May 15, 2007

Anthropology students win honors

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale's anthropology department recently recognized several students for their academic achievements.

Bethany Myers, a Carbondale native, won the Rice Graduate Essay Award for her research paper, "Yukatek as an Ethnic Identity Marker in Classic Period Mayan Texts." Three members of the anthropology department at SIUC selected the paper. The award includes a $250 grant to be used in relation to the research paper.

Paul Welch, director of graduate studies for the anthropology department, said Myers' paper fulfilled the additional requirements of addressing a significant anthropological research question, used a proper data set, a coherent and relevant synthesis of the research results and explained the importance of the findings in a broader anthropological context.

Myers is in the midst of a six-month research trip to Guatemala, where she is working on an archaeological excavation with SIUC anthropologists Prudence and Don Rice, the two professors who established the award. Myers' research interests include Maya hieroglyphic writing, iconography and language. She earned her bachelor's degree from SIUC and her master's degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Undergraduate student Bridgett A. Williams, from Springfield, won the Anthropology Undergraduate Essay Award for her paper, "Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic Human Dental Reduction: An Analysis of Competing Theories." Williams also earned an Excellence in Anthropology Award with high honors.