Anthropology Faculty Win Both Outstanding Scholar Awards for College of Arts and Sciences

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Dr. Cheryl Claassen
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Dr. Gwendolyn Robbins-Schug

At the 2010 College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards Ceremony, both outstanding scholar awards went to Department of Anthropology Faculty. Visit the University News story here: http://www.news.appstate.edu/2010/11/23/claassen-and-robbins-schug/.

Dr. Cheryl Claassen

Dr. Cheryl Claassen was awarded the Donald W. Sink Outstanding Scholar Award for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Claassen arrived at ASU in 1983 shortly after completing her PhD in anthropology from Harvard University. Since her arrival, her work has been voluminous and highly original, combining the depth of archaeological specialization with the breadth of anthropological perspectives on the human experience. During her career at ASU, she has published seven books with such outstanding presses as Cambridge University and the University of Pennsylvania; a 145 page monograph in a classic monograph series entitled Historical Archaeology; some 55 scholarly articles and book chapters. She has received three grants from the NSF, served for six years as the editor of the Regendering the Past book series published by the University of Pennsylvania, and has been the keynote speaker at several national and international conferences.

This level of productivity – on the average, a book every four years, two articles each and every year, plus everything else – has been remarkably consistent and persistent. And Dr. Claassen gives no indication of slowing down. Her work has not only been voluminous, but it has been highly original, groundbreaking, and agenda-setting. As just one example, Professor Kenneth Sassaman of the University of Florida refers to her work “as a benchmark of contemporary thinking in archaeology” that has been “agenda setting and highly provocative.” Professor Sassaman, commenting on Dr. Claassen's most recent book, Feasting with Shellfish in the Southern Ohio Valley, writes “…my students and I will be drawing on this work to guide us through our own, …as will the younger generation of archaeologists and those who follow who are not afraid to treat the deep past with the same humanistic inquiry and theorizing of contemporary ethnographers and cultural theorists.”

Dr. Gwendolyn Robbins-Schug

Dr. Gwendolyn Robbins-Schug was awarded the William C. Strickland Outstanding Young Faculty Award for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Currently in her fourth year as Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Robbins-Schug came to ASU at a time when the department, already one of the largest purely undergraduate programs in the U.S., was ready to build its curriculum in biological anthropology. She was immediately thrust into spearheading that effort. In conjunction with colleagues, she has developed a full and rigorous concentration in this subfield. Her efforts in building this program have resulted in a second position in biological anthropology for the department and a growing interest in the subfield among students. Dr. Robbins-Shug has established herself as a top researcher.

Since coming to ASU, she has five journal publications, all in top tier journals like American Antiquity and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. She also has a forthcoming chapter in a book to be published by the University of Oklahoma Press, two encyclopedia entries, there published abstracts, and a forthcoming book to be published by the University Press of Florida. Dr. Clark Spencer Larsen, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Ohio State University, writes of her forthcoming book, “It will be a major contribution in bioarchaeological research and it address a timely and important topic, climate change and human adaptation in the past.” Dr. Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Evolution and Organismal Biology at Ohio State and editor of both the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and the Journal of Human Evolution, commenting on Gwen’s overall work, writes “Gwen is clearly making an impact on the field of physical anthropology.”


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