Melissa Stevens is a PhD student at the University of Maryland in Cultural Anthropology. Her research interests include community-based tourism, local participation in development, and the political economy of tourism and sustainable development. While earning her Master of Applied Anthropology degree at the University of Maryland, she worked with Counterpart International to plan a community-based tourism project in Vietnam. Her research examined the effects of power disparities between stakeholder groups on the ways in which community-based tourism concepts such as "community" and "participation" are operationalized. She plans to explore the same issues at an East African site in her dissertation research.
Valene Smith Winner 2009
Sarah Taylor is a doctoral student of cultural anthropology at SUNY Albany. She received her MA in Applied Anthropology from CSU Long Beach, and her thesis is titled Gracias a los Gringos: Negotiating Tourism and Community Development, and is based on research in the village of Ek’Balam, Yucatán. Sarah began work in Ek’Balam as an undergraduate in 2004 and plans to continue her dissertation fieldwork there. The main research foci include the actual and potential role of “community” in community-based tourism development, participatory research design, and the shifting household economic strategies employed by residents as they negotiate with the arrival of tourism in their daily lives.