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Three members of Maxwell School faculty earn promotion

June 18, 2020

Scott Landes

Scott Landes

Shannon Novak

Shannon A. Novak

A.H. Peter Castro

A.H. Peter Castro

At their year-end meeting in early May, the Syracuse University Board of Trustees approved promotions for three Maxwell School members.

One, sociologist Scott Landes, was granted tenure while being promoted to associate professor.Landes, who joined the faculty in 2017, is also a faculty associate in SU’s Aging Studies Institute and a faculty research affiliate in Maxwell’s Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion. His research interests include medical sociology, disability, and aging and the life course, with a specific focus on health and mortality trends across the life course for those with developmental disability, and for veterans. His research also addresses the intersections of intellectual disability and social theory. Landes is currently principal investigator on a project titled “Erroneous Coding of Developmental Disabilities as Underlying Cause of Death,” funded for $140,610 by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Aging. He is the author or co-author of more than 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters. Landes earned his PhD from the University of Florida in 2014.

Anthropologist Shannon A. Novak, who joined Maxwell in 2006, has been promoted to the rank of professor. Novak is a biocultural anthropologist, whose archaeological research focuses on political and gender violence; historical memory, movement, and materiality; and multiple ontologies of the body. She has conducted extensive research on the Mountain Meadows massacre of 1857, about which she wrote House of Mourning: A Biocultural History of the Mountain Meadows Massacre (2008, University of Utah Press); and the Donner Party tragedy of 1846-47, which led to the edited volume, An Archaeology of Desperation (2011, University of Oklahoma Press, with Kelly J. Dixon and Julie M. Schablitsky). Both books received the James Deetz Award from the Society for Historical Archaeology. More recently, she completed a major bioarchaeological project at Spring Street Presbyterian Church in lower Manhattan, which had supported a multi-racial, abolitionist congregation in the early 19th century; and started an ethnographic project focusing on the materiality of ritual practices among Guyanese Hindus in New York City and Toronto. She is a former recipient of Syracuse University’s Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award and, in 2010, won the Maxwell School’s Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for promising untenured faculty members. She received her PhD in 1999 from the University of Utah.

A. Peter Castro, also an anthropologist, was promoted to professor while being named the new Robert D. McClure Professor of Teaching Excellence. (For more on that appointment, see this previous announcement.) Castro is an applied cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the environment and development planning, especially in East Africa. He has written or edited five books, and is the author of numerous articles appearing in such journals as the Journal of International and Global Studies, the Journal of Development Studies, and World Development. In addition to his research and teaching, Castro frequently consults with external organizations, including the New East Foundation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, and the United States Agency for International Development. He was a recipient of Syracuse University’s Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, having served on dozens of dissertation committees and as primary advisor to 10 PhDs. He himself received his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1988 and joined the Maxwell faculty that year.


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