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:

Oluseyi Agbelusi

Amartey, Samuel  Email:
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:
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:  

Black, Cullen Email:
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:

Bowes, Jessica   Email:
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.

Chamoun, Tony  Email:
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:
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.

Desai, Retika  Email:

Retika Deasi

Retika is a doctoral candidate currently finishing her dissertation entitled Refugee Crossings: Everyday Geographies of Nepali-Bhutanese Encampment and Resettlement that investigates how Nepali-Bhutanese refugee subjectivities are mediated by the global humanitarian regime and U.S. liberalism. By studying refugee camps and resettlement sites together, her work illustrates how refugee life in camps in Nepal informs Nepali-Bhutanese narratives of arrival and negotiations of belonging once relocated in various cities in the U.S. Retika’s research and teaching interests encompass Migration Studies, Critical Refugee Studies, Race and U.S. Immigration, Borderland Studies, Humanitarianism, International Development and Aid, and Social Movements in South Asia. With research sites in Nepal, the India-Bhutan border, and the United States, her scholarship is located at the critical intersection of South Asian and Asian American Studies. Originally from Nepal, Retika worked as a women’s rights activist in South Asia before coming to graduate school, which deeply informs her pedagogy, research, and her commitment to social justice. 

Freedenberg, Ross Email:

Gagnon, Terese  Email:

Terese GagnonTerese 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:

Arianna GalluzoArianna Galluzzo is a fourth year PhD student in Cultural Anthropology (The Maxwell School) and a recent graduate of the Museum Studies M.A. program (College of Visual and Performing Arts).  As a museum anthropologist, her work bridges practical museum experience with theoretical museum studies approaches in anthropology.  She is interested in nineteenth and twentieth-century expeditions involving early ethnographic collectors and naturalists.  Her dissertation work centers upon the little-studied material legacy of William L. Abbott, a major collector for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  By tracing his objects across the globe, she has devised a multi-sited ethnographic study at the Smithsonian Natural History, the Asian Civilisations Museum, and the Museum Pusaka Nias.  She will study the height of Abbott’s collecting (1899-1909) in Southeast Asia, particularly his relation to imperial collecting schemes and how this may have impacted museum practice, as well as historical and contemporary institution building, in these areas.

 Beyond her research, Arianna is currently a graduate assistant at the Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) in the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, which provides data access, sharing and archiving for a variety of qualitative research projects, in addition to promoting transparency and best practice in the social sciences.  She is also a Historic Artifact Intern with The Diplomatic Reception Rooms at The U.S. Department of State. 

Ghosh, Ipshita  Email: 

ipshita Ghosh

Greer, Matthew Email:

Matthew GreerMatthew 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:

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:

Katherine Hicks

Hosek, Lauren   Email: 

Lauren Hosek 2Lauren 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:

Morgan Ireland

Jackson, Jonathan  Email:  
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:

Johnson, Steven Christopher  Email:             
Stephen is a fourth-year student researching ethnicity, resource competition and cosmopolitanism in Dharamsala, India. Home to indigenous Gaddi tribals, Tibetan and Sindhi refugees, and an ever-rising tidal wave of domestic and international tourism, Dharamsala is small town with an unexpected history and complex social configurations. Itinerant labor, consumerism, rapid cultural change and the human elements of mimetic desire, fantasy, and resentment are relevant to his research. Stephen places special attention on the craft of non-fiction writing, and finding a balance between theory and ethnographic storytelling. His research brings together his long-standing interest in both India and China. He is in India through December 2015 on a Fulbright grant.

Khalid, Zainab Eamil:

Khalil, Hamza Email:

Hamza Khalil

Jocelyn Killmer Email: 
Jocelyn Killmer

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

Korn, Andrew  Email:
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: 
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:  

Mali, Ajaya  Email:
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:
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:

Dana Olesch

Ortiz-Valdez, Fabiola  Email:
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: 
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: 
Jessica Posega

Ramchandani, Taapsi  Email:  

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

Reid, Sean  
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
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. 

, Shaundel

Shaundel Sanchez

Shabnam, Moushumi  Email: 
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:

Jay Sharma

Smith, Maria  Email:

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:

Thakur, Nimisha  Email:

Nimisha Thakur

Tolley, Thomas Email:

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:

Waters, Christopher  Email: 

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.

Watson, Cristina

Cristina Watson
Cristina is a current graduate student with research interests that combine stable isotopic analysis with the examination of archaeological human remains. She graduated with a B.A. in anthropology from Northern Arizona University in 2011, where her undergraduate research focused on the paleodietary analysis of individuals who lived in the Cotahuasi Valley of Peru during the Middle Horizon. She also earned at M.A. in forensic anthropology from Texas State University where her masters research focused on methods of sex estimation within bioarchaeological and forensic contexts. Her current research combines current theoretical threads in embodiment and citizenship to examine diet in nineteenth-century New York City.

Weinstein, Alisa 

Alisa Weinstein

Werner, William  Email:  

Williamson, Christian  Email:
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.