Departmental News

News Archive

Keep up-to-date on all the latest Anthropology Department News below, or view our news archive to check out our past news and events.

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  • Spring 2024

    • Congratulations to on graduate students, Petra Banks and Krysten Cruz (both mentored by Nick Herrmann) who are semi-finalists for the Fullbright Student Program.  As the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the United States government, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is highly competitive, and being selected as a semi-finalist is itself a noteworthy success. 

    • Brown Bag | Friday, February 9 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm | ELA 245 and Online via Zoom
      Speaker | Dr. Palakyém Stephen Mouzou | Fulbright Visiting Scholar
      Talk Title | Coherence and Cohesion in Political Discourse in Togo

      Brown Bag | Friday, March 1 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm | ELA 245 and Online via Zoom
      Speaker | Dr. Carolyn Boyd | Shumla Endowed Research Professor 
      Talk Title | Origins and Tenacity of Myth, Ritual, and Cosmology in Archaic Period Rock Art of Southwest Texas and Northern Mexico

      Speaker’s Series | Friday, April 12 | 3:00 - 4:00 pm | Online via Zoom
      Speaker | Dr. Servando Hinojosa | Professor of Anthropology, UT Rio Grande Valley
      Talk Title | Mexican American Folk Medicine in Local Perspective

      Speaker’s Series | Friday, April 26 | 3:00 - 4:00 pm | Online via Zoom
      Speaker | Dr. Lynn Stephen | Professor of Anthropology, Philip H. Knight Chair, University of Oregon
      Talk Title | Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls: Insights from Guatemala

    • Congratulations to Dr. Todd Ahlman and CAS for receiving an award in the amount of $1,155,893 from the Department of the Army Installation Management Command, for a project entitled “Intergovernmental Support Agreement Between Fort Leonard Wood and Texas State University”.   

      Dr. Ahlman and CAS were also just awarded two contracts from the City of New Braunfels in the amount of $138,561.

    • Coherence and Cohesion in Political Discourse in Togo

      Coherence and Cohesion in Political Discourse in Togo

      Dr. Palakyém Stephen Mouzou | Fulbright Visiting Scholar  
      12:00 - 1:00 PM, ELA 245 and via Zoom

    • Dr. Emily Brunson, Anthropology, has been appointed to the Executive Committee for the Societal Experts Action Network of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. During this 2-year appointment she will represent TXST, and anthropology, at a national level.

    • Join us for the 2024 Texas State University Anthropology Research Conference to hear students share some of their research! 

      The Anthropology Student Research Conference, will be held in person and include morning and afternoon paper sessions and a poster session in between, and lunch will be provided.

      For more information or to register, visit the AASRC website

      Friday, April 5, 2024 | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

    • Dr. Wescott is a Co-PI on a National Science Foundation grant tilled "Developing a new method for the identification of cancer in archaeological populations." The PI is Dr. Carina Marques from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Other collaborators include Dr. Jane Buikstra from Arizona State University and Drs. Maria Marques and Vitor Matos from the Universidade De Coimbra. Part of the project will involve the use of the Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection and the high resolution computed tomography system in the Grady Early laboratory. 

    • Anthropology Career Workshop | 2024

      Join the Department of Anthropology for our 2023 Career Workshop.  Students are invited to explore job prospects and career options with an Anthropology Degree. 

      Event Date | Thursday, April 4th, 2023  
      Event Time | 4:30pm – 5:30 p.m.  
      Target Audience | Current TXST undergraduate Anthropology majors and minors

      The workshop will consist of a 65 minute program featuring both faculty presentations a question and answer session.

      Registration Now Open

    • Congratulations to doctoral student Sameeha Vardhan (mentor Dr. Angela VandenBroek) who has received a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Research Grant for $1500 in recognition of superior academic record and life/career ambitions.  The organization only gives out 20 of these annually. 

    • Congratulations to Dr. Danny Wescott who is a Co-PI on a recently awarded National Science Foundation grant tilled "Developing a new method for the identification of cancer in archaeological populations." The grant is for $289,935 and Texas State will be receiving $37,450. The PI is Dr. Carina Marques from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Other collaborators include Dr. Jane Buikstra from Arizona State University and Drs. Maria Marques and Vitor Matos from the Universidade De Coimbra. Part of the project will involve the use of the Texas State Donated Skeletal Collection and the high-resolution computed tomography system in the Grady Early laboratory.

    • At the Texas Academy of Science meeting March 1 and 2, 2024, Bec Krolczyk presented their research and received the Undergraduate Anthropology section 1st Place poster award. 

      Doctoral students Stephanie Baker and Theresa De Cree both won $1000 in the Annual Student Research Award Competition to help fund their dissertation research.

    • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society announced its recipients of its Graduate Research Grant completion for career development. Hilda Torres, archaeology PhD student at Texas State, was among the 20 recipients nation-wide.

    • Silicon Island Project

      Texas State professor Angela K. VandenBroek has been appointed to the advisory board for the project "Silicon Island: Building Equitable Tech Futures in Out of the Way Places." The research project spearheaded by Dr. Samantha Breslin (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen) was funded by the Independent Research Fund of Denmark for DKK 3.2 million in order to explore "What does it mean for 'out of the way' places to build technological futures, and how can these futures reproduce or reconfigure social and economic inequalities?" Dr. VandenBroek will share her expertise on the Swedish entrepreneurial ecosystem to support the project during this two-year appointment.


    • Practicing Anthropology Journal

      The newly relaunched applied anthropology journal, Practicing Anthropology, has published its inaugural issue featuring a special section edited by Dr. Angela K. VandenBroek and Dr. Lora Koycheva (Technoscience Studies, Brandenburg Technical University). The section explores innovation sandboxes—how innovative practices are separated and nurtured within a confined, risk-controlled environment, akin to a child’s sandbox—and the impacts this has on innovation across entrepreneurship, UX, theater, policy, and applied anthropological consulting.


    • Congratulations to Dr. Jill Pruetz who has been awarded the title University Distinguished Professor! This award is to honor individuals at the rank of tenured professor whose performance in teaching, research, and service have been exemplary and recognized at the state, national, and international levels. She will receive a $5000 stipend and will be nominated for the Regents’ Professor award.

    • Meets the Professors Event

      Join us for the Meet the Professors lunch!  Get to know your faculty, find out about research and opportunities in the department, and learn about class options for the Spring!  

      Pizza provided.

      Friday, March 22, 2024 | 12:00 pm | ELA 245

    • Texas State University’s Ancient Southwest Texas Project (ASWT) has carried out archaeological research in Eagle Nest Canyon, Texas for over a decade. ASWT Directors Stephen Black and David Kilby, along with ASWT member Amanda Castañeda have published a sweeping collection of research papers as a special edited volume of the Journal of Texas Archeology and History (Special Volume #6). Dr. Black and Dr. Kilby are Anthropology faculty at Texas State University (TXST); Amanda Castañeda is a TXST alumnus who is now Assistant Director of the Center for Big Bend Studies at Sul Ross State University.

      The 28 research papers in The Archaeology of Eagle Nest Canyon, Texas: Papers in Honor of Jack and Wilmuth Skiles summarize ten years of archaeological investigations in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwestern Texas. It honors landowners and supporters, Jack and Wilmuth Skiles, their love of the land, and its rich human history. The extensively illustrated volume highlights state-of-the-art research at Eagle Cave and Bonfire Shelter, the best-known of the canyon’s well-preserved rockshelters, as well as seven other sites representing an archaeological record spanning over 13,000 years. While some papers focus on individual sites, others address canyon-wide or regional aspects of the archaeological record, ranging from rock art research, to specialized studies (e.g., zooarchaeology, paleobotany, radiocarbon dating), to collections-based research spanning from early prehistory through the historic railroad record. An introductory paper memorializes the Skiles and their stewardship of Eagle Nest Canyon.

      The Eagle Nest Canyon investigations were carried out by staff, professional collaborators, students, and volunteers under the auspices of ASWT and the Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center, both at TXST. The volume consists of papers by the directors and professional collaborators involved in the projects, as well as many papers that highlight the results of individual Master’s theses, doctoral work, and honors research authored by TXST students and alumni. Pages of crew photos and action images are interspersed throughout the volume. The journal is open access for all and printed versions are available for purchase. 

    • Shelby and Elisabeth

      Congratulations to Shelby Garza (advisor Dr. Kate Spradley) and Elisabeth Cuerrier-Richer (advisor Dr. Danny Wescott) who both received Dissertation Fellowships in the amount of $10,000 from Phi Kappa Phi. 

      This highly competitive, $10,000 national fellowship is awarded annually to only fifteen active Society members who are doctoral candidates and are completing dissertations. The award provides financial support during the dissertation writing process to candidates in all fields of study whose projects demonstrate a high degree of originality and significant potential for advancing knowledge in the candidates’ disciplines.  

      This year marks the second time that Texas State has had two Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship recipients in a single year —13% of the 2024 awardee pool for this prestigious national award—and the third year in a row that Texas State doctoral students have received this award. 

    • Congratulations to undergraduate student, Angus Dunn, an Anthropology major and Geography minor, won an honorable mention for his poster presentation at the inaugural Center for the Study of the Southwest Undergraduate Research Conference. Angus’ work focused on experimenting with various small animal mandibles from Northern Mexico and West Texas in making tools.  His abstract can be viewed on the CSSW Conference website.  

    • Cultural Anthropology students Afsana Akhter, Ana Lozano, Anna Huntington, Edinah Casmir, Eric Gauldin, Karla Hernandez-Swift and Shelly White participated in the 2024 annual SfAA meeting in Santa Fe, NM. In addition to their presentations, the students explored the city and the surrounding area. Ana saw snow for the first time--and built a snowman!

      Santa Fe Art Santa Fe students Santa Fe Snowman

    • Krysten Cruz

      PhD candidate in Applied Anthropology, Krysten Cruz (advisor Dr. Nick Herrmann), has been awarded the Jacob Hirsch Fellowship with the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for the 2024-2025 academic year. This fellowship will support her dissertation research on the early Mycenaean burial sample from Ancient Eleon in central Greece and provides funding for room, board, and membership and lab fees at the American School, as well as a stipend of $11,500.


  • Fall 2023

    • Dr. Conlee is a co-author on a paper titled "Assembling the early expansionary state: Wari and the southern Peruvian coast" that was given the 2022 Annual Selection award from the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology for the article that "most compellingly combined a contemporary use of theory and a robust set of archaeological data to forge new ideas in anthropological archaeology." The article is now Open Access through ScienceDirect

    • Anthropology Section Fellow, Dr. Kate Spradley, is the recipient of the first American Academy of Forensic Sciences Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Award for her efforts to create positive change. Kate served as the AAFS Diversity Outreach Committee Chair from 2020-23.

    • Dr. Taylor was featured in a "Texas State Enlighten Me" Podcast titled: "Without a Trace: The Ghosting Phenomenon." 

      You can listen here:

    • Graduate Program Workshop Event Flyer

      Thinking about graduate school in Anthropology?  Get anthropology-specific advice and guidance at the Anthropology Graduate School Workshop! 

      Event Date | Thursday, November 16, 2023  
      Event Time | 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

      Target Audience | Current Texas State Undergraduate Anthropology majors and minors that are interested in the anthropology master’s program at Texas State.

      Contact Dr. Augustine Agwuele with any questions.  

      Registration Required


    • TAS Reception Flyer

      The Department of Anthropology at Texas State invites students and other attendees of the TAS Annual Meeting to a reception to honor student research! This event will provide an opportunity to socialize and tour the newly constructed Laboratory for Archaeological Research. The reception will offer light refreshments, a short presentation on student research at TXST, and an opportunity to celebrate student contributions to archaeological research in Texas. 

      Date/Time | Friday, October 6, 2023 | 5:00 - 6:30 pm  
      Location | 1921 Old Ranch Road 12, San Marcos, TX 78666

    • Meet the professors and Pizza

      Join us for the Meet the Professors lunch!  

      Get to know your faculty, find out about research and opportunities in the department, learn about class options for the Spring, and most importantly, eat some tasty free pizza!  

      Friday, September 29 | 12:00 pm  
      ELA 245

    • 2023 Grad School Open House

      The Anthropology Department will host their annual Graduate Student Open House on Friday, October 13, 2023 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

      Students interested in pursuing a Master's or Ph.D. at Texas State should attend to learn more about our graduate degree programs, course offerings, subdisciplines, academic Centers, and more.  

      Registration information and a schedule of events can be found on the Graduate Open House page

    • Please join us in congratulating Amy Reid who recently received an award from the Texas Department of Transportation tilted “TxDOT Curation Services for NTP VIII: Curation preparation for 14 Collections and Curation Preparation and Final Curation for Several Testing and Data Recovery Projects” in the amount of $32,681 and was awarded $299,979 for the upcoming FY24 Veterans Curation Program that will employ and train student veterans who are working to rehabilitate archaeological collections and records for long-term curation and future research.

    • Congratulations to Dr. Jill Pruetz who has received a grant from the Leaky Foundation entitled “Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project – Long-term Research” in the amount of $24,992.

    • Congratulations to Dr. Aimee Villarreal who, over the summer, received an award from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) entitled “Unsettled Refuge: Sovereignty and Sanctuary in North America” for $3359.  As part of the project, she will be giving a talk and a graduate student workshop this November.

    • Manar Naser

      Manar Naser, an MA student in Cultural Anthropology, has been awarded a fellowship with the New Songs Rising Initiative. This organization aims to address that funding gap and resource Indigenous girls and their communities with abundance and intention. This 18-month fellowship for Native American and Globally-Indigenous girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth will focus on skill-building, community building, deepening fellows’ feelings of identity and self, participatory grantmaking, and mentorship.


    • Fongoli Chimpanzees

      The Fongoli, Senegal chimpanzees studied by Pruetz since 2001 will be featured in two episodes (Earth & Heat) of an upcoming documentary called 'Evolution Earth', which will air on PBS/NOVA. Episode One airs on September 6 on the Austin PBS station. Previews and clips of the chimpanzees and Pruetz can be watched on the PBS website. 


    • Reilly Retirement

      After 31 years with The Department of Anthropology, Dr. Kent Reilly has announced his retirement. Dr. Reilly has left an indelible impression on countless students, peers, and cohorts. We wish him all the best!

    • In July, Professors Bousman and Pruetz presented an invited lecture for Department of Zoology and Entomology’s Lecture Series at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The presentation discussed their recent research on landscape patterns of chimpanzee tool use at Fongoli, Senegal. These results have important implications for early hominin landscape use and for understanding the biases in the early hominin archaeological record. This research was funded by the Research Accelerator Program at Texas State University.


    • Applied Anthropology PhD candidate Molly Kaplan was recently interviewed by the New York Times on a piece titled “Scorching Heat Is Contributing to Migrant Deaths.”