2010 Anthropology Department Distinguished Alumni Award
Marvin Keller graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago Circle in 1972, and received his Master's in Anthropology from Western Michigan University in 1975. Since graduating from Western he has been active in archaeology and cultural resource management in both the private and public sectors. Marv began his career with a private environmental consulting firm in New York and worked in the northeastern and western United States, as well as in the Caribbean. Drawn to northern Plains archaeology, he left the private sector and in 1987 joined the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). He ultimately served 23 years as the Regional Archaeologist in the BIA Rocky Mountain Region, where he was responsible for historic preservation on seven reservations in Montana and Wyoming, and worked closely with tribes to protect their cultural resources. During this time he was active in the Montana Archaeological Society and contributed articles and papers on regional issues. He also developed an archaeological training program for tribal members. In 2010, Marv accepted the position of Federal Preservation Officer/NEPA Coordinator for the BIA in Washington, D.C., and is now responsible for coordinating BIA's national program.
During 2006 Homecoming week, Dr. Phillip Neusius was honored with Department of Anthropology's 2006 distinguished alumnus award. Neusius graduated with an M.A. in Anthropology in 1978, as Dr. William Cremin's first student. His thesis examined prehistoric settlement systems by a survey of archaeological sites in the lower Kalamazoo River Basin. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Missouri, and is now the head of the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to being recognized at the award ceremony, Dr. Neusius sat down at an informal lunch with current students. There he answered questions about his time at Western, his later career, and his advce to students now. Among his insights imparted to students was the advice to seize opportunities as they present themselves. As a student, Neusius moved between several advisors before working with Dr. Cremin, at the time a new professor at WMU. Though at the time this shifting between thesis advisors was stressful, Dr. Neusius arrived at a thesis project that fit well with his interests and Dr. Cremin's expertise. The distinguished alumnus award allowed our department to honor Dr. Neusius as one of our accomplished graduates as well as an opportunity for some of our newest students to learn about the deep history of the University's Department of Anthropology.
Brent is a Distinguished Alumni Award winner for the Department of Anthropology. Metz, a native of St Joseph, Mich., received his B.A. majoring in anthropology and Spanish at Western Michigan University 1986, and his M.A. in anthropology from University of Michigan '89. He finished his Ph.D. at SUNY Albany '95, the dissertation for which he regarded the relationship between Ch'orti' Maya political economy and ethos in Guatemala. He taught in full-time, non-tenure track positions at Western Michigan University, Central Connecticut State, Grinnell, and Temple from 1995-2000, before taking the position of associate director of Latin American studies at the University of Kansas in 2001. Since 2005, he has been assistant professor of anthropology at Kansas. Among his publications are two books and an edited volume: "Primero Dios: Etnografìa y cambio social entre los mayas ch'orti's del oriente de Guatemala" ('God Willing': Ethnography and Social Change among the Ch'orti' Maya of Eastern Guatemala) (2002), "Ch'orti'-Maya Survival in Eastern Guatemala: Indigeneity in Transition" (2006), and "The Ch'orti' Maya Area, Past and Present" (2009).
Dylan is working in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico where he is completing his dissertation research on Mayan and pre-Mayan archeaology. Dylan is a Ph.D. student at Harvard University. Dylan presented a paper on tourism and Mayan sites for the American Anthropological Association meeting in December 2009 in Philadelphia.
Shelly is operating a travel consulting service, Conscious Traveler, promoting sustainable and adventure travel to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. She also coordinates two cooperative community garden projects in the city of Kalamazoo that introduce residents of the Vine and Oakwood neighborhoods to the experience of growing their own food. In addition, she often can be found on campus at WMU, where she has implemented and advises a registered student organization for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Adam joined Health Outreach Partners in May 2003 and has been the director of marketing and information services since 2006. He leads various projects, including a nationwide needs assessment on farm workers and health outreach programs, best-practice reports, conference presentations, peer-to-peer conference calls, and organizational grant writing.
Cassie is at the University of South Florida where she was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant for her research titled: "The Politics of Participation: Hydropolicy, HIV/AIDS and Women's Health in Lesotho."
Sonya is enrolled in the B.S.N.-M.S.N. Segue program at Emory University. She will receive her B.S.N. in May of 2010, and her M.S.N. in nurse midwifery in December of 2011. She also received the prestigious Fuld Fellowship at Emory.
Adam completed community service learning teaching in New Mexico. He is close to completing his dissertation on Native American gaming for the University of New Mexico.
Boone presented a paper at the 2009 American Association of Anthropology (AAA) entitled "Neoliberal Education and Public Discourse," and has an article coming out in the next volume of Rethinking Marxism. He is coediting a special issue of the Journal of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences focused on the corporatization of education; Shear is the incoming chair of the student committee of the Society for Applied Anthropology.
David is teaching at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi where he also is writing his dissertation for the University of Arkansas.
Kourtney was a Presidential Scholar, and is in the Forest Resources Program at the University of Maine.
Jonathan entered a Ph.D. program in anthropology at University of Massachusetts Amherst in September 2009.
Chris presented a paper at the 2009 American Association of Anthropology (AAA) "Intervening in the Intolerable: Governmentality and the Questions of Muslim Homophobia." He and Boone Shear presented papers with Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo in a panel entitled "New Metrics of Inequality: Zizek, Violence, and their Ethnographic Implications" at the 2009 Rethinking Marxism Conference.