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:

Agbelusi, Oluseyi

Oluseyi is currently a second-year Ph.D. student in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology. He is a Syracuse University Graduate Fellow and the Anthropology Graduate Students Representative. He holds a B.A in archaeology from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and an MSc in conservation studies from the University College London (Qatar Campus). Oluseyi’s region of interest is West Africa where he has participated in numerous archaeological research and conservation projects. He has conducted fieldwork on several sites across south-western Nigeria and on Tasso Island in Sierra Leone. He has also participated in a number of excavations and conservation projects in the Mediterranean Basin, the Arab and Islamic World, and recently in the Caribbean. Oluseyi’s research interests include African archaeology, the African Diaspora, culture contact and change, colonialism, cultural heritage law, and archaeological conservation. His interest in African archaeology and Africa’s intersection with the Atlantic world is what led him to apply for the doctoral program. He is currently developing a dissertation project focusing on the early colonial period archaeology of Sierra Leone and completed initial fieldwork in 2018. Oluseyi is the Chair of the World Archaeological Congress Students Committee (WACSC) and the student representative for Western Africa region on the WACSC. 

Amartey, Samuel  
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.

Appiah-Adu, Siaw
Siaw Appiah-Adu

Behrens, Joanna  

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  

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.

Boza Cuadros, Maria Fernanda
Research concentration: Historical Archaeology

Chamoun, Tony
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.

Deal, Rachel
Rachel Deal

Fiorentino, Nicholas

Nick Fiorentino

Freedenberg, Ross 

Gagnon, Terese  Email:

Terese Gagnon

Terese is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at Syracuse University. Her current research is with Karen individuals from Burma/Myanmar, investigating transnational relationships between people, plants and memory in the context of forced migration and exile cause by the nearly 70-year-long civil war between Karen armed groups and the Burmese military: the longest civil war in the world. She is generally interested in the political and affective dimensions of human engagements with plants, especially related to cooking, foraging and farming/gardening. Terese writes poetry and often combines her poetic attunements with her work in anthropology. Her writing has appeared in Anthropology and HumanismEthnographyEthnobiology Letters and other journals. She is co-editor, with Virginia D. Nazarea, of a forthcoming volume, Itineraries and Sanctuaries of Memory from University of Arizona Press. As a T.A. and Teaching Mentor at Syracuse University she enjoys the opportunity to teach, engage with, and learn from her undergraduate students and fellow graduate instructors. She has also taught a course in social science to college students in Mae La refugee camp, along the Burma-Thai border. 

Galluzzo, Arianna  Email:

Arianna Galluzo

Ghosh, Ipshita  Email:

ipshita Ghosh
Ipshita Ghosh is a doctoral candidate in the department whose interests bridge cultural and medical anthropology. Her research is focused on entrepreneurs working to reinvent health paradigms in India and the United States. She is interested in the transnational entrepreneurial subjectivities and  forms of care created through the intersection of biopolitics and humanitarian discourses. Ipshita holds a BA from LSR college, Delhi University and MSc from Oxford University where she was awarded a national scholarship. She was awarded the Humane Studies Fellowship to complete her dissertation research in 2018-19. Ipshita also holds an MPA from Maxwell School, Syracuse University. She has previously worked as a research consultant for civil society organizations in India and as an Assistant Professor at Delhi University.

Greer, Matthew  Email:

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:

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

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:

Morgan Ireland

Jackson, Jonathan
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:

Khalid, Zainab Eamil:

Khalil, Hamza Email:

Hamza Khalil

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 fourth-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.

McDaniel-Bouley, Julia  Email:

Julia McDaniel-Bouley
Julia is a graduate student in cultural anthropology at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service in 2018. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and French Language and Literature from SUNY Geneseo in 2012. 

 Julia has worked with community planning and female empowerment in Rwanda while in the Peace Corps. She has also conducted leadership research and training at the NYU Stern School of Business for five years. She has studied international affairs, policy, and leadership in developing contexts for over 13 years. Her current research concerns policy, empowerment, and leadership among female Somali Bantu refugees in urban areas. 

Olesch, Dana

Dana Olesch

Ortiz-Valdez, Fabiola  
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.

Perucchio, Giulia
Giulia Perucchio

Platt, Sarah
Sarah Platt
Sarah is currently a PhD candidate and her research focuses on the southeastern metropolis of Charleston, South Carolina at its economic and sociopolitical height in the eighteenth century. Utilizing a multi-faceted approach, Sarah is unpacking the social and material networks as the center on and unfold from one urban town lot, 87 Church Street (currently The Heyward-Washington House owned and operated as a house museum by The Charleston Museum), across generations of human occupants – both free and enslaved – from 1730 to 1792. Her research is entirely collections based, her field site a museum storeroom, and she is invested in creative uses of legacy collections and data in the face of the ongoing “collections crises.” She received her B.A. in anthropology with minors in history and museum studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2013 and her M.A. from Syracuse University in 2018.   She just completed a two-year residency with The Charleston Museum with the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Over the course of her residency she worked extensively on public interpretation projects both at The Charleston Museum and McLeod Plantation Historic Site, and is particularly interested in interpreting difficult histories to the public. Sarah joined the team at the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) based out of the archaeology lab at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia as an Archaeological Analyst in May 2019. 

Posega, Jessica  Email: 
Jessica Posega

Ramchandani, Taapsi  

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. 

Sanchez, Shaundel

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
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   Email:

Jay Sharma

Sly, David  Email:
David Sly

Dave, an Anthropology doctoral student, graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  Following his graduation from RIT, Dave served for 14 months in Southern Baghdad, Iraq and 6 months in Khost Province, Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, and was later selected to receive the 2012 MacArthur Leadership Award. After leaving active service, Dave spent 5 years working in alternative education, which included leading an outdoor adventure therapy program for at-risk youth. As an Anthropology student, Dave is interested in identity formation and post-conflict reintegration, with a geographic focus on Europe and North America.

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:

Weinstein, Alisa  Email:

Alisa Weinstein

Werner, William

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.