Deborah Pellow to receive Wasserstrom Prize for Graduate Teaching

May 9, 2019 | Rob Enslin

Deb PellowDeborah Pellow, professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, is the 2019 recipient of the William Wasserstrom Prize for the Teaching of Graduate Students.

A&S Dean Karin Ruhlandt will confer the prize on her at the Graduate School Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on Friday, May 10.

The prize memorializes William Wasserstrom, a noted English professor at Syracuse, who died in 1985. “Deborah Pellow embodies his approach as a graduate seminar leader, research and dissertation director, advisor and role model,” Ruhlandt says.

A multidisciplinary scholar, Pellow specializes in urban studies, the anthropology of space and place, and feminism, with emphasis on West Africa. 

She is the author of five books, including the forthcoming “Living Afar, Longing for Home: The Role of Place in the Creation of the Dagomba New Elite”—drawing on more than four decades of research in Ghana, the past 15 years of which have been spent in the country's Northern Region.

Douglas Armstrong, professor and chair of anthropology in A&S and Maxwell, notes the “strong bond” between Pellow and her graduate students. “It is a relationship characterized by intensive mentoring and impressive dedication,” he says.

Armstrong also mentions Pellow’s “open-door policy,” in which she invites students into her home for a delicious meal or quiet place to study. Pellow’s Thanksgiving Dinner, in fact, is a departmental tradition. “People come for the food, but stay for the conversation,” he adds. 

Read the full article via the College of Arts and Sciences website.