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National Anthropology Day: Looking towards 2016

National Anthropology DayWe celebrated the first National Anthropology Day on February 19, 2015. The celebration was a great success, with more than 80 college campuses, organizations, museums, elementary and high schools participating. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) introduced a Congressional Proclamation to publicly recognize the field, and to declare the third Thursday in February as an annual day for celebration.

Anthropologists around the world took to social media to celebrate and document their activities to earmark the day. AAA hosted its first Reddit “ask me anything” (AMA) event, with staff fielding dozens of questions about anthropology and the Association. Several blogs had fun suggesting ways the day could be celebrated. More than 14,000 tweets, posts and blog posts were made with the #NationalAnthropologyDay hashtag. On-campus Anthropology Clubs reached out to nearby high schools, and took part in a selfie social media contest. Students from Minnesota State University Mankato, El Camino College, and Hunter College – CUNY each won $100 for future Anthropology Club activities.

AAA Past President Yolanda Moses celebrated National Anthropology Day with an interview highlighting the RACE: Are We So Different? public education project on the Marin County Public Radio, KWMR. Click here to listen to the interview.

We are already looking forward to next year, expanding our horizons internationally. AAA is in conversation with our sister societies in physical, applied, and archaeology, as well as the World Council of Anthropological Associations and the IUAES. Mark your calendars, next year’s Anthropology Day celebration will take place on February 18, 2016.

CMIA Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program deadline extended to March 15th

The CMIA Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program deadline has been extended to March 15th.  If you are interested please contact me at arussell@aaanet.org or 703-528-1902.

The Award

The American Anthropological Association invites minority doctoral candidates in anthropology to apply for a dissertation writing fellowship of $10,000. The annual AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship is intended to encourage members of racialized minorities to complete doctoral degrees in anthropology, thereby increasing diversity in the discipline and/or promoting research on issues of concern among minority populations. Dissertation topics in all areas of the discipline are welcome. Doctoral students who require financial assistance to complete the write-up phase of the dissertation are urged to apply.

A nonrenewable dissertation fellowship of $10,000 will be provided annually to one anthropology graduate student.

Read About Past Minority Dissertation Fellowship Winners

Eligibility

An applicant must be:  (1) a member of an historically underrepresented U.S. racialized minority group such as African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians or Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/as, Chicano/as, or Pacific Islanders; (2) graduated from a U.S. high school or completed a GED certificate in the U.S.; (3) enrolled in a full-time academic program leading to a doctoral degree in anthropology at the time of application (4) admitted to degree candidacy before the dissertation fellowship is awarded; and (5) a member of the American Anthropological Association. The dissertation proposal must be approved by the applicant’s committee prior to application. Students of any subfield or specialty in anthropology will receive equal consideration.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must have a record of outstanding academic achievement.
  • Applicants must be members of the American Anthropological Association at least one month prior to submitting materials for the AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program.
  • Applicants must have had their dissertation proposals approved by their dissertation committees prior to application.
  • The dissertation research must be in an area of anthropological research.
  • The recipient of the fellowship must be in need of a fellowship to complete the dissertation. The applicant will be required to provide information regarding their current financial and funding situation.

Award

Decisions will be based upon the quality of the submitted information and the likelihood that the recipient will have a good chance at completing the dissertation. The AAA Committee on Minority Issues in Anthropology will serve as the selection panel. The award recipient will be notified by telephone and mail as soon as the decision is made, no later than the 1st week of July. The award will also be announced in the October or November Anthropology News.

After completion of the dissertation, by June 15th, the award recipient must submit a 1-page report specifying the status of the degree and the dissertation’s defense, along with a copy of the dissertation abstract, to the Executive Director of the AAA. The dissertation committee chair or head of the department should cosign this report. Highlights of this report may be published in AN.

Payment of Award

Fellowship funds will be paid directly to the awardee (rather than the institution) in three installments: one by September 10th and the second by January 10th. The third installment will be received upon receipt of final report. Award will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

The online application will be extended until March 15th.

Questions?
If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Russell at arussell@aaanet.org or 703-528-1902.

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)

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

 

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