather Leasor "Cradling of Infants by Free-Ranging Rhesus Monkey Mothers in Kathmandu"

1997: Jennifer Weghorst "Laterality of Hand Functions in the Naturalistically-Housed Chimpanzees of Chester Zoo"

1997: Sarah Karpanty "Raptor Predation on Diurnal Lemurs in Southern Madagascar"

1996: Jennifer Weghorst "Habitat Use and Activity Budget by Two Captive Groups of Western Lowland Gorillas"

1996: Melanine Peterson "Excavation of Fossil Oligocene Primates at Songhor Field Site"

Rebecca Jeanne Andrew Memorial Award

Rebecca Jeanne Andrew (April 14, 1975 - November 18, 1995) dreamed of being a primatologist. At Miami, Rebecca majored in anthropology and began studying with primatologist Dr. Linda Marchant. During her junior year, while studying abroad in Luxembourg, Rebecca and another Miami student, Christopher Eggerton, tragically died in a skiing accident.

Rebecca never completed her dream of becoming a primatologist. Yet every April, her parents, Melanie and Jeff Andrew, return to Miami to celebrate their daughter’s birthday by honoring her legacy through the Rebecca Jeanne Andrew Memorial Award. This award enables the dreams of other young people who want to study primates.

Each year, we ask for research proposals from Miami undergraduates who want to do projects that are primatological in the broadest sense — they can study fossil primates, explore the human fossil record, work with skeletal collections, or study primates who live in captivity or in the wild. These proposals are reviewed by three faculty members: Dr. Linda Marchant, Dr. Susan Hoffman, and a rotating faculty member.

The Rebecca Jeanne Andrew Memorial Award is a prestigious research award funding a student’s independent research project, and in many cases, helping to launch careers in primatology. To date, 50 Miami students have received a Rebecca Jeanne Andrew Memorial Award which has helped students to study primates in England, Ecuador, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, Madagascar, Thailand, Nepal, Costa Rica, and multiple sites here in the U.S.