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January 11, 2013
By Tiffany Moore
University of Nevada, Reno's Deborah Boehm was awarded the Ruth Benedict Global Citizenship Award, an award granted by the Center for a Public Anthropology to only 1 percent of those teaching introductory anthropology in North America.
Boehm, an assistant professor of anthropology and women's studies at the University, was recognized nationally for both her research and her involvement in the Public Anthropology's Community Action Project.
"Professor Boehm is to be commended for how she takes classroom knowledge and applies it to real-world challenges, thereby encouraging students to be responsible, global citizens," said Rob Borofsky, director of the Center for a Public Anthropology. "In actively addressing important ethical concerns within anthropology, Boehm is providing students with the thinking and writing skills needed for active citizenship."
The project encourages critical thinking regarding ethical issues in anthropology, a sharing of ideas among students from different universities, and improved writing skills.
"As anthropologists, we prioritize publicly engaged research and teaching," Boehm said. "It is an honor to have my work in the public sphere recognized by the Center for Public Anthropology."
Boehm is also researching cross-border families, examining the effects of immigration laws on gender relations, family life, and children and youth. She recently published a book with New York University Press, Intimate Migrations: Gender, Family, and Illegality among Transnational Mexicans, and she has another book in the making.
"My background is in multiple disciplines - I have a bachelor of arts degree in English and a master of arts degree in Latin American Studies," she said. "So, when I considered different doctoral programs, I was drawn to the interdisciplinarity of anthropology. I especially appreciate the holistic approach of anthropology in the study of human experience. It is one of the few disciplines that span the sciences, social sciences and the humanities."
Her work in anthropology allows her to travel within the United States and around the world. She frequently visits Mexico for her research, and this summer, she will be teaching "Gender and Globalization" in Alicante, Spain with the University Studies Abroad Consortium.
"I am interested in how global connections and disconnections are experienced in local settings," she said. "The people I work with are impacted by global forces, and are also part of our local communities. I study such global-local processes, aiming to understand the experiences of migrants in an increasingly transnational world."
Tiffany Moore was a student writer for University Media Relations.