Departmental Awards and Thesis

Senior Honors Thesis

The Senior Honors Thesis provides an opportunity for senior anthropology majors to engage in and/or continue in-depth research on a topic of particular interest and to produce a substantial piece of written work that, upon completion, will be noted on the transcript and diploma at graduation. The final thesis should be 35-40 pages long. Students must have a 3.7 GPA in their major courses and must apply to a faculty committee for approval during their Junior year. Please note that a senior thesis is optional and not required for the completion of the degree.

Juniors should reach out to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for further advising regarding the process and timing of the application, as well as help in identifying an appropriate faculty mentor. After speaking to the DUS, students should reach out to and have a planning meeting with their faculty mentor who will direct their thesis. The faculty mentor must be consulted during the development of the application and will sign off on it prior to the submission to the Department’s Thesis committee.

Stapleton Award

The Department of Anthropology honors the memory of late student, Scott MacPherson, through the Stapleton Award. The award is designed to support the research and intellectual motivations of talented and committed undergraduate students like him, and it seeks to provide anthropology majors and minors the opportunity to pursue their passions relating to anthropology outside the classroom. The awards provides $2,500 per term, up to $5,000 for an entire academic year, and will give the awarded student the resources to focus on independent research, an unpaid internship, or a professional experience related to the social and cultural concerns of Anthropology. More information about Scott, the award, and past projects can be found here.

Anthropology Research Award

The Anthropology Research Award recognizes excellence in anthropological research for senior Anthropology majors and minors. It will be presented at the Tropaia Exercises during graduation weekend. Graduating seniors are invited to submit a paper of original anthropological research, along with their transcript. The paper can be one that they have written for a class, or on their own. An announcement about the timing and other submissions is sent to students in February/March.

Past Anthropology Research Award Recipients

  • 2018: Tara Viviani – Uncontrollable Defiance: What it Means to Live with Chronic Cancer
  • 2017: Shola Powell – Why Black Women Laugh While the Country Cries: The Impact of a Trump Election
  • 2015: Citlalli Alvarez – UNDACAMENTED: Immigrant Youth Identity and Earning Citizenship In America
  • 2014: Michael Deneen – Always Our Children: An Anthropological View of Homosexuality and the Catholic Tradition
  • 2013: Anne Duckles – International Humanitarian Aid: What We Do, Why, and Why We Shouldn’t
  • 2012: Marley Brown – Cricket and Contested Heritage in Bermuda
  • 2011: Misato Egawa – Living Anime: Youth Identity and Fantasy in Metropolitan DC
  • 2011: Kevin Mercer- Food as a strategy for constructing a trans-national French community and cultural identity
  • 2010: Molly LeBlanc-Medeiros
  • 2009: Jessika Angulo-Duarte
  • 2008: Laura Thompson
  • 2007: Tanya Olmos
  • 2006: Brittany Paselk