Locally Engaged Research

Locally Engaged Research (ANTH 3336/5336) provides students with hands-on experience conducting applied anthropology research in local settings. See below for a description of previous class projects:

2021 and 2023

In 2021 and 2023, the class partnered with CERC to collaborate with local non-profits to address research-related needs the non-profits had. In 2021 the class worked with 212 Catalysts, the DJ Bling Foundation, and the Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTM). 

In 2023 the class worked with Girlstart, The Man in Me, and Texas Legislative Black Caucus (the photo is from the day the 2023 class presented the results of their projects to their non-profit partners). 

Meals on Wheels Video Thumbnail


In 2020 the class worked with Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX).

Building on MA student Christine Bonagurio's thesis research, the class designed and conducted a survey of MOWCTX clients and developed the following video (with the help of Texas State communications student Andrew Wright) to highlight the study findings. The overall purpose of the project was to explain, to state legislators and others, the non-meal-related benefits MOWCTX meal deliveries provide.


In 2018 undergraduate and graduate students partnered with researchers from the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University to assess how people living in Central Texas feel about allocating scarce medical resources (like mechanical ventilators) in an emergency situation (like a flu or coronavirus pandemic).

Using deliberative democracy, the students collected data in both Colorado County and San Antonio and then analyzed the results. The overall purpose of the project was to provide recommendations to medical, public health and state leaders about the ethical allocation of scarce medical resources given the local ethical context. Students in the class also created a poster (see below) that was presented at the 2019 Society for Applied Anthropology meeting in Portland, OR.

Download Class Poster


Community Research ClassIn 2016 the class partnered with the Hays County Food Bank.

The purpose of the project was to facilitate the efforts of the Hays County Food Bank (HCFB) by investigating hunger, food insecurity and awareness of the food bank within Hays County and to make recommendations based on the research findings. Using a mixed methods approach involving direct observation, interviews and community surveys the class wrote a report for the HCFB board and a small contingent of class members made a presentation to the organization (the photo below was taken at the time of the presentation).