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November 12, 2010
By Natalie Savidge
Ten Nevada anthropology students were recognized as winners for this year’s Public Anthropology Award.
From Professor Erin Stiles’ Introduction to Anthropology class, the students participated in the Center for Public Anthropology’s Fall 2010 Community Action Project. The competition awarded 202 students and involved more than 4,000 students from 21 schools across North America using a special software program to draw students together into an intellectual community.
Students recognized from Stiles’ class include Carissa Mangubat, Amanda Nawrocki, Kelsey Standerfer, Roslyn Timmerman, Clark Hansen, Aaron Schulman, Ian Holmes, Michal Rempala, Alexa Walker and Samantha Wright. The topic was, “Who should be the beneficiaries of anthropological research?”
“Professor Stiles 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, founder of the project and director of the Center for a Public Anthropology.
The Center for a Public Anthropology is a non-profit organization that encourages scholars and their students to address public problems in public ways. The Public Anthropology’s Community Action Website Project seeks to provide students with key skills-such as objectivity, critical thinking and effective communication-they will need to be successful in their future careers. The Project encourages critical thinking regarding ethical issues in anthropology, a sharing of ideas among students from different universities, and improved writing skills.
“In actively addressing important ethical concerns within anthropology, Professor Stiles is providing students with the thinking and writing skills needed for active citizenship and a productive life after graduation,” Borofsky said.
Stiles has been conducting research in Zanzibar, Tanzania since 1999.Her research focuses primarily on the way lay people and professionals understand, interpret and use Islamic legal ideas. This year, she published with Palgrave Macmillan, “An Islamic Court in Context: An Ethnographic Study of Judicial Reasoning.”