With the 2021-2022 school year coming to a close, it’s time to discuss Anthropology’s good news from this year!


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

  • Hill, M. A. (2021) Comment on Miller: Ritual, labor mobilization, and monumental construction in small-scale societies: The case of Adena and Hopewell in the Middle Ohio River Valley. Current Anthropology 62:2 pp. 181-182

Dr. Cailin Murray

  •  Murray, C (In press) Don’t say his name. In Living with Monsters, edited by Yasmine Musharbash. Punctum Books. https://punctumbooks.com/titles/living-with-monsters-ethnographic-fiction-about-real-monsters/

Dr. Robert Phillips

In Fall 2021, Robert Phillips along with Adi Saleem Bharat (Michigan) and Pavan Mano (King’s College London) edited a special issue of the Journal of Language and Sexuality focused on a long-running LGBTQ movement in Singapore. In the article, Pride Month: Reimagining Queer Protest in Singapore, Dr. Phillips shares some of his research and observations.

He also published an ethnography, Virtual Activism: Sexuality, the Internet, and a Social Movement in Singapore, which chronicles an ongoing LGBT rights struggle in Southeast Asia.

He has published two articles with a recent graduate Emma Cieslik (BA Biology, Minor Anthropology; Spanish 2021).

  • Cieslik, E. and Phillips, R. (2021) You’re my first Jew: University Student and Professor Experiences of Judaism in a Small Indiana City. Contemporary Jewry. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12397-021-09389-9
  • Cieslik, E. and Phillips, R. (2022) Veiled heads, venerating hearts: examining Catholic re-veiling practices in the United States post-Vatican II. The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society.

Dr. Caity Placek

  • Placek, C., & Lightner, A. (2022). Moralizing gods, local gods, and complexity in Hindu god concepts: Evidence from South India. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 12(1-2), 97–115.
  • Purzycki, B. G., Willard, A. K., Klocová, E. K., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Bolyanatz, A., … & Ross, C. T. (2022). The moralization bias of gods’ minds: a cross-cultural test. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 12(1-2), 38-60.
  • Vardy, T., Moya, C., Placek, C. D., Apicella, C. L., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., … & Atkinson, Q. D. (2022). The religiosity gender gap in 14 diverse societies. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 12(1-2), 18-37.
  • Baimel, A., Apicella, C., Atkinson, Q., Bolyanatz, A., Cohen, E., Handley, C., … & Purzycki, B. (2022). Material insecurity predicts greater commitment to moralistic and less commitment to local deities: a cross-cultural investigation. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 12(1-2), 4-17.

Dr. Jennifer Erickson

  • Named Assistant Director of Middletown Studies to begin summer 2022.
  • Awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholars Program grant for “The Good Life: Examining Everyday Life in Postwar/Postindustrial Zenica to study in Bosnia-Herzegovina” for Spring 2022. Unfortunately she was not able to go because Ball State was not allowing international travel to countries with travel warnings for Covid19.
  • Led an immersive learning course on Muncie Parks and Rec for the fall 2021 ethnographic methods class. Learn more about the class on this blog.
  • “Diversity in the Dakotas: Lessons in Intercultural Policies.” Vulnerable Communities: Research, Policy and Practice, edited by James J. Connolly, Dagney G. Faulk, and Emily J. Wornell. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.


Dorien Scheets (BS Summa Cum Laude December 2021) is pursuing an MA in Applied Human Rights at the University of York (UK).

Abby Clifton (BS 2018 and ED 2019) has been named the Assistant Director of the Office of Student Financial Services at IUPUI.

Kody Kirby (BS 2014) is an Interpretive Naturalist at McCormick’s Creek State Park working for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Whitney Lingle (BS 2012, MA expected 2022) is Executive Director of MONTCO SAAC, a nonprofit organization delivering meals on wheels and other social services for elderly residents in Philadelphia, PA.

Chelsey Blair (BS 2015) was accepted into City University of Seattle counseling graduate program and started classes in Fall 2020.

Gwyneth Harris, 2021’s outstanding senior, was accepted with funding into the MA program in folklore at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

The department brought Jesse Fivecoate (BA 2012) to campus last March to present on his dissertation research for his Folklore Ph.D. at IU. His talk was Haunted Histories: Remembering and Forgetting the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Abby (Clark) Clifton (BA 2018) received her MA in Higher Education form BSU in 2019. She is currently working as an Assistant Director, Office of Student Financial Services. at IUPUI. She also met with ANTH 414 students this spring to discuss her adventures after her BA.

Kevin Cupka-Head (BA 2007, MA 2010) serves as the Director, Center for Archaeological Research, Department of Anthropology, Missouri State University. He is also a Ph.D. candidate, University of Illinois, specializing in historical archaeology.

Justin Fleetwood-Goolsby (BS Magna Cum Laude 2018)) received his MA (2020) in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University. His research focused on gentrification in Harlem.

Kody Kirby (BA 2014) received his MA in Anthropology from the University of Memphis, completed his practicum work up in Alaska, and somewhere along the line ended up becoming a park ranger! He has been primarily working out west (Washington & Nevada), however he recently accepted employment as a naturalist with Indiana State Parks near Bloomington. For him the transition from environmental anthropology to natural resource management made perfect sense, but he says it took a lot of convincing others along the way. Kody also met with ANTH 414 students this spring to discuss his work.

Ariana Method (BA 2021) was accepted in the Human Biology Graduate Program at the University of Indianapolis. The program combines forensics and biological anthropology.

Bre Myers (BS Cum Laude May 2019) was accepted into Emory’s biological anthropology graduate program. Abby Clifton (BA 2018) and two anthropology alumni, Savannah Myers (BS 2017) and Chelce Carter (MA 2017) ANTH 414 in spring 2021. The capstone course, ANTH 414, will also be regularly engaged with alumni. All students in the class need to interview a Ball State alumnus, preferably in anthropology, if possible.

Maxine (Tish) Neiberg (MA 2014) received her Masters in Forensic Sciences at National University and is expecting her Doctor of Education from Walden University this year. She is currently teaching courses at Community College of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Oh, and she dropped by the office several days ago to say “Hi”!

Tyler Reinholt (BA 2017) has accepted a position as an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management in Barstow, CA.

Dorien Scheets (BA Summa Cum Laude December 2020) is pursuing an MA in Applied Human Rights at the University of York (UK).

Samantha (Sammy) Turner (BS Summa Cum Laude December 2021), December 2021 made it through the U.S round for Fulbright. She is waiting for her country to accept her. She is hoping to go to Laos. She recently sent me an email from Ecuador on her way back from the Galapagos. She LOVED the Galapagos and Quito.

If you know of other alumni news, please send their good news our way!

Current Students

On March 21, 2022, Zoe Lawton (‘22), Reganne O’Connor (‘23), Virginia Carter (‘23), and Claire Dorsch (‘22) participated in the Society for American Archaeology Ethics Bowl in Chicago, Illinois. They represented Ball State and the Department of Anthropology very well!

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