Graduate Studies

Browse Bios by Last Name:  A B C D F G H I J K L M O P R S T W 

Agbelusi, Oluseyi Email: ooagbelu@syr.edu

Oluseyi Agbelusi






Amartey, Samuel  
Email: samartey@maxwell.syr.edu
Samuel Amartey                
Samuel is a doctoral student of anthropology with research interest in historical archaeology and heritage management in West Africa. He is particularly interested in African-European interaction on the coast and immediate hinterlands of West Africa during the Atlantic Trade. He holds an M. Phil. Degree in archaeology from the University of Ghana, Legon. His master's research involved a survey of Nyanao Hill landscape (both cultural and natural) as an approach to enhancing our understanding of Akwamu history at Nyanaoase (c. 1630-1750) in south eastern Ghana. He has tremendous archaeological field experience in Ghana. He also has strong interest in heritage management in West Africa. Samuel is a member of Heritage and Site Save Africa (HaSSA), a non-Governmental Organization that provides advocacy and education on heritage management issues in Ghana. His current research focuses on African-European interaction in the Sierra Leone Estuary particularly relationship of Bunce Island (a seventeenth century British Fort) to other adjoining African settlements in the Sierra Leone Estuary.




Arango Vargas, Carolina Email: carangov@maxwell.syr.edu
Carolina Arango Vargas

Carolina Arango-Vargas is PhD candidate in cultural anthropology with a Certificate in Advance Studies in Women’s and Gender Studies from Syracuse University. Her academic interests are local and transnational feminist organizing in the Global South, postcolonial/decolonial feminisms and the study of intersectional inequalities in postcolonial contexts. Her doctoral research takes place in the northeastern province of Antioquia, Colombia. It explores how NGOs and grassroots’ women’s organizations use Feminism as a political tool to overcome the effects of political violence, dispossession and social exclusion, and how it may enable new modes of agency among marginalized women. In connection to this, it explores how the colonial legacies of race, class and gender shape both the processes of oppression and resistance, as well as the feminist discourses that circulate through the local NGOs. The Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Fellowship funded her fieldwork research. She is currently a Teaching Associate in Maxwell. 



Behrens, Joanna
Email: jpbehren@syr.edu  

Black, Cullen Email: mailto:cublack@syr.edu
Cullen black
I am currently focused on periods of encounter and migration in Guatemala City through the analysis of human skeletal remains and associated mortuary materials. My research interests also focus on memory in the context of human remains recovery in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. 



Bloomston, Bethany
Email: brblooms@maxwell.syr.edu

Bowes, Jessica   Email: jbowes@syr.edu
Jessica Bowes
Jessica is a PhD candidate in anthropology with a focus on historical archaeology, African diaspora, and paleoethnobotany. She has her master's degree his historical archaeology from UMASS Boston and her thesis focused on the social relationships of slaves and their masters's over multiple owners at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest as seen through plant remains. Her PhD research focuses on faunal and botanical remains from the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, NY. She will use these remains to understand food and identity among the former slaves making up Tubman's household. Jessica has been fortunate to serve as a National Council for Preservation Education intern and help at the new Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.




Boza Cuadros, Maria Fernanda Email: mbozacua@syr.edu

Research concentration: Historical Archaeology

Chamoun, Tony  Email: tjchamou@syr.edu
Tony Chamoun
Tony is currently a third year Ph.D. student. His research concerns historical human skeletal remains and their material-discursive involvement in creating and dissolving various social relations. He is also interested in the ways in which (post)colonial processes make their ways into bodies.




Darroch, Melissa Email:  mmdarroc@syr.edu
Melissa Darroch

Melissa is a first-year doctoral student of anthropology with a concentration in bioarchaeology. She is interested in studying quality of life and identity. Melissa holds a BS in Anthropology with a minor in History from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has tremendous archaeological field experience in prehistoric and historic archaeology in the Southeastern United States, as well as experience in Guatemala.




Freedenberg, Ross Email: refreede@syr.edu

Gagnon, Terese  Email: tvgagnon@syr.edu

Terese Gagnon


Terese is a doctoral student in cultural anthropology with a focus on environmental anthropology. Her current research is with Karen individuals from Burma/Myanmar, investigating relationships between people, plants and memory in the context of forced migration and exile cause by the nearly 70-year-long ongoing civil war between Karen armed groups and the Burmese military, currently the longest civil war in the world.  She is generally interested in the political and affective dimensions of human engagements with plants, especially in regards to cooking, foraging and farming/gardening. She holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Georgia, where she conducted undergraduate research and was involved with the Ethnoecology and Biodiversity Lab. Terese also likes to write poetry and sometimes combines her poetic attunements with her work in anthropology.  As a T.A. at Syracuse University, she is grateful for the opportunity to teach, engage with, and learn from her undergraduate students.



Galluzzo, Arianna  Email: angalluz@syr.edu

Arianna Galluzo




Ghosh, Ipshita  Email: ighosh@syr.edu 

ipshita Ghosh


Greer, Matthew Email: mcgreer@syr.edu

Matthew Greer


Matthew is a doctoral student in archaeology, and holds a B.A. from the University of Mary Washington and a M.A. from the University of Southern Mississippi. Since 2015, he has directed excavations at Belle Grove Plantation (Frederick County, Virginia). This plantation sits within the Shenandoah Valley, a region where the relatively ‘low’ number of enslaved persons has led scholars to ignore the lives of these individuals. His research addresses this gap, exploring if / how enslaved life was different here than in other regions of Virginia, and how enslaved women and men contributed to the development of the Shenandoah Valley during the early 19th century.




Harris, Steven  Email: sgharr01@syr.edu

Steven Harris


Steven received his B.S. in Earth Science and Anthropology (double major) and minor in Chinese Studies from Syracuse University in 2016. After taking a year off, he has return to pursue a Ph.D. with a academic interest in both archaeology and geoarchaeology.







Hicks, Katherine Elizabeth  Email: kehick01@syr.edu

Katherine Hicks





Hosek, Lauren   Email: lrhosek@syr.edu 

Lauren Hosek 2

Lauren is a doctoral student in historical archaeology with a concentration in bioarchaeology.  She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis where she specialized in archaeology and anthropology.  She has participated in fieldwork on prehistoric sites in the Midwestern United States, as well as medieval sites in England, Scotland, and the Czech Republic.  Lauren has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Louis MCX CMAC assisting with NAGPRA compliance. Lauren's research interests include human osteology, health and disease, materiality of the body, political violence, religion and the body, and mortuary archaeology. Her dissertation research, funded by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, examines the intersections of social status, religious discourses, violence, and disease in early medieval skeletal remains from the Czech Republic.  This bioarchaeological investigation incorporates multiple types of evidence including skeletal analysis, material culture, historical narratives, and comparative cases. Lauren is currently teaching in the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI) at Syracuse University.


Ireland, Morgan  Email: mireland@syr.edu

Morgan Ireland





Jackson, Jonathan  Email: jjack05@maxwell.syr.edu  
I am interested in the study of gay, lesbian, and bisexual rabbis and how their emergence in American Reform Judaism has transformed sacred notions of Jewish kinship.

Jamieson, LuAnn  Email: ljamieso@syr.edu

Khalid, Zainab Eamil:  zmkhalid@syr.edu

Khalil, Hamza Email: mailto:hkhalil@syr.edu

Hamza Khalil






Jocelyn Killmer Email: jkillmer@maxwell.syr.edu 
Jocelyn Killmer

My research explores women's reproductive health and the experiences of women doctors in Rajasthan, India.




Korn, Andrew 
Email: ankorn@syr.edu
I am most interested in researching the connections between decisions made by political/societal leaders and the way those decisions impact marginalized populations and contribute to systems of ingrained inequality, especially in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lans, Aja  Email: amlans@syr.edu 
Aja Lans

Aja Lans is a doctoral student in historical archaeology with a focus on bioarchaeology. She holds a B.S. from Binghamton University and a M.A. from New York University. Her dissertation is a study of the archival and skeletal remains of black women who died in turn of the century New York City. Their remains are now part of the Huntington Collection, which is housed by the Smithsonian Institution. Utilizing life course and intersectional approaches, she aims to better understand how race, gender, class, and place came to be literally embodied by the women who ended up in this skeletal collection, and (re)insert their physical remains into the wider discussion of black women’s histories in the United States. Also of interest are the ethics of museum collections, the objectification of human remains, and history of race.



LaVoy, Catherine   Email: celavoy@maxwell.syr.edu  

Mali, Ajaya  Email: anmali@syr.edu
Ajaya Mali
Ajaya N. Mali is a third-year graduate student interested in politics and religion. His focus is on changes to the religious life of small communities when political contexts change. He is also interested in the conservation strategies adopted at UNESCO cultural sites and the experience and participation of local communities in such state projects. For his doctoral research, Ajaya will study the efforts made by the Nepalese state to develop the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu into a South Asian, and global, pilgrimage and tourism hub.




McCormick, Francis
Email: fmmccorm@syr.edu
Francis McCormic

Fran McCormick is a historical archaeologist whose research has focused on historic period Brazil, slavery, and the African Diaspora. Graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2008 and entering the Syracuse University Anthropology graduate program in 2009, Fran has studied archaeology, anthropology, and Portuguese for over 13 years. He also has several years of experience in contract archaeology across the east coast, and currently works as an archaeologist for the U.S. Forest Service.




Olesch, Dana  Email:
dtolesch@syr.edu

Dana Olesch







Ortiz-Valdez, Fabiola  
Email: fortizva@syr.edu
Fabiola Ortiz-Valdez

Fabiola is originally from Mexico and a doctoral student in cultural anthropology, her dissertation focuses on labor relations and labor organizing among undocumented dairy workers in Central New York. Her research interests include undocumented migration to the U.S., alternative forms of organizing for low wage workers, farmworkers’ social reproductive labor, and activist research. For the past five years Fabiola has been an organizer with the Workers’ Center of Central NY, a grassroots organization focused upon workplace and economic justice, she now serves in their board of directors. Fabiola is also member of the advisory board of the Labor Research and Action Network, a collaborative effort to connect workers’ rights organizations and academics.



Platt, Sarah
  Email: seplatt@syr.edu 
Sarah Platt

Sarah is a doctoral student in historical archaeology with an interest in urban spaces and places of the American southeast. She graduated with a B.A. in anthropology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2013, where her undergraduate research thesis focused on Atlantic period Senegambia, West Africa. She has participated in field research in the Chesapeake, the South Carolina lowcountry, and The Gambia, West Africa. Her dissertation explores the eighteenth century cosmopolitan city of Charleston, South Carolina at its height, utilizing the Heyward-Washington House as a microcosm of local, regional, and global networks centering on the southern metropolis.  Her field site is a museum storeroom, and her research is rooted in collections based methodologies. She is also interested in developing new strategies for and investment in archaeological collections care and research in the United States in the face of the ongoing “collections crises.” She is currently in residence at The Charleston Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. 



Posega, Jessica  Email: jmposega@syr.edu 
Jessica Posega







Ramchandani, Taapsi  
Email: taramcha@syr.edu  

I am a third-year doctoral student in Anthropology at Syracuse University; I am also a Master’s candidate (executive track) in Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. My research falls within the realm of civic anthropology and broadly encompasses bureaucracy, collaborative governance, and the modern state. For the past two years, I have been studying local government reform and decentralization in Trinidad and Tobago, and am interested in the ways new collaborations are formed with non-state actors in the name of participatory governance. I came to the field of anthropology with five years of work experience in India as a features reporter/anchor with CNBC-TV18, and later as the country manager for Mela Artisans, LLC – a “socially conscious” shopping portal for Indian handicrafts. My work with Mela Artisans took me all over India where I worked closely with artisan groups and developed programs for them around capacity building, impact assessment and online micro-lending. Here is the link to my webpage www.taapsiramchandani.com

Reid, Sean  
Email: shreid@syr.edu 
Sean Reid
 Sean H. Reid is a doctoral student in the anthropology department at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. He specializes in African archaeology, maritime archaeology, and the archaeology of the Atlantic world. His doctoral research examines broad transformations over the past two thousand years in the lifeways of the people inhabiting the coast and hinterlands of Central and Western Region, Ghana. He specializes in the use of remotely sensed imagery to aid archaeological survey, particularly satellite imagery. He received his BA in sociology and anthropology from St. Mary's College of Maryland in 2007 and his MA in anthropology, with a concentration in international development, in 2010 from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.   His undergraduate thesis , Un Comptoir Oublié: Reconstruction of a French Trading Post on The Gambia River 1681-1857, is an exploration of the historical, physical, and cultural dimensions of the French trading post Albreda, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. After finishing his master's degree, he began working with the Slave Wrecks Project. He is a former Critical Language Scholar (Egypt '09) and has worked on archaeological projects in Sierra Leone, South Africa, The Gambia, Barbados, Maryland, Florida, and France. He is a Fulbright scholar for the 2016-2017 academic year affiliated with the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. 


Rivera, Mariel Email
mriver02@syr.edu
Mariel Rivera
Mariel  is graduate student in cultural anthropology. She graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology as well as a Certificate in Women's and Gender studies from SUNY Brockport in 2016. Her research interests are within Medical Anthropology with a specific focus on reproductive health. She is interested in how ethnicity, class and gender impact health and access to healthcare. For her doctoral research, she will be focusing on birthing practices and the intersection of traditional and biomedical practices in the Peruvian Andes. 


>Sanchez, Shaundel  Email: snsanche@syr.edu

Shaundel Sanchez

Shaundel Sanchez is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School in 2014. Her dissertation examines the question of belonging for US-citizen Muslim residents in the United Arab Emirates. This research analyzes this community as its members travel between their country of citizenship and a Muslim majority country where many have resided for over 20 years. Thus, her research follows these highly mobile people during a time when many countries are seeking to enforce state borders. She has conducted ethnographic research since December 2015, following her research participants in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and throughout various locations in the United States.  Shaundel is a Certified Atlas.ti Student Trainer.



Shabnam, Moushumi
  Email: mshabnam@maxwell.syr.edu 
Emergence of "New " American Islam: An ethnographic research on first and second generation Bangladeshi Muslims living in Queens, NY in the post 9/11 era.

Sharma, Jay Eamil:  jasharma@syr.edu

Jay Sharma

Smith, Maria  Email:  msmith01@syr.edu

Maria Smith


Maria is a graduate student in archaeology. She graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish with a History minor from Western Michigan University in 2016. Her research interests include the archaeology of childhood, colonialism and gender. Her doctoral research is on the education of girls in colonial Peru.




Stroud, Sarh  Email: sestroud@syr.edu


Thakur, Nimisha  Email: nithakur@syr.edu

Nimisha Thakur




Tolley, Thomas Email: tetolley@maxwell.syr.edu

Thomas Tolley

My interests include forming a more global approach to historical archaeology, the archaeology of landscapes, the archaeology of children in colonial contexts, manifestations of colonial and post-colonial mythologies, identity formation among indigenous peoples, and the formation of economies in frontier/borderlands contexts




Warner, Alanna  Email: alwarner@syr.edu

Waters, Christopher  Email: ckwaters@syr.edu 

Chris Waters  
Christopher K. Waters is an archaeologist whose research focuses on the establishment and maintenance of defense policies and fortifications by the colonial Antiguan government in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the impact that the plantation landscape had on the placement of these defenses.  His dissertation, entitled In Defense of the Colony: Antigua's Fortification Policy and Settling the Landscape, 1670-1783 employs archaeological survey, excavation, museum collections, and archival research to question the effectiveness of the fortifications as external defense and internal security: the two major paradigms explaining colonial defenses in the Caribbean to date.  Neither of these explanations holds up well under closer inspection, revealing a complex local political establishment more concerned with creating the semblance of protection, rather than investing in a defense network which might be able to protect the island.  Christopher previously served as Museum Curator at the Nelson’s Dockyard Museum, and continues to be an active researcher for the UNESCO World Heritage Site Antigua Naval Dockyard and Related Archaeological Sites, and serves as a field director for the Antigua Archaeology Field School.


Weinstein, Alisa  Email: afweinst@syr.edu

Alisa Weinstein





Werner, William
  Email: wjwerner@maxwell.syr.edu  

Williamson, Christian  Email: crwill03@maxwell.syr.edu
Received is B.A. in Anthropology from Mississippi State University in 2000.  After working in Los Angeles for two years, he decided to return to academia.  Christian recently received his M.A. in Anthropology from Louisiana State University. His thesis project focused on the removal and reburial of a historic Louisiana family from an abandoned cemetery to the family's ancestral home at Nottoway Plantation.  He is currently pursuing a PhD at Syracuse University with research interests including historic archaeology, colonialism, the Caribbean, osteology, forensic anthropology, and historic cemeteries.