former chair of anthropology

Dr. Homes Hogue

Hello, all! Alas, I am pleased to report that I am retiring this upcoming May! I have been at Ball State for 15 years and it is time to hang up my hat. I very much enjoyed working with students especially in my Human Osteology course … Do you remember what a nutrient foramen is? … Or the foramen magnum?

Dr. Robert Phillips has agreed to serve as Interim Chair and Dr. Jennifer Erickson will continue as Assistant Chair.


In Fall 2021, Dr. Jennifer Erickson involved 15 students in an immersive-learning course “Parks and Recreation.” Dr. Erickson has also been working with new Afghani refugees moving to Muncie. Check out her new book on refugees: Race-ing Fargo: Refugees, Citizenship, and the Transformation of Small Cities. She presented her research during a Big Questions, Big Ideas event with the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department in December 2021.

This past summer, Dr. Mark Groover led an archaeological field school at Hyland Mill, Eaton, Indiana with 12 undergraduate students.

Dr. Mark Hill continues his work on copper sourcing. He has a recent publication in Current Anthropology.

Dr. Cailin Murray continues to wow students in her Monsters class. She has a related forthcoming book chapter on the topic, Living with Monsters.

Dr. Robert Phillips has published two articles with a recent graduate Emma Cieslik (BA Biology, minor Anthropology; Spanish 2021), including “You’re my first Jew: University Student and Professor Experiences of Judaism in a Small Indiana City.”

Dr. Caitlyn Placek continues her work on opioid use in Indiana and recently published in Maternal and Child Health Journal.

Unfortunately, Dr. Kelly Ontl resigned last June to pursue other academic endeavors at Unity College in Maine.


Ahh yes! There is COVID. We all have survived to date.

Because of COVID, the Department hosted a Graduating Senior Event last spring outside on the quad. At this event Gwenyth Harris (BS 2021, Summa Cum Laude) was selected as the Outstanding Graduating Senior and Saviona Williams was selected as the Outstanding Junior by the department.


The department hosted a face-to-face Undergraduate Symposium on April 22, 2022. You can check out some photos from the event.

Oh, and congrats to the Anthropology Club for raising $715 during their Book Sale held this spring.

Anthro students representing at the Ethics Bowl. L to r: Zoe Lawton, Virginia Carter, Claire Dorsch, and Reganne O’Conner

ANTH 414 undergraduate students, Virginia Carter, Claire Dorsch, Zoe Lawton, and Reganne O’Connor, participated in the 17th Annual Ethics Bowl sponsored by the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). The competition was part of the SAA Annual meeting held March 30-April 3, 2022 in Chicago, IL. Dr. Jennifer Erickson served as their faculty mentor for the event.

“I will forever recommend undergraduate students to attend conferences. I got the chance recently to attend the 87th annual SAA (Society for American Archaeology) meeting in Chicago IL. This is one of the larger conferences, with this year having over 2,000 people registered. My experiences with the SAA Ethics Bowl was the highlight of my time in Chicago. My team and I spent many weeks in preparation. We discussed many things and read many codes of ethics. I am now more knowledgeable in archaeological ethics, with the ethics bowl giving push in the right direction. During the competition I got to speak with graduate students, and debate ethics with them as well. It was a phenomenal public speaking activity, and you do have to test yourself, but it is truly worth it. After the Ethics Bowl forum, I felt more in confident in myself and my teammates. We would like to compete in the next ethics bowl, which will be held in Portland OR. During the conference we were able to network and showcase our research interests to professional archaeologists. I also used this time to go to local museums in the Chicago area, which I very much enjoyed. These museums also sparked conversions in ethics, which I would have never had these conversions without the Ethics Bowl. I am proud of myself and my teammates for stepping out of our boundaries and reaping all the benefits of being undergrads at a professional conference. ”

–Zoe Lawton, ‘22

“Being able to attend the Society for American Archaeology conference in Chicago and compete in the Ethics Bowl competition has been a phenomenal experience, and I want nothing more than to thank all of the amazing individuals that made it possible. Discussion of archaeological ethics is integral to the future of the field, and after watching other teams compete as well as competing myself, I can confidently say that the future of American archaeologists is looking bright. This trip was so much fun, and I hope I can attend next year!”

–Reganne O’Connor, ‘23

Ok, so have a great summer, stay safe, and please let us know what you are doing!

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