Dr. L. Jill Loucks Memorial Award for Outstanding Senior in Anthropology

loucks_pic_0.jpgEvery year the department faculty select an outstanding graduating senior or seniors to receive the Dr. L. Jill Loucks Memorial Award for Outstanding Senior in Anthropology. In addition to having their name engraved on a plaque, the winner will also receive a modest financial stipend (in the event that there are multiple winners, they will split the prize).

Dr. L. Jill Loucks (1953-1982) was a dedicated archaeologist and member of the faculty for three years before her untimely death. Her parents and friends created an endowment to help recognize superlative achievement amongst eligible graduating students by presenting them with the Dr. L. Jill Loucks Memorial Award for Outstanding Senior in Anthropology. 







2018-2019 Recipient

Patrick James


jamessmall_0.jpg"I am deeply honored to be chosen as Outstanding Senior. My accomplishments at Appalachian State would have been impossible without ongoing conversation with peers, encouragement from family, and especially, the brilliant instruction and criticism I was fortunate to receive from our wonderful faculty in the anthropology department. My interests in anthropology lie at the nexus between writing, psychoanalysis, and processes of violence in the Anthropocene, and my education at Appalachian has lead me to a Master’s program in Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, where I will pursue a research project, situated in a deep crisis of the Anthropocene, considering the psychological, affective, and material worlds of non-industrial fishermen on the coast of Venezuela. As I moved toward graduation, Dr. Carter and Dr. Mines helped me think about how my passion for poetry and writing might be integral in ethnographic practice. Their courses in which we discussed the politics of representation, anti-positivist methods, phenomenology, and violence have been foundational for my intellectual development. In these courses, my interests in writing took on a new meaning. Poetry and the art of representing became a political and intellectual imperative. They opened me to new ideas that provide deep meaning for my life, especially from texts that situate ethnographic practice within a history of philosophy. Together we questioned the strange paradox, that everyday life feels spectral because we are always already embedded within it. What happens when we break through the surface, and see ourselves from outside? Always under the surface of the ethnographic endeavor are questions about the human condition and the ambiguous status of reality. These are questions that take everything to answer, and I hope to commit my life to trying.

Receiving this award is incredibly meaningful to me as a young scholar, especially in our current political and ecological juncture. In the United States, where the economic forces of capital and materialism create cultural forces that shape how we can and cannot live our lives, to study anthropology is a political choice. Anthropologists take seriously the danger of alienation, climate collapse, repression, and fascism, and therefore, it is indispensable that we have good ones. I feel that I have been prepared to continue after graduation with a perspective that is critical of the alienating forces that are inchoate in the world, and I hope to contribute to critical discourses in ways that are creative and politically charged. As I go to graduate school and into a career, I will remain thankful to the wonderful scholars in the Appalachian State anthropology department, who have provided endless guidance and support. Specifically, I will be forever grateful to Dr. Carter for the mentorship and investment he has given me during these years. In classes and in conversation he inspired me to take action, to write, to question, and to be tenacious. I am certain that anthropology is a world changing and world building endeavor, and it has influenced me to want to build a world that is a refuge, rather than one that creates refugees. As my time at Appalachian winds to a close, I think of the dark ridgeline outside my apartment window. It glows amber as the sun descends." -- Patrick James

Application Guidelines

Graduating seniors (May and August, and December of previous year) are invited by the faculty in the spring to submit an application. The following criteria are used in selection of the awardee:

  • Grade Point Average (a minimum 3.5 GPA is required--Cumulative and Anthropology Major)
  • Professional Activities (i.e. attendance at professional meetings, presentation of professional paper, membership in professional organizations and ASUAS, anthropological internships and field school/study abroad participation)
  • Honors and Awards
  • Intent to Continue in Anthropology (i.e. application to graduate schools, involvement in anthropological work as career)

Past Recipients

  • 1982-1983 Virginia D. Myers and Linda J. Reed
  • 1983-1984 James A. Sparks
  • 1984-1985 A. Richard Piland III
  • 1985-1986 Bradley C. Allen and Eustace R. Conway
  • 1986-1987 Holly J. Greene and Sarah L. Horton
  • 1987-1988 J. Daniel Humphries
  • 1988-1989 Christopher D. Conner and Frank H. Callis III
  • 1989-1990 Karissa G. Mackey
  • 1990-1991 Alan Davis McIntyre and Katherine Anne Robinson
  • 1991-1992 Melissa Rae Schrift
  • 1992-1993 Sarah W. Cohen and Kathleen D. Fowler
  • 1993-1994 Karla J. Schilling
  • 1994-1995 Jonas J. Monast
  • 1995-1996 Hubert L. Cox and Satomi Imai
  • 1996-1997 Jodie D. Manross and Russell S. Quick
  • 1997-1998 Celia Denice Hefner and Robert Rikard
  • 1998-1999 Elizabeth Ellen Arnold
  • 1999-2000 Jennifer Leigh Bonnet and Lindsay Kathleen Wetmore
  • 2000-2001 James Hal Dobbins III and Elizabeth K. Uselton
  • 2001-2002 Michael J. Sheridan and Nancy E. McCamey
  • 2002-2003 Kristina M. Stoeppler and Elizabeth L. Laney
  • 2003-2004 Heather E. Moore
  • 2004-2005 Caroline V. Ketron and Joanne M. Rasmussen
  • 2005-2006 Angela E. Henderson
  • 2006-2007 Elizabeth Brandt
  • 2007-2008 Matthew J. Bouchard
  • 2008-2009 Mary Elizabeth Compton
  • 2009-2010 Brittany Glarrow
  • 2010-2011 Karen A. Stevens
  • 2011-2012 Caitline R. Patton
  • 2012-2013 Alexandra Drebitko
  • 2013-2014 Kelly Elaine Blevins
  • 2014-2015 Savannah Carter and Stevie Ray Wunder
  • 2015-2016 Jillian Ingle
  • 2016-2017 Rebecca Long
  • 2017-2018 Autumn Melby