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2015 AAA Leadership Fellows Program

The AAA Leadership Fellows Program provides a unique opportunity for anthropologists early in their careers to learn about leadership opportunities within the association. Each year a group of three to five fellows will be paired with a mentor chosen from among AAA leadership. Mentors are available to fellows throughout the year to answer questions related to AAA. Fellows shadow their mentors at the AAA Annual Meeting in meetings of the Executive Board, Association Committees, and Section Committees. In addition, fellows are invited to attend the AAA Donors Reception and a Leadership Fellows Social bringing together past and present cohorts of fellows.

Eligibility

At the time of application, the applicant must be:
• a current member of the American Anthropological Association
• within three to five years of having completed their terminal degree in anthropology or an allied field. *
* Applicants not holding a terminal degree in anthropology should have a strong presence in the discipline at the time the application is submitted.
 
The online application is open in early March. Applications must be submitted by April 6. Awardees are notified in May and announced in Anthropology News. Fellows are required to attend the AAA Annual Meeting of their award year. As a result, Fellows receive up to $500 reimbursement for costs of travel.

To learn more and apply, click here.

AAA Backs National Adjunct Walkout and Awareness Day

Written by American Anthropological Association President, Dr. Monica Heller and Executive Director, Dr. Edward Liebow

Today, February 25, 2015 is “National Adjunct Walkout and Awareness Day,” a day when adjunct and contingent faculty at American colleges and universities are being encouraged to remain away from their teaching responsibilities or otherwise call attention to the unfair conditions of employment that many adjunct faculty face.

Across the academy, many adjuncts do not have professional careers beyond the academy, and are paid by the course at a fraction of the rate their full-time faculty counterparts are compensated. Adjuncts are often not eligible for employer-provided health care insurance coverage or retirement benefits. Adjuncts often do not get paid time off. Adjuncts have little employment security, are often told only days ahead of the start of the academic term whether their courses will be offered. At institutions that rely heavily on adjunct instructors, the quality of instruction may suffer, not because of the adjuncts’ qualifications, but because they lack private office space in which to meet with students, are so poorly compensated for their time that they may not be able to make themselves available for student consultations.

What is true for institutions of higher education in general is certainly the case in anthropology. The AAA is a member of the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, which has a significant repository of data on working conditions, including a large sub-sample of anthropologists. The AAA’s Committee on Labor Relations has been tasked with providing advice regarding best practices in the employment of adjunct and contingent faculty. More broadly, we are trying to understand the contours of the labor market for anthropologists, and how the Association can best support our members and the discipline under these conditions.

Today is a day for heightening public awareness, and the AAA salutes those courageous anthropologists who are taking a stand for working conditions deserving of the level of academic preparation and commitment to quality education that adjunct faculty share.

The American Anthropological Association, dedicated to advancing human understanding and addressing the world’s most pressing problems since its found in 1902, is the world’s largest professional anthropology organization.

Webinar Wednesday: March 4th, 2015 with Mary Butler

March 4th, 2015: Partnering Anthropology and Evaluation:What do we gain? A presentation by Mary Butler

Mary_Butler_website_headshot

 Abstract

This webinar will look at how evaluation and anthropology can be mapped onto each other to create Evaluation Anthropology, an approach to value questions that is stronger than either approach alone for evaluations of programs that are culturally embedded. We will look at how evaluation and anthropology reinforce one another, building methods and theories in Evaluation Anthropology and how our training as anthropologists supports out work as evaluators.

1.What is Evaluation Anthropology and how do we use it?

2.The contribution of evaluation

3.The contribution of evaluation

4.Building Theory: The role of science

5.Building Methods: The role of ethnography

6.Pitfalls: Common problems with client assumptions

7.Evaluation Planning: One way to do it.

8.Mixed Methods: Synthesis of Qualitative and Quantitative Data

9.What qualifies anthropologists to do Evaluation Anthropology

10.What skills do I need to add.

Bio

Mary Odell Butler is an anthropologist-evaluator with 35 years of experience in research design, management, and supervision of evaluations and other research projects and 12 years of university teaching experience at the graduate and undergraduate levels.She has special expertise in program evaluation, evaluation research, and case study methods and have conducted numerous projects for CDC, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and private foundations.

She is employed by Westat as a Senior Analyst supporting work in public health program evaluation.She is retired from twenty years as a Research Leader and Office Director at the Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation.She is an adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland and at the University of North Texas. In this capacity she teaches graduate courses in evaluation.Among her publications is Evaluation: A Culture Systems Approach, in press for release in summer 2015 and Creating Evaluation Anthropology: Introducing and Emerging Sub-Field (NAPA Bulletin 24, 2005)

Registration is now open here and be sure to add it to your calendar! As usual the password is anthro.

Applied Anthropologist Spotlight – Elizabeth Briody at Cultural Keys LLC

Cultural Keys LLCCultural Keys LLC is a consultancy that I founded in 2009 to help firms and nonprofits understand and solve cultural-change and consumer issues.  We specialize in three work streams:  improving organizational culture, increasing partnership effectiveness, and understanding and reaching customers.

Cultural Keys uses an anthropological approach and a combination of techniques (e.g., observation, individual and group interviews, content analysis).  Key questions guiding our approach include:
•What makes a particular organization’s culture work well and what does not?
•What changes are necessary to improve overall performance?
•How might an organization’s culture transition to some new configuration so that it can be effective and successful in the future?

We typically work with members of the client organization to gather and validate data, and to produce actionable recommendations, implementation plans, and cultural-change tools.

Cultural Keys has helped clients in a variety of industries including medical, consumer-products, insurance, long-term-care, and food manufacturing.  We design projects around the issues that clients want to tackle.  Here are a few examples:

Improving patient hospital experiences:  A large southern U.S. hospital wanted to become more “patient-centric.”  I led a team of seven in conducting interviews and observations with hospital personnel and found that developing rapport with patients was not consistently a part of patient care.  Moreover, the hospital’s functional “silos” were barriers to collaboration and innovation.  Our team worked with hospital leaders to document and learn from two successful hospital innovations.  We developed and tested recommendations both from these initiatives, and from other lower-performing patient-care activities.  Finally, we produced 16 tools to help leaders problem solve effectively across silos, prioritize the patient experience, and reduce patient wait time.

Understanding and communicating an organization’s value:  The Board of Trustees of an assisted living and nursing care community wanted to be able to articulate its culture to prospective residents and their families.  Cultural Keys worked with anthropologist Sherri Briller (Purdue) to conduct interviews with residents, family members, staff, and volunteers.  The project resulted in rave reviews of the “Welcome Home” care philosophy, now a core part of marketing efforts.

Other Cultural Keys’ projects also pertain to organizational-culture change.  I worked with Pacific Ethnography headed by Ken Erickson (U of South Carolina) to interview customers, sales clerks, and employees of an intimate apparel firm.  Our recommendations focused on how to meet customer needs and increase sales by changing the mindset and structure of the firm.  Currently, I am working with a global food manufacturer to ease the transition for employees who were part of a recent acquisition.

I am fortunate to have some time to write up selected aspects of these consulting projects.  Some recent articles have appeared in the Journal of Business Anthropology as well as the International Journal of Business Anthropology.  Other examples appear in Transforming Culture: Creating and Sustaining Effective Organizations with Bob Trotter and Tracy Meerwarth (Palgrave, 2014), and The Cultural Dimension of Global Business with Gary Ferraro (7th ed., Pearson, 2013).

Elizabeth BriodyElizabeth K. Briody, Ph.D. is Founder and Principal of Cultural Keys LLC, a firm that helps companies and nonprofits understand and address organizational and cultural-change issues.  Briody has helped clients in many industries, including those at General Motors where she worked for 24 years.  She is currently a member of the AAA Executive Board and just completed her service as Chair of the AAA Working Group on Mentoring.

A Global Celebration of Anthropology

National Anthropology DayOn Thursday, February 19, 2015 anthropologists worldwide will celebrate the inaugural National Anthropology Day. This inaugural event, created by the American Anthropological Association, calls public attention to the important work that anthropologists contribute to our daily lives.

Anthropologists are innovators and creative thinkers who contribute to every sector of society. On National Anthropology Day there will be more than 75 schools, museums and organizations worldwide hosting public events to highlight how anthropologists study, discover and tackle the world’s most pressing issues.

“This grassroots effort is a first for the American Anthropological Association,” said Executive Director, Dr. Edward Liebow, in a recent statement, “In a time when we hear great skepticism about science in general, and about social science findings in particular, it is important for our members to showcase their contributions.”

AAA Staff

AAA staff celebrate National Anthropology Day

 

Webinar Wednesday returns February 18, 2015 with Elizabeth Briody!

Sometimes Practice Makes Perfect: Cultural Changes in the Training of Anthropologists with Elizabeth Briody

I am proud to announce the American Anthropological Association’s webinar series is returning.  As was the case in 2014, we’ll try and alternate between webinars focused on professional and educational development, and webinars exploring more topical issues.  As part of National Anthropology Day (week?), the event is complimentary, but you will be required to register here. The event will begin at 2 PM EST, and will include a in-depth Q&A session at the end. Be sure to check your system beforehand, so you’ll be ready to go. Be sure to mark the date on your calendar for this event, and all future webinars, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing speakers:

Elizabeth Briody_web icon

 Abstract

If you are either a faculty member or a student interested in training related to professional anthropological careers, this webinar is for you!

Interest in anthropological practice has never been higher.Students continue to seek greater job market preparation yet many faculty wonder how to help them.We will talk about:

1.Key differences between “traditional” anthropology programs and applied/practicing-oriented programs

2.Commonalities across high performing applied programs

3.Four distinct models of program effectiveness, highlighting the cultures of the University of Memphis, University of Maryland-College Park, Northern Arizona University, and the University of North Texas

4.If you are a faculty member:How do you build a program with a focus on application and practice?

5.If you are a student:How do you choose a program that will work for you?

Bio

Elizabeth K. Briody, Ph.D. is Founder and Principal of Cultural Keys LLC, a firm that helps companies and nonprofits understand and address organizational and cultural-change issues.  Briody has helped clients in many industries, including those at General Motors where she worked for 24 years.  She is currently a member of the AAA Executive Board and just completed her service as Chair of the AAA Working Group on Mentoring.

For more information on AAA webinars check out our main page: http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/conferences.cfm or email me at conferences@aaanet.org. We look forward to seeing you there!

All-digital open source book review tool available

AAA is thrilled to announce the availability of a freshly-updated “Objects for Review” workflow tool to transform book reviews. Using funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, AAA and Public Knowledge Project extended an object for review plugin included in its popular Open Journal Systems application. The original plugin, developed by PKP partners at Freie Universität Berlin, is free to use and available in recent versions of OJS (2.4.4+). The updated version will be released shortly under the same open source license.

Major updates to the Objects for Review support:

  • All-digital book review workflow. Digital versions can be made available via the plugin, reducing the carbon footprint from a print-centric process and eliminating the costs associated with packaging and mailing bound books to journal offices and then onto book reviewers.
  • Ease of use for participating publishers. With the help of feedback and testers from presses like Duke University Press, University Press of Colorado, and University of New Mexico Press, the software features an ONIX ingest and supports netGalley digital proofs.

Using this software means that simultaneous publication of reviews and reviewed books is now possible: Publishers can upload uncorrected page proofs; interested reviewers can potentially view these texts within days; and book reviews can potentially be published in tandem with book releases, thus sparking conversation, sales, and interactions with front list books.

AAA’s installation is called Anthropology Book Forum, under the editorship of Justin Shaffner. Participating publishers can upload any book for review that have published in 2015 or are forthcoming.

The Objects for Review program plugin may revolutionize book reviews, but the plugin supports a range of digital objects; journals who use the plugin could consider using the software to review digital photographs or digital music. For those interested in the updated plugin when it is available, please either follow the PKP blog http://pkp.sfu.ca/blog or send PKP an email pkp.contact@gmail.com.

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