Graduate Students

University of Louisville, Anthropology Department, Graduate Students

 

Isabel Abarca

BA: Anthropology (minor in Spanish), College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.

With a focus on cultural anthropology, my research interests are in race, ethnicity, identity, inequality, higher education, and Latinx studies. My MA thesis focuses on the experiences and motivations among Latinx students within a higher education context. I was particularly drawn to UofL's Master of Arts in anthropology program because of the wide range of classes offered as well as the variety of research interests of the faculty.

Contact: isabel.abarca@louisville.edu

Rebecca Coffield

In 2017 I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Louisville. During my undergraduate career, I took several Anthropology electives that sparked my interest on the topic. I’ve always been fascinated with forensic analysis and the identification of historical artifacts, which helped anchor my decision to study Archaeology. I have a strong interest in the curatorial/analytical processes, which I intend to make my career goal.

Cenetria Crockett

BA: History (minor in Anthropology), Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN.

My research interests include historical and environmental archaeology, cultural resource management, and collections management. I have experience in the museum industry through my work with the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa with the University of Memphis and Elvis Presley's Graceland. I selected the University of Louisville for my graduate studies because of the hands-on experiences and learning styles offered. 

Contact: cenetria.crockett@louisville.edu

Mekenzie Davis

BA: History and Anthropology, University of Louisville.

Some of my main research interests include bioarchaeology, paleopathology, structural inequality and violence, and gender. Other areas of interest include labor history and historical epidemiology. Among many reasons, the warm and supportive community drew me back to the U of L Department of Anthropology to pursue an MA.

Contact: mekenzie.davis@louisville.edu

Stephanie Dooley
BA, Anthropology

Research interests: My research interests include ceramic analysis, historical archaeology and GIS.

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Jordan Durham
BA Anthropology &  BA History
Graduate Teaching Assistant 

My primary research interests are lithic technology, experimental archaeology, and migration patterns of modern humans.  My area of focus is the colonization of Japan and the earliest sites of occupation.  Other research interests include paleoenvironmental reconstruction, cultural/technological evolution, and human dispersal.

 

Kat Flood

BA: Cultural Anthropology (with minors in Geology and Forensics), Kent State University.

My research interests are in experimental archaeology with a focus on bone and stone tool technology. I also have interests in biological anthropology and have a background in forensics via field work and shadowing at medical examiners office.  I have a few published papers and these can be found linked on my ResearchGate. For my future endeavors, I intend to get my PhD and work as a professor and to work in a museum with a focus on collections and public engagement. 

Contact: kat.flood@louisville.edu

Benjamin Harlan

BA: Anthropology, University of Louisville.

I am interested in social activism, community building and the impacts of neoliberalism. My thesis focuses on how social activism shapes and is shaped by the nonprofit sector. My experience with the exceptional faculty brought me back for my graduate degree.

Contact: benjamin.harlan@louisville.edu

Misty Lane Kupka
BA, Anthropology
MA, Social Work

Research interest: My research interests in the MA Anthropology program are:  humanitarian aid, voluntourism and other service/learning abroad programs, environmental justice and political ecology, specifically development pressures and land dispossession.

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Jacob McCue

BA: English (minor in Teaching English as a Foreign Language), St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

I am interested in experimental archaeology with a focus on lithic technology, which I see it as a great avenue to understanding the choices and decision our ancestors made in making ancient tools that sparked our creative capacity. My other interests revolve around public archaeology (making archaeology accessible to everyone), museum curation, and the discovery of new archaeological information through survey and excavation. Regionally, I am broadly interested in the history, culture, archaeology, and architecture of Japan, as well as the history, culture and archaeology of Indigenous Americans.

Michelle Montalvo-Jourdan works in the Graduate School as the program coordinator for student recruitment, success, and retention.  She is also a current 2nd yr.  graduate student studying Anthropology, with a focus on environmental sustainability and food sovereignty. 

 She began her professional career at U of L in 2017 with Campus Housing as Assignments Coordinator. Outside of school and work, Michelle likes to be in nature, garden, urban forage, do yoga, read true crime novels, and make maps.  And she lives by the motto “Honor the journey and reflect on the experiences, be kind to all including yourself, live a life of compassion, peace starts on our plates.”  

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Maggie O'Daniel

BA: Anthropology, University of Kentucky.

I’m a cultural anthropologist with special interest in human rights, power dynamics, total institutions, sexuality and gender, feminist anthropology, political anthropology, and applied anthropology. I was drawn to the University of Louisville’s MA in cultural anthropology because I grew up in Louisville and wanted to be able to use my education to enrich my own community. The university’s involvement in locally based projects was a perfect fit for me.

Contact: margaret.odaniel@louisville.edu

Zack Shelton
Anthropology

My research interests are inequality, class, and culture, and I plan on doing my thesis on educational inequality in Appalachia.

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Allison Sherman

BA: Anthropology, University of South Carolina.

I’ve spent the past two years working at the Archaeological Research Institute in Lawrenceburg, Indiana as a lab assistant and field technician. My research interest revolves around in zooarchaeology (the study of animal remains from archaeological sites). I’m a third generation Louisville Cardinal from Florence, KY.

Contact: allison.sherman@louisville.edu

Dustin Smith

BA: Anthropology (with a concentration in Archeology and a minor in Folklore), Western Kentucky University.

While at WKU, I was lucky enough to do archeological work at Mammoth Cave National Park, which has led to an interest in prehistoric Native American cultures. I decided to apply for the graduate program at UofL because it is so comprehensive. I was drawn to the ceramics and lithic analysis courses, as not every university offers it. I am currently finishing my last semester at UofL. Although it is not an archeological project per se, my final project will involve the creation of an exhibit at the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. We will be exploring the lives of the servants who lived and worked in the home. 

Contact: d0smit23@louisville.edu 

 

Haley Zoeller

BA: Merchandising, University of Kentucky.

After completing my undergraduate degree in merchandising at the University of Kentucky, I discovered my love for people and cultures while traveling in Greece. I joined the MA program at UofL Fall of 2021. My areas of interest are environment justice and political ecology, agroecology, food justice, and sovereignty for indigenous and other marginalized communities.  

Contact: haley.rothwell@louisville.edu

                        Former Graduate Students

Neha Angal
Biological Anthropology

Department alum Neha Angal (M.A. 2016) recently accepted a position as a field interviewer for the Survey Research Center (SRC) at the University of Michigan. Neha is recruiting and enrolling new mothers into a longitudinal study, Baby’s First Years, at area hospitals in New Orleans. The project objective is to assess the role of family background, experiences, income, and access to social services on early child development, through the first three years of life. The SRC is internationally recognized as a leading organization in interdisciplinary and social and behavioral science research.

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Allan Day
BA, English
Cultural Anthropology

In 2016 I received a Bachelor’s degree in English from IU-Southeast. I decided to take the writing skills I had developed and explore the social sciences. My interest in the machinations of culture led me to the University of Louisville Anthropology department, where I focused my Master’s work on issues of sustainability and the environment. I wanted to understand how various cultures conceive of the human relationship to the environment, why so many societies function unsustainably, and what impact sustainability efforts might have upon socio-cultural systems. 

David Hoefer

David Hoefer
MA, Archaeology
Archaeology

David Hoefer recently completed his master-of-arts (M.A.) degree in anthropology at the University of Louisville. After a successful career as a communications consultant and small-business owner, David decided to pursue a second career in archaeology, as a means of fulfilling a longtime passion for scholarly research and analysis. His thesis defense, on the evidence for economic agency at a pair of Archaic-Era hunter-gatherer sites in New Mexico, occurred in April 2015.

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Photo of Tyler Short

Tyler Short
Socio-Cultural Anthropology

Research interests:

In December 2017 I had the honor of traveling to Rome for two trainings that involved nearly twenty youth from around the world. As a member of Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville (SAL), I represented the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), a coalition of grassroots and grassroots-support organizations dedicated to realizing the human right to food sovereignty by ending poverty, rebuilding local economies, and asserting democratic control over food systems.

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Photo of Robyn Valenzuela

Robyn Valenzuela
Anthropology

In the fall of 2014, I began my PhD program in Cultural Anthropology at Indiana University, with outside PhD minors in Human Rights and Gender Studies.  My dissertation research examines transnational family separation and reunification between the United States and Mexico.  This separation often entails the convergence of Immigration enforcement, child welfare, and Family Law systems, as well as institutional networks involved in transnational reunification cases.  My study engages in ethnographic and archival research in Chicago, Illinois and Indiana, examining how noncitizen Mexican parents, child protection workers (in the U.S and Mexico), attorneys, and Family Law judges experience and navigate the child protection system domestically and transnationally.  In so doing, it considers how bordering practices, as an effect of state surveillance and power, are enacted on families regardless of their proximity to the physical U.S-Mexico border.  Ironically, this was a project I had conceived prior to the campaign or election of Donald Trump.  However, this project has taken on a new significance in our current political climate.

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